It’s a good thing that firemen no longer sleep upstairs at Ladder 133 Sports Bar & Grill, as they would surely be awakened by the boisterous cheers that follow every Red Sox homerun broadcast across the sports bar’s 18 high-definition TVs. Built in 1902 as the Douglas Avenue Fire Station, the bar pays homage to its rich history with antique furnishings and a menu headlined by Firehouse wings that range from the routine Firefighter to the blazing Deputy Chief. The station’s original woodwork remains above the bar, and the turn-of-the-century firefighters’ dressers have been converted into service tables. The bar itself—a solid mahogany relic of the 1800s—hosts taps for more than 10 draft beers and converts into a hot sauce slip’n’slide after local teams’ victories.
A traditional Irish pub, Shannon View Inn serves up Emerald Isle classics such as shepherd’s pie along with a selection of 24 frothy craft beers on tap. The kitchen also dishes out build-your-own burgers and gourmet bar snacks such as fried pickles with chipotle sauce. For brunch, inventive ingredients such as jalapeños or sautéed spinach amp up eggs benedict, and traditional Irish breakfast bounces palates back across the pond with grilled tomatoes, bangers, and two rashers of bacon.
Village Italian Deli & Meats satiates cravings for handheld meals with a menu of hot and cold subs. Cold options include the tangy buffalo-chicken salad and the pepperoni-and-cheese sub, and warmer offerings lean toward Italian-inspired sandwiches loaded with meatballs and peppers or eggplant parmesan.
Liv Restaurant & Lounge's culinary magicians conjure up an awesomely aromatic collection of authentic Italian dishes artfully crafted out of house-made ingredients. Jump-start appetites with starters such as the crispy fried smelts with hot peppers and garlic-aioli sauce ($5–$9) before matching mandibles against bounteous portions of pasta plucked from a bowl of linguini and clams ($8–$14). A prosciutto-and-mozzarella pizza ($8–$10) can be shared between romantic twosomes or platonic partners, and entrees such as the chicken-and-veal marsala ($12–$18) silence noisy stomachs before they bellow like Pavarotti after stubbing his big toe. Bringing meals to a sweet conclusion, six deep-fried Oreos surround scoops of vanilla ice cream topped with whipped cream and hot fudge to form a culinary curtain call.
At Pearl Restaurant & Lounge, diners might find themselves twirling pasta around forks or trapping sushi rolls between chopsticks. Both eating styles are represented in the eclectic menu, which showcases inventive forays into Italian and Asian cuisines. There's pizzas piled with prosciutto and mesclun greens, raviolis stuffed with lobster, and pan-seared pork dumplings ripe for dipping into a spicy Szechuan sauce. And to model the food, there's also two types of dining atmospheres: a romantic outdoor terrace or elegant blue-lit dining room. Following meals, you need only step into the lounge area for a little nightlife; live music fills the 18,000-square-foot space on Friday and Saturday nights until 2 a.m. with the sounds of jazz, low-key beats, and Muzak renditions of the chicken dance.
Few things go better together than crispy appetizers, beefy burgers, and beer, a recipe that L.A. Bailey's has mastered. The casual bar and grill couples familiar eats such as corned beef sandwiches and grilled Reubens with draft and bottled beers, as well as with inventive cocktails—the L.A. lemonade includes lots of Grey Goose citron mulled with lemon and sugar and topped with sour mix. Elsewhere, musical acts take the stage on occasion and recreational pool and cards host friendly competitions.