Named after the face's smiling muscles, Les Zygomates—Boston magazine’s 2010 pick for Best Restaurant in the downtown/theater district neighborhoods—serves up French cuisine in authentic bistro ambiance inspired by its Parisian homeland. A skilled team of chefs and restaurateurs inspire joie de vivre on the eve of the new year with a three-course tasting menu that begins festivities with an elegant amuse-bouche and live jazz. For the first plate, diners have their pick of four options, including escargots en croute with a garlic-and-parsley butter or steak tartare with black truffle and a quail's egg purloined from a bewildered ostrich. After the intermezzo grapefruit sorbet refreshes taste buds, main plates present merrymakers with a quartet of choices. Chefs pan-sear scallops before trimming them in a Roman-style salsify with pernod and blood-orange gastrique or stuff guinea hens with a mix including dried fruits, brioche, sweet potato, and guinea-hen nesting dolls.
The practiced chefs at Buono Bistro have spent the last 30 years creating a mouthwatering menu of classic Italian comfort food jazzed up with a gourmet twist. In addition to their daily specials, they craft gnocchi gorgonzola, lobster ravioli, and wild-mushroom risotto from scratch. The expansive menu also includes such nonpasta specialties as braised-lamb osso buco and veal stuffed with provolone and prosciutto.
Basking in the glow of an ornate, glittering chandelier, guests can sip a handcrafted martini or a glass of bold wine. Though the food and decor are decidedly upscale, Buono Bistro keeps it low-key, offering diners a relaxed atmosphere akin to a billionaire's treehouse.
New Bedford Festival Theatre is devoted to musicals. Since 1990, they have entertained over 200,000 audience members with Broadway-style shows that span the genre's past and present. Staples such as Cats and The Producers balance lesser-known works such as La Cage aux Folles and The Producers 2: Playbill of Revenge to enrich the cultural knowledge of the public. And their efforts have not gone in vain. The New England Theatre Conference awarded New Bedford Festival Theatre the Moss Hart Award for its performances of Les Misérables and Hairspray.
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.”