Restaurant Review – Cocktails

Right in Harvard Square, the Charles Hotel becomes a home away from home for many HBS students during recruiting season. If you are one of those people who shudders at the thought of voluntarily setting foot into this company presentation mecca, I wouldn’t blame you. However, with its entrance tucked away in a corner of the hotel lobby and attractively announced with a chain mesh curtain, Noir is worth visiting on its own as a place for some fun drinks and creative bar food. Entering Noir, you are greeted with dramatic red lighting and banquettes done in rich dark earth tones. Grab a seat at the bar if you just want to enjoy some cocktails or go earlier in the night to secure a cozy booth for more privacy. My personal favorite on the signature drink side is the Strawberry Basil Martini (vodka, strawberry puree, basil and lemon juice) which is always fruity enough to convince me of its antioxidant potential. On the classic cocktail side, the French 75 (champagne, cognac, fresh orange and lemon juice with a sugared rim) is an elegant choice. The biggest surprise about Noir is perhaps the quality of its food. Although it is undoubtedly not meant for a full dinner, the inventive dishes are a good alternative for nights when you just want some lighter food such as flatbreads, skewers, salads, sandwiches and sweets. Not destination dining but certainly a welcome option located close to campus.

Cocktails – $10
1 Bennett Street
(in Charles Hotel)
(617) 661-8010