As a child, Jason Litalien watched Cheers with his dad; even then, he knew that in the future he wanted to open a neighborhood sports bar inspired by the hit television show's signature watering hole. Duty came first, though; Jason enlisted in the United States Air Force and served for 13 years, keeping his dream alive all the while. Three years ago, he returned from service and opened The Frosty Pint, a friendly pub decorated with Boston sports memorabilia, including a neon Celtics sign and framed Red Sox and Tom Brady jerseys. Cooks curate a menu of American favorites such as chicken wings drenched in teriyaki or thai honey sauce, jalapeño poppers, and deep-fried baseballs. Bartenders, meanwhile, fill glasses with 20 types of draft beer, pour a handful of wines, and mix spirits into cocktails. The Frosty Pint also has an outdoor seating area with umbrellas to protect them from the elements.
Live music floats over the din of conversation and toasting pint glasses at Irish Twins Pub while chefs prepare classic bar bites in the kitchen. Onion rings fried in Guinness batter kick off the menu, which also includes buffalo chicken salads, Reuben sandwiches, pizzas, and subs stuffed with bangers, or savory irish sausages. Soft drinks and a collection of beers complement each dish, poured into 22-ounch imperial pint glasses, or 16-ounce American-style glasses.
The 200-seat Fantail Pub is a clam's throw from Frenchman Bay, trickling into the cool waters of the Atlantic Ocean. It's easy to spot with its parasol-lined veranda, housing what Fantail staff call "The Lobster Pound"—a light-catching fish tank where patrons can pick their own live Maine lobster to be sautéed in butter, or they can opt for a pre-chosen lobster for quesadillas and gooey mac ‘n’ cheese In the dining room, lights hang like overturned martini glasses over two 8-foot billiards tables, each covered with red felt. Bar-side flat-screen TVs display NFL Sunday Ticket games, letting patrons watch as many as three games at a time as they quaff beers. After two-handing a burger with pulled pork, patrons can admire the Fantail's wall mural, which shows rippling currents, a color-drenched sunset, and an astronaut falling from space in the background.
A community-oriented coffeehouse and wine bar, The Local Buzz serves a morning, evening, and kids' menu of pastries, paninis, appetizers, and locally made baked goods. Pair a trio of nuts ($2.50), including organic nori and curry and maple cashews, with the hummus-, pita-, and olive-laden Mediterranean platter ($7.50) for a perfect midafternoon or early mid-dusk snack. Select a sip of tea or java from Coffee by Design or adopt an of-age quaff from diverse drink lists of wines and locally brewed beer. The Local Buzz plays host to a variety of events, making it an ideal destination for a lively family outing, an intimate evening date, or a hair-raising combination of both.
Bonos Pizzeria Grille puts its own gourmet spin on Italian culinary tradition. In an open kitchen, executive chef Anthony Guerriero and his team use local ingredients to craft specialties such as slow-braised short ribs with pappardelle, fingerling potatoes, and peas, and juicy burgers crowned with Boursin cheese and wine-poached pears. They also layer pizzas with specialty toppings such as fig jam and hand-picked lobster before firing the pies over flaming Maine hardwoods. A children’s menu offers kid-friendly options like peanut butter and jelly pizza.
Every day is different at Standard Gastropub. Every day, its chefs dream up new twists for their menu, putting a gourmet touch on pub favorites and infusing global flavors into classic street foods. In the past, that's meant fresh maple bacon glazed donuts, Asian-fusion burritos, schnitzel coated in pork rinds, and crispy egg rolls stuffed with duck confit and goat cheese. The day's short yet captivating menu depends largely on what tickles the chefs' culinary imaginations and what was in the fridge that morning, as well as what ingredients they can source from local vendors.
Standard Gastropub does have a few constants. Its casual interior contains an open kitchen and robin's-egg-blue picnic tables that make for quirky seating options. Against the wall is a large refrigerator with glass doors, which look in on uncommon wines and more than 200 beers from across America. Further proving the team considers beverages to be more than an afterthought is a selection of craft sodas and coffee from Tandem Coffee Roasters.