Mixology this, Gastronomy that. Metro Boston is growing exponentially. From some of the most creative local minds in the city, to many national companies flooding what is now one of the hottest markets in the country, Boston truly is where it is all at.
We are living in the midst of an industrial revolution. With every new hi-rise, development or upcoming trendy neighborhood, one thing is apparent: more and more square footage is becoming available, and in turn the need for new, hipper ideas and concepts are being rolled out -not only to drive business-but as amenities within different living and work environments.
We live in a world of instant gratification, and uber, with a focus on the newest, the shiniest and the coolest. Fundamentally, however, no matter what the concept or idea there isn’t much difference between opening up a successful restaurant or throwing a good event.
You need four things: (1) Food, (2) Ambiance, (3) Beverage, (4) Service.
It doesn’t matter if you are a dive bar, a Michelin star French Bistro or a sandwich shop. There is a time, place and mood for everyone. I personally, enjoy seeing places, meeting people, having conversation understanding people’s interpretation of menu. A lot of blood, sweat (money),and tears go into building out a concept, maintaining a staple anchor in a neighborhood, or creating the perfect watering hole.
Here’s my quick guide with what’s evolving ina few of my favorite neighborhoods, and the spaces in those neighborhoods. What better way to taste the flavors of the world and be a part of our beautiful historic city’s pulse?
These are some of the hottest neighborhoods in the city, whether you like frolicking along the seaport hopping from place to place, or are on your way to Castle Island for a walk. There is a plethora of options and so many good ones that some will most certainly get left out (trust me the list goes on). Some of my favorites:
Backyard Betty’s: Is it a dive? Is it a fancy retro bar? It’s more like something in the middle. This fantastic spot in the heart of Broadway connecting the city and Southie focus on fun (instagrammable) delicious options. Try the Tailgate Platters on Gameday, Lush Puppy cocktails, and some of the best casual American grill dining around.
Committee: See, Taste and Be Scene. This sophisticated Greek meze spot has some of my favorites: Thirsty for something dark try the Great Scott! Something different to eat? Go for the Bao Gyro.This is always a great way to start the “Seaport shuffle”or simply finish the night with friends.
Greek history and folklore has always been based on the sea. The team at Committee flawlessly melds old world Greece with todays modernized Boston Seaport!
Outlook at The Envoy: A modern twist to traditional New England. Great cocktail bar with barrel aged Manhattans. Oh, and you’re one elevator ride away from one of the most photographed and scenie rooftops in the entire city, casting a shadow over the Boston TeaParty Museum in the warm months.
Stoddard’s: This 1920’s pre-prohibition establishment is a classic. Craft cocktails, Craft Beers, and 5 Cask Ales to boot. This is old world Boston at its finest. After work, pre-theater -or if you’re in the mood for a speakeasy vibe-try the Friday club’s new martini bar on the bottom floor. Conveniently sharing a little historic alleyway, you’ll naturally want to go to and from this next gem…
Yvonne’s: Dine and imbibe with truly some of the best-looking people in the city. This is where Presidents once lunched; and barflies, fashionistas, and suits all congregate for the most talked about and wonderful things to ever hit the Boston cocktail dining scene.
Chris Jameson sewed his oats on many projects prior to this, but this just maybe his Mona Lisa (or at least the beginning of his Renaissance). Which takes me to his latest creation…
Mariel: The latest masterpiece by the Jameson Coje group. Having just opened this autumn the place is already buzzing. Featuring Cuban themed grandiose, this restaurant is something out of big band Latin jazz era. I expected to see Ricky Ricardo come out and serenade us during dinner. Havana-nights curated by DJ’s will accentuate the vibe in the lounge with accordion doors separating it from the 140-seat, main dining room, which boasts striking chandeliers hanging from original, 23-foot ceilings, and graffiti-accented walls of original sandstone.
Mast’: SometimesI just want a damn good (Neapolitan) pizza, and a negroni. Well no one makes it better than Chef owner Marco Caputo. This small space off of Bromfield street, steps from the State House, is simple with the amazing wood fired pizza oven. This is the first Boston Restaurant to receive the Gambero Rosso Award for Top Italian Restaurant in the country!
Porto: Chef owner (and James Beard Award Winner) Jody Adams brings shared plates from every region of the Mediterranean. This high energy restaurant is right in the heart of BackBay and in the warmer months has one of the nicest patios overlooking the finish line of the Boston marathon.
Bar Boulud: The Best Monte Christo I have ever had. Think big cheesy lasagna with layers of ham and gruyere oozing all over the plate. Inside the Mandarin Oriental hotel, it a perfect spot to start the night or take a romantic date, especially if your heart desires an amazing chefs table.
Uni: Sashimi, sushi and cocktails -oh my!Ken Oringer & Tony Messina’s long-time staple inside the Elliot hotel is a must go to.The setting is perfect whether you want to indulge by yourself or go with a group of friends. The menu hits it out of the park with global street food, inspired small plates, innovative makimono, nigiri and sashimi, -all alongside craft cocktails and a wide-ranging sake program.
Ilona: Sexy. This place takes me back to some of the hip beautiful Toronto/Montreal euro inspired eateries. From the people who brought you “the most Greek” restaurant in town,Kava neo taverna, this swanky fusion of Mediterranean and Georgian cuisine not only hits the spot in taste, it heightens the senses visually. A comfortable, space with colorful teal couches and vibrant wall murals, this Mass Ave. gem at the gateway of theSouth End (complete with garage doors that offer a semi al fresco vibe)is amazing!