Restaurant Review: Beacon Hill Hotel & Bistro

When friends come from NYC, I try to take them to a really good restaurant to show them that we Bostonians also appreciate and have access to good food too. (Why does NYC get all the east coast food credit?)  So, when my friend came up from NYC for a visit, I decided to take him to the über-trendy Liberty Hotel for a drink at Clink and dinner at Beacon Hill Hotel & Bistro.

BHB has that rare ambiance, sophisticated and chic without being stuffy.  It’s refreshingly simple.   I would like to replicate the white and black tile floor in the kitchen of my future home – it’s chic yet homey.   Instead of a T.V., the bar’s central feature is a beautiful fireplace.  BHB is small and intimate: the perfect place for catching up with friends and actually being able to hold a conversation.

BHB focuses on local, organic ingredients; reflected in its changing menu. So I was not surprised to see that the menu was slightly different from the summer offerings.  In fact, I was actually surprised by how many items (mostly appetizers) I recognized from my last visit.

I mentioned to the waitress that I had a gluten allergy. She seemed a little tentative about suggesting dishes, but she was happy to go back to the kitchen and confirm my dinner choice was/could be made gluten-free.

I ordered the chicken with Brussels sprouts and sweet potato puree, mostly because I hate(d) Brussels sprouts. I have always hated Brussels sprouts.  I remember my mother forcing me to choke down bitter, mushy Brussels sprouts as a child.  Just trying to eat them used to make me gag.  So, when the waitress recommended either the pork shoulder or the chicken with Brussels sprouts, I decided to grit my teeth and give Brussels sprouts another try.

Shortly after realizing how limited my restaurant choices would be as a gluten-free diner, I developed a habit of going back and trying foods I hated as a child / teen.  Having celiac has actually made me more adventurous about my food choices.

And I am so glad I did opt to given Brussels sprouts another try.  These Brussels sprouts were amazing.  I wanted to ask for the recipe.  They were roasted with bacon and sage and maybe some shallot.  Roasting them definitely helped with the unappealing texture by adding a little crisp.  The smoky flavor of the bacon mellowed the bitterness of the Brussels sprouts nicely.

The chicken was well seasoned, though I was disappointed by the gummy skin.  The chicken would have been perfect if the skin had been a bit crispy.  The plate was rounded out by a delicious sweet potato puree.  The cinnamon flavor in the puree was a nice counterpoint to the smoky / slightly bitter Brussels sprouts.

Husband had the scallops and cleaned his plate.  My friend had the cod and said it was delicious.

After dinner, we all had desserts.  BHB makes its own ice cream, so I tried the cream cheese ice cream and wow.  It was really delicious.  However, it was so sweet and creamy, I found myself wishing for a sprinkling of cinnamon or nutmeg for balance.  Husband had a lemon tart and my friend tried the toffee pudding.  Both of those desserts were also declared delicious.

Overall, this is a great restaurant, a little on the pricey side, but well worth the trip and price if you are looking for a great, special meal in a relaxed atmosphere.

g/f friendly: 4 out of 5

food quality and taste: 5 out of 5

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