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.
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.
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.
On a sprung bamboo floor, the dance instructors at Ancient Art Studios lead groups and individual students through routines in the various forms of belly dance. Inside the spacious and warmly hued studio, where large mirrors let visitors watch their body postures, staff members also hosts troupe rehearsals, special workshops, and recitals.
Within a vintage New England factory building, guests at RooBar drink and dine in a contemporary setting featuring exposed-steel beams, an open kitchen, and a custom-built wood-fired oven made of beach stone. The menu is made up of specialty burgers, pasta, and innovative dishes such as coffee- and wine-braised short ribs or scallop and bacon pizzas. And to complement these creative dishes, RooBar has cultivated a warm and inviting ambiance that Boston.com describes as “upscale, all right, but it feels more whimsical than snooty.”
Trumpets blare over the fairgrounds. As the king and queen ride through town, peasants and shopkeepers all kneel immediately, verbalizing praise and respects to their liege lord. Meanwhile, a man in shorts stands amid the crouching peasants eating a turkey leg the size of his arm as his kids tumble off the Jacob's ladder across the dirt road. This is but a snapshot of the special moments at King Richard's Faire, a renaissance festival that gathers period artisans, performers, and food merchants to celebrate the Age of Enlightenment along with visitors.
After a bit of practice throwing axes, visitors can stroll in optional costume to see fortunetellers, cobblers, and blacksmiths who have mastered ancient crafts. Knights ride to battle on the tourney field to win the king's and crowd's favor, and eight stages, a tournament field, and a mud pit bring in acts ranging from minstrels and jugglers to fire eaters and exotic animals.