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The closing of Locke-Ober: Please keep the menu

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The closing of Locke-Ober: Please keep the menu

Adam | Aug 6, 2001 05:36 PM

This is an unprinted letter to the Boston Globe editor, submitted July 28, 2001. Any further information about whether I misinterpreted the Boston Globe's article about the intentions of Lydia Shire and the current owners of Locke-Ober would be appreciated.


Locke-Ober: Please keep the menu

As one of the young patrons and appreciators of Locke-Ober, whose parents dined there decades ago, I am uneasy to see that Lydia Shire plans to forego ‘heavy white sauces’ for ‘simple’ fare. Reviving the martini glasses is laudable, however Locke-Ober’s change may contribute to the disappearance in Boston and New York of classic menus. Keep the old menu (maybe even revive some lost dishes), prepare it well, and stay away from new dishes. There’s more to appreciate than the classic menu and room: the clientele where all are regulars, where little if anything has changed, and where everyone there appreciates that fact. Looking around the room at Locke-Ober to see the other people was always one of the most charming aspects of the dining experience. My copy of their 1959 menu, which sits on my bookshelf, shows the same Lobster Savannah I had at Locke-Ober at my 25th birthday earlier this summer. And where else can you find a classic Steak Tartare? Locke-Ober elegance was simple only in its plain language such as "Sea Food, Winter Place," "Hearts of Palm on Lettuce" and "Mutton Chop with Kidney, Mint Sauce" (new restaurants would use many more words to describe their entrees). It would be a tragedy if the menu were changed simply to keep pace with the masses. People in my generation would then never know what an old Boston restaurant was. Please think carefully—Locke-Ober is not just a beautiful room where just any food can be eaten.

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