Bar food has never been more sophisticated. A dwelling fit for quality friends and quality bar food, the Emory sits in Beacon Hill near the historical Massachusetts State House, cultivating a relaxing and neighborly atmosphere.
Opened in summer 2019, the Emory is Boston bartending veteran Emory “Andy” Kilgore’s first independent venture. Kilgore named the restaurant after the name that five generations of men in his family have, in order to encapsulate a spirit of hospitality, according to the restaurant’s website. This culture of traditions also reveals itself on The Emory’s menu. For example, the baked potato beignets, priced at $11, allude to the affectionate nickname for Kilgore’s grandfather and a third-generation Emory—“Spuds”—according to an article from The Boston Globe. The dish is a fan favorite, cooked with smoked bacon, parmesan, and cultured cream.
R&B music, high ceilings, classical columns, and dim lighting featuring a neon sign bearing the restaurant’s name above the chef’s countertop characterize this charming yet hip hangout spot. With the option to sit at the bar, gray marble hightops, leather booths, or the communal tables, the Emory creates a casual experience that allows customers to feel comfortable in any way they may want.
Executive chef Derek Robert and the staff serve a modern American menu with an inventive and seasonally focused cuisine. The eclectic menu features charcuterie boards, a raw bar, and subtle twists on traditional small and shareable dishes. As for drinks, a thoughtful selection of wine, beer, and fun, original cocktails is available. The waiters are welcoming and knowledgeable, suggesting the menu highlights in an easygoing manner. The food is delivered in a spontaneous fashion that allows the customer to digest one dish at a time, as each once is served once it has finished cooking.
On a Saturday evening, the Emory is not crowded, but it gradually receives more customers as the night progresses. Open from lunchtime until midnight on weekdays and additionally for brunch on the weekends, the restaurant draws in a crowd seeking comfort after work and school or a fun alternative to traditional “late night” food.
Along with the baked potato beignets, the roasted mushroom dip is a wonderful shareable dish, priced at $17. Made with spinach and mornay, and paired with rustic grilled bread, the plate juxtaposes an eccentric taste with a warmth like that of a night spent wrapped in blankets.
The pan-roasted brussels sprouts, at $10, are a yummy way to get your veggies. Served incredibly warm, they come with balsamic aioli and candied pecans, blending nicely and curating a sweet taste that contents one’s sweet tooth in a healthy way. More small plates that contribute to the authentic vibe of the restaurant include the heirloom carrots’ and beef carpaccio—which cost $12 and $13, respectively.
The Emory burger, priced at $19, lives up to its reputation as one of the menu’s best dishes. Topped with pickles and onion jam, the Emory burger also comes served with garlic cheddar fondue, which accentuates the juiciness of the meat and adds a great deal to the savoriness to the dish. The fries that come with the meal are nothing out of the ordinary, yet pair well as a standard with the other, more complex dishes.
Although dining at the Emory is nothing short of a great experience, some dishes are a bit overpriced and ordering two or more dishes could put a strain on the average college student’s budget. The notorious Emory burger is the cheapest entree, but it doesn’t skimp on deliciousness.
The Emory succeeds at marrying a cozy vibe with a more special, intimate ambiance. With its vintage interior and menu of bar food staples, visiting the Emory is a must.
Featured Image Courtesy of The Emory/Brian Samuels
Correction (1/22/20, 9:57 a.m): The Emory opens at 4 p.m. Monday to Friday and 10:30 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday. The Emory is not serving lunch in the wintertime.