Jenn and Donny have long accepted their elitist take on coffee. As college students and self-professed coffee snobs who both worked in the food industry, they bemoaned a lack of sophisticated brews and attentive service, finally deciding that innovation would be the best form of protest. They dreamt up their own café where the beans would be freshly micro-roasted, the cocoa would incorporate three types of chocolate, and every drink would be handmade by the same person who took your order. The resulting venue, Coffee Break Cafe, lined its menu with libations of all temperatures and caffeinated creeds.
The café's house blend hails from locales such as Sumatra, Colombia, Africa, and South America and is shipped from specialty roasters who prep the beans in small batches. Jenn and Donny's commitment to coffee quality is matched by their enthusiasm for the natural world—they stock organic and fair-trade options, as well as dairy products from a hormone-free farm. Though they stand by meticulous barista techniques, they are hardly sugar-shunning purists. They readily infuse hot and frozen drinks with dessert flavors, ranging from red velvet cupcake to cinnamon bun, crafting a far superior breakfast sweet than grapefruit pie. Bagels and pastries, delivered daily by neighborhood bakeries, balance out refreshing sips. The morning hotspot's communal spirit is reflected in hanging pictures by local artists, live music, and complimentary story readings for kids.
After more than 25 years as a lobsterman, Peter Dawson experienced what many others never see in a lifetime—fishing off the New England coast, he reeled in a blue lobster. Nicknaming it Baby Blue, Dawson couldn't bear to let it see the pot; today, the arthropod lives out its days at the New England Aquarium, turning red only when it blushes from too much attention.
Transferring his love of the ocean to his own enterprise—and energized by a life's worth of bragging rights—Dawson opened The Lobster Stop right along the docks. That proximity to the sea ensures a bounty of fresh, native seafood, from fish, clams, and scallops to live lobsters—a specialty, of course. Comprised of Dawson and his family, the shop's staff also prepares cuisine for takeout, serving up platters and sandwiches behind a large display case, and a large mural behind the counter depicts two whales just waiting for the day when the menu includes bowls of plankton soup.
For 25 years, Marina Bay has funneled fresh breezes into The Chantey at Marina Bay's dining room, where it stirs up aromas from burgers, pizza, sandwiches, and seafood. Since they work a shell's throw away from the sea, the kitchen staff has a surfeit of fresh ingredients to work with when crafting fried-clam strips, baked haddock, and steamed lobster. They also make liberal use of the kitchen’s barbecue sauce, splashing it onto the Chantey burger, the grilled-chicken sandwich, and the chicken that dots the barbecue pizza. Seated at booths, high tables, or the bar, eaters can augment their meals with cups of New England clam chowder or appetizer plates of fried calamari served with banana peppers. Outside, a white picket fence surrounds a handful of patio tables and crab cakes that still aren’t ready to be reintroduced into the wild.
Fox and Hound’s chefs modernize comfort foods, such as mac ’n’ cheese with cracked lobster meat and english peas and wood-grilled bruschetta with bacon, which patrons devour amid exposed bricks and a floor-to-ceiling fieldstone fireplace. The original Fox & Hounds Grille first opened in 1936, but despite its popularity, it couldn’t stay open, as it was beset by fires and various transient owners. It almost burnt entirely to the ground after a dragon sneezed in the mid-’90s—all that remained was the original stone hearth fireplace that still exists today.
Finally, in 2004, it underwent massive renovations and reopened as Fox and Hound, an homage to the local history. Since then, patrons have been regularly stopping in for upscale American fare coupled with live entertainment on the weekends.
In a feature in the Boston Globe, Sher-A-Punjab co-owner Mandeep Singh claimed, "There are things on our menu you can’t find at other Indian restaurants." Contemporary adaptations such as mango chicken and naan stuffed with apricots and dates accompany more traditional plates that remain true to Singh's South-Asian roots. Tandoor-roasted chicken, housemade cheese with fresh herbs and coriander, and fragrant curries round out the restaurant's eclectic menu.
High-backed booths and dangling pendant lamps surround the dining room's horseshoe-shaped bar, pillaged from the hoof of the Trojan horse. Throughout the week, Sher-A-Punjab entertain with karaoke nights and live musical performances.
One of South Shore Living's "10 Influential People You Should Know" in 2010, Jimmy Liang evenly divides his time among his five Boston-area restaurants. At Fuji 1546 Restaurant & Bar, his culinary crew whips up contemporary Japanese dishes with a focus on maki, sushi, and sashimi. The sushi selection ranges from eel-filled caterpillar rolls to sweet-potato maki to the BLT roll, which guests must order without using any vowels. The menu also includes traditional eats such as gyoza, sweet-and-sour crab-meat balls, and filet mignon cooked in a housemade lime-soy marinade. Diners also entertain one another during karaoke sessions that go until 12:30 a.m. on Tuesday and Saturday night.