Bella Luna Restaurant & Milky Way Lounge, a winner of several ?Best of Boston? awards from The Improper Bostonian and Boston Magazine, and a 2013 winner of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce's Small Business of the Year award, is renowned for its upscale and creative twist on traditional Italian and American fare. Dig into gourmet pizzas, grilled Angus beef burgers, or flavorful entrees such as chicken piccata, grilled salmon, and the signature, Better Than Your Mama's Meatballs. Behind a U-shaped bar, bartenders craft signature cocktails and pour pints of American craft beers, including Allagash White, Harpoon IPA, and Left Hand Milk Stout.
The eatery is decorated with a subdued sci-fi theme, with dangling star lights, sparkly blue barstool cushions, and Martian bouncers. Try your hand at Ms. Pacman or MegaTouch, or listen to live music on select nights.
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.
Think Tank is an innovative "bistrotheque" boasting fresh, global comfort food and funky, danceable grooves. Launch your meal rocket with a starter from the dinner menu, such as crispy pork belly with smoked almonds, pea greens, and ginger apple butter ($9). The signature Korean barbecue Seoul burger is topped with egg, kimchi, and sriracha aioli ($10). Herbivores can slurp their way through flavorful green curry filled with assorted local veggies ($15).
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.