The Beehive in the South End is one of my favorite restaurants in Boston, so when I heard the team behind that incredible place was opening a new venture in Harvard Square, I couldn't wait to check it out.
The new spot is called the Beat Hotel. It's located right in the heart of the square, underneath the GAP.
It's basement level, so you have to descend a flight of stairs to enter.
The signage and art work is all very flower power and bohemian.
I stepped through the front door and I felt like I'd been transported to another era. The mood, lighting and decor was like that like of a speakeasy.
The restaurant has two main bar areas and they were totally packed.
We had made a dinner reservation (we were celebrating a friend's 30th) and were walked to a table in the center of the dining room, just a few feet from the stage. We were able to enjoy the live music all throughout the meal. It was the perfect volume. I was nervous we wouldn't be able to hear each other (I'm getting old), but it was a non-issue.
The Beat Hotel menu is very interesting. It has multiple categories, each with a different feel.
The appetizers to share come in either a meat, seafood or vegetarian varieties.
You can also order tuna, salmon, shrimp, halibut or sole and then choose four different versions of accompaniments. Since I often make menu choices based on the side dishes, I think this is excellent.
When our waitress arrived, she let us know that if we were interested in wine, all of Beat Hotel's wines are American wines and several are available on tap. I went with the Star Lane Vineyard sauvignon blanc.
While sipping our drinks, we noshed on the French baguette with butter.
For dinner, the birthday girl ordered the chicken piccata. The chicken was served over gnocchi, which I'd never seen before with this dish. She took a few bites and shared, "This is definitely a solid piece of chicken. The gnocchi are light and fluffy. I do wish the sauce had more garlic and more capers."
Next to me, our friend ordered the swordfish tacos. They came in such a grand presentation!
In addition to the tacos, they plate was also covered with rice, beans and melted cheese.
Once she dug in, she said, "This is an insane portion of fish. I absolutely love the sauce drizzled over the tacos."
It was a bit tough for me to decide what to have for dinner. Beat Hotel does not have many vegetarian choices and what they do have is way too earthy crunchy for my taste.
In the end, due to lack of options, I went with the earth bowl. The bowl (which is actually a plate) has tofu, tempeh, 5 grain rice, beets and pumpkin tahini sauce. You can also order it with chicken, salmon, shrimp or steak.
The tofu and tempeh were the best parts of the dish.
After our dinner plates were cleared, we asked about dessert. We were celebrating after all!
The three dessert choices for the evening were: banana bread pudding, apple cobbler cheesecake and chocolate peanut butter cake. One guess which one we chose?
Personally, I'm not a fan of peanut butter, but when this cake arrived it looked so fantastic I decided to stick a fork in and go for it.
The cake tasted like a Reeses peanut butter cup. It didn't need the salted caramel ice cream or the raspberry coulis that came on the plate, it can absolutely stand on its own. I would come back just to order a cocktail and another slice of this cake!
When we arrived at the Beat Hotel I was hopeful it would deliver all the same things I love about the Beehive - fun atmosphere, great live music, delicious drinks and excellent food. While the vegetarian menu choices are definitely lacking, the bar area is a blast. The place has such a lively atmosphere.
If you want to check out the Beat Hotel, go for a drink or go after dinner to indulge in that chocolate peanut butter cake!