Channel Cafe (CLOSED)
300 Summer Street, Boston, MA 02210
Do you enjoy art galleries? Do you like good food? Well, believe it or not, there is a restaurant in Boston that offers both of these in one rather funky package. The Channel Cafe, which is located in the Fort Point Channel neighborhood of Boston, is really like no other restaurant in the area. Housed in the basement of one of those big old buildings that makes this neighborhood near South Station so incredibly unique, the Channel Cafe at once surprises and charms diners with a truly great mix of art and food.
As you walk down the stairs into the Channel Cafe, one of the first things you notice is a room filled with paintings, sculptures, and other works of art. The spacious room where the cafe is located has artwork too, and it almost feels like you are in someone's loft rather than a restaurant, with its high ceiling, open layout, and old wooden floor. The owner and operator of this breakfast, lunch, and dinner place is one of many artists in the Fort Point Channel district, a neighborhood which is a very old, well-established artist colony.
Even if the food were so-so at the Channel Cafe, coming here would still be a terrific experience. The food, however, is anything but so-so; from the hearty, homemade soups (including a curry-like carrot, ginger, and sweet potato soup) to the sweet and smoky roasted red pepper hummus to the Carolina-style pulled pork, the Channel Cafe has something for everyone. Many of the entrees are considered lighter fare, but there are also more substantial dishes such as seared duck breast and braised Moroccan lamb. A few standouts include the outstanding vegetarian antipasti that has a rotating selection of cheeses (including a full-flavored Wensleydale), a sweet jicama slaw, spicy almonds, and a smooth-tasting white bean puree; a more than respectable plate of steamed mussels, which isn't available every day, unfortunately; and a juicy and nicely seasoned ground sirloin burger on a fresh roll with an option of thickly cut applewood-smoked bacon. Desserts include tasty homemade cookies that are purposely underbaked so that they can be warmed up before being served. Alcohol is available at the Channel Cafe, with an eclectic assortment of beers featured, including Fuller's London Porter, Abita Turbodog (a coffee- and toffee-flavored brew), and Duvel Belgian Ale.
Long neglected and forgotten by many, the Fort Point Channel area is slowly being discovered again; quality restaurants like the Channel Cafe as well as nearby Lucky's, a quirky lounge that also has great food, are anchors for this artsy section of Boston. Add the Silver Line, the World Trade Center, and new hotels nearby, and you have the makings of yet another exciting Boston destination. The Channel Cafe should benefit from this; chances are, more and more lovers of art and food will find themselves at this intriguing little spot.
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