I have been hearing quite a bit of positive chatter about JM Curley’s on Temple Place and kept thinking I needed to stop by to check it out for myself. A perfect time to do this was prior to a night at the ballet… some casual dining followed by an evening of culture at the Boston Opera House.
Named after a controversial mayor of Boston, James Michael Curley… “In the people’s eyes, it was known that ‘Curley gets it done’. He made his mark in the early 20th century as man of the people. An ode to a charismatic man, jm Curley is getting it done again.”
We arrived quite early on a Thursday evening, around 5.45pm and were greeted by a very friendly man at the door – manager or host; I wasn’t sure but very nice. He asked us if we wanted to dine, which of course we did but rather than sit at one of the restaurant tables, we opted for a seat at the long bar. Small square tables lined up against a brick wall adorned with fun pictures and low mood lighting. The bar is absolutely the focal feature of this small and inviting space. Running the length of the restaurant towards the back where it meets two doorways… one to a private VIP area, still nice and casual and one to a small game room.
The bartender gave us the list of the craft beers and food menu on small pieces of paper, left and came back with a cone of what can only be described as the best popcorn ever – beats a bread basket! I believe she said it was ritz cracker and cheese, it was awesome. Probably close to my favorite thing of the evening.
The menu adds a fun page on “Law and Order” with some rules regarding canoodling, cellphone use, flatulence and not being a douchebag. Some of them are really funny but I am not sure all will take it as that. I was laughing my socks off.
Lots of fun specials were listed on boards as well a small list of wines, which I was told changes quite regularly. I ordered a Malbec and Stacey opted for a Sauvignon Blanc. Even though there were items I could have ordered from the board and menu, both Stacey and I wanted to try lots and lots of appetizers so that’s what we did. Things came out as they were made, which suited us fine.
First up was the Deviled Eggs. A bit more mustard than mayo, which I absolutely love and just quite perfect. I would order these again but then again, I do love deviled eggs.
The Smoked Salmon Sliders overall are lovely with lightly smoked salmon once you got to the center of the bun. An addition of a sweet jelly that offset the dryness of the bread worked well; however, we both agreed too much bun. Either a smaller bun or more filling. I felt the bun took away from how good the filling was, which was a shame.
The Mac & Cheese is good, however lacked something, which I think was as simple salt. I added some salt to mine and the difference was amazing. I really liked the bubbling cheese in its own skillet.
Another glass of wine each, a bit more that fantastic popcorn and then onto the mussels, which were another favorite of mine. Small and tasty with a deliciously savory broth that is great for dipping in the brioche toast points.
The crowd filled up throughout the early evening until no tables were left and there was standing room only at the bar. An eclectic mix of students, after work crowd and people on their way to a show. I really liked the calm and unrushed vibe of jm Curley’s. Friendly, lovely staff, who are very happy to talk to you about the food, craft beers or anything else you ask them and the price point is incredibly good with most apps under $10 and mains under $20.
I think this would be a fun place for a group of friends after work and I will absolutely be back.