Where do Boston's power brokers wine and dine? We hunted them down.
Secretary of State John Kerry comes to Oak Long Bar + Kitchen for the perfectly executed traditional cuisine, like this charcuterie board.
Sometimes exuding power means being seen. Other times it means being invisible. But in both cases it involves making quality choices. We explore the places where the powerful get fed.
Point of View
This is where John Fish eats his lunch. It’s where the Rolling Stones stay when they’re in town. And it’s the monthly meeting spot of our city’s most important artistic and cultural leaders. On any given day, a 360-degree radar spin around the Four Seasons will generate multiple pings from politicians, film directors, authors, and philanthropists—whether at breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Count on sublime cuisine in addition to the heady scene. Four Seasons Hotel, 200 Boylston St., 617-338-4400
A Mighty Oak
For decades they were the Oak Bar and the Oak Room, Boston’s traditional (but not stuffy) bar and steakhouse, both of them staples for the city’s power set and the blue bloods of the Back Bay. As part of a meticulous restoration in 2012, they were combined into one dramatic room, the Oak Long Bar + Kitchen, with exposed vaulted ceilings, a very long copper bar, and a wood-burning pizza oven (which adds to the menu and the ambience). It’s the perfect spot for a finely crafted martini and steak frites. Don’t be surprised to spot Secretary of State John Kerry, Peter Meade, or Julian Edelman. The Fairmont Copley Plaza, 138 St. James Ave., 617-585-7222
Oasis Amid Offices
The stretch of the Rose Kennedy Greenway along the outer rim of the Financial District is teeming with restaurants, including an outpost of The Palm, a well-established multi-city family of steakhouses. It’s always humming with formidable clients—especially at lunch. “It’s a timeless staple for the power-lunch crowd,” says Karen Hood, office manager for The Boston Consulting Group, whose top guns dine there frequently. “The modern twist is that the martinis have been replaced by iced tea and no one has more than an hour to spend. Power is measured by how many people you say hello to as you walk to your table.” The Palm, One International Place, 617-867-9292
Take Us to the River
We hate to generalize, but we can’t ignore the fact that the river separating Boston from Cambridge also tends to be a lifestyle dividing line. The Cambridge side is a bit more casual, yet important decisions and hefty deals are made in “the Republic” every day. Café ArtScience, tucked among the major bioscience corporations and near the epicenter of computer innovation, is the perfect setting for execs and the intelligentsia. General manager Thomas Mastricola knows how to charm the Biogen and Baxalta bigwigs (not to mention the cast of Ghostbusters when it was filming in town), who all enjoy chef Patrick Campbell’s approachable fine cuisine and Todd Maul’s cocktail program. Café ArtScience, 650 E. Kendall St., Cambridge, 857-999-2193