Winter Dining: Where to eat in Boston and sit by a cozy fireplace

The Fireplace in Brookline lives up to its name with a real, log-burning fireplace surrounded by several hearthside tables. Chef/owner Jim Solomon introduced warming flavors to his winter menu, too. An appetizer of mushrooms and natural ham in a creamy Madeira emulsion is poured over a crisped Johnny Cake made with cornmeal from Gray’s Grist Mill in Rhode Island, the home state of this pancake.  

“Thyme and rosemary enrich the flavor and add  aromatics,” says Solomon. “The type of mushrooms varies, based on what is available from Ben (the Mushroom Man) Malison.  The Johnny Cake may be the hidden gem in this dish though.”

Chowder is the ultimate winter warmer. Solomon’s shrimp and fire-roasted tomato chowder is finished with New Hampshire-made bacon.

“The charred flavor of tomatoes and smoke from the bacon hit the spot on a cold day,” he says. Roasted fennel, red pepper, potatoes, and garlic are incorporated too. “A light chowder served piping hot is the goal,” says Solomon.

At the Capiz Lounge on the Waterfront, hearty soups pair with fireside tables. Chef Richard Garcia’s Littleneck Clam chowder starts with in-house smoked bacon, fresh clam juice and dry white wine for a piquant, less heavy base. 

“We finish each soup to order and add fresh Cape Cod Surf Clams and cream to the base at the last minute to keep the clams tender,” says Garcia.

Garcia’s lobster minestrone is similarly finished with fresh cooked lobster and a Parmesan froth made from typically discarded Parmesan rinds.

“This is an ode to New England,” he says. “The base is a rich house-made lobster stock and we add Maine grown yellow eyed beans along with winter [vegetables like] kale, winter squash, turnips and Savoy cabbage.”

Spend a winter’s afternoon with Afternoon tea at The Mandarin Oriental, Boston’s pop-up Parlor, which is extended until the end of January. This modern, but nonetheless cozy fireplace forms a warming centerpiece to the open-plan lobby lounge, where pastry chef Oralia Perez’s tea “fancies” include  spiced pear tart, dried fruit scone and gingerbread.

“These flavors and ingredients correspond with the season,” says Perez. “There’s a variety of spices that evoke feelings of comfort and warmth. … I enjoy creating winter desserts because they remind me of family and togetherness.”

Go for cake, or full afternoon tea, which includes one of everything. Or stop in for some heavenly hot chocolate.  

At Local 149 in Southie, a couple of chef Leah Dubois’s winter dishes include jalapeno and add a little extra warmth to dining by their real log fire.

Try the sweet potato and ricotta dumplings with coconut cream sauce and the cider-braised short rib.  

“It’s a fluffy naturally sweet dumpling, pan-seared to get a touch crispy,” says Dubois. “The coconut cream is enhanced with leeks and jalapeno. This vegetarian dish is finished with crispy shiitake mushrooms and cashew brittle. … The short rib is braised in apple cider, local pears, sage, onion, and jalapeno. The subtle spice of the jalapeno matches perfectly with the acidity and warming flavors of apple cider. We serve it with shredded potato hash and a sunnyside-up quail egg. It’s an elegant steak and eggs dinner.”


The Fireplace
Entrees: $16-$34
1634 Beacon St., Brookline 617-975-1900

Capiz Lounge
Entrees: $14-$24
606 Congress St., Boston 617-476-5606

Local 149
Entrees: $10-$20  
149 P St., Boston

The Parlor at the
Mandarin Oriental, Boston
Tea: $5-$40
776 Boylston St., Boston


Drive charged in fatal hit and run, police…

The NYPD has arrested a man they say is responsible for a fatal hit and run in Manhattan last weekend. Doohee Cho, 33, was hit…


Mayor de Blasio raises minimum wage for some…

Mayor Bill de Blasio signed an executive order Tuesday morning that will raise the minimum wage for workers employed by private companies that receive more…


3 myths about the working poor

Linda Tirado works to debunk some common stereotypes about the working poor in her new book, "Hand to Mouth."


Lawsuit funding advances: friend or foe?

Reporter was commissioned to write this in-depth article Many plaintiffs awaiting resolution of their lawsuit or legal claim often find themselves in a tricky financial…

Going Out

Which NYC restaurant lost its three-star Michelin rating?

A record 73 restaurants in New York City collected coveted Michelin stars on Tuesday as a mix of trendy spots and fine-dining stalwarts underscored the…


Interview: Metro chats with filmmaker Meir Kalmanson, man…

A New York filmmaker hands out smiles to its residents.


TV watch list, Tuesday, Sept. 30: 'Selfie,' 'Utopia'…

'Selfie' This modern day take on the "My Fair Lady" story stars John Cho in the Henry Higgins role. Perhaps instead of "the rain in…


Can't-miss weekend events continue to attract the masses

Reporter was commissioned to write this in-depth article Earlier this summer, the Firefly Music Festival drew crowds of tens of thousands of people to Dover, Delaware.…


Mets 2014 report card

The Mets wrapped up their eight straight season without a playoff appearance last weekend. Needless to say, they fell a bit short of general manager…


NFL Power Rankings: Cowboys, Packers, Ravens, Chargers climb

NFL Power Rankings: Cowboys, Packers, Ravens, Chargers climb


Ryan Quigley making a big impact for Jets…

Ryan Quigley, now in his second year as the Jets punter, had an exceptional afternoon with six punts for an average of 51.7 yards per punt.


3 positives to take from Jets loss to…

The Jets suffered another loss Sunday — 24-17 to the Lions — but the reason why it hurts so much for Jets fans is that…


Products that support breast cancer awareness and research

Asics GT-1000, $100 Asics’ third pink collection in collaboration with Christina Applegate’s Right Action for Women includes this pink-accented version of its best-selling GT-1000 3…


Dr. Marisa Weiss: Where we stand on breast…

As an oncologist and a survivor herself, Dr. Marisa Weiss knows the urgency felt by those diagnosed with breast cancer. Genetic testing has accelerated the…


Bees' stingers hold new hope for cancer cure

A promising new lead in the search for a cancer cure has turned up in a place that most people naturally avoid. A team from…


Emily Henderson on small space design

Design expert Emily Henderson shows us how to upgrade our cramped quarters.