Factcheckers Confirm Eastern Standard Still Good

1198255799Factcheckers are a notoriously uptight lot, and it’s no different here at Boston. As the magazine’s research editors, Francis Storrs, Rebecca Dorr, and I do our best to ensure that the words you read in our pages are fair and accurate, whether they court controversy or describe things like high-end baby strollers.

We work long hours focusing on thousands of details, and while that may suit us fine, we do like to kick back every now and then. With that goal in mind, Boston’s research department convened its holiday lunch at Eastern Standard.

I’ve long been a big fan of this Kenmore Square bistro, whether for a full meal or just lounging with cocktails and oysters on the half-shell. Warm and inviting, it somehow manages to be both bustling and mellow at the same time. And though it was Francis and Rebecca’s first visit, we all felt intimately familiar with the place, perhaps because we had factchecked information about the restaurant so many times.

Okay, I admit it, our lunch began with a drink: The Jack Rose. It’s the trademark tipple of bar manager Jackson Cannon, who has been a helpful source on many Boston stories in the past few years—meaning that the three of us reckoned we’d each spoken to him at least three times during different factchecking calls.

The most memorable article featuring Cannon was “Liquids” columnist Anthony Giglio’s portrait of the Jack Rose Society, a coterie of some of Boston’s best bar managers who meet up to refine classic cocktails. The group’s namesake beverage, featured on Eastern Standard’s vast cocktail menu, is made from applejack, lime juice, and homemade grenadine. Sounds good, of course, but on principle, we factcheckers needed to confirm that it is good. With its tempered sweetness, the Jack Rose was both refreshing and complex, and we happily verified that it was a true pleasure on the palate.

Lunch was just as satisfying, as we each tried different variations on high-end comfort food. I had the hangar steak frites, served simply with a modest slab of blue cheese; the meat was deliciously salty and seared on the outside, tender and flavorful on the inside. Francis enjoyed one of the day’s specials, an open-face meatloaf sandwich served on brioche, and he was particularly enamored with the exquisite frites that he subbed for the mashed potatoes. As for Rebecca, she pronounced her lobster crepes “delightful,” rich but unexpectedly light.

All in all, Eastern Standard continues to impress, and we were proud to confirm the magazine’s ongoing positive coverage of the place—there will be no retractions on our behalf. Our only problem is that we wanted to hang out there longer, so we polished off the meal with espresso ice cream and cherry bread pudding, both indulgent but not cloying. I wish I could say we didn’t finish them both, but that wouldn’t be accurate.