The Hilltop Hits Bottom

The Hilltop Steakhouse, certainly one of the most bizarre theme restaurants in Boston history, served its final meals today. Here’s a NY Times story about it from the peak years:

And here’s the farewell from today’s paper:

I’m dry-eyed. Went there a total of maybe four times in 36 years. As sort of a Goofy Event In Itself, the Hilltop could be fun (a bachelor party hosted my most enjoyable visit). However — I didn’t own a car for many, many years and when I had one, the Steakhouse was not the first destination to come to mind; the Western-theme exotica was a lot more old hat to me than for Boston people; most important, if you grew up eating Montana beef, the steaks were poor in both flavor and texture. The consensus is that the place quickly went to Hades after the founding family sold it (part of the deal was that all the primary members of the family could eat there free for the rest of their lives). But I’d shut the door on it years earlier.

2 thoughts on “The Hilltop Hits Bottom

  1. I ate there once. For that matter I probably ate at every restaurant on that stretch of Rte. 1 (and usually just once). I remember the long lines and how efficiently they herded us into what must have been dozens of dining rooms. Remember that they had a reputation serving such large quantities that you could get a couple extra meals out of the leftovers, and that everyone there left with doggie bags — a practice I recall as far more common in Boston than anywhere else I’ve lived, and especially endemic to Rte. 1. Don’t remember the food at all.

  2. “Herded” has come up a lot, understandably, in reminiscences of the Hilltop. I wondered if people weren’t being funneled into a trough for the Mares of Diomedes. Would only be just, really.

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