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Boston's Coziest Fireside Dining

By Scott Kearnan
December 2, 2013

Eight spots around Boston where you can warm up with a fireside meal, drink or snack. With options ranging from swanky Back Bay hotels to humble neighborhood pubs, there's an option here for any type of fire-lover.

  • Aragosta Bar and Bistro

    This contemporary Italian at the Fairmont Battery Wharf hotel offers an ample waterfront terrace. Even better, it's outfitted with open fire pits to assemble around for gorgonzola and gruyere fondue, s'mores, and cozy cocktails like spiked hot chocolate. They even provide the blankets to keep the chillier weather at bay (617-994-9001).

  • Bondir

    Chef Jason Bond's tiny Cambridge modern American is a cozy space with less than 30 seats in a rustic, farmhouse-like environment with a roaring hearth that complements the menu's hyper-local focus. And the new sibling spot in the suburbs, Bondir Concord, goes a step further: not only does it have its own fireplace, but the restaurant is located in a former firehouse (617-661-0009).

  • The Bristol Lounge

    Picture it: a snowy winter evening, the air filled with falling white flakes that blanket the Public Garden. You: tucked away with the Brahmin power players that fill the Four Seasons' Bristol Lounge, snagging a sofa seat by the fireplace and ordering up one of the city's best burgers (617-351-2037).

  • Catalyst

    As the name suggests, this Kendall Square spot is very comfortable with combustion. For the most intimate fireside experience, you'll have to rent the private Fireplace Room — where one wall is dominated by a double-sided glass hearth. Still, you can still enjoy the view of the flames while drinking a cocktail in the main lounge (617-576-3000).

  • The Fireplace

    Unsurprisingly, The Fireplace has an impressive fireplace. More surprising, to those who haven't much experienced chef Jim Solomon's oft-overlooked Brookline American restaurant, is the simple, well-made food. (The weekly-rotating special of "Humble Offerings," under-$20 comfort food dishes, are especially great.) Plus there are the "Fireside Chats," a series of tastings and discussions focused on American wines, New England craft beers and local spirits (617-975-1900).

  • James's Gate

    It might be named for Ireland's oldest brewery, but James's Gate fields like a hobbit hideaway from Middle Earth. Stepping inside the snug, windowless stone front room, you're greeted by superior, soul warming pub grub and a supremely warming hearth. Grab a plate, a pint, and a seat right in front (617-983-2000).

  • The Squealing Pig

    This neighborhood tavern tends to fly a bit under the radar, but it doesn't deserve to. The ten types of "toasties" (toasted sandwiches like brie with cranberry and ham with pineapple) are great to eat in the small, six table side room with a small but mighty fireplace. There's also nightly live entertainment of musicians and eccentric special events — like Spin-Kick Mondays, offering kung fu flicks and heavy metal (617-566-6651).

  • West on Centre

    There's plenty of comfort food to be had at this West Roxbury restaurant, which comes from the same team responsible for the similarly relaxed vibes found at The Paramount, The Blarney Stone and The 21st Amendment. BBQ pulled pork, short rib pot roast and butternut squash ravioli will do a body good on a cold Boston night. So will the warm fireplace that roars in the bar area (617-323-4199).

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Places Mentioned

The Fireplace

New England • Brookline

Food24 Decor22 Service24 Cost$38
 
 
 
West On Centre

West Roxbury

Food21 Decor22 Service22 Cost$29
 
 
 
The Bristol Lounge

American • Park Square

Food27 Decor27 Service27 Cost$49
 
 
 
James's Gate

Irish • Jamaica Plain

Food20 Decor19 Service20 Cost$17
 
 
 
Bondir Restaurant

American • Cambridge

Food27 Decor24 Service25 Cost$58
 
 
 
Food23 Decor23 Service22 Cost$50
 
 
 
Catalyst

American • Cambridge

Food25 Decor26 Service22 Cost$46
 
 
 
 
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