When Simon and Jennifer Sousa opened Adagio Piano Lounge, they thought music would be the focus. That's why they planned to offer only a short menu of appetizers and drinks. But with Jennifer's mother, Lucy, in the kitchen, food became much more than an afterthought; her dishes garnered praise from patrons as well as The Herald News. Visitors can devour steamed littleneck clams in garlic sauce, chicken marsala, or Portuguese steak while live bands or dueling pianists perform in the background. Bartenders mix martinis and pitchers of sangria to pair with sumptuous entrees.
The chefs at Tap House Grille wrap bacon around meatloaf, top hand-formed Angus beef patties with guacamole and roasted chilies, and put inventive spins on classic American dishes. In the dining room, flatscreen televisions hang above tufted banquettes and a handsome wooden bar keeps more than 50 bottled beers and 24 rotating drafts chilled. On Friday and Saturday nights, live music, comedy acts, and Simon Says tournaments entertain patrons, and a complimentary valet service babysits patrons’ cars.
TRIO Cafe & Lounge is the brainchild of brothers Tony and Paul Rodrigues and their childhood friend, Brian Carvalho. The trio sought to replicate a European-style eatery and lounge in Massachusetts, complete with chic decor, contemporary cuisine, and innovative cocktails. Abstract art speckles the walls of each location's sleek space, where diners sit on cushy couches and clink glasses of sangria over raw oysters and peppercorn-encrusted steaks.
Under the ownership of Federal Hill native Christopher Conti, Blush Winebar pours half and full glasses from hundreds of red, white, and sparkling libations. The upscale watering hole offers more than 100 wines by the glass, each with its own distinct flavor notes and secret cheese crush. A champagne bar highlights the bubbly beverage with glasses, full bottles, and three-flute samplers as well as a selection of champagne-based cocktails, such as the Blush Boom Boom, a mixture of Moët champagne, pomegranate liqueur, Grand Marnier, and orange juice. Executive chef Jacen Scungio blends fresh, local ingredients to create the flatbread pizzas, sliders, and handmade pastas that populate the wine bar’s tapas menu and keep hungry imbibers from trying to stomp their wines back into grapes.
McFaddens Restaurant and Saloon combines the warm atmosphere and decadent fare of a family restaurant with the all the rowdy good times of an old-fashioned saloon. In the dining room, the wait staff shuffles around plates of classic fare for both lunch and dinner, including Black Angus burgers, roasted vegetable flatbread pizzas, and slow-roasted prime rib, with a few treats for kids, such as grilled-cheese sandwiches, cheeseburger sliders, and ice-cream pie for dessert. After dark, the bar comes alive with trivia and karaoke on Wednesday nights, supplemented by liquid courage in the form of beer towers and Ciroc ultra-premium vodka. Weekends start on Thursday with a live DJ and wrap up on Sunday with game-day specials during NFL games and professional rock-paper-scissor smack downs.
Star of India hampers hunger with an authentic menu stocked with the rich flavors and exotic spices of the Subcontinent. Start the foodie festivities with an appetizer of onion bhaji, which features tearfully tempting slices of onion fried in chickpea batter ($8), or begin by shepherding your taste buds toward a pair of lamb samosas ($6) or a bevy of bread breeds that includes seven different types of naan. Tandoori chicken ($13) and tandoori shrimp ($22) are both marinated in yogurt, herbs, and spices before being cooked in a tandoor—a specialized clay oven kept at 800 degrees to match the temperature of the human mouth. Herbivores can veg out on channa masala, a mouth-watering mélange of garbanzo beans, tomatoes, and onions ($13), and fishivores can aim their scrimshaw dentures at fish vindaloo, which combines mahi-mahi with potatoes in a tongue-tazing sauce ($19). Each location possesses the flavor-customization technology to adjust its crave-worthy curries to individual specifications, ensuring that the menus are suited for everyone from unfazable fire eaters to mild-tongued spice sissies.