One of those last minute… “hey, fancy a cocktail after work?” brought us to the new Palm Restaurant last Thursday. After an excruciatingly painfully long drive from Back Bay to the Financial District, less than a mile I might add and almost an hour drive, we arrived at the busy Palm more than ready for that cocktail.
The new space is located at One International Place on the edge of the financial district and bordering the Seaport District. The restaurant is much bigger than their old location at Copley Place and offers a large curved dark wood bar with high top seating, booth seating, a spacious restaurant with chesterfield leather lounge seating and a huge patio that looks out onto the Greenway. The old Boston feel is still there making this a place perfect for the power luncher and business deal maker. It also presents itself well to those who want to grab a drink after work and a diversion from a quiet day with a busy, loud crowd.
We didn’t have a reservation so was not surprised when we were told they had nothing all evening. The bar three deep, the restaurant full and the patio hosting a private event, there was only one thing to do and that was stalk a booth. The stalking paid off and within 15 minutes we were seated comfortably and waited upon immediately.
The wine list is extensive, ridiculously expensive and highly marked up. There are only one or two bottles which are reasonably priced, making it difficult to enjoy a slightly more cost efficient dinner, which is what we had in mind. We decided on the least expensive of all the Sauvignon Blancs only to be told there were no bottles left, so we had to go with the next one, a lovely Flora Springs Sauvignon Blanc. We did thoroughly enjoy our slightly more expensive bottle of wine. I would suggest a few more options on the wine list for those not wanting to go over the $60~.
My friend had heard about their Prime Bites offering a menu of appetizing small dishes at a cost of just $5.50 between 5-7pm – we had just enough time to order. Looking at the menu there was definitely options that appealed to all of us. Steak, Chicken and Lobster Sliders, flatbreads, and fondue – we wanted everything but settled for just three bites to start.
The calabrase flatbread is seriously overtopped with mozzarella, tomatoes, olives and peppers. Fresh and wonderful flavors that create a vibrant color on the plate and a delicious taste. This was probably my favorite of our dishes.
A second favorite and probably my friends, Tricia and Kerry’s absolute favorite was the mini broiled crab cakes. Fresh crabmeat served in little pastry baskets made these so fun and truly tasty with the mango salsa and creamy remoulade. We should have ordered two portions of this dish.
Our last bite was the barbecue chicken meatball sliders. Mealy and juicy chicken balls with a nice spice of chorizo and jalapeño cheese, salty bacon and a rich, sweet barbecue sauce in a small soft bun.
Still a little hungry we ordered the calamari from the main menu. This was my least favorite of all our dishes. The cornmeal tasted undercooked so was a little powdery and just not great. I decided instead to just continue enjoying my wine.
Overall, I had a really nice time. People watching is great, our service was good and our waiter very friendly.When my office moves over to the Seaport later in the year, I can imagine I will be a frequent guest of the Palm’s bar and taster of the Prime Bites.