The culinary highlight of my recent trip to Boston was a meal at a longtime favorite, Locke-Ober. This old-school restaurant has roots deep in the 19th century, and the clubby interior, the traditional service and the high-society clientele keep the past alive. But with star chef Lydia Shire as co-owner, the menu has been rejuvenated, and though it keeps one foot in traditional cuisine (calf’s liver, broiled scrod, wiener schnitzel), all her dishes use local and seasonal ingredients, prepared with finesse and imagination.
The “Locke” part of the restaurant dates to Frank Locke’s Wine Rooms, opened in 1892, and wine has always played an important role here. The 1939 list, on display, offers Château Léoville Las Cases 1928 for $4, an enviable buy. The current list has suffered from the slow economy, according to co-owner and wine director Paul Licari, but still offers a range of interesting bottles, mostly from the United States and France.
We chose a red from the French region of Provence: the Domaine Tempier Bandol 2006, fairly priced at $58, and a fine match for rosemary-brushed rack of lamb (from Colorado, chef Shire assured us). The Mourvèdre-based red was austere at first, but opened up to reveal a rich core of delicious fruit. Not unlike Locke-Ober itself. I rated the wine 91 points, non-blind.
WineSpectator.com members: Read the original blind-tasting review for Domaine Tempier Bandol 2006 (90, $42).
• Get scores and tasting notes for more recently rated reds and rosés from the Bandol appellation.