Saturday, June 16, 2007

Serving Up a Side of Rebel in the Cradle of the Revolution

As you recall, last weekend was Birthday Weekend in our household and we headed to downtown Boston to partake of a good lobster dinner.

Recently, we've been rediscovering some of our favourite haunts in downtown Boston on Friday evenings as MBH is working in the financial district and my train from NYC gets in to Boston's South Station on at 3:30pm; making meeting for after work drinks and an early dinner perfect. One of the places we've "rediscovered" is the Green Dragon Tavern which is doubly special because not only is it the "Headquarters of the Revolution" and a darn fine Boston Pub but is where MBH and I first met seven years ago.

Both MBH and I are history and political junkies and the Green Dragon suits us like a well worn leather glove. The pub really and truly was the home of the American Revolution. Here is part of what they have printed on their place mats:

"The tavern has a rich history since it first opened in 1657. During the time of the American Revolution, The Green Dragon Tavern was a 'hotbed' meeting place for Boston Revolutionaries. It was deemed 'The Headquarters of the Revolution' by Sam Adams, Daniel Webster, and Paul Revere. The Sons of Liberty held meetings here and discussed plans for resistance to the acts of the British crown and Parliament."

The place mat continues to explain that it was at the Green Dragon that the plan to march on Concord and Lexington in April of 1775 and capture Sam Adams and John Hancock was overheard leading to Paul Revere, William Dawes, and Samuel Prescott to make the famous "Midnight Ride of Paul Revere", immortalized in Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's poem (Ironically, despite what Longfellow wrote and generations of American school children have learned, only Samuel Prescott actually got to warn the colonists; Paul Revere was captured just outside of Cambridge and William Dawes got captured, escaped, then lost in the dark). Later, the Green Dragon served as the first meeting places of other political groups like the North End Caulker's Club, from which we get the word "caucus" (at least according to the place mat). The original location of the Green Dragon was actually several blocks south of its present day location but was burned during the British retreat from Boston in late 1776. After the British occupation, the Green Dragon reopened and relocated several times before moving to its present day home on Marshall Street in the early 1800s.

Today, the Green Dragon is part of Somers Irish Pubs in Boston and is staffed with expat Irish bartenders and waiters. It is a warm and inviting place with dark wood paneling and a long bar. The menu is a typical Boston Irish pub menu with clam chowder, shepherd's pie, cottage pie, fish and chips, burgers, and steak tips as well as a traditional Irish breakfast on the weekend. But the one item that sets the Green Dragon apart from all the other pubs in Boston, besides a good selection of beers on draft, is its lobster special. For $14.95 you get a steamed chicken lobster (a lobster betwen one and one 1/4lb) served with corn on the cob, making it one of the best lobster deals in the city!

The only disappointing part of the meal was the Green Dragon recently removed Bass from their taps leaving MBH without his preferred libation. So, I used this as a chance to introduce him to Smithwick's Irish Ale. Even with this small disappointment, the meal was exactly what we wanted for a birthday celebration .

The Green Dragon
11 Marshall Street
Boston, MA
(617) 367 0055

Hours: 11am - 2am daily