The Best Sort of Research

By Ramona Flightner/ @ramonaflightner

During my research I read about the fourth oldest restaurant in Boston, Restaurant Marliave (  Established in 1875, it is near Park Street and the Downtown Crossing area of Boston. I had previously walked by on scouting trips, and had noted the dim alley-like street leading to the restaurant.  The street ends at Marliave, with a steep set of stairs connecting it to the cross street below.  As I walked down the narrow alley way, I marveled at the juxtaposition of a three story, brick Victorian building amongst modern high rises.

Marliave Restaurant

I had eaten at Marliave nearly twenty years ago when I first came to Boston for college. It was an elderly cousin’s favorite restaurant because during her youth women weren’t allowed entrance to Locke-Ober’s. The main upstairs dining room with glass windows on two sides was as I remembered it, though the décor seemed more modern.

I wanted to return here for research as it is an old Victorian building and one of the oldest restaurants in Boston.  However, not much of the old Victorian is obvious. In the downstairs bar, there is a beautiful tin ceiling that has been painted white. There is black wainscoting on the bottom part of the walls leading to a textured white wall and beautiful white crown molding. Apart from that, I would have had to look very hard for Victorian elements.

The best part of this research outing was the food. It was fantastic. My friend and I shared the rarebits as a starter.  I had never eaten rarebit before, but melted cheese with bacon served in a cast iron skillet can only be deemed delicious.  Our main courses were served with heavy silver covers that were removed at the same time. I hadn’t been served in such a grand style since I had eaten at a castle in Ireland! Scallops served atop a bed of sautéed mushrooms which were in turn topped with a sweet potato ravioli were delicious.  A delicious meal and I would highly recommend a visit to this hidden gem in Boston.

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  • Jamie

    I couldn’t agree more and am happy to do research with you any time you like. ;)

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