Hi dolls! I know I’ve been gone for quite some time now, but sometimes, life comes at you so fast, you forget to slow down and partake in those little things you enjoy most. In my case, a lovely meal, delicious cocktails, good company, and a gorgeous setting. My first few months transitioning into adulthood, the real world, my new job, and this new city were often so overwhelming, the idea of going out after work seemed much too much to handle. I would often come home, cook a quick dinner, collapse on the couch, and call my boyfriend, who, despite being a super busy dentist, somehow always seemed to find the time to have fun. Soon enough, though, with routine, came the need for spontaneity, social interaction with old friends, and an intense craving for a bite out of everything this city has to offer.
So for the last few months, it has become somewhat of a tradition for my friend Tina and I to meet up after work once a week, and hit a new spot–have a nice little meal, indulge in one too many cocktails, and gossip over what’s going on in the corporate world or at the State House (yeah, nerds). This brings me to my new favorite spot in town. In fact, it is so much a favorite, I’ve been here several times since my first visit back in early December. For First Friday last December (I know, I know, it has literally been forever), we decided to grab a bite at Carrie Nation Cocktail Club before hitting the Institute of Contemporary Art for a holiday shindig. Located downtown on Beacon Street, it is a stone’s throw away from where a lot of my friends and I work–making it the perfect place to meet up after hours.
The ambience is one of grandeur, for sure. A popular spot for State House workers and finance higher-ups, alike, Carrie Nation kind of puts a modern spin on the prohibition-era speakeasies and watering holes that would often cater to the likings of the affluent. I think the best way to describe the decor would be a cross between The Great Gatsby and Boardwalk Empire–cool, larger than life, a little too extravagant, and very, very exciting. The restaurant portion is massive, and is broken off into two dining rooms–a huge one that spans the entire room, as soon as you enter, and a smaller one, sectioned off to the left of the entrance (this portion is sometimes reserved for private dining). To the left of the room is a bar that expands the entire length of the room, and boy are their cocktails killer. If you make your way to the back, you will find yourself in a replicated speakeasy with shutters on the windows, dim lighting, low-hanging light fixtures, tons of private booths, and a few pool tables, as well. I took my boyfriend here a few weeks ago, and we had a total ball playing pool in the back portion of the restaurant for hours.
While I have to say the food is good, I did not find the menu to be anything spectacular. The food is what you get at your average Boston, New American joint (Side note: the restaurant is under the same umbrella as Emmett’s and Scholar’s, both of which are in the vicinity). So that, for me, is a bit of a downer. I have tried the caprese salad, which had a wonderful reduction on it, but nothing special, overall. The beef stew, which was the soup of the day the last time I went, was pretty delicious, and probably my favorite thing I have had there, and the truffle mac and cheese is divine. The star here is the cocktail menu, which is broken up into different sections, indicating strength. The cocktails are named after outlaws and criminal acts.
The best time to come here, in my opinion, is for Happy Hour after work on Wednesdays, Thursdays, or Fridays–they have oyster specials, and sitting at the bar, you are sure to hear some scintillating State House gossip, or, at the very least, have a stellar conversation with one of the bartenders. My favorite is Frank–I often just list different things to him, and he comes up with a special concoction that isn’t on the menu. I believe the last time I was there, I asked for something strong, dry, rye, citrusy, and smooth–the mystery cocktail was nothing short of perfect.
If your server or bartender has a little time on their hands, ask them to tell you the history behind the restaurant’s name, the temperance movement, and the hatchet they use as a logo. The irony, mixed with the theme of the venue makes it all the more charming. If you’re a history buff, that, alone, will win you over. All in all, this place is fantastic and unique, in the sense that it really provides you with an experience, rather than simply a meal and a nice drink. If you’re looking for a good girls night spot, I recommend this, for sure, and it’s also great for business lunches and dinners (and even date nights!).
Until next time!“I want all hellions to stop puffing that hell fume in God’s clean air!”