Restaurant Review: Persephone
Update: Persephone closed shortly after I posted this, which is quite sad since the food was great. I expect it had a lot to do with the location and the tie in with the clothing shop.
In the mood for some shopping, great drinks or a delightful dinner? You must check out Persephone and the Achilles Project in Boston’s Fort Point Channel. It provides a one stop shop to satisfy your id. From fantastic garments, top-notch bartenders, tasty and honest menu, local art to a nice chill vibe, it seems to have it all. They manage to offer all of this while keeping the environment and sustainability in mind, in addition to focusing on using fresh and local ingredients for kitchen creations and promoting local artists and businesses. All music to my ears.
Of course you don’t need to do everything to make the trip worth it. A visit to just shop, just sit at the bar and sip cocktails or just enjoy a meal it completely worth it.
On Saturday Jeromy and I met up with another couple for dinner at Persephone and have a wonderful time. We arrived a little early so we could enjoy a drink together before our friends arrive – making the most of our time with a babysitter at home watching our little girl.
We left our car with the valet and walked into the building, not exactly sure what to expect. We were greeted by a lounge area on one side and racks and shelves full of gorgeous clothes (many eco-friendly) and footware filling the rest of the space. We didn’t have enough time to shop but will certainly be back to dedicate some time to those clothing racks. We walked through the retail section and into the bar area. We snagged a couple bar seats and pursued the various beverage options. Jeromy got his usual vodka martini with a twist and I ordered a mixed drink called “blame it on the rain”. I typically don’t like and thus, don’t order frilly mixed drink concoctions but somehow that evening I felt like trying one, and I’m glad I did. It was sweet, but not too sweet and very easy to drink. I could have easily had 3 of them, but restrained myself to one given I knew we’d be having wine with dinner and I would likely be driving home. We were chatting about various things when we noticed the bartender had a blowtorch out and was burning orange peels. Jeromy commented, “We didn’t know there would be a show!” and the bartender explained that he was experimenting with new drinks and that flaming the oils from the peel changes the flavor and makes drinks smoother. Without skipping a beat he offered to make us a sample. A few more pyrotechnics and we had a delicious drink of vodka, fino sherry and burnt orange peel. He told us it was Franks Sinatra’s favorite – a Valencia. It was delicious. We asked about the sherry he used and he explained that is was a FINO, which very dry. He gave us a little sample of that too. It was so cool to see the bartender’s enthusiasm for his craft and his desire to share his knowledge and experience with us. Our evening was off to a fantastic start.
Our friends arrived and we were seated, in a nice corner table. While the menu contained many familiar ingredients and flavors, there was a lovely sense of exploration and appreciation for ingredients with the dishes. The menu offers small, medium, large and extra large plates. We all ended up mixing and matching a number of small plates and sides. It was fun to assemble our meals that way. And the food did not disappoint. If you want specific comments on what we ate, I’d be happy to share.
The only sort of negative thing was that table service was mediocre. There was just something about the way our waitress interacted with us…I guess she just didn’t have very nice “table-side” manner. But that didn’t take away from the overall superb experience.
I loved the entire place. While I’m not sure if the concept of arriving for a meal early enough to shop, have a couple drinks and then have dinner, really works for me (especially now with a young child), I will certainly be back to explore the clothing, enjoy the bar and savor the food a number of times.
Persephone, which is the restaurant portion of the Achilles Project, came in at #18 on this year’s Boston Magazine’s Best Of List. We first heard of chef and owner, Michael Leviton, when we discovered Lumiere in our very own hometown of Newton (another great place to check out). We’re glad to see his success continue and expand, especially as he stays true to honoring and promoting sustainability and local ingredients.
283 Summer Street
Boston, MA 02210