There are hidden jewels and then there are found gems. Meet one of Boston’s most prized possessions. Introducing GEM Restaurant & Lounge, a dining destination and luxury lounge. The new venue features a “come for dinner, stay for drinks” concept, which is sister to the Empire Asian Restaurant & Lounge created by Big Night Entertainment Group, comprised of brothers Ed and Joe Kane, Randy Greenstein and Executive Chef Kevin Long.
Step behind the sleek front doors and head upstairs for a unique experience. Tucked away behind the bar is an intimate, 36-seat reservation-only dining room that offers a menu that focuses on American brasserie fare with a supper club atmosphere. You will relax as soon as you enter the space amid eclectic stripes, paisleys, tassels, and woven patterns. Jeweled mineral tones of ruby, amber, onyx and gold shimmer with a custom-made, Turkish mosaic flooring, exposed brick walls and dark wood furnishings.
We started off with the uber fresh tuna tartare with ceviche and a corn and red pepper puree. A visit to GEM would be remiss without sampling Chef Long’s New England lobster chowder. This is not your typical chowder and just might be the best in the city. Think chunks of lobster served up with rich cream, fenugreek and triple bacon. As if that weren’t enough, he tops it off with a tempura lobster skewer. The local burrata and crostini was also superb served with unfiltered olive oil, opal basil and cured tomatoes.
For dinner, we loved the special pan seared sea bass served over lobster risotto. We hope they never take the penne Bolognese off the menu (a heavenly ragu of beef and boar with a hint of cream with imported pasta). Chef Long has brought along to GEM one of his most signature dishes from his other restaurant (Tosca in Hingham), and for good reason. The pressed, crisp chicken was cooked to golden perfection on the outside, revealing juicy white meat on the inside while served alongside a rich marsala jus.
If you are coming with a large group, consider ordering a few plates to share, like the grilled thin crust pizza, griddled quesadilla, salumi board and tater tots. When you are finished with dinner, be sure to head over to the 30-foot carved stone bar for an after-dinner cocktail such as the Mandarin Garnet mixed with Stoli Ohranj, Cr?me di Violette, Lemon Simple, Peach Bitters; the Rose Quartz with Grey Goose Le Citron, Raspberry Syrup, Fresh Lemon, Rose Water or the Smokey Quartz made with Dewars White, Cherry Heering, Carpano Antica, Orange.
GEM is located at 42 Province Street, Boston. For reservations or more information call (617) 482-1213.