I remember when The Beehive opened last year — there was so much hype that it almost instantly turned me off. I always like to wait a while until the buzz has cooled down before checking things out. The Beehive is a definitive example of that… though I must admit that I kind of forgot all about it, in a way. Recently though, I started to hear rumblings about the quality of food and murmurs regarding the décor, which made me think that maybe it was time to descend into the subterranean space beneath the BCA.
The menu at The Beehive skims the surface of a few different cuisines. For a taste of England, there’s a mini Beef Wellington appetizer. Satisfy a craving for Greek with a gyro salad. For something Spanish, paella. For North African, a Moroccan stew. But is variety really the spice of life? Is The Beehive’s saffron-tinged rice so wonderful that a trip to Tapeo or Toro is unnecessary?
The answer is no. The paella ($22.00) is passable, but wholly uninspired — a phrase that I think applies to the entire menu. If I were to recommend an item to eat, however, it would be the burger… but not for the regular reasons.
With Gorgonzola cheese and crispy fried onions, the burger ($13.00) is just fine. It’s a generous circle of meat, and though it arrived cooked past the medium-rare I requested, it was still just fine. What made it better than fine, though, were the burger’s platemates: sage and sea salt frites. Not quite fries and not quite chips, these thinly-sliced wedges of potato were crunchy, tasty and quite literally finger-licking good.
Frites notwithstanding, they’re not reason enough to drop by The Beehive. The reason to drop by is the atmosphere. It’s exactly how I would imagine a fin de siècle Parisian salon to look like, if it were to mate with a pirate’s cave. With a few drinks and a bit of a squinty eye, I think it’s easy to picture a tattily-dressed pirate or two strolling amongst the exposed brick walls, crumbly and curved stage and sparkling chandeliers.
Well, maybe more than just a few drinks.
541 Tremont Street
Boston, Massachusetts 02116