Guests arriving to the Sheraton Needham Hotel might find their senses flooded with the aromas of classic American cuisine. The enticing smells come courtesy of Link Caf? & Bar, located just off the main lobby. There, chefs concoct a range of house specialties, from grilled chicken wings doused in teriyaki or chipotle barbecue sauce to flatbreads topped with figs and goat cheese or prosciutto and pears. Pub-inspired large plates such as English-style bangers and roasted salmon with mustard-chive sauce are hearty enough to sate any appetite, and make a perfect pairing for one of the bar's classic cocktails. Link Caf? & Bar also offers top-quality wines by the glass or flight, and each vintage on its compact, international list was chosen because it earned a high score from Wine Spectator and also aced the essay portion of its application.
Tom Yum Koong's chefs build on traditional Thai recipes to load their menu with exciting and eclectic ingredients ranging from tangerines and mango to wild boar and squid. Sugar and spice join forces to season the thick sauce simmering in the black-pepper-mango curry ($10.95), a flavorful bowl of vegetables and cashews mixed with a choice of meat. A medley of seameats such as mussels and squid sizzle in the Phuket fried rice ($10.95), and the fantasy tilapia ($13.95) takes time off from reading J.R.R. Tolkien to glide out of the kitchen atop a bed of veggies simmering in chili sauce. Basil leaves join peppers, onion, and pork in a skittering dance across the skillet in the pan-fried wild-boar basil ($9.95). Fresh-fish cravings recede at the sushi bar to prevent persistent urges to trawl through exhibits at the local aquarium.
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.
With its stylish, laid back lounge atmosphere and its menu of casually upscale comfort food, Social Restaurant & Bar is the perfect spot to be just that?social. Velvet chairs and leather-backed booths, smoldering in a ripe shade of berry, ensconce friends in hip comfort as they peruse the brunch, lunch, and dinner menus. Groups collaborate on appetizers, like brie fondue and tableside-seared sirloin, while individuals might order goat cheese flatbreads and rare yellowfin tuna. No detail is left to chance at this hidden gem, whether it's part of the design or the meal, and the result is a destination conducive to intimate dates, private events, and those moments in life when you're trying to convince someone you're a hot-dog-bun tycoon.