51 Lincoln until very recently, when it seemed to pop up more and more in the news. But, it is well deserving of even more attention and gets my highest recommendation.
I recently ate at 51 Lincoln as part of a media dinner, and I will be hurrying back to experience even more of its cuisine. The restaurant has been around for about five years and the owner/executive chef is Jeffrey Fournier, who previously worked at a number of top Boston restaurants, including Locke Ober and The Metropolitan Club. Local ingredients are emphasized and the restaurant even has a rooftop garden.
They have a full stocked bar, and make both classic and innovative cocktails. The wine list has about twenty wines by the glass ($7-$14) and about 100 bottles (many $40+). The list has a good and varied selection of wines from all over the world, though I would have liked to see some local Massachusetts wines on the list. Restaurants that promote their use of local ingredients should also promote local wines, especially as there are some excellent Massachusetts wines that are now being produced. They carry a number of local beers so why not carry some Massachusetts wines as well?
I was intrigued by their eclectic menu with its mix of cuisines, including Italian, Latin, French, Thai, Cambodian and more. The menu includes Appetizers ($9-$12), Cheese & Charcuterie ($4-$5), Pasta ($9-$15/appetizer size & $18-$25/entree size), Entrees (most $22-$27), and Sides ($6). The prices are reasonable for the quality of this restaurant. You can also order a three-course Prix Fixe menu for $35, which is a Chef's Whim menu meaning that the three courses depend on what the chef wants to prepare that evening.
Your dinner begins with a basket of various house-made breads, the types varying day to day, accompanied by oil with tomato chili jam and their house-made hummus spread. I really enjoyed the warm and moist corn bread, though I would have liked some butter to spread upon it. Neither the oil or hummus would have really enhanced the cornbread. The other breads were quite good too.
The Big Lebowski, and consists of a white Kahlua cake, cocoa powder dust, and toasted coconut. Besides being a cool idea, the cake is also scrumptious, being moist and with a strong coconut flavor.
Service was very good, and my overall experience was excellent. It reminds me in some respects of Bergamot, its use of local ingredients, its artisanal foods, its innovative and delicious cuisine. 51 Lincoln offers compelling cuisine, reasonably priced for the quanity and quality, and it is a top notch culinary destination. I will be returning there soon, to partake of more dishes from their menu, as well as enjoying again some of my favorite foods. My only regret is that I had not known of this restaurant before now.