I’ve been going to a number of Celtics games lately, now that the weather allows for that, and once again am rediscovering the joys of the informality and unpretentiousness that drew me to Boston in the first place just over thirty years ago.
No other North American city I’ve been to has a better bar scene. Even the restaurants are de facto bars. A good night out means a couple of drinks followed by some stuff. You won’t leave hungry. These are big plates of food, and if conversation lags there is usually a T.V. posted on a wall showing sports. The newest restaurants in town have focused on their Beverage programs to satisfy the demands of customers.
It’s a win-win: The restaurant generates revenue from alcohol, which no matter what a “mixologist” tells you, is a no-brainer. The customer drinks: $28 later, plus tax and tip, and the customer has had four ounces of alcohol. Do the math: That’s nearly $10 an ounce or $320 a bottle, which cost the “restaurant” $20. Few food items outside of pizza yield that profit margin.
Which explains the food.
A new restaurant in Downtown Crossing has an entire list of Negroni’s. Guess what? They all taste pretty much the same. Other restaurants have their P.R. teams talk about innovation in the cocktail menus, and it’s all true. They are innovative.
I had a great night, for example, at a terrific restaurant in Harvard Square on the way back from a game: Tuna carpaccio, pork ribs, salmon in a bowl for a friend, and two drinks each: $130.
So, hands up, surrender, drink up, and enjoy it.