I don’t often get to visit New England. Having been born and raised in New Jersey, frankly, I need a good reason to travel anywhere relatively as cold or possibly colder for a getaway. Fortunately, I had a few good reasons.
It was the beginning of the new year and I needed a recharge. I needed to get away and have some new experiences. Most interestingly to me though, I had to check out Hopsters, a beer pub and craft brewery in Newton, MA. I found it on wefunder.com thanks to my friend Isaiah Little (keep up with that man; he’s going to do big things in this world).
So my partner Viviana Salgado, and I packed up a couple of suitcases and jumped on an Acela train to Boston. By the way, if you’re traveling along the East Coast and aren’t especially pressed for time, I recommend taking the train. It’s a great way to see interesting backdrops of various cities along the coast from eye-level. We arrived in about 4 hours and jumped in an Uber to The Liberty, our hotel for the duration of the 4-day trip.
Today, The Liberty occupies what was once the Charles Street Jail. Over the years, the jail housed a number of infamous inmates including James Michael Curley (who was also the Mayor of Boston…while in jail!), Malcolm Little (aka Chicago Red, aka Malcolm X), and Sacco and Vanzetti (plain ol’ anarchists). Now, instead of being the home away from home for criminals, the hotel’s 298 rooms and suites provide guests with views of the city skyline and Charles River, while boasting five distinct restaurants and bars on-site.
On our first night, dinner was at Clink, one of the on-site restaurants. Very well appointed, I was particularly impressed by how young and professional the staff was. Then there was the food. I started with a roasted butternut soup w/ bacon jam crustini. Bruh…!
Viv had the lobster salad for starters (can’t really come to New England and not have seafood). For entrees, I ordered the butter poached lobster, she had the beef ribeye. At this point, it was very clear that our choice in hotels was a good one.
The next day was an easy day of brunch, a little shopping, and dinner. Brunch was at Back Bay Social Club. I had the chicken & waffles that they serve with a maple bbq sauce instead of syrup. Interestingly different, but I ended up asking for syrup.
Dinner that night was at Mooo. Definitely one of the highlights of the trip, Mooo is a sophisticated steakhouse (get it? cows go “mooo”) adjacent to the XV Beacon Hotel on Beacon Hill. Here’s how I knew the experience at Mooo was as good as it gets… By the end of the night, I realized that I hadn’t stopped to take any pictures (sorry)!
For drinks, Viv had the Hook & Ladder “Los Amigos Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon (2012) and I had a Manhattan, up with Glenmorangie single-malt scotch (try it, you’ll like it). No time for games or appetizers, we both ordered the Bone-In Painted Hills Ribeye. And here’s where Mooo made it’s mark. My steak actually came back over-cooked. Not the worst thing in the world, but when the steak costs $70, I don’t mind asking for it to be perfect. I didn’t “send it back”. Hector, our waiter, saw it and insisted that he bring out a new plate for me! Two points for Hector. As we were waiting for Part Deux, the manager came over to apologize for the steak and offer dessert on the house. Not bad at all. Now, I, for one, prefer to have a personal experience with my server. In fact, I’ll most usually sit at the bar if I can. Hector was incredibly personal, charming, and professional. He’s been at Mooo for years and was still excited about the restaurant. He told us about the XV Beacon Hotel – which we weren’t aware of at all – and how luxurious and accomodating the hotel is. The “perfect” steak came out and I had my way with it! After dessert, (classic vanilla creme brulee…of course) Hector came over and told us not to order an Uber for the ride back to The Liberty. Instead, as a courtesy, he had arranged for the hotel’s personal driver to take us back!
Suffice it to say, that night we both slept like babies. The next day, we went to Blackbird Doughnuts and Hopsters (which was the main reason for the trip). I’ll tell you all about that in another post.