June 20, 2014

the hawthorne

hers:  off the menu raspberry + gin cocktail

 hers:  off the menu blueberry + ginger + gin cocktail

bar eats:  ricotta dip + veggies + chips

 bar eats:  spinach dip + veggies + chips

VENUE //   Tucked away in the basement of the Hotel Commonwealth without any proper signage, the Hawthorne is a true hidden gem.  Not only are the food and drinks on point, the venue is a definite A+.  Given the location of the Hawthorne, I was expecting a dark and stuffy basement bar, but was completely wrong.  The venue is just big enough so that you're not elbow to elbow with your neighbor and provides a lot of seating (small round tables with plush high armchairs, bar seats) and standing room.  Moreover, the white marble bar, white tiled floors, and white washed walls all contribute to the clean, open atmosphere of this elegant hotel bar.

DRINK //   My boyfriend and I decided to take two seats at the bar and ordered two drinks a piece and a few bar bites.  Although the cocktail menu had a number of great offerings, I didn't see anything that really caught my eye (read: nothing super fruity or sweet).  So I asked the bartender if there was something he could recommend, and he happened to make me two off the menu drinks using fresh fruits he had happened to have on hand.  My first raspberry + gin drink was the perfect balance of sweet + fruity, and my second ginger drink had just the amount of spice I was looking for.  

FOOD //   I always get a bad case of the munchies when I drink, and luckily for me, the Hawthorne offers some great bar bites.  For $4 a piece, you can satisfy your late night bar food craving with some creamy spinach and ricotta dips.  Accompanied by fresh cut veggies (long stemmed assorted carrots, radishes, and cucumbers) and fresh hot tortilla chips, these dips are definitely a great bargain!  Unfortunately, I thought that the ricotta dip was pretty mediocre but devoured the spinach dip which was absolutely divine.

SERVICE //   5 stars for the bartender for recommending two great cocktails.

FUN FACT //   The Hawthorne is sandwiched between two great restaurants, Island Creek Oyster Bar and Eastern Standard (read:  start your night off at the Hawthorne for drinks and grab dinner at either place next door)

DINING TIP //   Bar bites offer the perfect before dinner or after drinks filler.  Also, if the bar offers a small or large portion, shoot for the smaller option -- it is usually not that much smaller and is the better portion size to complement your drinks

DRINK TIP //   If you don't see something on the menu that strikes your fancy, don't hesitate to ask the bartender for something more specific that you are in the mood for.  Sometimes he may suggest something off the menu that incorporates fresh ingredients 

Overall, I would have to say that as of right now, Hawthorne > Clio > Drink > Ostra

The Hawthorne
500 A Commonwealth Avenue