Lunch, Anyone? The Regal Beagle
Brookline bistro offers comfort food with a twist
Tucked away in Brookline, Mass., amid the bustle of Coolidge Corner and the nostalgia of the John F. Kennedy National Historic Site, the Regal Beagle is an inviting—and upscale—neighborhood joint. The menu offers moderately priced American fare, and the staff is courteous, knowledgeable, and professional.
The restaurant is named for the fictional pub in the 1970s sitcom Three’s Company, but one look at the décor and the restaurant’s menu will banish any hints of nostalgia. Yes, music buffs will delight in the retro sounds of The Kinks’ “Lola” and the Stealers Wheel’s “Stuck in the Middle With You” playing over the speakers, but the felt wallpaper and contemporary art create a chic, hip environment. Boston magazine pronounced the Regal Beagle “Brookline’s Best Restaurant” in 2010.
The bistro serves brunch, lunch, and dinner, and while entrée sizes are modest, the creative and unique selections are worth the price. Before tucking in to a meal, check out the cocktail menu, which features the Moscow Mule ($10) (below), a blend of vodka, ginger beer, and lime juice, and the Hemingway Daiquiri ($10), made with rum, maraschino, lime, and grapefruit. The restaurant also has a rotating wine program, with a small selection of boutique wines.
When it comes to the appetizers, there is one must-have: the fried dates. The dish is a medley of intense flavors, combining the sweetness of dates, the pungency of Gorgonzola cheese, and the salty crispness of bacon. It’s a guilty pleasure, more like a dessert than an appetizer, and at $5 a plate, it’s a bargain.
The Beagle’s salad selection offers standards, including Caesar salad ($7, $11 with chicken, $14 with steak) and Cobb salad ($12), and more inventive fare, like an almond coriander–crusted tuna salad ($13). Made with green tea noodles, cucumber, wasabi vinaigrette, and pickled ginger, this is a great choice for someone seeking a bolder taste.
Entrées range from mainstays such as a burger ($12) and mac and cheese ($12) to twists on favorites, including a barbecue pork quesadilla ($11). At first glance, the restaurant’s Regal Burger, with Vermont cheddar on a brioche bun, may seem ordinary, but the butter pickles provide a sweet, crisp accompaniment and the roll had an unexpected, spicy flavor.
Those looking for a substantial or adventurous meal would do best to avoid the mac and cheese. The truffle oil and the buttery Ritz cracker and sea salt crust did little to help this bland entrée. We regretted passing up the quesadilla, which is served with jalapeno-corn salsa, cheddar, sour cream, and a mixed green salad.
Mac and cheese aside, the Regal Beagle is worth a visit.
The Regal Beagle, 308 Harvard St., Brookline, Mass., is open from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekends. Dinner is served from 5 to 11 p.m. each night, and the bar is open until 1 a.m. every night. Take the T Green Line C trolley to Coolidge Corner or the Green Line B trolley to the Harvard Ave stop. The restaurant takes American Express, Visa, and MasterCard, but not Discover.
This is part of a weekly series featuring Boston lunch spots of interest to the BU community. If you have any suggestions for places we should feature, leave them in the comments section below. Check out our list of lunchtime tips on Foursquare.
John Fichera can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org Comments