Stoddard's Fine Food & Ale
Taps: 22 / Bottles: 66
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: N
Ratings: 14 | Reviews: 11 | Show All Ratings:
3.99/5 rDev +0.8%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.75 | food: 4.25 | $$$
Visited 16 Nov 2013, 8:30 - 10:30pm
Four work colleagues and I dined here last Saturday night; we were in Boston for an Expo and staying at Hotel Nine Zero just a couple blocks away. The day had been a long one, work-wise, and the walk from the hotel was short, so it seemed the perfect option to have beers/dinner at this establishment. I'd found Stoddard's weeks ago (perusing BA, of course) and the others went along for the ride - but all came away satisfied.
From a historical perspective, the place is awesome. I won't drone on with all the details (let the backside of the menu do that), but there are century-old fixtures and details abounding, a massive mahogany and oak bar, corsets and cutlery signage from earlier businesses once housed in this 1868 Greek Revival structure - even a framed inscription (tough to find) from the building's original architect. As a lover of history and architecture I found the cozy space pretty fascinating... and busy! When we arrived both bar and dining areas were completely full, so despite our 8:30 reservations we weren't seated until after 9:00. No big deal, staff was friendly and apologetic and we simply ordered beers at the bar to bide our time.
The beer list is pretty good. I counted 18 draught options + 2 casks + 6 bottles on the menu and it appears to rotate pretty frequently. Of the 6 "IPAs", only 2 were from the Northeast and one of those was Mayflower's English Mild(?). 3 Stouts, 3 "Lagers/Germans", a half dozen "Belgians" (all domestic), a couple Seasonals and the handful of Bottles/Cans (everything from $3 Bud/Bud Light to $18.50 Avery Uncle Jacob's). I picked Jack's Abbey "Smoke & Dagger" rauchbier on nitro (x3) and others Troegs Dreamweaver and the ubiquitous Narragansett (which inspired research/discovery of the old "Hi Neighbor! Have a 'Gansett" phrase... that became our saying for the remainder of our time in Boston). Apparently there's a much longer bottle list, but I didn't get the chance to review it.
Food was very good and inspired by American classics: lots of red meat and fish, cheeses, some pasta and vegetable sides. We all shared some onion rings and brussel sprouts to quelch our disappointment over missing the last pretzel/gouda fondue by mere minutes. Others picked salmon and short ribs and I chose the hanger steak frites. Tasty and filling, every dish was above average.
Service was friendly and prompt with refills. Despite the noise and bustle, the server took a couple minutes to answer some of our questions regarding the building's history, including the one about the framed corsets that hung on the brick wall above our heads.
Prices for dinner entrees ranged from $13-16 for simpler burger/sandwich options and pasta to $24-28 for bigger meats and fish. Beers are generally $6-7, regardless of pour size.
Overall a very good experience: fun and vibrant atmosphere, good food, good beer. I'd certainly return.
PS: A trip to the basement-level men's room is quite an "experience"; it's fairly small and has what looks like a transplanted outhouse for a toilet stall. Beneath the urinals is an odd cut-out in the concrete that is simply a pit of exposed dirt (why???)...all kinda weird, but memorable!
11-21-2013 19:56:08 | More by msubulldog25
3.76/5 rDev -5.1%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.75 | food: 4.5 | $$$
Had special taps for pre-Brewfest celebration so that alone made it worthwhile, but we thought the food was excellent. The options were not extensive, and a little bit of an odd assortment, with a rather large range of prices. We debated about the burger ($15) or the venison, but ended up splitting mussels (very spicy sauce made this the best we've had in a while) and the beet salad (unusual in that parts were warm and other parts cold - on purpose - and turned out to be a nice sensation), and then shared the $24 stuffed rabbit. When you eat out a lot, it's hard to find a place that has something that is different - something with a unique taste, but the stuffed rabbit clearly did it for us - truly the best dish we've had in years.
The waitress and her newbie shadow were great - the hostess should get another job, as she caused the rating to go way down. Place was also too noisy to have a regular conversation - even after most the beer folks left. Will definitely go back again on a non-event night.
06-04-2013 17:51:55 | More by KXS
4.49/5 rDev +13.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.5 | $$
Stoddard's has one of the best selection of drafts in the Downtown Crossing area, if not the entire city. It has a very warm, friendly atmosphere. In addition to a very vibrant collection of craft beers, the also pride themselves on artisan cocktails. But when I visit, I can't resist the beers, so I'll have to review those another time.
I'd consider it a "must visit" for beer lovers.
05-21-2013 01:04:23 | More by PJK
3.65/5 rDev -7.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4 | $$$
The place was dimly lit, busy, yet still had a really good vibe. Other customers seemed decent. I liked the decor, found it to be a little upscale but that was good. I've visited my share of dives so it was nice to be at an upscale place.
