Although it is probably mentioned in the Hotel Commonwealth reviews, I feel the Eastern Standard deserves to be recognized as a restaurant in its own right. As a local who has long lamented the lack of good sidewalk cafes in Boston, I was impressed by the Eastern Standard's approach - it looks and feels like a real upscale Paris sidewalk cafe, completely with plantings and heat lamps. It was too cold to sit outside, however, so we headed in and sat at the bar.
What was meant to be a quick afternoon stop in for one drink turned into a much longer experience, thanks in large part to the wonderful bar staff. We had a barman who genuinely wanted to chat with us, let us sample wine, and encouraged us to stay and eat. It was the most enjoyable experience I'd had at a restaurant in a long time.
I love the French feel of Eastern Standard (even if it's a little too sterile to feel completely Parisian), and the apparent fun approach they take to service. Everyone who worked there was dressed up in a stylish and creative, rather than stuffy, way.
We had the mussels and steak tartare, and they were fantastic. All in all a great experience.
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