Monday, August 2, 2010

Noir Bar and The Amazing Dr. Clitterhouse (1938) Cocktail

After Kevin, Carlos and I saw The Lusty Men (1952) at the Harvard Film Archive, we headed off to Noir bar at the Charles Hotel in Harvard Square. They were going to have a Mad Men Season 4 premiere event the following night which Carlos and I would have to miss but I had always been meaning to check out the place so off we went.

Noir bar is a classic film lover's dream come true. The bar has a cool, dark ambiance which makes it's name apropos. There is always a classic film playing on the wall. When we visited a Dick Tracy film was being shown (the waitress couldn't tell us which one). The film is shown on mute and against a wall with slats. It's not meant to watch, just to add to the mystique. Best of all, the Noir bar's menu has a selection of cocktails named after films.

To my surprise and utter delight, they had a drink named after one of my favorite films: The Amazing Dr. Clitterhouse (1938). What a random film to chose! The cocktail consists of Bombay dry gin, Green Chartreuse, Grapefruit Juice, Basil and Champagne. I almost didn't get the drink because I have an aversion to basil. However, where else in the entire world would I get a drink named after this movie? Probably no where. So that's what I ordered.

The Amazing Dr. Clitterhouse (1938) stars Edward G. Robinson and Humphrey Bogart. Here is the trailer:

This film is a running joke because the name Clitterhouse suggests "clitoris". In fact, Humphrey Bogart was known to have pointed out the similarity between the surname of the character and the part of the female genitalia. 

As I suspected, the basil overpowered the otherwise delicious drink. I fished some of it out to make it more palatable for me. Kevin had a Black Dahlia cocktail which was delicious. 

Here we are at Noir bar!

I highly recommend The Amazing Dr. Clitterhouse. In fact, I've personally to several people including Kevin who is currently holding my VHS copy hostage. The film is available on DVD as part of Warner Gangsters Collection Vol. 4. It's shown on TCM on a semi-regular basis. Also, it's going to be part of the super sexy Humphrey Bogart set that's due out in the Fall.


  1. ooh that place sounds too cool! I'd love to see the whole movie playing-slat thing. Sounds neat!

  2. The bar sounds amazing!! I've always had a fantasy about opening a Hitchcock themed restaurant, and even have a list of dishes that are puns on his film titles.

    I'm so glad I'm not the only one who thinks that about the Clitterhouse movie title. I've always thought that was pretty funny :)

  3. I dunno. Seems a noir bar should be dark, smoke filled and mostly filled with quiet drinkers who never drink drinks with funny names. It's mostly shots and beer.

    The bartender is older, perhaps with a wrinkled face and he's not adverse to tossing you out of the place if you get too cute. And, no movies, no music - unless it's a blonde torch singer.

  4. Thank you for visiting us at Noir!

    We're so happy to hear that you enjoyed your the decor, drink list, and film selection.

    We look forward to welcoming you back and maybe even seeing you at one of our Mad Men Sundays.

    Thank you,
    ~Elizabeth Stefan
    E-Marketing Manager
    The Charles Hotel

  5. Sarah - I wish I could have taken a picture, but it was too dark in there. It added really well to the ambiance of the place.

    Kate - That needs to be a post. I want to hear what is on the menu for the Hitchcock restaurant!

    Will - I think that can only exist in the past, especially since, at least in Massachusetts, it's prohibited to smoke indoors.

    Elizabeth - Thank you! I'll definitely be back for more Noir Bar and perhaps a viewing of Mad Men.


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