Photos and Words by The Trio
Ever have a meal that was so good you just can’t get over it? Yeah, so have we. To this day, The Trio still dreams (and has many inside jokes about) their brunch at The Beehive in the South End. So, when we learned that The Beehive has a younger sister restaurant, there was no hesitation about heading over to Harvard Square for what was sure to be another meal for the books.
Speaking of books, Amanda (the English major) knew she would fall in love with the restaurant as soon as she heard its moniker. Beat refers to the beat generation, a post-WWII literature movement that created the first stirrings of counterculture movements in American society. The restaurant itself is a bohemian paradise, perfect for anyone stopping in from their time On The Road.
Beat Brasserie (also known as Beat Hotel) is an American restaurant and bar with a changing menu that features American and international-inspired dishes that are sure to please meat-eaters and veggie-lovers alike. Keeping with their tradition of “celebrating American spirits,” Beat features live jazz, blues, funk, and R&B musicians on their vibrant stage.
Although today we have the freedom to enjoy an alcoholic beverage, Beat made us feel like we were transported back to the 1920’s when prohibition was in full swing. Walking down its stairs was like entering a hidden and forbidden speakeasy. The space itself is quite large, equally divided between tables for diners and an extensive bar that lines the entirety of one side of the restaurant. The decor stays true to the bohemian vibe with crystal chandeliers, antique mirrors, and violet lighting. The focus, however, is at the back of the restaurant where all patrons could easily view the stage where beats often flow from musicians’ instruments to diners’ ears.
After a quick discussion with our friendly waiter, we decided to begin our meal with Beat’s fried chickpeas with Romesco, which did not disappoint. The chickpeas were wonderfully crisp and the savory flavors of the red pepper and tomato in the Romesco sauce made the dish rather comforting. The unique flavors of our appetizer prepared our palates for the meal to come.
Before even setting foot in the restaurant, Marisa knew she would be ordering one of Beat’s famous (or at least Instagram famous) Earthly Delight Bowls. It was a tough decision for this veggie lover, but in the end she decided on the Gratitude Bowl with Faroe Island Salmon. The bowl was stuffed with an array of fresh ingredients including delicata squash, turnips, carrots, pumpkin seeds, curried chickpeas and tomatoes, and multigrain organic brown rice pilaf. While all of the natural elements of the dish were so carefully prepared and seasoned, the curried chickpeas, delicata squash and organic brown rice pilaf were the ones that really stood out. The outstanding flavor of the dish was too good to waste, so naturally Marisa retained her title as “President of the Clean Plate Club.”
For the first time, Jordan took the initiative to look at the menu ahead of time. Going in, she was set on ordering the Bowl Azteca with shrimp. The bowl was beautifully plated and full to the brim. True to its name, it showcased southwestern flavors including adobo-spiced quinoa, tomatillo salsa, fresh corn, avocado, and much more. To her surprise, the highlight of the dish was the sweet corn. After digging into the spicy quinoa, the corn gave her mouth a much-needed refreshing break. The chef masterfully paired ingredients that had a variety of textures from the creamy avocado, to the crunchy corn, and the soft grain. This bowl was even tastier than expected and Jordan would order it again in a heartbeat.
Ever predictable and ever a pasta lover, Amanda ordered the gnocchi with braised lamb. The plate was an undertaking, stacked high with all of its delicious components and covered in a brown sauce. This dish reminded Amanda of why lamb is among her favorite foods. Beat’s braised lamb was melt-in-your mouth tender, and paired with the flavorful gnocchi, turnips, peas, and shaved Parmesan, this dish could not be beat.
Marisa and Jordan had their eyes on the prize as soon as they saw the dessert menu; nothing would do but the pumpkin cheesecake. The crust was crumbly and delicious and the filling was smooth, creamy, and sweet. As if the cheesecake wasn’t good enough on its own, the beautiful scoop of ice cream that sat on top made the treat even more decadent. It was good enough to make Amanda, a previous hater of all things pumpkin-flavored (including the PSL, sorry Starbucks) change her ways and convert to a pumpkin lover. Marisa and Jordan, in no need of convincing, dived in, and within a shockingly short period of time, the perfect slice of pumpkin cheesecake was gone.
Beat’s eclectic decor, bohemian vibe, amicable service, and one-of-a-kind cuisine made for a great night out with The Trio. We will certainly be returning (especially when we’re 21) to “dine to the beat” once again.
**Our meal was provided courtesy of Beat Brasserie, but this article only contains the honest and true opinions of The Trio.**