The Evolved Oasis (Comede bibe epulare)
Bostonians are less likely than ever to stay put at one table for a long, fancy repast. Itâ€™s far more common to find them bouncing from place to place, on the hunt for killer cocktails or a snack-driven mealâ€”a proclivity that helps explain why casual restaurant openings have outpaced fine-dining debuts in recent years.
But the cityâ€™s older, rarified destinations are far from extinct, and are attracting the modern diner in new waysâ€”most notably through their amped-up bar areas. Like the one at Clio, say, which offers coconut-milk-laced tuna ceviche and roasted bone marrow to pair with its cocktails. Or at No. 9 Park, which has a binderâ€™s worth of house libations, plus bar-only fare like steak tartare and chicken Milanese. Or even at Lâ€™Espalier, where a meal in the white-tablecloth dining room can be luxe and cerebral but perhaps way less fun than splitting a roast duck for two and a bottle of Norwegian sour ale in the less-formal salon.
Regardless of environs, one thing is clear when it comes to bar eats: They have to be salty, fatty, and crispy to keep us satisfied (and reaching for our next sip). This inalienable truthÂ is why greasy snacks like tater tots, chicken wings, and mozzarella sticks will always survive. And when given a proper upgrade, like those laid out here, weâ€™re glad thatâ€™s the case.
1. The Upgraded Bread Stick
Garlic knots, gremolata, Pecorino, crispy garlic.
2. The Upgraded Tater Tot
Fried chickpea bites, microgreens.
3. The UpgradedÂ Meatball
Wild-boar meatballs, spicy tomato sauce, Parmesan, fresh herbs.
4. The UpgradedÂ Potato Chip
No. 9 Park
Steak tartare, salt-and-vinegar gaufrettes, sour-cream-and-caramelized-onion dip, pickled cipollini onion, micro arugula.
5. The UpgradedÂ Mozzarella Stick
Mozzarella-and-ricotta fritters, chili-honey dipping sauce, mesclun greens.
6.Â The UpgradedÂ Chicken Wing
Whole roasted chicken backs, hot sauce, honey.
Source URL: http://www.bostonmagazine.com/restaurants/article/2013/10/29/boston-restaurants-evolved-oasis-bar-food/