Bars in Newton

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Charley's invites diners to taste a sprawling menu that features American classics such as steaks, seafood, and salads. Hand-cut french fries are served alongside burgers piled with bacon, crisp fried onions, and enormous pickle slices. As forks and knives dig into steaks forged from USDA choice beef, aged a minimum of four weeks, a wine list details more than 60 different wines available in bottles and glasses, instead of a server’s boots. During weekend mornings, brunch details specialties such as thick-cut french toast, filet-mignon benedict, and corned-beef hash, served with spicy bloody marys, mimosas, or champagne.

199 Boylston St
Chestnut Hill,
MA
US

Soft live jazz music fills B Street Restaurant & Bar while servers deliver platters such as pumpkin hummus with grilled naan, wild mushroom ravioli, and glasses of rosé sangria from the full bar. This confluence of cuisine, libations, and music has attracted the attention of Metro magazine. Proprietor and host Elli "Ellen" Kaplansky, credits her grandmothers for instilling in her a passion for food. She fuses this passion with her work experiences with celebrity chefs Todd English and Jody Adams when she chooses her menu of signature dishes such as the 10-ounce char-grilled burger with Vermont cheddar and skillet potatoes.

She also adds inventive twists to entrees such as the pan-seared local cod entree with fire-roasted tomatoes and fresh corn risotto, or the fire-grilled lamb chops with a balsamic cherry glaze. The dining area's cozy booths, tall tables, and a curved bar in tones of brown, orange, and red add warmth to the atmosphere, and the restaurant adds warmth to the community by reaching out to partner with local charities both financially and with a poker stick that stretches several city blocks.

796 Beacon St
Newton,
MA
US

Aaron Mateychuk, head brewer at Watch City Brewing Company, makes playful twists to time-tested beer styles, earning his pub accolades and press mentions including a three-year streak of awards at the Great International Beer Festival. The stolid Titan ale is a balanced American brown ale, and the vivid Hops Explosion IPA employs a backbone of malt to keep a covey of hops in check. A posse of seasonal beers allows the brewer to keep experimenting by crafting citrusy summer ales to match cascades of sunshine and autumnal pumpkin brews the deep red-brown of changing leaves. Mateychuk also tracks down various strains of European yeast to create limited-run series, which in the past have included abbey-style Belgian beers and German-style lagers.

Inside the bright brewpub, servers carry upscale pub fare to a wall of wooden booths and benches exactly like those used in professional sitting competitions. Surrounded by vintage beer posters and paintings, patrons dine on pulled-pork tacos, housemade crab cakes, and reubens on pretzel rolls. The kitchen integrates beer into dishes such as the IPA-infused lamb burger and a deep-fried burger wrapped in beer batter and topped with chipotle-lime mayo.

256 Moody St
Waltham,
MA
US

The Shanghai Social Club fashioned to conjure a classic 1920s speakeasy, but with a twist?in addition to bootleg whiskey and old-fashioneds, you can order fishbowl-sized drinks, which come filled with rum, honey, and exotic fruit juices. It's just one of the ways this stylish Asian restaurant melds old-fashioned sophistication with a carefree, tiki-bar vibe, an atmosphere that helped Zagat named it one of the hottest restaurants in Boston.

The restaurant's menu draws inspiration from traditional dinner entrees and streetside vendors in Shanghai. Bite into a steamed bun filled with gingery pork belly or crispy chicken skin, or dig into steaming noodles topped with Peking duck. Specialty dishes range from savory Mongolian beef to sweet honey shrimp. Meanwhile, the low-key decor?low lights, Buddhist statues, and colorful cushions?does little to distract from the cuisine.

1277 Commonwealth Ave
Allston,
MA
US

For Chef Alex Zarifan, freestyle is not a type of swimming stroke or genre of music. It's a culinary method, one that encourages experimentation and multiple flavorful influences on the menu at 404 Tapas Bar and Lounge. Alex looks to New American and French traditions when crafting 404's signature tapas, but they often end up in an entirely new category.

Diners might not know how to classify spicy buffalo meatballs or tomato-infused lamb sausage, but they'll definitely know how to eat them. A selection of larger plates are available, too?slices of swordfish, seafood paella, and roasted Cornish hen are a few available entrees. Desserts include deep-fried Oreos, which are a far more professional version of microwaved Oreos.

404 Harvard Street
Brookline,
MA
US

Matt Murphy’s Pub

Matt Murphy’s Pub has authenticity down, from the Irish bartenders, to the live folk music to the soda bread, shepherd’s pie, and oxtail soup. “It’s food you would find in Irish farmhouse kitchens,” said the Boston Globe in a 2005 review that also named the pub Boston’s most authentic Irish restaurant. Of course, the real test of an Irish pub's authenticity is its drink menu. Along with on-tap brews directly from the Emerald Isle—Magner’s Cider, Guinness—the staff has created cocktails like the Immigrant, a spicy glass of mango-infused whiskey, and the Wee Donkey, which gets its kick from tequila, amaretto, and orange juice.

14 Harvard St
Brookline,
MA
US