A tucked-away, self-professed "hole in the wall," Bondo's Dining & Takeout is the brainchild of Bondo Benjamin and his partner Sheila Hart, who source ingredients from local farms and the garden behind the restaurant. These ultra-fresh components are integrated into a menu of upscale American dishes such as a 10 oz. sirloin with wild mushroom sangiovese reduction, or pappardelle pasta tossed with sweet roasted pepper puree, fontina, cream, lobster, and romano cheese. A well-curated wine list includes many reds and whites by the glass or bottle.
The dedicated chefs at Cafe Eleganza churn out classic Italian cuisine using high-quality, seasonal ingredients whenever possible. An extensive dinner menu fills bellowing bellies with hearty delicacies such as handmade lobster ravioli, crammed with meaty morsels of native lobster and drizzled with a velvety lobster cream sauce ($15.99). Or, indulge in the timeless taste of the other, other white meat by ordering the Frangelico-cream-kissed medley of penne, chicken, toasted walnuts, sun-dried tomatoes, and snow peas known only as Amanda ($13.99–$16.99). Customers can crunch into one of four crispy bruschetta options ($8.99–$9.99), which amalgamate colorful toppings including eggplant, roasted peppers, and gorgonzola into one dish easily held by the hands or feet, or skip straight to sliceable sustenance with a wood-fired-brick-oven pizza ($8.99+) available with a plain or whole-wheat crust and a compilation of classically compatible flavors such as apple, gorgonzola, and bacon ($11.99–$15.99) or tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and basil ($10.99–$14.99).
Vincent and Annette Agostino had one goal when founding AVA Cucina: re-create the spirit of a casual family kitchen in the Old World. Now, they have a place where housemade meatballs and marinara sauce top Sunday spaghetti dinners, which are followed by rich bites of housemade tiramisu dotted with a sweet raspberry sauce. It's also a place that's been like a second home to their five grown children, who have all chipped in at AVA Cucina at one point or another.
The taupe-hued walls feature homespun touches, too, including a hanging collection of cast-iron skillets and three impressionistic paintings of the Italian countryside. Guests can dine among them at tables draped in black tablecloths or in AVA Cucina's glass-enclosed section, which provides the benefits of an outdoor-seating view without any of the downsides caused by inclement weather or lonely skywriters.
Harnessing techniques passed down from their family's first generation of haircutters in Italy in the late 1800s, the Zona clan continues garnering acclaim for its hairstyling prowess, including a spot in the hair salon category of Boston Magazine's Best of Boston 2009. Today, the family of hair experts trims tresses alongside graduates of the salon's three-phase training program. Trainees also brush up on shearing skills at advanced academies in London and New York before adroitly shaping their clientele?s hair, fashioning stylish updo's, and executing full color transformations with an extensive stock of Aveda products. The salon's three locations bring their styling prowess to neighborhoods around town, making it easier to look good than to persuade others your split ends are intentional.
The chefs at Peppercornz on Main share their love of Italian cuisine with the masses via an authentic menu and in-house cooking classes. Amid yellow walls and scarlet accents, diners pack away forkfuls of pumpkin ravioli or bites of porcini-mushroom ravioli in a white-wine blue-cheese cream sauce topped with scallops or shrimp. Three-hour cooking classes consist of chef-led demonstrations on how to churn pasta, make sauces, or do the splits without ripping aprons. For foursomes who’d rather dine at home, Peppercornz prepares family dinners for pickup, in addition to its catering services.
Chattering TVs above the bar, the occasional visiting DJ, and trivia nights. They can all distract from food, but there will still undoubtedly be patrons at Martinis Bar and Grill totally focused on plates of Italian food and burgers. That’s all augmented by an array of beers and cocktails, which help encourage dancing and lively conversation.