Restaurants & Bars Boston Area

Brick & Mortar

dfan | | Dec 16, 2011 05:56 AM

This is the new bar in Central Square in the old Enormous Room space (569 Mass Ave, just to the left of Central Kitchen) and I can confirm that they are open for business.

I stopped by Thursday night (their third day of operation), at around 10:30. There were a decent number of people there, given that it doesn't even have a sign yet (although maybe some of them came in thinking it was still the Enormous Room) - the bar was mostly full, with scattered people at the tables.

Decor seemed possibly a little sterile but it will probably warm up with more people in it. The bartop is copper and in an interesting arch shape. Ziggy Stardust was playing on the turntable (yes, a turntable), slightly loud for my middle-aged ears.

I had a Teardrop (Cardamaro, Ransom Old Tom gin, Averna, absinthe) and my companion had a Bullet For Fredo (aged grappa, dry vermouth, campari - apparently premade, since it was poured from a bottle); both were excellent. Bartenders were friendly but didn't really engage beyond handing us menus and taking orders. I didn't recognize them from elsewhere but I don't tour a lot of bars beyond Cambridge. Misty was hanging out but wasn't tending bar.

The cocktail menu itself was a little smaller than I had anticipated but everything looked interesting - I don't remember anything that was just a slight Manhattan variant or something. I assume that ad libbing is not a problem but everyone seemed to be ordering from the menu. There were around 5 beers on tap, all local. Cocktails were all $10.

The food menu was bigger than I had predicted, with over a dozen items that looked pretty interesting. Sadly I don't remember any of them and didn't take a picture. Everything's app-sized but if the execution is good I could imagine making a meal of them.

My stay was very enjoyable. I imagine that Brick & Mortar will release a little bit of the pressure from Craigie, which is great (I would like to be able to go to Craigie without worrying that there's a long line for the bar, and I'd also be happy to go here instead!).

My hopes for the future:
- Atmosphere warms up a bit with more patrons
- The cocktail menu expands a little and/or rotates frequently
- Bartenders turn out to be into dialogue with customers
- The food turns out to be good

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