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 adobo chicken, cod picatta, 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.
Music director Lewis Buckley headed the U.S. Coast Guard band and conducted several prominent New England symphonies before landing at the Metropolitan Wind Symphony, which has been tickling eardrums with woodwind, brass, and percussion concerts since 1971. "An ACB Preview" celebrates the 75-member symphony's invitation to play at the 2012 annual conference of the Association of Concert Bands with a sampling of the program they'll perform for a national audience. The concert kicks off with Percy Grainger's Lincolnshire Posy, which recasts six English folk songs as lush, wind-powered melodies free of interrupting Robin Hoods. Principal oboist Elana Lorance takes charge in James Kessler's Hudson River Rhapsody and a new transcription of Gershwin's An American in Paris ends the evening with Gallic-via-Broadway aplomb. Starting at 1:30 p.m., a preconcert talk by maestro Buckley unveils some of the music's hidden features and lets uncertain ears nuzzle the score.
What began 24 years ago as a sports bar with five TVs and a massive satellite dish has blossomed into a mecca for fans of Boston sports teams and lovers of hearty pub fare. Visitors to Coolidge Corner Clubhouse watch year-round hockey, baseball, pro and college football, and basketball on 25 LCD screens while feasting on 16-ounce burgers, savory pastas, and tender morsels of barbecue pork, chicken, and shrimp. Patrons also sip frosty craft beers on draft or potent cocktails and martinis as they share plates of chicken wings and nachos, or piled-high deli sandwiches and wraps.
A light-hearted celebration of Boston sportsdom permeates the restaurant, with its burgers and wraps named for famous athletes and the multiple screens showing area college and professional games. On the walls, framed photos commemorate Boston's proudest sports moments, such as a floor-to-ceiling print of Adam Vinatieri's famous 45-yard kick during the “Snow Bowl” and an iconic photograph of Ted Williams defending his graduate thesis, “On Hitting the Baseball Really, Really Hard to Make It Go Pretty Far.”
Like Mr. Rogers dressed in a banana-yellow zoot suit, American Craft's menu gives comfy American fare a tasty artisanal twist. Each of its appetizers ($8–$11) conceals a variety of inspired tastes, from the butternut-squash risotto to the pulled-duck hash with root veggies. Fresh salads and a trifecta of soups (du jour, oven-roasted tomato, and onion) will appease dainty diners, though they also go really well with a build-your-own burger of beef, turkey, or veggie served on a hi-rise challah roll with hand-cut fries or mixed greens. Once all the palate's previews have played, it's time for the main movie: American Craft's heartier plates include a grilled flat-iron steak au poivre with grilled asparagus and gorgonzola mashed potatoes, a veggie-friendly grilled tofu steak with broccoli rabe, and stout-braised short ribs with whipped potatoes. Entrees range between $14 and $24, and sandwiches are $9 to $12.