I was surprised that fellow Gadlinger Melanie Nayer was willing to be seen in a restaurant with me. She generally covers the good life, and when it comes to culinary, I rush for the lowest common denominator. After kicking back martinis at the Fairmont Copley’s Oak Bar – and old haunt from my White Collar Travel days – we circled the Back Bay looking for an upscale alternative to the stuff I’d normally chomp in diners. We landed at minibar in the Copley Square Hotel, an establishment also recommended by @LuxeTiffany, who, as you can guess from her Twitter name, has tastes that tend to run higher than mine.
In this fine establishment, where we were looking to pick up some sliders, Melanie nearly shouted at me upon opening the menu, “They have hotdogs!” No, not for her of course. She’s seen that I look for a dog everywhere I go, however, and knew that a luxe dog from Boston‘s sexiest hotel was a must. So, still buzzing with vodka – not to mention the Pepin Garcia cigars and port I’d enjoyed earlier with Chris Lynn (@colonnade) of the Colonnade Hotel – I prepared to sink my teeth into a Kobe beef dog at minibar.I’ve always been skeptical about Kobe beef. In burgers, for example, the extra fat which delivers the flavor burns off in the cooking process, delivering far less of a Kobe experience than you’d find with a steak. So for hotdogs, I had no idea if the meat from the laziest cows on Earth would make a difference. I still don’t. Maybe it was the Kobe beef … or just the fact that Minibar knows how to find a damned good hotdog. I can’t be sure. But, the Kobe hotdog was nothing short of delightful.
Though my palate was fried with liquor and cigars, I was able to detect an interesting balance among the hotdog roll, the mustard (I missed much of the flavor here, I suspect) and even the roll, which was toasted to perfection, recalling the experience I had with Montreal foodie Katerine Rollet back in September.
For years, I steered clear of the upscale hotdog world. Even with my unrefined (perhaps obliterate) sense of taste, I could still appreciate the sorts of dishes that define an excellent restaurant, and I preferred to get my dogs from the “experts” stands and beside carts on the street. Yet, minibar has confirmed for me what I first began to sense in Antigua last summer: even the stylish can put together a hell of a hotdog.