For a long time, I was biased against the Liberty Hotel; I disliked the absurd, long lines to get into Alibi at 9 p.m., its expensive wines by the glass ($30 for two glasses of chardonnay!?), and most of all its Beehive-esque "We're the coolest place in Boston, and we know it" attitude.
But then a funny thing happened-- after weeks of not eating out, of cooking and brown bag lunches and lean cuisines, of dive bars and house parties, all of a sudden I CRAVED the very thing I had disliked about the Liberty. I yearned for a place that was chic, where people were dressed to the nines, where the food was elegant, even if tiny. And when OmGal suggested a restaurant in the Liberty, I immediately thought of Jolyon Helterman's blog post on Boston magazine's blog Chowder about his changed attitude towards Clink.I texted Maeve right away; luckily, she had as much desire for a night out as I did, as she’s been cramming for law school finals for weeks.
We met in the cavernous lobby, and then headed into the restaurant. The décor fit the jail theme, with bars on the windows and industrial-chic brick walls. I broke my detox with a glass of chardonnay, while Maeve opted for a glass of the Caymus Conundrum. We decided to do our usual girl thing where we split a bunch of things. They brought us over some warm olive bread with butter to start, which was lovely. Dish Gal majorly hearts olive bread.
First we split the sunchoke and almond soup with green almonds. This was my favorite dish of the night – a delightful and whimsical soup that was perfect for a balmy, rainy spring day. We also tried one of the cheeses they offered—a goat’s milk with a fig jam. This is how Dish Gal likes her cheese—strong, in small portions, and as the main attraction, not haphazardly thrown on a sandwich or on top of an enchilada. Ordering cheese on its own feels so decadent to me, like a mini-spa day in every bite.Finally, we got the veal and ricotta meatball sliders. While these aren’t the most revolutionary appetizer (I dare you to find a restaurant in Boston that DOESN’T have these on their list), they were delicious, and really hit the spot. I especially liked the buns. Feeling a bit buzzed from the wine and the delicious food, we couldn’t resist sharing a dessert. We went with the Valhrona chocolate tart. It wasn’t my favorite thing in the world, but it sure did look pretty. Maeve pointed out the crust of the tart was a little too hard. Basically, I’d save my calories for something else, if I went back.All in all, we spent about $30 each for the food and the wine—so it’s possible to get out of there not spending a lot of money if you do it right. But it's also very possible to blow a lot of money, so buyer, beware.
In conclusion...Some restaurants seem designed for certain occasions, like Mother's Day brunch at Upstairs on the Square, or a birthday party at Masa. For a Girl's (Fancy) Night Out, Clink. just might be the place you've been looking for.
First photo courtesy of boston.com