Lannae's Food and Travel

I hope you like my food and travel blog.

July 8, 2007

The Bar dBar

Dorchester, MA has gone through many changes in its 400 year history. In colonial times, Dorchester used to be the original suburb of Boston, has a huge hill called Savin Hill, and has a fabulous view of the south side of the Boston Harbor. This area became popular with the rich sea captains and other wealthy people and they built lovely Victorian homes in the Boston 'burb of Dorchester. Each home on Savin Hill had a 2nd or 3rd story room that had an amazing view of the harbor, and for sea captains' wives, they could watch their husbands' tall ships go in and out of the harbor. Then in the mid- to late-1900's, Dorchester fell from the the rich 'burb of Boston to a depressed ghetto state because all the rich people moved from the ocean view to the revolution 'burbs of Lincoln, Sudbury, Concord, Lexington, etc. It was no longer in vogue to live in the city. The lovely Victorian homes fell into disrepair, and Savin Hill was then commonly known as "Stabbin' Hill". Gangs, hopelessness, and crime took over this area. I will admit, in the 1970s - 1990s, my family did not go into Dorchester because of all the news about "Stabbin' Hill".

Now, things area really turning around for Dorchester as people are renovating the lovely original Victorian homes on Savin Hill. This area has a good mix of ethnic and Bostonian history, so there are old neighborhood hangouts as well as innovative new restaurants and bars. We ended up going to dBar on Dorchester Ave. This place took an old Irish Bar, and rehab-ed it to what it is today. As you can see from the facade, the old Irish Bar feel is still available, but the food and drinks are up-to-date. One thing you must know about Boston is that there seems to be a bar or old Irish pub on every corner, and a church on the opposite corner. The bars and old pubs in Boston are like their kins in Great Britain, just really comfy places for people to gather and chat after work.

That is exactly what we did on a Friday. We met some of our friends after work at the dBar for some drinks, chats and dinner. Some of the food we got were tuna tartare, locally caught bass over lentils, dBar tostadas, and what you see in this blog post. The salad, as seen above is a lychee and goat cheese wrapped in prosciutto with a feta salad. It was good, but a bit overwhelmingly. I think that less goat cheese and prosciutto would have served the lycee better, and there was way too much feta, and the feta just drowned out any of the natural lettuce flavor. It was actually a bit much for me with all the ingredients with high a level of flavor and texture. The hangar steak was really good and straight forward. The steak was made in a way that wasn't tough, and they dish represented the standard meat and potato well.

I am glad that Dorchester, MA is coming back around to its historical splendor, and Savin Hill can regain its rightful name. The dBar, I believe is here to stay for a while, and it is a perfect 21st century place to meet friends after work for a drink, snacks or dinner.

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At 7/9/07, 9:13 AM, Blogger Eric and Katie said...

Wow....things have changed a bit from when I was a kid. You could always tell the Dorchester kids because for whatever reason they refused to tie their shoes. They also had such an incredible accent that I had a tough time understanding them...even though I was a Boston area native. I agree with you that Nashville desperately needs Dim Sum...or even just a decent Chinese restaurant or two. I'll keep your Boston tips in mind next time I'm visitng relatives in Lexington and Arlington. I'll also link to your blog over at Nasvhille Restaurants.

At 7/9/07, 2:43 PM, Blogger Katie Zeller said...

I would agree about the salad - too many flavors..
But that steak - and the chips... that looks absolutley calorie-worthy.... Yum!
Interesting bit of history and nice to see old neighborhoods reclaimed!

At 7/9/07, 8:36 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Hey Thanks Eric and Katie for adding me to your links list. I love your blog! Are you really from the Boston Area? Me too. I miss great pizza, great ice cream, great Chinese food, and great clam chowder.

Hi Katie, yeah, the steak and chips were, how do you say, sinfully good. I didn't get to much because all of us were sharing tastes from each plate.


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