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The Citizen

Beat Your Meat

By Simon Bone, Editor-in-Chief

One of the things about running a newspaper like The Citizen is that it quickly becomes apparent that while we attend a well-regarded school that eschews all polices and concepts of discrimination – when it comes to seeking volunteers for covering stories the Fourth Estate has firmly established winners and losers.

Should we be seeking to cover some-such talk from oh, wherever, on oh, let’s say whether paperclips are responsible for sharp reductions in the nocturnal activities of the lesser spotted ant then it’s a veritable ghost town for available reporters,

However barely whisper the slightest rumour that we need a restaurant reviewed and it’s suddenly that scene from Spartacus at Citizen HQ. People who claimed they simply had no time to write even a 200 word article (and how dare we ask )now can apparently find space in their diary to be pampered with culinary delights for an entire evening. What are the odds?

Oh and their qualifications can be sketchily vague: “I’ve been to lots of restaurants before.”  Astounding. Be off. Fly, fly away to Michelin headquarters at once. Your skills are clearly wasted here.

Well it’s not on mate. For complicated administrative reasons I’m doing it now and I’m doing it bloody brilliantly.

Oh right…. yes… the restaurant.

Well I have to say I first approach it with doubts. Never a good start. Is there really a place for gourmet food in Harvard Square? Is there space amongst the gawping camera laden , tourists, drunk students and multitude of assorted Harvard branded tat. “Oh you visited ‘Harvard’? Perhaps you should announce that to everyone you ever meet.”

In any student dominated town surely it makes no financial sense to pander to anything other than the lowest common denominator. Sorry but it’s true. Spend all day with your head in books or trying to stay awake in lectures with a reduced personal budget and a seven course tasting menu is unlikely to be first on  your list when it comes to seeking relief.

The Beat Hotel has only been open for 2 weeks and is a new venue from the people who brought us the “Beehive” which I am informed is very well regarded (presumably as a restaurant  and not an actual home for bees).

Entering its underground Cavernous interior (I’m not entirely what the place was selling more than 2 weeks ago – I’m guessing carpets) the scale of the endeavour seems excessive  even for someone unused to American surplus. This is a Monday night and a new venue but I could easily have twenty tables just to myself.

But why all open plan? Oh the clue’s in the title. This is not somewhere you go to just eat food. Heaven forbid. Live jazz/funk/lounge/fusion/insert-random-genre music is played to accompany your dining. Just in case the food and company aren’t sufficient they’re offering up distractions. I can’t say on a trip to the theatre I’ve ever wished there to be an accompanying water-skiing display team or for there to be lion tamers at an art gallery.

Oh right…. yes… the food.

Pleasant but not too much to write home about (but then who writes nowadays). Go with spare ribs or salmon tartare to start. Avoid the fritto misto. Choose the duck for main course. You might like the cheesecake ( I didn’t try it). Wash down with either 2012 Albarino or the Liberty School Cabernet Sauvignon. Oh and no student discount. I did try for you. Pay attention to me. Don’t look at the musicians.

Service 4/5

Food & Drink 3/5

Ambeeeaaance 2/5