BROOKLINE (CBS) – The food is straight from the fire. The atmosphere is straight out of your family’s favorite get-together.

The Fireplace in Washington Square, Brookline is all about warmth, especially when it’s coming off the open flame Grill and stone hearth oven.

“I like to think of it as kind of New England backyard cooking. We like using wood in the cooking because the flavor from the smoke you know is really nice. Simple local ingredients that we try basically not to screw up,” Chef Jim Solomon says.

Solomon has packed the place for lunch and dinner every day for 10 years, with a menu that offers everything from Kobe beef burgers and gourmet hot dogs, to house-aged steaks, spit-roasted chicken, and much, much more.

“My favorite dish on the menu is probably the braised beef short ribs. We serve them on whiskey-smoked grits with a little garlicky spinach… they’re unbelievable. I also love the lobster rolls… we serve them warm, you know they’re hot…. we just sautee some lobster meat with fresh lemon juice and butter and a little lemon zest… those are killer.”

If the Fireplace proves anything, it’s that you don’t have to be fancy to be fantastic.

“I like really good food, but you know I can’t stand restaurants that have a lot of pretense. We’re just not about that here…. . And the fact that we’ve been around now for 10 years is just amazing,” Solomon said.

For more food and fun, watch the Phantom Gourmet every Saturday and Sunday at 10:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. on myTV 38.


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