Beers tasted really fresh, were well poured, and at a proper temperature but when I visited on a Saturday night everything was being served in pint glasses.
Bartenders were OK but did not seem to know much about the beers (when asked a couple of questions), were busy, and just wanted to get you served as fast as possible with as little interaction as possible. Also, the "manager" was kind of a jerk.
The bar had a pretty good selection with some interesting offerings from Pretty Things (historical recreation ales) on tap. Did not really check out the bottle list but the drafts featured a number of local breweries.
We did not get food when we visited.
I thought that the prices here were fairly high compared to the other bars and I was not that enamored with the place. In fact, my friend cut his finger on a chipped pint glass and the "manager" was in the bathroom while he was washing it out and decided that was grounds for being thrown out of the place - certainly not the behavior I expected since the cut was more their fault than his.
05-08-2013 13:46:49 | More by dbrauneis
4.26/5 rDev +7.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4 | selection: 3.75 | food: 5 | $$
Just a preface to the review, I rated the pricing "reasonable" only because there was serious value in what I ordered. Otherwise, I would say it's a bit pricey.
The inside is dim and warm with dark wood throughout. The vibe is like an Irish pub with an upscale twist. The beer list is not so extensive, but filled with quality craft brews. There were perhaps 20 taps and a handful of bottles on the menu. I decided on the Green Flash Grand Cru. About midway through that beer, I decided I wanted a little snack so I took a gander at the food menu. For lunch, the menu was certainly expensive. Most of the items were upwards of ten dollars. Seven bucks for the soup of the day. At nine bucks, I decided on the cheese plate. Expecting a pretty wimpy portion, I was surprised at the bang for your buck! The quality was also outstanding! I would have expected this plate to be priced between 13 and 15 dollars. It came with three generous slices of each cheese, which included bleu, brie, and something reminiscent of sharp provolone. The brie was mild, the bleu very sharp, and the third smack in the middle. There were also halved grapes, a solidified honey spread, a fruity jam with hints of fig, and eight or nine slices of crouton-like pieces of bread. I started off with just cheese and bread, but began to experiment as I advanced through the plate. The spreads went well together and with every cheese. The flavor combinations were delicious! The sweetness of the spreads offset the sharpness of the sharp cheeses and complimented the mildness of the brie. Overall, Stoddard's is excellent. More upscale than I typically enjoy, but definitely a worthwhile place to go. I would recommend bringing a date who enjoys craft beer.
04-07-2013 22:34:43 | More by BigOldOaf
3.28/5 rDev -17.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 2 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3 | $$
Stopped in Stoddard's for lunch last Friday, 08/17/12. The place seemed a little upscale and was nicely decorated; seemed pretty cool inside. Place was pretty empty so we sat at the bar and got lunch with 2-3 beers.
Beer quality was pretty good and resonably priced for a city; about $7 for beers and they had a decent amount of local brews on tap which is what I was looking for.
Our bartender was very nice, but it seemed pretty clear that there was confusion between what was on the beer lists and what was actually being served. I ordered a Be Hoppy from Worm Town on tap (they said they had it on cask and on tap) and was served a beer. After having 1/3 of it and saying to my friend it was extremely hoppy, he looked at the tap and it turned out to be Hopulence; not the biggest deal in the world, but Hopulence was not on the menu and it didn't look like they even had Be Hoppy on tap.
For my second beer I ordered a Boulevard Saison Brett, a beer I have had many times, and was given a dark brown beer that was clearly not a saison. After looking at it and smelling it we told the bartender it was not Saison Brett, and he said "Oh yeah, the distributor wasn't sure if it was Saison Brett or a new beer. We were supposed to check the keg before tapping it but it looks like no one did." My friend said it was most likely their new beer Stingo and the bartender went and checked and it was. Not a big deal as I enjoyed it, but still kind of annoying.
It is a decent place and I would go back as it didn't seem like there were a lot of good beer places in that section of Boston, but between these 2 issues I would be very vigilent when ordering a beer and make sure you know what you're getting, as the bartenders don't seem to really know.
08-21-2012 15:13:41 | More by mdfb79
3.33/5 rDev -15.9%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$$$
Stoddard's is very convenient for those working downtown, but hardly recommended. Beer selection is very good for the area, decent for greater Boston. The staff doesn't know anything about beer and is generally brusque. The place gets mobbed after work so it's hard to get decent service. The bar area is very tight, and you should expect to get bumped frequently if sitting.
But the killer for this place is the price - their beers are a total ripoff. I think I paid $9 for a GI Matilda. Brutal.
