There’s a lot to like about Beat Hotel, but that’s because there is a lot to beat hotel. As the newest member of Harvard Square’s family of restaurants that are making it a cooler place to hang around, so far it’s served just that purpose. Its below street-level entrance makes you feel cool enough for simply knowing where to find it. And stepping inside is comparable to that moment in the Wizard of Oz when everything turns from black and white into color. Your eyes gloss over in a pink and purple haze as they feast upon neon lights, peace signs, painted murals, golden chandeliers, and a tattooed (yet very kind) staff. Yes, its speak-easy style and nightly live music are bound to impress anyone who stumbles upon it.
Being such a stimulating addition to the Square, as well as a sister restaurant to the popular Beehive of the South End, this place will attract attention for a long time. I’ve been twice and it’s always packed to the brim with Harvard Square’s usual suspects: an array of suits, almost-hipsters, and graduate students from all over the world. However, the attractive atmosphere makes me more inclined to rave about the place than I would be if I were to do so solely based on the food experience.
My first visit consisted of a glass of wine and Crispy Calamari & Veggies ($12) at the bar. That time I was in love. And their wine is on tap – very cool. But when I went back for the main courses, the food seemed pricer than the quality satisfying. I did like the Swordfish Tacos pictured above, but for $24 I look for adoration. My friend thought her Organic Chicken Piccara ($23) was watery, and the the cocktails, the Purple Door and Mango Martini ($11 each), were less delicious than their names. We asked for the sweetest ones and they were very strong; the alcohol didn’t complement their other components well enough. Regardless, I’d recommend the place based on the rest of its character, and maybe I’ll like the other food items I try. Or maybe they’ll drop in price..
13 Brattle St.
Harvard Square, MA