This has been on my list for a while, even as rumors flew that it was slipping. My husband and I were looking for a cozy place to celebrate my birthday (which happened two months ago), and what better way to spend a balmy, 60-degree December night than at a spot called The Fireplace.
Luckily, we were seated nowhere near the fireplace. It’s right by the bar, though I almost missed it because I was too busy trying to figure out where the hostess station was. Here by the door? Up there? Come on, Tammy, think outside the box.
Instead, we were led to the elevated dining room with a view of the open kitchen. No wild innovations going on in there, but I gather that’s not the point. Most of the dishes have some tie-in to tradition whether it’s a classic New England recipe with a few clever updates, or a modern creation meant to showcase local produce and regional cheeses.
Some high points: a festive cranberry-ginger martini; an heirloom beet salad with walnuts, gorgonzola, and figs (though the beets didn’t really need all of those trimmings to shine); Grandma Gertie’s stuffing; perfectly-seared scallops (the orange-honey sauce was a bit weak, but who needs sauce); and butterscotch bread pudding with rum-drunken raisins.
The service was fine: just the right blend of “there when you want them, not there when you don’t.” The ambiance was warm and minimalist, and the food comforting. You can get more (better) for your money elsewhere around the city. Still, as long as you don’t expect fireworks, the Fireplace is pleasant, and you’ll likely make it home before the babysitter gets into your liquor cabinet.
The Fireplace, 1634 Beacon St., Brookline, MA, 617-975-1900