Avoid it if you can, but if you're forced to drink in the area and desire craft prepare to open the wallet.
10-18-2011 23:52:50 | More by Fclfcs
4.18/5 rDev +5.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$$
The Atmosphere about this place was pretty cool. It's was like you stepped into a old tavern/castle based upon the dark decor and wooden planked floors. Booths, high tops and a nice bar area were spread out in this long bar.
Quality: The quality of the beer and food was good between the girlfriend and I. We shared some vegetables with cheese fondue/beer cheese, little bread rolls that looked like tater tots that also came with the same dip, and fries that had ketchup and herbed mayo for dipping. All the apps hit the spot as we were not planning on eating much before the show. The beer was also good, cask from Notch, Imperial IPA from Widmer, and Dubbel from Boulevard.
Service: The service was good, but could have been better. We were there for the Notch cask event before we caught a show at the Orpheum around the corner. Bartenders should manage their areas a little better.
Selection: The selection of beers to me were great. 20 drafts, 5 firkins, and one gravity cask put a smile on my face. I was checking out there bottled beer selection and was delightfully pleased with what they had. I would say they had around 70+ bottled beers to choose.
Value: Some beers seemed expensive and others didn't. Very strange. I think the cask was 6.75, imperial was 6, and the dubbel was 7. It seemed reasaonable for some, but a but pricey for others. A little expensive, but they can probably get away with considering they are in the theater/financial district of town.
Overall: This is a great place to try beer for a special cask event or beer release. Also located a block from Park Street for the train lovers too. Will be taking the T up from Dot to enjoy some pints once again.
10-06-2011 14:33:05 | More by Flounder57
3.18/5 rDev -19.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 1.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5 | $$$
I have been wanting to try Stoddard's for a while now, so my wife and I went for Sunday brunch today. Walking in, the place looks pretty badass. Old school decor. Beautiful wood bar. Gleaming taps. Decorative lighting. Cool jazz band playing. We were seated by a hostess at 12:30. By 12:45, we had not been approached yet by a waitress with water or to take our order or anything. We looked at the other 5 couples seated near us, and they had empty tables or empty glasses. We contemplated leaving. The hostess literally just stood there and watched us. She couldn't bring us waters? Then the waitress appeared and it looked like she had no idea what she was doing, but still was serving every table in the restaurant. My biggest pet peeve is a beer menu with no prices, and of course they nailed that one. My wife ordered a salmon omelette and a Cape Ann oyster stout ($7). I went with the cask brunch special which is an omelette or entree and two cask pints for $22. Seemed like a good deal. They had four casks - three IPA and a Belgian Pale Ale. Not a great variety. I asked for the cask Stone Cat IPA, but of course they were out. I went with the cask Mayflower IPA and the steak and eggs. My wife liked her food and beer. And I also though my food was decent. At one point I asked the hostess for ketchup for the hash browns since I could not find the waitress. She asked me, one or two? Huh? We also both commented that the food plating was very out of date. Sliced fruit, really? I ordered a cask BBC IPA as my second pint, but was served a cask Harpoon Belgian Pale Ale instead. At this point I just drank it because I didn't care anymore and just wanted to leave. Based on our initial visit, I would not return here for food. The poor service just ruined that experience. I would possibly consider coming back here for a beer at the bar only, but my patience with the service would be on thin ice.
09-06-2010 04:58:04 | More by morebeergood
4.28/5 rDev +8.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$$
The first thing you might notice upon entering Stoddard's is the "old world" decor, accentuated with soft lights emanating from lit candles on the dark wooden tables and dim cieling lights. Mahagony, oak, wood, and red bricks, make up the bulk of the materials used in designing this place.
Another throw back to the past is the presence of two lone "stree corner" light posts spaced apart in front of the bar, which adds a sort of quaint charm. Upon passing the foyer, which has a fairly low cieling, the actual establishment has fairly high cielings. While there are no televisions, there is a large projector thats casts its images on the wall above the foyer.
As far as the selection is concerned, there are five cask ales and twenty ales on draught. And if that isn't enough, there is double the amount in bottled form. Jazz music plays quietly in the background. Additionally this place attracts young and aged business men and women alike, and is fairly mixed demographically.
The waitstaff, while not completely knowledgeable on craft beer, are very helpful and willing to search out the answer to any beer related questions. The food is artisinal and high in quality (had the charcuterie plate which was very tasty despite liberal use of salt), and the beers are served at a proper temperature. However, the prices are rather stiff at around $7.50 a pint. Overall I deem Stoddard's a nice establishment that is worth checking out.
06-19-2010 14:04:59 | More by TheJollyHop
Stoddard's Fine Food & Ale in Boston, MA
89 out of 100 based on 14 ratings.