Surrounded by small business start-ups and artist communes in the Fort Point Channel area of South Boston, you will find an old brick warehouse that has been converted into Barlow’s Restaurant.
The restaurant itself is expansive and open plan with high red painted ceilings, exposed brick walls and low lighting. An enormous square bar plays nicely to the after work crowd in the center of the restaurant with high-tops and booths scattered around the space. There are large paintings on the walls submitted by local artists. This place is made for noise.
On Friday Barlow’s was busy and a little raucous around the bar but had plenty of open tables to dine at without a reservation. We were seated at the very back with a full view of the restaurant.
A few minutes after being seated our very sociable waitress came over to introduce herself and deliver some water and talk about the menu. Before she left we asked her if we could still get the Happy Hour specials as it had already passed 6pm – specials are from 3-6pm and offer such items as $1 oysters. Conspiratorially, she smiled at us and said “I can make that work for you!” We ordered oysters, 18 to be precise. I am not exactly sure where that number came from for four of us but Laurie seemed convinced that was the right number to order. We also put in an order for a portion of Crab Rangoon’s.
The menu is a mix of classic and modern American dishes from Burger and Fries to Fig & Prosciutto Pizza. They have a small wine list that offers some really excellent choices by the glass and an intriguing cocktail list.
Our evening started with a selection of cocktails. It was a Friday after all. I picked a Ginger Martini. You could taste the fresh ginger and smooth vodka, which was pleasant, however the ginger syrup was just a little too overwhelming to the drink and made it a little sickly sweet. Laurie and Kerry loved their Espresso Martini and Spicy Sangria and Kris seemed very happy with a good old solid Guinness/
Some fresh, warm foccacia was brought to our table with a smooth sundried tomato bean dip. It was so tasty and gave a deliciously sharp kick to the taste buds.
The oysters arrived, an enormous plate that just barely fit on our table were all Moon Sholes from Barnstable. Plump, meaty and just slightly briny. All these oysters needed was a little splash of lemon and they were perfect.
The parcels of crispy Rangoon’s were filled to overflowing with flaky crabmeat rolled in the creamiest of cream cheese were absolutely delectable.
After looking at the menu again we all thought it would be nice to continue sharing some of the menu offerings. We ordered the Fig & Prosciutto Pizza, Sweet Italian Sausage Arancini, Roasted Beet & Blue Cheese and Barlow’s Cobb Salad.
The Fig & Prosciutto Pizza was the absolute perfect combination of salty and sweet. The sweetness of the fig tasted like sugar candy, which mixed with the salty prosciutto sent the taste buds on a little dance of happiness. Added to that the bitterness of the arugula made this pizza a delight to eat.
For a simple salad the Roasted Beets and Blue Cheese offered wonderful flavors and textures. It was abundant with large chunks of red and yellow juicy beets and plentiful crumbled blue sharp, creamy cheese atop mildly bitter baby greens and dressing. The dressing was not too overwhelming and added a welcome sweetness to the strong flavors of the salad ingredients.
The arancinis were sadly our least favorite of the evening. The marinara sauce had a flavorful, spicy bite but the arancinis seemed quite undercooked and almost raw in the middle. We didn’t make comment to the waitress about them as by the time we had all realized it, each of us had one of the five on the plate.
Our other salad, the Barlow’s Cobb was delivered to us perfectly presented in neat little sections of avocado, tomatoes, egg, chick peas and additional chicken strewn over the top. We asked Kris to go ahead and mix the whole thing up. It was excellent with crisp fresh ingredients to the very last chick pea on the plate that we all insisted Kris should have.
Overall, we had a fun evening of relaxed conversation and laughter, probably more due to the fact that none of us had work the next day. Barlow’s had filled up so that every table was filled with the after work crowd, friend’s catching up and a few, what looked like, first dates.
A good local hangout for just drinks, dinner or late night bar bites.