Drunk History: Menotomy’s cocktails come with cock-tales

credit: Erin Baldassari
credit: Erin Baldassari

A lot of bars and restaurants pay lip service to the roots of their neighborhood, but for the owner of the new Menotomy Grill in Arlington, Billy Lyons, it’s clear that history is a passion. The Arlington native has been planting the seeds for his concept since he wrote the business plan — and joined the local historical society — six years ago. “I said to myself, if my dream ever comes true, I don’t want to be accused of exploiting history to make a buck,” he jokes.

An appreciation for and sense of Arlington’s long history shows up in little touches throughout the restaurant, with old maps and photos adorning the walls. The name itself is a call back to the original settlement within the borders of Cambridge. This is by no means a period-harkening setup or a purely nostalgia-based affair, however — the restaurant and bar are both decidedly modern, with a spacious, distressed-industrial-chic design. It feels like Lyons has smuggled a small piece of the city out beyond its borders.

“I wanted to bring a Boston restaurant and bar to the suburbs,” he says. He’s the man to do it. Lyons has a few decades of experience in the business and has worked everywhere from Boston Beer Works to Stoddard’s Fine Food and Ale, which some of the design elements here bring to mind and whose chef (Mark Thompson) he brought along. “It’s not your typical suburban restaurant,” he says. “I basically brought the things most people in the suburbs haven’t seen yet.”

Among these revelations for suburbanites are cocktails like the Cooper’s Flip, which has one foot in the past, and one in the present. Made with the locally-made Privateer Rum, molasses, egg, pumpkin puree and cask ale (they’ll debut a cask ale from Southern Tier on the menu this week), it’s a cocktail Lyons has known he wanted to see on the menu since he first dreamed up the concept.

Its name is a reference to two men who were killed at a bar in the area by British soldiers during Revolutionary times, a story Lyons heard from a historian in town. Did he happen to know what they were drinking, Lyons asked the storyteller. He did. It was a similar recipe although likely, like most drinks at the time, it was much less palatable. The Cooper’s Flip is more of a fall or winter after-dinner sip, but the appeal of the yarn behind it is hard to pass up.

A second cocktail, the Bloody Russell — made with brandy, Cointreau and blood orange juice — takes its name from the nearby Jason Russell House, the site of the bloodiest battle on the first day of the Revolutionary War.

While there’s nothing particularly revolutionary about this new spot’s concept, there’s no doubt that its fine cocktails and pleasing comfort food, served up in a hip, vibrant space, instantly elevated Arlington’s bar scene the day that it opened. You can write that one down for the history books.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Woman dies when run over by bus at…

A woman at the Burning Man arts and culture festival in the Nevada desert died on Thursday when she was run over by a bus carrying participants.

National

Texas parents sue day care center for duct…

By Marice RichterDALLAS (Reuters) - A Texas couple has filed a lawsuit against the owners of a Fort Worth-area day care center seeking $1 million…

National

Santa Fe city council votes to decriminalize marijuana

By Joseph KolbALBUQUERQUE N.M. (Reuters) - Santa Fe on Wednesday became the latest U.S. city to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana, with lawmakers in the…

International

Egypt queries Mursi over documents "leaked" to Al…

CAIRO (Reuters) - Egypt is investigating jailed ex-president Mohamed Mursi in connection with documents that judicial investigators say were leaked to the Qatar-based Al Jazeera…

Going Out

'Friends' coffeehouse Central Perk coming to NYC —…

"Friends" is coming back for a one-off special: "The One with the Free Coffee." Warner Bros. is bringing a pop-up replica of Central Perk, the…

Movies

Interview: 'As Above, So Below' directors: 5 ways…

The fraternal directors of the found footage horror "As Above, So Below" dish on the best ways to frighten the bejesus out of audiences.

Movies

Criterion's new Jacques Demy box mixes the light…

Jacques Demy, the most effervescent of French New Wave filmmakers, gets a Criterion box all to himself, with classics like "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg."

Entertainment

Comedian Joan Rivers, 81, rushed to New York…

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Acerbic comedian and fashion critic Joan Rivers was rushed to Mount Sinai Hospital in New York on Thursday after she reportedly…

NFL

3 things we learned in the Giants preseason…

The final score didn’t matter — a 16-13 win by the Giants — but it would’ve been nice to finally see Big Blue’s new-look offense get on track.

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots, 49ers start…

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots start at top

U.S. Soccer

5 facts about new England captain Wayne Rooney

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney was named as the new England captain by coach Roy Hodgson on Thursday.

NFL

Jets vs. Eagles: 3 things to watch

A win on Thursday night at the Eagles would give the Jets a 3-1 record and just their second winning preseason under head coach Rex Ryan.

Style

Trend: White hot on the 2014 Emmy's red…

White was one of the big trends on the Emmy's red carpet.

Food

Recipe: Samuel Adams beer-marinated grilled shrimp

Summer calls for two things: a cold beer and light food. Sam Adams' Latitude 48 IPA fairly bursts with citrus notes, making it an ideal marinade…

Wellbeing

4 healthy ingredient swaps to make your meals…

When it comes to eating well, everyone knows they could be doing better. But cooking in an apartment on a busy schedule is a recipe…

Wellbeing

Heart trumps brain when it comes to movies…

When you need a good cry, do you reach for the movie that’s “based on a true story”? Science says you’re giving your brain far…