Alas, the famous Cafe Fleuri chocolate buffet got swallowed up by the recent $150 million renovation at the historic Langham hotel in downtown Boston; the former Fleuri space is now a ballroom. Gone, too, is the hotel’s longtime restaurant Bond and a champagne lounge, the Reserve.
All is not lost, though: The hotel’s new dining and drinking options do look promising. There’s an Italian restaurant, Grana, in the former Federal Reserve Bank’s grand hall, set to open for breakfast and lunch on July 16, and there’s a first-floor cocktail bar, the Fed — open as of July 12 — with outdoor space, customizable seafood towers, a boozy frappe, and more.
Yvonne’s alum Paige McGroarty is behind the bar at the Fed, serving drinks such as the very Boston-ly named “I’m Sipping up to Boston,” which features the hotel’s own proprietary barrel-aged whiskey from Knob Creek, coffee-infused amaro, sweet vermouth, and orange bitters. Another cocktail, “Kool & the Gang,” also features a Langham exclusive — Celebration gin from Roxbury-based Bully Boy Distillers, with raspberry, lime, ginger, aquafaba, and tonic. As for the aforementioned boozy frappe, it’s a malted whiskey concoction with chocolate ice cream.
The opening beer and cider list is almost entirely from New England, except for one Italian lager and a non-alcoholic Heineken. The usual suspects make appearances: Smuttynose, Allagash, Jack’s Abby, Harpoon, and more. The wine list leans mostly French, Italian, and Californian.
The Fed bills itself as “British-inspired,” and the design does give off cozy British pub vibes (the same design team worked on the Langham’s Boston and London properties), but most of the food and drink feels like more of a direct reflection of New England, from a lobster BLT to New England stuffies. Of course there’s plenty of raw seafood, too. Diners can customize their own seafood tower, choosing among options such as jumbo shrimp, oysters, octopus escabeche, king crab legs, and more.
The rest of the menu is the sort of stuff you’d hope to find at a comfy hotel cocktail bar, like a hefty charcuterie board, Buffalo wings, and something called a “glizzy stick,” a potato-crusted hot dog with kimchi and spicy mayo. Dessert isn’t quite the same as a massive chocolate buffet, but it continues along the New England theme with a bag of whoopie pies and Boston cream pie. The food menu comes from executive chef Stephen Bukoff, who has spent the past decade and a half working at various Four Seasons locations around the country.
The Fed is open from 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. daily.