New bartender, new bar: 51 Lincoln ups their cocktail game

A Stroll to Provence

Everyone has that one bar or restaurant that they really liked but, for one reason or another, never made it back to, despite all their best intentions.

It’s been a few years since I’ve been to 51 Lincoln, but it turns out it was worth the wait — it’s since changed for the better. While the cuisine was always memorable, one thing they lacked was a full-sized bar. Since my last visit, they installed a lively 13-seat bar, set apart from the more refined dining room. That, plus the recent hiring of “bar chef” Ginny Edwards earlier this summer, have cemented the Newton Highlands restaurant as a cocktail destination as much as a dining one.

Edwards, who’s worked at some of the better cocktail bars around the city (like Island Creek Oyster Bar and Russell House Tavern), is bringing that same level of expertise to 51 Lincoln. Among the most creative concoctions — on a cocktail menu rife with them — is the Peat Monster’s Reveal. It takes a peaty scotch, lemon and honey and garnishes it all with applewood smoked corn and watermelon. That latter detail highlights the interplay between the bar and the kitchen here, the boundary between which they’re working to break down.

“I started with a Peat Monster scotch, and thought, ‘what goes well with a smoky scotch?’,” Edwards said. That would be honey, of course. The addition of smoke corn and watermelon simultaneously inject some of their own sweetness, while slightly upping the level of smokiness — it mostly comes through the nose here, and the sip remains bright and lightly sweet. “The way things come across in a glass are not always as they are in my mind, but this one was awesome,” she said. Agreed.

Elsewhere, A Stroll to Provence takes gin, lemon juice, lavender syrup and a house-made thyme soda with egg white. The result is a beautiful, silk texture with a hint of effervescence. Another bucolic option, A Floral Affair, is a mix of gin, Creme de Violette, Elder liqueur, with edible flowers frozen inside ice cubes for a garnish.

Jumping from the fields to the shore, Rupert’s Revival takes a cocktail that’s often done wrong — and a goofy theme song — as its inspiration. Essentially a deconstructed Pina Colada, it’s named for Rupert Holmes’ “Escape (The Pina Colada Song)” (you know the jam), but pulls it back from teetering on the dangerous edge of touristy with a few dashes of cardamom bitters in addition to white rum, lime and pineapple.

The bitters dry it all out and make for an infinitely more interesting flavor profile. It’s topped with a coconut foam and served without a straw, because the idea is to get all of the broken down components at once. This is great in theory, unless you happen to be in possession of a brand new beard and have to spend the length of the drink wiping coconut foam from your whiskers. Fortunately, like most of the new drinks here, it’s worth savoring.


Brooklyn man charged in roommate's stabbing death

A Brooklyn man accused of violently stabbing his roommate to death on Monday is in police custody and faces murder charges.


Dinosaurs could have survived asteroid strike

It turns out there is a good and a bad time for the planet to be hit by a meteor, and dinosaurs were just unlucky.…


OkCupid admits to Facebook-style experimenting on customers

By Sarah McBrideSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - OkCupid, a top U.S. matchmaking website, intentionally mismatched users to test its technology, the IAC/InterActive Corp service said on…


MTA fares still increasing 4 percent in newly…

The agency said the 4 percent increases, previously announced in December, will remain steady even as the MTA deals with increasing labor costs.


Interview: Brendan Gleeson on the way 'Calvary' depicts…

Brendan Gleeson talks about how his new film "Calvary" began over drinks and how his character here is the opposite of the lead in "The Guard."


'Get on Up' producer Mick Jagger on the…

Mick Jagger, a producer on the James Brown biopic "Get on Up," talks about the time had to tell the singer some bad news and his favorite JB record.


'Glee' star Lea Michele to appear on 'Sons…

"Glee" star Lea Michele has been confirmed as a guest star in the final season of "Sons of Anarchy."


TV watch list, Monday, July 28: 'The Bachelorette'…

See Andi Dorfman make her big choice on tonight's 'Bachelorette' finale.


Angelo Cataldi: Ryan Howard deserves better from Phillies

Just last week, Ryan Howard endured the embarrassment of a benching that was inevitable, and yet still shocking.


Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.


Computer to Jets: Start Michael Vick over Geno…

Jets general manager John Idzik says the choice of who starts between second-year quarterback Geno Smith and veteran Michael Vick will be a “Jets decision.”


Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.


Glasgow: Hey, hey, the gangs aren't here

This European city has done a good job getting rid of its more violent residents and revitalizing with artists.


Babson College tops list of best colleges for…

Money magazine has just released its inaugural list of "The Best Colleges for Your Money" -- and the answers have surprised many. Babson College, which…


NYC teens learn how to develop apps during…

Through a program sponsored by CampInteractive, the high schoolers designed their own community-focused apps.


The Ministry of Silly Walks app is both…

Monty Python have dug into their back catalogue for cash-ins once more, but with the Ministry of Silly Walks app, they've made something that's fun too.