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.”
Francophiles, oenophiles and jazz lovers adore Les Zygomates, a French wine bar/bistro in the Leather District that offers something for each kind of fan. The name of the restaurant roughly translates to “the muscles in the face that make you smile,” which it aims to inspire with its French cuisine, award-winning wine list and live jazz and blues performances offered most nights. The dinner prix-fixe three-course menu is a popular option, as are bistro standards like French onion soup, escargot with garlic butter and steak frites. The restaurant also has a popular raw bar with a changing roster of fresh seafood. One of the best deals is a dish composed of half a dozen oysters and clams, four shrimp and two crab claws. It is perfect for matching with a glass of wine or a creative cocktail like the Dead Can Dance.
The party-loving minds behind Yacht Party Cruises wanted a creative way for locals and tourists to explore a city's late-night atmosphere. Eventually they launched a fleet of luxury yachts into the waters of eight of North America's most lively urban waterfronts. On each vessel, festivities abound as DJs spin everything from hip-hop to Sinatra, inviting passengers to shake a leg in between trips to the full bar or buffet lined with hot appetizers. All yachts boast extravagant details such as wraparound decks, fireplaces, or a glass atrium that hangs above the dance floor offering dancers a direct view of the man in the moon's game of solitaire. Guests can also step onto the decks for fresh air or panoramic views of city's skyline.
The red-orange glow of smoldering coals only enhances the cozy, inviting vibe of Sheesha Lounge, a local hangout that recently earned a spot on CBS Boston's list of Allston?s Best Hookah Bars. It's not hard to find something to love about this place, whether it's the exposed brickwork and padded, pillow-lined banquettes or the fact that the lounge stays open as late as 2 a.m. The biggest draw, however, has to be the 35 different flavors of tobacco, which include rose, jasmine, vanilla, mint, and mountain spring water. As the fragrant, cloud-like wisps of smoke mingle in the air, guests can dine on sweet snacks that include cheesecake and baklava.
In Boston’s financial district rests Vintage Lounge, an American bistro with an extensive wine list that has earned the restaurant a Wine Spectator Award of Excellence every year since 2007. While perched on leather chairs in an amber-hued dining room, guests pair designer cocktails with sharable small plates and hearty entrees such as braised short ribs crowned with roasted shallots and acorn squash or hand-cut fettuccine in a bolognese sauce. A glowing candle-topped bar adds to the restaurant’s romantic atmosphere and helps diners celebrate overcoming their fear of shadow puppets.
Former Boston mayor James Michael Curley was known as a man of the people: charismatic, popular, and controversial. The same could be said at this restaurant that shares his name. jm Curley's menu is crowd-pleasing, but not without controversy. Case in point: the jelly donut, which is fried in bacon fat, filled with strawberry rhubarb, and glazed with foie gras. Need more examples? How about the organic hot pocket, made with grilled leeks, Vermont raclette, and tempura or the beet Doritos made with beet powder, citric acid, and corn tortillas. Of course, jm Curley is out to please all the people, so these eclectic offerings are balanced by more traditional dishes such as a 9-ounce natural angus burger or fried chicken with biscuits, both of which tread the middle ground in the culinary divide. Regardless of whether diners prefer their cuisine creative or conventional, all can come together over a beer. But even that may prove contentious, as jm Curley’s beer menu features more than 60 brews to choose from, including the chef’s private stock of Narragansett Cream and Genesee Cream Ale. Can’t decide? Just order a Manhattan or a hot toddy and save energy for more important debates, like deciding who has to carry the car home.