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Banyan Bar and Refuge

Restaurants, Contemporary Asian South End
4 out of 5 stars
Banyan Refuge and Bar, Boston
Photograph: Courtesy Banyan Banyan Refuge and Bar, Boston

It’s the brave venture indeed that dares to take over the space once occupied by the late, lionized Hamersely’s Bistro. But Banyan, which opened in July 2015, is no mere reboot—it’s a complete left turn in space and concept, brought to you from the folks behind The Gallows and Blackbird Doughnuts. Let’s start with the decor, which includes massive branch light fixtures and birch wood walls—actual birch trunks lined up vertically. Then there’s the finger-licking Asian gastropub fare from chef Phillip Tang, who first won you over with his inestimable hand-pulled noodles at East by Northeast. Kick it off with fried pigs' tails before moving on to spicy beef tartare, fried chicken with dried lime chimichurri and duck confit fried rice. The cocktail menu deserves an Emmy for comedy writing; you’ll be torn between the Supreme Leader (Thai chili-infused vodka, coconut, lime) and the Shrub You Long Time (gin, grapefruit shrub, cardamom, rosemary simple).

By: Meagan Agnew


Venue name: Banyan Bar and Refuge
Address: 553 Tremont St

Cross street: at Clarendon St
Opening hours: Sun-Wed 5pm-midnight, Thu-Sat 5pm-1am
Transport: Orange Line to Back Bay
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