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“hidden gem”
Review of Backbar

Ranked #52 of 304 Restaurants in Somerville
Cuisines: American, Bar, Pub
Dining options: Drinks, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff
Restaurant details
Dining options: Drinks, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff
Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
25 reviews
24 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“hidden gem”
Reviewed 9 December 2012

More here: http://molltk3.blogspot.com/2012/11/backbar.html

I rarely make trips to Union Square in Somerville, as I'm not a big fan of buses and there is no nearby T, so my choices are left with walking, driving, or biking. Driving it is. I headed out to backbar before a friend's album release at the new Cafe Tango down the street. I have had backbar on my go-to list for a bit now, after it's opening in late 2011. It is the slightly-younger sister of Journeyman, a tasting-menu restaurant run by foodie-friends focusing on seasonal ingredients. backbar has recently been in the news a few times, having their bartender Sam Treadway winning Boston's best bartender award and being featured at Zagat's 30under30 event. I brought T along to this newish craft cocktail utopia with a few friends for a quick drink & snack before the evening's event.

Down the alley we went...to the nondescript orange door. We headed in down a dark hallway hoping we were heading the right way. Our spirits were raised when we found the backbar sign, opened the door, and were greeted to a quiet & calm hideaway.

In we went, we plopped down on one of the wall-length comfy couches and admired the graffiti wall & the hand-drawn daily menus of food & drinks. I went with the union mule with Beefeater gin, apple brandy, St-Germain, citrus, ginger, and spice with a pork belly bun as a snack.

Overall, a tatsy strong drink in a non-pretentious quiet calm space. A nice change of pace!

  • Visited November 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank molly k
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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31 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Cambridge, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
44 reviews
35 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Hipster Bar Shares Building and Owners with Journeyman”
Reviewed 4 December 2012

Had a drink while waiting for our reservation at Journeyman. We let the bar tender make something up for us which was kind of fun, but I guess he didn't think we meant it when we said we didn't want it to be sweet. It would be fun to come sit in the bar which is much more atmospheric than the restaurant and order the foie gras from next door.

Visited November 2012
Thank mjaberry
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Topnotch cocktail experience, eclectic atmosphere”
Reviewed 6 November 2012

Classic and modern cocktail list with experienced bartenders creating bespoke drinks. Unmarked door in an alleyway next to Journeyman restaurant, walk through and open the door at the end of the hallway.

Intimate space with great energy. Tends to get hipster towards end of the night. Interesting late night menu includes rabbit nuggets and monte cristo sandwich with foie gras and apricot jam. It's worth the trek to this place in Union Square if you're willing to wait for a spot (or make a reservation) and want to impress your date or out of towner or treat yourself.

Comparable to Drink in Fort Point for cocktail finesse.

  • Visited November 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
1 Thank Hungrygirlin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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