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THE TIP

At home in the heart of the city

The Met Back Bay fills up with young and old sitting shoulder to shoulder. The Met Back Bay fills up with young and old sitting shoulder to shoulder. (Erik Jacobs for The Boston Globe)
By Devra First
Globe Staff / December 24, 2010

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Met Back Bay 279 Dartmouth St., Boston.

617-267-0451.

With Met Back Bay, a restaurateur reverse migrates to the city. In 2004, Kathy Trustman opened the Metropolitan Club in Chestnut Hill, bringing the modern steakhouse to the suburbs. She followed it with Met Bar & Grill in Natick and Dedham, where gourmet burgers star. Now she has arrived at the corner of Dartmouth and Newbury streets with the first actually metropolitan Met concept, which began serving at the end of October.

In a shaky economy, opening a restaurant of this scale in high-rent Back Bay is a vote of confidence in the city’s health. Plus, Trustman says, it feels good to be at the center of the action.

“Because I’m a Bostonian, there’s something really special about being in the heart of the city I love and have a lot of history in,’’ she says.

The restaurant is located in the space formerly occupied by Joe’s American Bar & Grill, an 1877 townhouse. There are different areas for different moods — the Living Room (a.k.a. the dining room, with windows overlooking Newbury Street); the Library, a bar featuring classic cocktails; the ground-floor Game Room, for your Pats-viewing pleasure; the Terrace, a heated outdoor space; and Townhouse, which requires a membership card. There’s also a ham and cheese bar, showcasing local cheese and house-made charcuterie.

Executive chef Todd Winer’s menu is a “something for everyone’’ affair — from raw bar, an assortment of salads, and curried spot prawns to mac and cheese, potpie, and steaks. So everyone is coming. “It’s multigenerational,’’ Trustman says. “Last night at the Library bar, there was an 85-year-old couple, and 28-year-old kids next door,’’ she says. “The amount of people is staggering. I’m overwhelmed. There’s nothing like being in a city.’’

DEVRA FIRST