Escape from the winter chill
The weather outside might be frightful, but the fire can be so delightful — if you find the right spot. There are many restaurants and bars around Boston that offer a cozy fireplace to dine or drink beside or view from afar. See a sampling of fireplaces the Hub has to offer that are sure to warm you up on even the chilliest days.
150 Bowdoin St., Boston
Coziness factor: This Beacon Hill spot offers the welcoming feel of a local neighborhood hang-out with its old-fashioned fireplace, dark wood décor, and spin on pub classics, like its popular Black Angus beef burgers.
Inside scoop: 21st Amendment opened in 1899 and was initially the Bellevue Hotel. The original fireplace from the hotel’s historic gentleman bar is still intact — and it’s rumored that John F. Kennedy frequented this cozy area.
10 Avery St., Boston
Coziness factor: Located within the Ritz Carlton Hotel near Boston Common, the bar’s design is inspired by the modern style of the 1950s. The space includes a 13-seat arched bar, grand chandelier, and fireplace — raised to eye level for a truly dramatic effect. The alcove seating areas make for an intimate, cozy experience.
Inside scoop: Avery Bar bartender Sterling Jackson recommends cozying up near the fire with a warm Apple Caramel, which is made with Laird’s Applejack Brandy, Bulleit Bourbon, hot spiced apple cider, cinnamon, caramel, and vanilla, and garnished with whipped cream and a cinnamon stick.
Bistro du Midi
272 Boylston St., Boston
Coziness factor: The Bistro’s comfortable interior proves especially inviting during chilly winter nights with its rustic wood beamed ceilings, open arched kitchen, and table side dining near its brownstone fireplace.
Inside scoop: Bistro du Midi was named to Boston Magazine’s 2013 ’’Where to Eat, Right Now: The List.’’
Bristol Lounge Boston
200 Boylston St., Boston
Coziness factor: Inside the Four Seasons Hotel on Boylston Street, the Bristol Lounge is an ideal spot for power lunches or fancy after-work cocktails. It’s not surprising the Lounge has earned its unofficial reputation as “Boston’s living room’’— especially with its fireplace serving as the focal point of the entire space.
Inside scoop: Consider munching on the Bristol Lounge’s signature Bristol Burger near the fireplace. The Lounge sells nearly 40,000 of these comforting burgers each year.
113 Dartmouth St., Boston
Coziness factor: This Irish bar and restaurant set in Boston’s South End welcomes diners with its rustic sporting lodge feel, featuring unique wall décor (you can’t miss the mounted deer head, including antlers), polo paintings, and large fireplace.
Improper Bostonian named Clery’s wings to its “Best of 2013’’ list and touted these spicy snacks by saying, “They’re tender enough to fall off the bone, but the perfect pitch of heat, thanks to the judicious use of Frank’s RedHot sauce.’’
161 Berkeley St., Boston
Coziness factor: You have your pick of fireplaces at Grill 23: One is located in the lounge area opposite the bar on the second floor, and the other is in one of the private dining rooms.
Inside scoop: Pastry Chef Molly Hanson suggests sharing a dessert by the fire. Two of her favorites: caramel profiteroles with chocolate sauce, coffee ice cream, and candied almonds, or Molly’s famous coconut cake – a large wedge of cake served with pineapple sherbet and coconut dulce de leche.
406 Stuart St., Boston
Coziness factor: At Post 390 in the Back Bay, there are three fireplaces: One is a four-sided design near the tavern as you enter the restaurant, another is in the Clarendon section of the upstairs dining room (surrounded by about 10 tables), and the last is in the private Franklin Room upstairs.
Inside scoop: Beverage manager Jason Percival recommends sampling a few of Post 390’s cocktails near the fireplace: the Widow’s Kiss, which is a blend of calvados, Benedictine, yellow chartreuse, and bitters, or the Pilgrim’s Blush, which uses a cranberry gastrique made from locally grown cranberries, cider vinegar, star anise, and aged rum.
InterContinental Boston, 510 Atlantic Ave., Boston
Coziness factor: If the warm red hues of the furniture at the lush RumBa Bar inside Boston’s InterContinental aren’t inviting enough for you, perhaps cozying up beside the clear glass fireplace is just what you need.
