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The Federalist Restaurant - Boston, MA

By: Kellie K. Speed, Travel Writer

The Federalist Despite all the commotion of the Federalist being known for its pricey food and snobbish atmosphere, we decided to go one evening to see what the fuss was all about. 

This is not your typical Friday night average restaurant; it is meant to be visited by those celebrating a special occasion or having an endless wallet. Having said that, the Federalist has clearly become one of the top restaurants in the city.

We were greeted by the restaurant's General Manager, Bruno Marini and the adjacent hotel, XV Beacon's General Manager, William Sander, who led us into the restaurant where all the beautiful people in the city dine. We were escorted downstairs to the famed wine cellar, which houses more than 25,000 bottles of wine. With vintage selections like the Chateau d'Yguen dated 1876 and priced at a mere $17,000 a bottle, the cellar hosts some of the most precious selections. For example, one 1795 bottle of Madeira, which retails for $325 an ounce, took the owner of the Federalist nearly two years to find before being added to his collection. The cellar also houses a pre-1878 cognac, one of 2,000 recovered from a Baltic shipwreck in 1916 and discovered by Swedish divers in 1997. A glass of this gem costs $900 an ounce.

We were seated at a comfortable leather booth, with a white neatly pressed tablecloth prominently displaying beautiful fresh-cut roses. We were presented enormous heavy leather menus to peruse. One evening, a family of three at a nearby table had just finished sampling an order of caviar ($110) and decided they wanted some more and ordered a second round. At the Federalist, the drinks are flowing, the food is flowing and the money is flowing.

We ordered a 1998 Trefethen cabernet sauvignon ($95), which was smooth yet bold and later finished with a bottle of Bradford Mountain Dry Creek ($98).

For appetizers, we started with the Nantucket bay sea scallops ($15) which were sweet and fresh. Other appetizers included ahi tuna tartar ($14).

The entrees here are to be commended. The venison ($39) was cooked perfectly. The grilled dry aged sirloin ($43) was equally hailed. Served with potatoes, this beef selection was also cooked to our liking. Other entrees included the day boat lobster risotto ($22).

Desserts here don't go unnoticed either. Select from a generous cut of carrot cake, hot chocolate cake with cashew nut pralines and white chocolate banana ice cream, crème brulee and white sweet potato pie (All desserts are $9). The hot chocolate cake was sinfully rich - a true indulgence.

Even though the prices may seem a bit steep, the food, service, menu selection and atmosphere make it all worth the extra money.

The food here is almost the second best thing about this popular restaurant. People come here to see and be seen while others come to view the artwork. "We have a fourth century Roman mosaic piece in the wine cellar that weighs about 1,500 pounds," Marini said. "It cost us $5,000 just to get it into the building. It makes a wonderful addition to the cellar. We have had people come here because they have heard about some of the pieces of art we have. It's wonderful!"

The adjacent XV Beacon boutique hotel has accommodated many famous athletes, celebrities and even the Secret Service when they are in town. Classic studios start at $450 per night and suites begin at $695 per night.

For reservations or more information, call 617-670-1500. 

The Federalist
15 Beacon Street
Boston, Massachusetts

Phone: 617-670-1500

The Federalist
15 Beacon Street
Boston, MA 

Phone: 617-670-1500

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Kellie Speed - Click to enlarge

Kellie K. Speed is a freelance travel writer and restaurant reviewer. Her features have been published in various publications including The Boston Globe, Cahners’ Industrial Distribution and Graphic Arts Monthly magazines and Reno Air Approach.

Kellie has reviewed numerous first-class hotels and travel destinations, including Hawaii, California, Arizona, Bermuda and Mexico, to name a few. She has also traveled internationally to Ireland, England, France, Germany, Belgium and the Czech Republic. Next year, she is planning a trip to Tahiti.

Since she is from Massachusetts, she will be providing reviews of local restaurants for Travel-Watch.

If you would like to email Kellie any suggestions or comments, please do so at


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