BOSTON – The Hopewell Bar & Kitchen on Comm Ave in Allston is the kind of place you would want in your part of town; it’s all about the food and the mood.
The subterranean space is set up to look more like a basement game room than a restaurant, which makes coming to work much easier for General Manager Demick O’Brien.
“I love this job, because it’s exactly the place I would want to hang out in. First thing that you notice is people playing shuffleboard, people hanging out having drinks and having some of the good food. It’s definitely more of a hangout than anything else.”
Back in the kitchen you’ll find Chef Matt Lancaster cooking up dishes that are way beyond your typical pub grub. There’s warm artichoke dip served with grilled flatbread, and crispy margarita pizzas perfect for sharing. For a gourmet spin on a fair favorite, try the Chorizo Corn Dogs.
“You haven’t experienced a corn dog, until you have had the Hopewell’s corn dog,” Chef Matt declared. “When you bite into it you get that nice soft outside. Then you go into the middle and you get just a flavorful bite. There’s just so many spices going on. It all just works.”
There are also housemade garlic knots with marinara for dipping, maple sriracha wings served over a donut waffle. That one usually takes customers by surprise.
“It’s unlike the taste of a traditional waffle. It’s definitely sweeter,” Demick described.
“People are every impressed, surprised and they just think it’s the best creation,” Matt added.
The sandwiches at Hopewell do not disappoint either, whether you go for the Crispy Pork Belly served with a fennel citrus slaw on housemade rosemary focaccia; Grilled Hanger Steak with goat cheese-stuffed peppers; or the Country Fried Chicken sandwich made with extra-flavorful chicken thighs, served on a black pepper brioche bun with country slaw and sriracha butter.
“Personally, it’s one of my favorite cuts of the chicken,” Chef Matt said. “It’s very tender, juicy, takes well to the flavor, to the frying, the breading. When you bite in you get the spiciness of the Sriracha butter, the sweetness of the coleslaw, and just the juicy, moist chicken. It’s awesome.” CHEF
But nothing quite beats the burger, a rather messy sandwich due to the horseradish cheese spread on top.
“Most people bite into a burger and just assume it’s a slice of yellow cheese melted on top. This is completely different. It’s more of a spread than anything else, which makes the burger a little bit messy, but I think it definitely ups the enjoyment quota,” Demick said.
If you happen to visit Hopewell on the weekend, you can enjoy brunch items like Chorizo Chilaquiles topped with two fried eggs, or indulge on the baked cinnamon roll with cream cheese glaze.
“It’s a traditional cinnamon roll, but it’s super rich, super delicious,” Demick promised. “The icing we put on top of it is very sweet. It’s a nice pick me up in the morning when you are dragging around, you need a shot of sugar. It’s right there for you.”
Dinnertime is tops at Hopewell. There are Steak Frites served with warm blue cheese dip for under twenty bucks; and the dry aged pork chop, that’s cooked to perfection and served with duchess potatoes and asparagus, for just sixteen.
“This is an incredible piece of meat for the price we are charging for it. It’s the best deal in the neighborhood, probably the city,” said Demick.
With all that extra cash, you’ll want to order the tremendously decadent Triple Chocolate Bomb.
“A mason jar full of chocolate, with some more chocolate, and some chocolate on top with chocolate drizzled over the top. It is very chocolaty,” Chef Matt described. “You might need a friend to share it with.”
Whether you come with friends or on your own, your day is bound to get better at The Hopewell Bar and Kitchen.
“They can come, have a great meal, tip back a couple of drinks, play some games, forget about what’s going on in the rest of their day,” Demick said. “It’s always nice to see somebody walk out with a smile on their face.”
You can find Hopewell Bar & Kitchen at 1277 Commonwealth Avenue in Allston, and online at hopewellboston.com.
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