Beacon Hill Bistro

>>  Friday, December 18, 2009

Beacon Hill is the probably THE most expensive neighborhood in Boston.  It's where Senator John Kerry and Todd English live.  It's where John F. Kennedy lived before he became president.  The charming intimate neighborhood is filled with brick and brownstone homes with real gas lamps lining the streets.

Not only that, this quaint neighborhood is in an awesome location.  It is a short walk from the Public Garden, Boston Common, the Charles River, Newbury Street (high end shopping), a subway stop on the Red Line, and Charles Street, which is filled with cute artisan shops, locally owned restaurants, and a lovely little market.
heirloom melon, boston bibb salad
Boston Bibb Lettuce, Heirloom Melon, Hearts of Palm, and Goat Cheese with Tarragon 9
Because rents are so high in Beacon Hill, it's natural to expect that prices, from a toothbrush at the local drugstore to high end dining, will be significantly higher.

I had to keep this in mind as we visited Beacon Hill Bistro.  This restaurant sits on the first floor of the Beacon Hill Hotel right on Charles Street, the cute street lined with small shops, a local market, and restaurants.
Fresh Maine Crab over Heirloom Keener Corn Grits, with Oregano and Sorrel 14
We had a coupon from, which lessened the blow. 

Our over all impression? We thought some of the dishes were excellent, while others were mediocre and seemingly overpriced.  I had the Boston Bibb lettuce salad (pictured above), which was fine.  Nothing particularly special, but it was nice. 

The fresh Maine Crab, on the other hand, was really good - definitely the best item we had that night.  The sauce had a rich lobster flavor that went really well with the corn grits.  Delicious.
Cavattapi with chicken
House-Made Pappardelle, Braised Chicken, Bacon, and Brussels Sprouts, Olive Oil Toasted Breadcrumbs 24
I was quite disappointed with the pappardelle.  I guess it was OK, but tasted pretty ordinary for the price tag.  I really think it was not even as good as the pasta at Basta Pasta Enoteca or Bottega Fiorentina, which cost a lot less.
Pan seared scallops with zucchini
Special of the day: Pan seared scallops with zucchini in a white wine sauce
The scallops were pretty tasty and well executed.  No complaints about this dish.

Looking back, I'm pretty sure the prices affected my over all impression of the place.  If I feel that a meal is overpriced, I begin to think more critically (and often negatively) of the food.  I adjust my expectations according to how much I pay for the meal.  If it's expensive, I expect it to be really good.  But, as I said earlier, I need to remember that rents are super high in this area, and thus I really should factor that into the prices of the dishes.
Beacon Hill Bistro
I guess if you're in the area, this is not a bad place to visit. The food can be quite good depending on what you order, though I would not call this a "destination"-worthy restaurant.

They do have a nice Sunday night special menu with pretty recession-friendly prices.  They also have a fun "Wine & Dine Mondays" dinner where you can enjoy a prix fixe menu with 4 wine pairings for $55.

Beacon Hill Bistro
25 Charles St
Boston, MA 02114
Beacon Hill Bistro on Urbanspoon

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