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Drink: Barbara Lynch's new bar

Posted by Devra First  August 21, 2008 05:02 PM

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Yes, it's called Drink, and the name sums up its raison d'etre. This first installment of chef Barbara Lynch's Fort Point project is almost ready to go. (Casual and upscale dining concepts will also open in the coming months.) Lynch and bar maestro John Gertsen say they're shooting for Sept. 15 to get in and mix their first cocktails; the actual opening date is TBD but should come shortly thereafter. Drink is located at 348 Congress St.


Barbara Lynch. (Laurie Swope for the Boston Globe)

Gertsen promises "rock star" bartenders -- no surprise, given the excellent mixology at No. 9 Park. "One of my focuses is looking into history," he says, so expect obscure cocktails from eras past to get new life here. The glassware and other bar paraphernalia is vintage, found at flea markets.

The stuff that will go in the glasses has also been carefully sourced. "If you were at my house at a cocktail party, you wouldn't have a list," Lynch says. "I like a good gin and tonic, so bartenders might talk to me about different gins they've chosen. There are some really cool moonshines. I hope it's just like one cocktail party."

Food at Drink will match the cocktail party vibe. There will be a short menu of canapes that will change every three months or so: "Eight items," says Lynch. "It isn't about the food. It's about having a little thing to nosh on while having a great cocktail. I thought of all the bars I used to go to before I had a child -- going into a bar and having, back then, gin and tonics or scotch on the rocks, a cigarette, and cheese puffs. Now it will be minus the cigarette, but you might have some cheese puffs, chips, or dips that we'll make."

She describes the food as "my take on the 1950s but modern and molecular, from foie gras lollipops to salt beignets that go great with martinis."

The "molecular" part won't be a focus, however. Gertsen points out that ice melting into a drink and fire cooking food could be considered molecular gastronomy. "This is not Alinea or El Bulli," he says. "This is Barbara's bar." (There might, however, be a re-creation of one of the world's great foodstuffs: Funyuns. "We're trying to do that with onion powder and egg whites out of a canister," Gertsen says.)

The bar will also have a communal focus. It's designed to have six corners, to provide more gathering spots. There will also be communal beverages, says Gertsen -- anything from a big punch bowl for 12 to the same drink for two or three people.

As for the space, Lynch describes it as a modern workshop. "It doesn't even look like a bar. You're not going to see any bottles. You'll see people chipping ice and cutting herbs. Everything is custom made."

Which doesn't necessarily mean fancy. "When the mailman comes by, he can have a beautiful cold beer and chips," Lynch says. "We're not looking to reinvent the wheel, just have a really good bar. Construction workers can come have a beer and a shot."

"Boilermakers all around," Gertsen says.

Welcome to Barbara's bar.

About Dishing

What's cooking in the world of food.


Sheryl Julian, the Globe's Food Editor, writes regularly for the Food section.

Devra First is the Globe's food reporter and restaurant critic. Her reviews appear weekly in the Food section.

Ellen Bhang reviews Cheap Eats restaurants for the Globe and writes about wine.

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