As part of our foodie trek through the South End this past weekend, we choose to have brunch at the The Beehive. The Beehive has been around for only one year but has become a very popular destination.
The Beehive got its name and inspiration from La Ruche (French for "beehive".) La Ruche was an artists' residence in the Montparnasse Quarter of Paris in the 1920s. It was an old three-story, circular structure that received its name because it looked more like a beehive than a residence for people. The Beehive is a Bohemian-style bistro located, in a former boiler room, below the Boston Center for the Art’s Cyclorama.
Chef Rebecca Newell has designed an eclectic menu of rustic comfort foods infused with American, European, Mediterranean, and Middle Eastern influences. They serve dinner and weekend brunch.
The restaurant has two floors. The upstairs has a bar and numerous tables though the heart of the restaurant is the lower level. The upstairs area is not as decorative as the downstairs. The downstairs area is quite spacious and decorated in a Bohemian, jazzy, funky style. Fancy chandeliers, large thick curtains, intriguing artwork. A fun ambiance that seems fitting for this bistro. There is a small stage for live music and a band just started to play near the end of our brunch. I can see how this would be a hot spot at night.
The Brunch menu has plenty of interesting choices so it took a little time to decide on what to order. We decided to begin brunch with the Beignets in a Basket ($4). Four, hot beignets that were about the size of lemons and dusted with powdered sugar. Very good with a bit of a crunchy exterior but a soft, moist interior. We finished them off as they were so good. Though they might have been even better with a dipping sauce, such as some melted chocolate or vanilla cream.
I then chose the Short Rib and Fontina Grilled Cheese Sandwich ($13). It normally comes with cole slaw but they substituted that with some Frites for me instead. The sandwich is made from thick Texas toast, buttered and grilled, with plenty of melted Fontina cheese and thin tender slices of beef. It was an exceptional sandwich, flavorful and buttery. The meat was so very tender which also contributed to the excellence of the sandwich. It was also a good sized sandwich. I would highly recommend this sandwich! The frites that came with my sandwich were home-made potato chips which delighted me. I would almost always prefer that to french fries. The potato chips were delicious with just the right amount of salt.
My wife ordered the Eggs Shakshuka ($11), which consists of three eggs baked over North African style tomato sauce and served with creamy polenta. It also came with two crunchy pieces of pita. This was another excellent dish with an intriguing sauce that was very unlike an Italian tomato sauce. The eggs, polenta and tomato sauce made a nice blend of flavors and it came in a good-sized dish. All of the other dishes I saw delivered to other tables seemed quite large too.
Service was very good. Our server was personable and accomodating. Overall, I was very impressed with the restaurant and brunch. I will definitely return for brunch again and will try dinner as well. Their comfort food is very well done and is sure to please. I think prices were reasonable for the quality and quantity of food we received. So you should check out The Beehive.
541 Tremont St.