Inside scoop: Do you have a seat near the fire and wonder what your drinks are resting on? The cocktail tables are constructed from second-hand Louis Vuitton trunks.
1634 Beacon St., Brookline
Coziness factor: With a name like The Fireplace, you’d hope this Brookline spot would offer a cozy dining experience. Its website touts the venue as “warming and un-fussy’’ and it delivers with its comforting dishes and large, roaring fireplace greeting diners as they enter the restaurant.
Inside scoop: Owner and chef, Jim Solomon, suggests ordering one of their comfort food dishes to enjoy near the fire, like the acorn squash and toasted walnut porridge with maple braised cabbage, confit duck, and frisee and radish salad, or braised beef shortribs with sweet potato mash and garlic chard. Or, bartender Rachel Kenney recommends one of their most popular winter cocktails: Sky’s the Limit – made with pomegranate-infused rye, Rye Harbor vodka, Pimm’s, pear liqueur, and freshly squeezed grapefruit juice.
279A Broadway, Area 4, Cambridge
Coziness factor: This 28-seat spot offers an intimate dining setting with its tiny kitchen and rustic, brick fireplace.
Inside scoop: The mismatched vases, dishes, and vintage glassware you’re eating and drinking from were collected by Chef Jason Bond through the years.
Christopher’s Restaurant & Bar
1920 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge
Coziness factor: It’s no wonder this Porter Square bar has been an institution for more than 30 years — its exposed brick walls and roaring fireplace create an inviting space for those who walk through its doors.
Inside scoop: Christopher’s English Burger (which is marinated in ale, served with melted cheddar and smoked bacon, and placed on an English muffin) was named the “Best Burger in Massachusetts’’ by Food Network Magazine.
44 Brattle St., Cambridge
Coziness factor: Duck into Harvest, located down a secluded pathway in Harvard Square, and you’ll feel as if you’ve stepped into a quiet enclave away from the hustle and bustle of the world outside. Inside, you’ll find an open kitchen, spacious bar, and hand-built rock fireplace in one of the private dining rooms.
Inside scoop: Executive chef Mary Dumont recommends sipping one of Harvest’s signature cocktails by the fire. She suggests either the Lodge Punch, made with Old Ipswich Spiced Rim, apple cider, caramel simple syrup, and allspice, or the Harvest Spiced Mocha, which is served hot with coffee, Liqueur 43, Godiva Chocolate Liqueur, allspice, and whipped cream.
The Red House
98 Winthrop St., Cambridge
Coziness factor: It’s like stepping into someone’s home from day’s past when you enter The Red House. Grab a small table or seat at the bar in the front dining room, and enjoy the warmth of the tiny fireplace nearby.
Inside scoop: Does the white picket fence outside of the Red House seem out of place for a restaurant? The building was originally built in 1802 and served as a home for about 200 years before being restored into this local eatery.
2 Pleasant St., Charlestown
Warren Tavern claims to be the oldest tavern in Massachusetts— and when you enter, you might just feel as if you’re stepping back into revolutionary times. Inside, you’ll find vaulted beamed ceilings and a large fireplace.
Inside scoop: This was a local haunt for some famous folks: Paul Revere claimed the Warren Tavern was one of his favorite spots and George Washington apparently stopped here for refreshments and socialization
The Blarney Stone
1505 Dorchester Ave., Dorchester
Coziness factor: The Blarney Stone’s inviting interior includes exposed brick walls, mahogany bar, and crackling fireplace.
Inside scoop: This Dorchester institution was the first bar in the country to sell draught Guinness.
Fox & Hound
123 Sea St., Quincy
Coziness factor: Pull up a stool in the Tavern of this Quincy establishment — known for its classic American comfort food with a contemporary twist — as you watch the fire roar from the floor-to-ceiling fieldstone fireplace.
Inside scoop: After a fire destroyed the original restaurant building in 1996. the only feature left was its stone hearth fireplace. The fireplace was taken down, the stones were numbered, and the fireplace was reconstucted into its original design — which now stands in the tavern. Since stone was lost, new stone had to be added. Look closely and see if you can guess which is not from the original.