There are two types of openings worth paying attention to in the era of eating and dining we’re currently living through: cocktail bars that also happen to serve thoughtful food, and chef-focused restaurants that want the quality of their bar program to match what’s coming out of the kitchen. With Doretta Taverna being a Michael Schlow venture, the food is clearly the draw, but there are some interesting and unique cocktails coming across the bar as well.
Whether or not you’ll be able to enjoy them while you’re there is another thing. Dorertta Taverna, a reimagining of the old Via Matta space, is a high-energy, dark, and loud affair, so the bar, which is crowded from open to close, doesn’t feel conducive to dining. It’s too busy for a relaxing meal, with a sort of nightclub pushiness to it at times, but also feels like too much of a restaurant to make one want to stop off for a quick drink. The vibe of the room is a bit mismatched as well, part homey and cute, with rural-feeling touches like the pantry-like raw bar clashing with the overall dark, sleek ambience.
Still, the drinks are approachable and hospitably served, and at their best when they’re echoing the notes of the Greek-focused cuisine.
“We’re not a craft cocktail bar, but we’re trying to make really well-made cocktails with really good ingredients,” GM Megan Cormier says. “We’re trying to do some fun things and bring in some of the flavors from some of the Greek spirits we use, and certainly trying to have cocktails that go well with our food.”
Among them is the lovely Persephone’s Seeds, made with bourbon, Tentura, pomegranate and celery bitters. Tentura, a Greek liqueur, is imbued with clove, nutmeg and vanilla, and the bitters pull everything back from being overly sweet.
Other Greek-inspired liqueurs show up throughout, like the lightly piney Mastiha mixed with vodka, mint and lemon, and the anise-honey Rakomelo, mixed with brandy, blood orange and cinnamon. The highlight of the menu, however, is Medusa’s Locks, which, unless you have too many, probably won’t turn you to stone. It’s made with gin, cucumber-jalapeno syrup, agave and lemon, for a bright, citrusy and vegetal sup with slight heat.
79 Park Plaza, Boston
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