Bostonia Public House Is A Comfort Food Paradise

Posted October 25, 2016 by Cheryl Fenton in Dining Downtown: Restaurant Reviews
Roasted Beet Salad. Photo Credit: Cheryl Fenton

When the winds are whipping around like this past weekend, there’s a proclivity to hang out on your couch under a blanket, wishing the outside weather “good day, sir.” Since a girl’s gotta eat, the next best thing is comfort food. Think mac n’ cheese, warm donuts, poutine.

Bostonia Public House and Executive Chef Kyle Ketchum have it all. The restaurant’s location at the Board of Trade Building might be 114 years old, but the interior is courtesy of today’s HGTV Host/Food Network Designer Taniya Nayak. She mixed iconic architecture with vintage touches and raw rustic and flipped the script with glossy bricks, mini tiles, marble, and cognac-coffee tones. There’s an impressive 110 ft. walnut bar and a wall of whiskey. Talk about comfort.

Dapper Dans/Danielles in vests and ties were taking orders. The crowd was the typical downtown scene of business and casual. We did peep a few little (and not-so little) ones ordering off the kids/young adults menu. Given they kick out late night live music, the evening crowd will probably lack tiny tots.

Speaking of tots, we began the meal from the Snacks section – Tater Tot Poutine. Thank you for cheese that doesn’t want to let go and just the right amount of black pepper brown gravy. This was an easy start but tough to share. It was agreed – this dish was so incredible it really needs a size upgrade to appetizer.

The gorgeous Roasted Beet Salad was served with quartered beets hiding under fresh greens, tiny blobs of honey ricotta, a sprinkle of crunchy peppered pistachios, and ample shaved prosciutto. The menu promised hearts of palm, but I don’t think I saw one. Sad. As for sweet yet creamy Banyuls vinaigrette, the salad was a little doused. A “light dressing” request might be in order.

Because nothing says “comfort” better than meatballs, the Fork Tender Meatballs was a no-brainer. They speak only the truth – these huge globes were juicy and savory, with housemade tomato sauce, just the right sprinkle of parm, and a dash of breadcrumbs. Just like nonna used to make.

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Lobster Mac N’ Cheese. Photo Credit: Cheryl Fenton

When fall hits Boston, lobster trades in its sea-side summer roll for a cozy cheese blanket. Consider this lobster mac n’ cheese the Ralph Lauren Home of blankets. Huge lobster pieces (think the entire claw) were settled nicely into the three-cheese mornay, and the wide noodles were bathed in the creamy sauce. This was perfection.

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Berkshire Pork Loin. Photo Credit: Cheryl Fenton

Although a beautiful dish of colors and textures, the Berkshire Pork Loin was not one of our favorites. You’ve heard of too many chefs in the kitchen? Try too many flavors in the dish. There were some heavy-hitters on one plate. The creamy sweet potato mousseline, a nutty coriander oil, the wilted greens and onions, the spicy Spanish Marcona almond Romesco sauce – it was just way too much. Above it all, the sliced pork was dry.

Nothing a nice glass of wine won’t help. Behind the bar are Napa Technologies “Wine Stations” – a state-of-the-art  preservation system that aerates and replaces the oxygen in open bottles with argon gas. Translation: they have more freedom to offer unique by-the-glass options because wines are preserved for up to 60 days. You’re welcome.

To finish, we ordered Berkshire bourbon-glazed sweet potato donuts – thick globes swimming in a shallow pool of glaze. And the Milk & Cookies with a Mozart chocolate milkshake thick enough for a spoon. Even without seeing their live music, Bostonia Public is clearly singing our song.

Bostonia Public House is located at 131 State Street in Boston.