Making a Dent in the Cocktail Menu at Lineage
Ever since my first visit to Lineage, which involved a menu tasting with wine pairings, I have been wanting to go back with Jon to check out their cocktail menu. As it turns out, Ryan Lotz had a stint as Lineage’s bar manager, and even though he has moved on to join Jackson Cannon at The Hawthorne, we knew good things were bound to happen.
Seating at the bar is a little more casual than the dining room. A wood-burning oven is a focal point, which I can imagine providing a cozy atmosphere during the winter months. The subtle hues of slate and lavender provide a very calming space. Small details give away the designers, Sheffield Interiors, as the same behind The Hawthorne.
Font Grove (Cognac, Fernet Branca, Cherry Heering, salt) and Red Sea (Beefeater gin, sloe gin, Royal Combier, Campari)
I am trying to expand my horizons with Fernet Branca and started with the Font Grove. This cocktail is the second one I have had with salt in it, and for me, it’s a fun drink ingredient and in this case really balanced the sweetness of the Cherry Herring. Jon’s Red Sea was equally well-made and very enjoyable. We followed these cocktails with an Aztec Conquest (BMD Bourbon, orange, sherry, Bittermens Mole) and a Green Point (rye, Yellow Chartreuse, sweet vermouth). I took it as a compliment when our bartender told us that the four drinks we had ordered were his favorites. It was nice to see a bar outside the city with a good cocktail program, that boasts some classics (Vesper, Old Fashioned, French 75) with some more creative, involving several drinks that require stirring instead of shaking.
After the cocktails, we decided to grab dinner at the bar. Jon went with the chicken; crispy on the outside, tender and juicy on the inside with a glazed BBQ sauce that wasn’t too sweet. The onion rings were made with red onion, which you don’t see often, and were so delicious Jon wished there had been more.
BBQ-Glazed Bell & Evans Chicken with grilled fennel, glazed carrots and potato salad ($23)
I wasn’t particularly craving anything specific, and when I saw the burger, I remembered that Lineage had been named best burger by the annual Boston Magazine Best of 2012 (not to be confused with the Battle of the Burger). And this was definitely a winning burger. Simple ingredients, perfectly cooked, juicy and between one of the best burger buns I’ve had in a while. I haven’t had enough of the incredible burgers around the city to give an opinion of the Best of Boston nod, but it was definitely one I’d order again in a heartbeat.
Prime Steak Burger with comte cheese on a brioche roll ($15)
We stayed for one last drink and a dessert. The Boulevardier (the Negroni’s American cousin) makes for a nice after-dinner drink, with the slightly bitter Campari working as a digestif. I was really craving the Butterscoth Pudding, which is still one of my favorite desserts, but we decided to try something different and went with the Dark Chocolate Pôt de Crème (espresso cream, biscotti; $8). It was a little too rich for me (no surprise there), but Jon absolutely loved the silky chocolate and light whipped topping.
For us burb dwellers that don’t want to fight T traffic to get into the city on a Saturday evening, Lineage offers a great option. Lineage’s dedication to fresh, quality ingredients is on par, if not better than its city rivals. Once the temperature drops and that stove gets fired up, I foresee nights nestled up to the bar for some great cocktails and dinner.
Lineage is located at 242 Harvard St., just across from the Coolidge Corner T stop (green line, C) and a very doable 10 minute walk from the Longwood station on the D line.
Where’s your favorite place for cocktails outside of Boston?