Experience Boitano’s Lounge
The perfect place to get hand-crafted cocktails and delicious appetizers in downtown Lincoln.
You don’t have to be an out-town-guest to take in Lincoln’s newest downtown boutique hotel, The Kindler Hotel. The venue’s Boitano’s Lounge, now featuring premium outdoor seating, is open to anyone looking for a fresh and sophisticated location to enjoy cocktails and appetizers. Locals are encouraged to stop by to experience the seasonally-changing menu developed by Brian Boitano, the world-renowned Olympic skater and Food Network star.
Our group popped in for our own little after-work happy hour on a warm afternoon in late July, so we selected a few drinks off of the Signature Summer Cocktail menu to cool us down. We appreciated the complimentary waters and house-made pub mix to nibble on while we waited for our orders to arrive. The outdoor lounge area is spacious, comfortable, clean, and the beautifully potted plants give it color and life. There is access to the inside lounge through a window wall that slides open, and a frosted-glass patio roof provides nice shade and a little bit of cover on rainy days. The tables actually light up to illuminate the space at night.
The Fresh Watermelon Margarita was definitely memorable—each sip is refreshing and the chili salt around the rim added a nice kick. Plus, we were big fans of the smooth Reposado Tequila which is also used in the Francisco cocktail. The 100th Meridian was a sweeter cocktail with a plum accent and the Strawberry Feels Forever really embodied the perfect summer drink with rum, lemon, and strawberry sage peppercorn syrup. For the Bloody Mary enthusiasts out there, you’ll be impressed Boitano’s adaptation. The right amount of Worcestershire is mixed well with the Wheatley Vodka, tomato juice, Truffle hot sauce, celery seed, and lemon for a refreshing balance of flavor. Boitano’s Bloody Mary comes with a skewer of salami, baby corn, and a cocktail onion and olive. We recommend letting those sink to the bottom and then eating them after they’ve had a chance to soak in the zest from the drink. The Frisky Husker is another house favorite—and it’s one of the best one’s to order as a mocktail if you don’t drink alcohol! An extensive wine and beer menu is available as well.
The cocktails are complemented by a well-rounded appetizer selection. Catering to eager taste buds, Boitano’s Charcuterie Platter is a cornucopia of sweet and savory. It serves up locally sourced ingredients on a beautiful olivewood board. We loved the pickled vegetables and thought all of the meats and cheeses were very fresh, especially the goat cheese and Nduja, which is a spreadable salami—a very interesting concept but it tasted amazing. The platter came with Le Quartier Focaccia and Rustic Bakery Artisan Crisps, which packed in a lot of flavor on their own. Cups of honey and red pepper relish were also provided.
A newer appetizer option that is stirring up a lot of hype is the Spread Trio. This one took us by surprise. Each of the three dips have a very unique personality. The White Bean with Caramelized Onion has an Earthy, natural taste; the Fiery Carrot takes the sweetness of a carrot and grounds it with seasonings and an olive garnish; and the Sun-dried Tomato with Feta is an absolute knock-out, giving a sophisticated spin to your favorite pizza sauce.
The variety continues with the Pork Sliders and the Beef Short Rib Flatbread. What stuck out about the Pork Sliders is the hint of pineapple and the crispiness from the coleslaw. We noted that you don’t have to be a fan of coleslaw to enjoy each juicy bite of these sliders. The Beef Short Rib Flatbread is hard not to love. The garden-fresh toppings go well with the braised beef and melted gouda, and the crust is toasted and chewy.
When it was time for dessert, we decided to move inside to admire the neo-classical architecture and distinctive, elegant decor. The Kindler’s Spicy Coffee Brownie is made for sharing. The spiciness comes in the aftertaste, but the sweet ice cream (from the UNL Dairy Store) tames it and melts in your mouth.
In a time when traveling isn’t the most ideal, we’re sure thankful for The Kindler Hotel because it’s the perfect spot for a little “staycation” right here in Lincoln. The staff truly cares about each individual who pays a visit, and they enjoy taking the time to get to know each guest to make sure their experience is heightened above all expectations.