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Darryl’s Corner Bar & Kitchen

Jazz and Soul Food around the Corner, Boston, MA

By Emily Neeves | February 21, 2012

Pan-Fried Trout

Around the corner from the Massachusetts Avenue subway stop in Boston’s South End you’ll find Darryl’s Corner Bar & Kitchen.

Inside Darryl's
BY & COPYRIGHT: Darryl's Media Photos

As the spotlighted catchphrase alongside the outside wall indicates, the restaurant claims to be “the intersection of friends, food, and music.” In theory, that sounds great, so my dinner companion and I put it to the test.

Inside, the combination of brick walls, lustrous white paint, and sleek chestnut booths make the interior of the restaurant feel modern, classy, and homey all at the same time.

Although the warm, low lighting evoked intimacy, we found it hard to carry on a conversation over the animated chatter of the other guests in the packed dining room, and the spirited mix of jazz playing over the loudspeakers didn’t help. But ultimately, Darryl’s is a jazz bar, so loud and lively jiving come with the territory. The busyness also meant service was at times on the slow side, but our waitress was extremely personable, so it was not a big deal.

To test Darryl’s boasts about its corner cocktails, I ordered Darryl’s Punch ($9) with Mt Gay Eclipse rum, pineapple, orange, and a splash of grenadine. When my drink arrived, it looked a little like a creamsicle, and tasted like one too.

A Cup of Fish Stew

For appetizers, we ordered a cup of the fish stew ($5), which had come highly recommended by the staff, and a plate of the fried Rhode Island calamari ($10).

While the crisp and perfectly peppered breading on the calamari was delicious, it was the fish stew ($8) that really blew our minds. My companion took the first bite and said simply, “try this,” and slid the bowl across the table.

The stew was neither too watery or too thick, but just right. Made with fresh Atlantic haddock, roasted chilies, sweet sausage, corn, and celery, I was disappointed that we had ordered only the cup, rather than the bowl.

As we awaited our entrées, the seared sirloin steak and the pan-fried trout ($24 each), we enjoyed the bouncy, invigorating jamming of Lenny Stallworth and Friends, a very talented jazz band which performs often at Darryl’s. The set list seemed to come mostly from requests from the crowd, and they played a cover of Etta James in her memory. Whatever the song, the end was the same—applause.

Finally, the entrées arrived. The 8 oz. sirloin was served atop a pile of garlic mashed potatoes and sautéed green beans. Tender and fresh, the steak’s innate flavor spoke for itself, but was further enhanced by the sweet, juicy steak sauce at the bottom of the plate.

Seared Sirlion Steak

I had ordered it cooked medium, and just as expected, a light pink radiated from the sirloin’s center. In the potatoes, the bits of skin melded with the garlic to give guilty, guilty pleasure. Even the green beans were impressive, with the perfect degree of crispness to bring out their natural flavor.

The pan-fried trout, stuffed with a shrimp salad, was also very well prepared, with crisp skin on the outside and tender, juicy meat inside. The fish rested atop a helping of salsa verde, which wonderfully complemented the fish’s flavor, and was flanked by a smattering of pan-fried potatoes and mixed vegetables.

Even with our bellies deliriously filled, we couldn’t rest capping the night off with a slice of the red velvet cake ($8). The four thin layers of fudgy, moist cake and cream cheese frosting did not disappoint and also did not last long on the plate.

The verdict? Great food, great live music, and a great night. Our only regret was that we didn’t get more stew. I guess we’ll just have to go back.

TELEPHONE(617) 536-1100

Darryl’s Corner Bar & Kitchen
604 Columbus Avenue
Boston, MA 02118

WEBSITE: www.darrylscornerbarboston.com/index.php


Tue-Wed: 5PM – Midnight

Thu-Sat: 5PM – 2AM

Sun: 10AM – 10PM

Sunday Brunch: 10AM – 3PM

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