Restaurant News

Ask the Editor: A Good Restaurant for Fun and Beer-Loving Relatives?

This reader is seeking suggestions for dinner out in Boston with a visiting aunt and uncle who know how to have a good time.


Welcome to Ask the Editor, Boston magazine’s dining advice column. Need a restaurant recommendation? Ask a pro.


Brewer's Fork

Brewer’s Fork. / Photo by Toan Trinh for “An Exclusive First Look Inside the Brewer’s Fork”

Question:

Where should I take my aunt and uncle visiting from out of town? My uncle enjoys a good brew, my aunt wants something totally Boston, and they’re both always down for a good time.

—T.Y.

Your relatives and I have a lot in common. That brings me to my first suggestion: Beat Brew Hall, which—having just opened on Friday—is on my list of beer-y new spots to check out. Formerly Beat Brasserie, the Brew Hall debuted with two-dozen craft beers on draft in a convivial atmosphere, complete with live music and billiard games.

The opening draft list boasts classic Oktoberfest beers from Germany and local lager pros Jack’s Abby; Belgian-style saisons from Maine; a bunch of different New England IPAs and pale ales; and more, plus an eclectic menu of beer hall snacks, flatbreads, sandwiches, and entrées. The location in the middle of Harvard Square makes it a convenient place to convene after taking your visiting relatives on a tour of historic Harvard Yard, the university’s art museum, Cambridge Common, and other quintessential Cambridge sights. (13 Brattle St., Cambridge, 617-499-0001, beatbrewhall.com)

Another tourist-day idea: Check out Old Ironsides, the Navy Yard, and the Bunker Hill Monument before dinner at Brewer’s Fork. The Charlestown restaurant has one of the best beer lists in Boston, with food-friendly farmhouse ales from the likes of Blackberry Farm Brewery, dry-hopped IPA from locals like Honest Weight Artisan Ales, and a deep reserve of special bottles.

A wood-fired oven fuels the menu, which centers on crispy-chewy pizzas but also features a stellar selection of charcuterie, oysters and local seafood, and seasonal snacks, like Wolf Meadow Farm burrata with fried green tomato, basil, and bacon jam. Depending on when your fam is in town, perhaps it will be a nice night on the pleasant outdoor patio. (7 Moulton St., Charlestown, 617-337-5703, brewersfork.com)

The Boston location of Area Four is another top-notch place to toss back some brews and pizza. More than a dozen draft lines pour the local likes of Trillium Brewing Co., Mystic, Night Shift, and more, plus releases from further afield. Can’t choose? Try a flight of four-ounce samples. Along with award-winning pies, dinner offers options like barbecue-roasted chicken with late-season vegetables; salt-and-pepper squid; and a Thai-style salad. (264 East Berkeley St., South End, Boston, 857-317-4805, areafour.com)

And finally, I will suggest for you a restaurant I almost always advocate for: Row 34. For your particular request, the Fort Point seafood bar is a perfect fit. The beer list is consistently stacked with a rotating selection of fresh hops, assertive stouts, and food-friendly sours. The menu pleases tourists and discerning Bostonians alike with generous lobster rolls, seasonal catch like roasted bluefish with green and wax beans, and an impressive selection of oysters on the half-shell and other raw bar offerings. The attentive, knowledgable service and open dining area contribute to a fun atmosphere—just make sure to arrive with a reservation. (383 Congress St., Boston, 617-553-5900, row34.com)

Cheers to showing your aunt and uncle a fun time while they’re visiting you in Boston, and here’s hoping you enjoy these restaurants and their beer-driven bars.