A 100yr-old Back Bay icon is reborn
Determined not to let Fenway steal all the Hub's centennial thunder, the historic Fairmont Copley Plaza's ringing in its 100th anniversary by restoring the upscale former Oak Room into... an equally upscale restaurant & bar that plays on the building's historic 1912 origins -- a time when men were men, until Ty Cobb cleated them in the crotch on a hard slide into second.
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The Setup: Anchored by an 83ft copper bar that stretches the length of the massive room and fronts a fireplace & wood hearth oven, the elegant 146-seater straight out of a movie that likely features a weirdly Irish Leonardo DiCaprio mingling poorly with well-fashioned sophisticates boasts (phew!) oak, vaulted ceilings, towering 17ft Palladian windows, mirrored flatscreens and -- unlike The Oak Room -- an outdoor bistro set right off Copley Square.
The Libations: Reject your urge to ask for a Blue Hawaiian Bartles & Jaymes and sip instead on local suds like Wormtown Worcester’s Bravest Ale and twists on classic 'tails like The Bardstown (Maker’s Mark 46, Cynar, grapefruit juice) or get table-side martini service in which you choose from myriad garnishes like goat cheese-, anchovy- & garlic-stuffed olives, and pickled green tomatoes.
The Sustenance: Start with one of two charcuterie/ cheese boards chock-full of smoked speck, sopressata, Berkshire Blue, etc., and a pulled pork flatbread w/ caramel onions & pickled grapes, before advancing to a grain-fed Maine burger w/ maple smoked cheddar & charred onion aioli, or an herb pesto grilled rack of lamb chops, also what Cobb does to any sheep stupid enough to get in his path while running round the bases.
Photo Credit: William Horne