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RESTAURANT REVIEW

Cozy Up to the Fire

Upscale, Reasonably-Priced Restaurant Serves Up Comfort Food Beside a Blazing Fireplace

By Lauren Nowierski

staff writer

The Fireplace

1634 Beacon St., Brookline, (617)-975-1900

Mon.-Wed., 5:30-11 p.m.; Thurs.-Fri. 5:30 p.m.-midnight; Sat. 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.-midnight; Sun. 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.-10 p.m.

Being that Boston winters are just so cold, a restaurant offering a giant fireplace piques the interest of more than just a few visitors. Located in Washington Square, Brookline, on the C line of the Green line, The Fireplace has attracted a large crowd since its opening a year and a half ago. After waiting practically a month for reservations, I finally got to experience what all the fuss was about.

Upon entering, one is immediately greeted by a warm ski-lodge type atmosphere. A large fireplace sits right next to the ultra-modern bar warming up the entire restaurant. It is much harder to get one of the six tables directly next to the fireplace, but the other tables have a lot to offer as well. The kitchen is open to the dining room so that guests get the feeling of homestyle cooking and can see how everything is being prepared. The overall feeling exuded by The Fireplace is cozy, upscale, and comfortably trendy.

Despite its upscale atmosphere, the appetizers and entrÉes are surprisingly affordable, even on a college student’s budget. Appetizers range in price from $8-$12 and include a wealth of interesting American-style food including, but not limited to, a raw bar, a variety of salads, maple roasted squash soup, and pumpkin apple tart. The entrees ranged in price from $16-$20 and included a variety of meats such as pork, chicken, beef, and seafood with a variety of interesting glazes, dressings and sides. Last but not least, the desserts offered for $6 included a tart, slice of pie, and pudding. They also offered, as a special for the night, a three-course dinner for two for $75, a real bargain when you do the math. For $75, my companion and I were able to enjoy the a variety of raw bar appetizers, a salmon, wild rice and spinach entrÉe cooked inside a large loaf of bread, and a sampling of chocolate desserts.

For those who are of age, the bar seemed pricey but generous in their menu, portions, and service. Even at 10 p.m., there was not a seat at the bar to be had. The drinks vary in price from $3.50 for what they called a “tasting” of wine to $10.00 for a martini, pretty consistent with the Boston norm.

What separates The Fireplace from other venues and draws the large crowds is not only its delectable food, but its staff’s attentiveness to service and comfortable atmosphere. Often times in upscale restaurants, the menus are not only unaffordable, but the place in general is also stuffy and snobby. The Fireplace surely was not one of those places. The age of the crowd ranged from 18-65, and although there is no dress code, most couples were dressed nicely in a suit or nice pants. Most tables consisted of couples, but there were a couple larger groups of friends. The bar tended to a mostly male, business crowd, with a few couples and a few older folk.

The Fireplace was definitely worth the month’s wait for reservations and I would highly recommend it to anyone seeking romance, or a cozy night out with friends.