The practiced chefs at Buono Bistro have spent the last 30 years creating a mouthwatering menu of classic Italian comfort food jazzed up with a gourmet twist. In addition to their daily specials, they craft gnocchi gorgonzola, lobster ravioli, and wild-mushroom risotto from scratch. The expansive menu also includes such nonpasta specialties as braised-lamb osso buco and veal stuffed with provolone and prosciutto.
Basking in the glow of an ornate, glittering chandelier, guests can sip a handcrafted martini or a glass of bold wine. Though the food and decor are decidedly upscale, Buono Bistro keeps it low-key, offering diners a relaxed atmosphere akin to a billionaire's treehouse.
After manning grills for 15 years as the executive chef at Plaza III steak house, Salvi Salama took the reigns at Mogador Restaurant. Since then, he has helped to design and prepare a menu that fuses contemporary American and traditional Mediterranean influences. Each dish features local produce, naturally raised meats, and sustainable seafood whenever possible, lending vibrant and fresh flavors to entrees such as lamb tagine or pesto-crusted halibut with tomato harissa sauce.
Split into a dining room and a lounge area, the restaurant keeps diners entertained by hosting live music and belly dancing throughout the week. The performances fill the earth-toned space, which incorporates rich, gleaming woods, intricate wrought-iron dividers, and cushioned banquettes.
Situated at the core of Davis Square, Diva Indian Bistro brims with the aromas of a menu that borrows from the culinary traditions of regions from Bangalore to Bombay. Beneath a bubbly goldenrod ceiling that looks like a collection of soft-lit skylights, patrons settle onto plump black benches to munch samosas and peruse offerings of lamb, seafood, beef, and tandoori dishes soaked in the warmth of the traditional clay oven. Saffron- and cardamom-scented basmati rice stars in biryani dishes, and dosas, a type of crepe crafted from rice and lentils, enclose chicken or veggie fillings alongside coconut chutney and lentil soup. The wall behind Diva’s bar mimics the ceiling’s rectangular bubble pattern in white, with a long row of blue glass bottles bisecting the surface. High black and chrome chairs slide up to the brushed-silver bar, where patrons murmur over cocktails and ice clicks occasionally like a tap dancer having a nice dream.
Combining her love of art and travel, Deb Colburn created Nomad to provide local homebodies and world-weary backpack buffs alike an opportunity to explore and purchase unique collections of clothing, jewelry, textiles, art, and home furnishings from around the world. Nomad is a supporter of eco-friendly clothing and fair-trade goods, often purchasing items directly from artisans. Pillage through a profusion of vibrant clothing to discover fashionable, one-of-a-kind sweaters or blouses, or pretend to be Bihari royalty with ornate ear adornments from the wide selection of domestic and international trinkets. Consider adorning a living-room shrine or baby's room with a piece of global folk art, such as a Día de los Muertos skull or a colorful, screaming dragon.
At Stoli Bar, waitresses walk by with trays of clinking vodka shots, bowls of warming borscht, and plates of potato latkes layered with house-smoked gravlax. Diners dig in to Russian dishes that borrow flavors from Ukrainian and French cuisine, such as the salmon kulebyaka—a puff pastry filled with salmon, julienne vegetables, and red caviar. Each dish is artfully presented on a white rectangular plate, which highlights the shape and texture of the food without surrounding it with distracting sparklers.
Jazz has had many homes over the years. Born in the South, moving to New Orleans and Chicago, and a world traveler in its old age, the musical form brings to mind myriad influences. Darryl’s Corner Bar & Kitchen is inspired by the storied musical form, from its lively cuisine to its song-filled atmosphere. Live jazz musicians coax classic strains and improvised notes from their instruments Tuesday through Sunday, drawing from every chapter of the genre’s varied history. Chefs riff on the bluesy style with a delectable menu of Southern eats, from crispy cheese grits with shrimp to fried chicken atop buttermilk waffles. The club’s vibrant lights and exposed-brick walls call to mind some of the most renowned jazz bars to be found in New Orleans or Chicago. To enhance this antique-nightclub atmosphere, bartenders whip up a lineup of craft cocktails while referring to their patrons as “hot chick” or “cool Felis catus.”