Railstop Restaurant and Bar Brighton, MA

My wife and I live very close to the new Boston Landing development in Brighton, and decided last evening to try the new Railstop Restaurant and Bar located between the New Balance world headquarters, and the Bruins practice rink. The restaurant is large (200+ seats, 30 bar seats), and has a bar menu and full menu. Most of the bar menu is the appetizer section of the regular menu, with the addition of a couple burgers, and the subtraction of a few salads. Bar menu and full menu available at the bar where we sat. They have an interesting cocktail menu, but the bartenders don’t seem the type to be able to prepare a drink off menu.

The good: The cocktails were all very tasty, though some were a bit too sweet for my taste. The arancini apps were nice, but they could use a bit more sauce on the plate. The burger was well cooked and the meat was tasty (they use Savenor’s meats).

The bad: The bartender, bar back, and food server all remarked how they were glad we ordered the Buffalo Chicken bites as they all stated it was their favorite thing on the menu. These were chopped white meat chicken which was mixed with Buffalo sauce, and formed into balls, coated with something, fried, and coated on the outside with more Buffalo sauce and blue cheese chunks. My wife found them “gross”. I thought they tasted OK, but found the texture of the chopped and reformed meat a bit disconcerting. Of course, I may have had high expectations given how everyone we dealt with were crowing about how awesome they were.

The mushroom, pesto pizza. Again, the bartender went on about how much he loved this pizza. My wife liked it more than I did. I found the crust bad (and I judge pizza almost solely on the crust), it had too much pesto, boring button mushrooms, and the cheese on top was very crunchy, and had none of that stringiness you expect in cheese on a pizza.

The service. They have been open only 3 weeks, so I expect some bumps in the road, but one bartender couldn’t remember how to make drinks, and was constantly asking the other one how to make them. My wife ordered the drink that comes with dry ice ( a nightmare idea, as dry ice can be very harmful if swallowed, or even if it touches your lips or mouth), but the dry ice they brought out was just old regular ice from the dry ice container, so it just sat in the drink, not providing the “smoke” promised in the drink, called A Smoke And A Pancake. The drink was remade and served on the rocks (though we suggested that, the bartender was flummoxed as to what to do). Long stretches where we were ignored, or had one bartender ask us if we wanted more drinks, only to immediately ask the other bartender to make them, since he was “doing service”.

The entree prices. Not sure who they think lives in this neighborhood, they may be banking on Bruins and Celtics players coming in (the Bruins practice facility is next door, and the Celtics are building a practice facility there as well), but all the entrees on the menu (which we did not try) were in the $28-60 range. Again, they do use Savenor’s meats, which are expensive, but we both felt the entree prices were too high. Also another guy at the bar got the roasted cod, and it smelled VERY fishy as it passed behind us on it’s way to the person who ordered it. I didn’t start eating seafood until my 30’s since it took me that long to learn that not all fish has that fishy smell/taste that I dislike. I like cod, but I would have been very unhappy to get a piece of fish that smelled like that (especially since it was cod, and not an oily fishy fish like bluefish). The fact that they aren’t very busy yet, and their entree menu is 50% fish, doesn’t bode well for the freshness of said seafood. I really wanted to love this place, since I can walk to it, and I may give it another shot sometime, but it may end up a one and done for me unless things change a bit.

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Excellent report, kimfair. It certainly doesn’t make me want to rush there for a while. Just curious, how are the atmosphere and noise level in the bar area? That’s probably where we’d end up for a burger since we wouldn’t be particularly interested in spending big bucks for the full menu, but my husband doesn’t particularly enjoy a noisy, chaotic vibe.

So many changes in that area. I guess a cafe is opening up as well. It will be interesting to watch the continuing evolution of that whole campus. Hopefully there will be some warmth and personality to the new businesses there.

Noise level was fine, but there was never more than 10-12 people at the bar, and only about 6-8 tables were being used, so it’s a little bit difficult to tell how loud it might be if it were full.

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Thanks for taking one for the team! Will be curious to know if they work out the kinks over time, including the pricing.

If there’s a chance of catching a glimpse of Bergy et al, that would be reason enough for me to eat there. (Rabid Bruins fan here! [digga raising her hand emphatically])

I think with the high entree prices, and the private rooms they’re hoping tghe Bruins (and the Celts when they move there) will become regulars, I hope for your sake they do, but I’m not sure it’s a bet that’s going to pay off for them.

Decided to try Railstop on Tuesday evening again. Sat in the restaurant with my wife and friend. My wife and friend both had the steak frites, and I had mushroom risotto with optional added braised short rib. The meat (still from Savenor’s) was uniformly excellent, and both streak frites (one medium, one medium rare) were cooked perfectly. The risotto was quite tasty, with an assortment of wild mushrooms, and excellent short rib.

Drinks are still a bit hit or miss, with some of the weirder ones disappearing from the menu (mostly a good thing), but when someone orders a Bombay sapphire martini, they would tell you if they wanted it dirty , or super dry, and you should ask if you want a twist or olives (don’t just bring it with nothing).

I also have a pet peeve of higher priced restaurants removing people’s plates before everyone is done. That’s fine at the 99, but if I paying $20+ for an entree, clear all the plates together. The prices seemed to have come down a bit as well, with one steak over $40, and everything else less than that. Steak Frites were $26.

Overall a better experience, though it’s unlikely to be the regular place I was hoping it would become when it opened.

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“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

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