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Campus Eats: Audubon Circle Bar and Restaurant

South Campus bar offers an alternative to Lansdowne


One of three pressed sandwiches on Audubon's menu, the Cuban is the perfect complement to tomato bisque. Photos by Barbara Varanka (COM’08)

It’s tucked away so well that you could easily miss it; I didn’t discover Audubon until someone in the know brought me there. But Audubon Circle Bar and Restaurant’s mystique is part of the appeal: this South Campus hideaway, removed from the frenetic bars and restaurants of Lansdowne Street, serves as the perfect place for a relaxed Sunday morning brunch or a chill late night out.

I was introduced to Audubon Circle’s bar by a good friend, who also happens to be a regular. I was immediately impressed by the décor: dark, wood-paneled walls, clean lines of modern, minimalist furniture, and high, vaulted ceilings. The long bar, able to accommodate the congestion of weekend nights, hosts an unpretentious and hip young crowd seeking a relaxed night out instead of an intense party scene. When you go, make sure to check out the outdoor patio, perfect for relaxing on a summer night.

For those of legal drinking age, Audubon Circle’s beverage menu is impressive: along with a full bar, it offers $5.50 drafts and a variety of bottled beers (including a highly recommended Belgian white beer), as well as red, white, sparkling, and dessert wines. I love all things spicy, so I went for one of the bar’s signature cocktails, a habanero pepper-infused guava margarita. If you can handle it — and it is hot — I definitely recommend it.

The dinner menu — available to foodies of all ages — offers an eclectic blend of options for the adventurous eater. Starters include steamed mussels and Asian potstickers, and there’s always a range of soups, salads, sandwiches, and full-scale entrees to fit any appetite (or budget: sandwiches start at $11, and entrees range from $10 to $24.) We tried the hearty, homey, soup-and-sandwich combo of a lightly seasoned tomato bisque with a grilled cheese on the side and a pressed sandwich. It was served with an aioli dipping sauce and a side of lightly dressed greens.

I’m always surprised that Audubon Circle found its way to Boston — it seems to belong to the elegant, casual set of bars and eateries I’ve enjoyed in London, New York, and New Orleans. It’s safe to say that this little hideaway can be relied upon to provide an impressive experience every time. (But if if you’re looking for a party, you’d better head across the street.)

Audubon Circle is at 838 Beacon St. in Audubon Circle/South Campus. For more information, click here or call 617-421-1910.

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