On a Sunday evening in downtown Boston, my co-workers and I, all servers and bartenders at a Cambridge restaurant and pub, went to Marliave Restaurant to celebrate a bartender’s upcoming wedding.
Marliave Restaurant, which was originally opened by a French immigrant back in 1885, was dead on their downstairs level. For a restaurant that had a good wine list, fancy drinks and a menu a bit more upscale than what we usually encounter, I was a bit surprised to enter a dining room resembling more of a cafeteria than an upscale establishment. There was a lack of decorations and flair, but maybe that is just how the French role. The restaurant, at least the downstairs part, felt bland, but the staff were not. The host greeted us kindly and our waitress was great, too.
Because it was not busy downstairs, we had the waitress all to ourselves and she was awesome. She was in a genuinely good mood and we got her to laugh and joke with us immediately. Most of us had excellent wine, but one girl ordered a Molasses Flood, made with rum, lime, molasses and bitters, just one of their many unique creations. Other special drinks on the menu included the Waterloo with gin, Champagne, Citronge and lemon, and the Boston Tea Party made with tequila, Earl Grey tea, ginger beer and lemon.
Their food was also phenomenal. We all generally eat in bars so being able to experience real quality food was very pleasant. I ordered their delicious diver scallops with pumpkin ravioli and wild mushrooms. My friend ordered their risotto with wild mushrooms, reggiano, and black truffle butter which, after I ate all mine, was also amazing. Right across from me was a steak-n-cheese with the crispiest, saltiest, savory french fries. I mean the kind you just can’t stop eating. Other dishes that were ordered included ricotta and basil ravioli, steak frites and burgers.
If you have room for dessert, it is worth it. There is nothing quite like warm tapioca pudding with caramel, or a sizzling apple crisp cooked to order and served with rum raisin ice cream on a chilly night in the city. Marliave’s menu and drinks are a little pricier than eating at a tavern, but the food and the service is better. How often do you get to sit down and relax with a bottle of wine, a choice of over fifteen cheeses and a menu that features duck, rabbit, trout, mussels, and scallops? Believe me, I do not usually dine in places like these, but I advise you to treat yourself once in a while. You’ll enjoy the experience.
Marliave Restaurant and Cocktails
10 Bosworth Street
Boston, MA 02113
Serving Downstairs: Sunday-Saturday 11AM-10PM
Serving Upstairs: Sunday-Saturday 5PM-10PM
Pasta, risotto and pizza: $16.75-$24
Meat and fish: $17.75-$26
Wine, cocktails and beer: $3.50-$13