Review: Jerry Remy's Sports Bar & Grill

Another victory, what a surprise
By ROBERT NADEAU  |  June 2, 2010
2.0 2.0 Stars

Most of the entrées during my visits came with a few stalks of giant green asparagus, peeled as elegantly as in a French restaurant; a couple of roast peppers; a mini-taco-bowl of peppery slaw; and an artfully small portion of fine smashed potatoes, skin-in.

The non-smoked food is kind of a bench player — you could give it a spot start, but it won't be in the everyday line-up. Spicy shrimp fresh rolls ($11) are mostly protein, whereas Vietnamese summer rolls would have more rice noodles and salad filler. Clam chowder ($6) was a strikeout, with a too-salty-meaty broth that has no seafood flavor. Fish and chips ($16) feature very average French fries and over-battered cod pieces served on paper in a metal basket.

Our piece of tiramisu torte ($8) was tired in the filling, and surrounded by a small octagon of too-heavy cake. Oreo torte ($8) was a lot better, with chocolate gelato, two cookie sticks, and a cylinder of chocolate cake topped with a mousse designed to look like the cream filling. It had just one crumbled Nabisco original on top.

Evil Empire Cheese Cake ($8) gives the Jeter team credit, just reduces the slice to a cupcake, thus improving the graham-cracker-shell ratio. But a pastrami and swiss sandwich on rye ($9.50), where you want the New York–style meat steamed and hand cut, starts with Boston-style thin-cut meat, enough cheese to gesture at a Reuben, and marble rye instead of the proper seeded kind. Jerry: remind your partners that pastrami is a smoked meat they could make in house.

The beer list has a good selection of draughts. The house red ale is a clean red amber, a little cloudy but good through. Weirdly, a bottle of Harpoon cider ($5.50) had little carbonation and a skunked finish. Probably not the restaurant's fault. Drinks include a nod to the space having once been the WBCN studios, with a "Big Mattress" ($9.50) consisting of bourbon, apple juice, and maple syrup. Sounds dreadful, but it is a small drink that tastes like bourbon with the edges sanded off. A decaf coffee ($2.50) came tepid, but the teas are by Mem ($2.75) — local and very good.

Service was well-organized, with only some of the I'm-Lisa-I'll-be-your-server rote quality. To be the greatest of sports bars, Remy's has to have the most TVs on the most sports channels, on every bit of wall space, with two 6-by-11-foot "monster screens" over the bar. Sometimes there is TV sound, mostly a hard-rock soundtrack. There is a PA system, but let's not go there. My three visits were early on away-game nights. Before home games, the line stretches out the door.

Much was made of securing museum-quality retired Red Sox jerseys. But I prefer live-action shots of other sports, especially the subtle eagle-eye view of Russell boxing out Wilt, over the kitchen door. You have to recognize Russ's number 6 jersey to realize what you are looking at. The front café windows open out onto Boylston Street. The back windows open toward the back of the right-field bleachers. I'm not sure why. Jerry is already in the Red Sox Hall of Fame, and making a strong play for restaurant immortality, as well. He's got my vote.

Robert Nadeau can be reached at robtnadeau@aol.com.

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