Monday, October 3, 2011

Kicking it Old Skool Boston at The Brahmin

By: Jessica Cickay

It’s chic, but not sickeningly stylish. It’s trendy, but not hopelessly hip. It’s elegant, but by no means is it garishly graceful. Basically, The Brahmin Restaurant and Lounge defies the stereotypes and stands out on Stanhope Street, bringing forth the perfect balance of elegance and ease to the Back Bay.

Upon entering The Brahmin, I felt as if I were coming home – and that, apparently, was the goal of the newly opened restaurant and bar. The setup and décor is designed to feel like a warm and cozy Boston brownstone, but the type of brownstone that could make you super jealous of whoever owns said brownstone – comforting and casual, yet styled and striking. Copper accents catch your eye at every angle, while dangling crystal chandeliers scatter the light of perfectly placed candles atop the sleek oak bar. The wood tones are warm, the booths are a cozy maroon leather and the exposed brick walls scream simple sophistication. Waitresses and bartenders that night were dressed to the nines, donning festive flapper-era outfits that took patrons back to a time before any of them were even born – escapism, especially with a craft cocktail in one hand, is amazing.
Amid The Brahmin’s shimmering aura and amongst The Brahmin’s approachable yet stunningly beautiful clientele, two DJs pumped music ranging from current hits to sentimental favorites (think the best wedding you’ve ever been to). Basically, everyone was in a good mood and aglow in good mood-lighting. You can’t ask for anything more, can you? The bartenders were a true testament to talent, mixing up some classic craft cocktails and giving The Brahmin grounds to brag about its unbeatable bar skills. I first sipped on the Moscow Mule, a combination of Absolut vodka, fresh squeezed lime and ginger beer. It was tangy and spicy and refreshing, and I was satisfied and happy and a little tipsy.
In an effort to look like a classy lady, I went for the Cucumber and Vanilla Cosmo next. Crop Cucumber organic vodka, Stoli Vanil, white cranberry and fresh squeezed lime all combined to make this drink a champion. It was certainly strong, but it could certainly be the means to an unforgettable evening.
For food, The Brahmin’s menu is mostly small-plate based, but let’s call it tapas with a twist. That evening, I had the pleasure of pleasing my taste buds with a few of The Brahmin’s best bites, ranging from the veggie-centric (seasonal tomatoes and baby mozzarella skewers) to the more meaty offerings (beef tartare with toast points and capers). My favorites? Grilled prawns, blackened on skewers and smothered in a smoky and tongue-tingling chipotle lime sauce, were tender and well-cooked, while tuna tartare, brightened by the bite of scallions and heightened by the punch of a sesame ginger aioli, was cleverly served on silver spoons. The perfect bite to end a perfect night.
The Brahmin’s balance in all key areas, décor, drinks and dining, is a stunning display of what most bars in the Back Bay could and should be. By expertly mixing the old with the new, The Brahmin has developed its own persona that will certainly win over the hearts of Bostonians for many more perfect nights to come.

The Brahmin
33 Stanhope St
Boston, MA 02116
(617) 723-3131
The Brahmin American Cuisine & Cocktails on Urbanspoon

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