Though recently featured in a USA Today Travel article that praised its “astonishing” chow mein sandwich, Chan’s Fine Oriental Dining is known by locals for more than just its kitchen’s specialties. The restaurant also won a prestigious Keeping the Blues Alive award in 2011, and its world-famous jazz and blues performances have helped cement its self-proclaimed reputation as New England’s "home of eggroll, jazz, and blues."
Long before the sounds of horns and saxophones filled its halls, the New Shanghai Restaurant opened its doors in 1905. It was not until the mid-1960s, however, that the Chan family refurbished the Woonsocket landmark and began serving an innovative combination of Cantonese, Szechwan, Hunan, and Mandarin cuisines. Around this time, the Chans also brought in the live jazz and blues music that continues to fill the main dining area—known as the Horseshoe Bar Lounge—and the famous Four Seasons Jazz and Blues Club.
With its red paper lanterns, traditional Chinese artwork, and colorful paintings of musicians, the Four Seasons has played host to such legendary blues, jazz, and folk artists as Dizzy Gillespie and Rebecca Parris. A buffet spread accompanies musical performances, during which enthralled audiences watch as musicians pound eggrolls against snare drums or slide their hands along guitars strung up with slippery chow mein noodles.
The seasoned squad of musicians and stomach-swivelers at World Dance and Music Center can fortify the fitness and liberate the shackled hips of all body types and age levels. The multi-talented and multi-lingual Lola is an accomplished dancer who infuses her classes with emotion and an authentic Middle Eastern sensibility. Classes for all skill levels take place Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday evenings. Beginners Bellydance slows down the pace to cater to the never-danced, while Bellydance for Performance is geared toward the experienced motionista, covering proper costuming and stage presence. Bedecked with hardwood floors, a wall full of mirrors, and an elevated stage, the 3,600-square-foot studio gives ample space to promote tummies' uninhibited fluttering.
Bella Luna Restaurant & Milky Way Lounge, a winner of several ?Best of Boston? awards from The Improper Bostonian and Boston Magazine, and a 2013 winner of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce's Small Business of the Year award, is renowned for its upscale and creative twist on traditional Italian and American fare. Dig into gourmet pizzas, grilled Angus beef burgers, or flavorful entrees such as chicken piccata, grilled salmon, and the signature, Better Than Your Mama's Meatballs. Behind a U-shaped bar, bartenders craft signature cocktails and pour pints of American craft beers, including Allagash White, Harpoon IPA, and Left Hand Milk Stout.
The eatery is decorated with a subdued sci-fi theme, with dangling star lights, sparkly blue barstool cushions, and Martian bouncers. Try your hand at Ms. Pacman or MegaTouch, or listen to live music on select nights.
At Stoli Bar, waitresses walk by with trays of clinking vodka shots, bowls of warming borscht, and plates of potato latkes layered with house-smoked gravlax. Diners dig in to Russian dishes that borrow flavors from Ukrainian and French cuisine, such as the salmon kulebyaka—a puff pastry filled with salmon, julienne vegetables, and red caviar. Each dish is artfully presented on a white rectangular plate, which highlights the shape and texture of the food without surrounding it with distracting sparklers.
At Stix & Stones, pool tables take center stage?you can show off your billiard skills during the 8-ball and 9-ball tournaments that take place every Sunday at this Abington bar. But the food is a nice side dish to the competition, as the kitchen cooks juicy burgers, crispy french fries, meatball subs, and more. After sinking the eight ball, players can refuel with a cold pint of beer or a glass of wine while watching sports or Extreme Knitting on TV.