As the sister venture of the restaurant known as Journeyman, Backbar sits directly behind its precursor in an unfussy, industrial-style space. But don’t let its afterthought origins fool you. Backbar has emerged from the shadows of Journeyman and built a following of its own, thanks to award-winning bar manager Sam Treadway and his merry band of mixologists. “The bar staffers are eager to please,” remarked Boston Magazine, “and they do.” A reverence for cocktails of days past mixed with an uncontainable thirst for innovation has yielded modern takes on classics such as the fall back, a revisited old-fashioned that blends bourbon with maple, walnut, and bitters. And the innovation doesn’t stop there—ever-changing selections include the drink of the day, drink of the week, and the seasonal milk punch, a traditional eggnog-esque concoction treasured by early American colonists and the cows that loved them. The inspired cocktails find accompaniment in an equally inspired menu of small plates that includes spicy caramel-bacon popcorn, charcuterie platters, and gourmet ice cream sandwiches.
Don?t be fooled by the myriad flat-screens streaming sports and the expansive bar with a bottomless supply of draft beer. East End Grille?s menu is a bounty of housemade dishes crafted from locally sourced ingredients sure to give any restaurant a run for its money. Chefs carefully tuck mushrooms into tortolloni and pair baked halibut with a lemon and white wine sauce. The flatbread is reimagined with toppings that include sweet chili shrimp, house-pickled red onions, and strawberries. Even the appetizers skirt simplicity, from cornmeal-breaded fried green tomatoes to deep-fried brie slathered in strawberry compote. Once a week, East End Grille opens for brunch that boasts french toast with fresh strawberries and whip cream, burgers with house bacon-chili mayo, and wasabi bloody marys.
For more than 40 years, The Pub has keep it simple, from its straightforward name to its nondescript brick-wall exterior and a simple sign that reads "PUB." But when it comes to the local tavern's menu, there is nothing plain about it. In fact, the menu's signature wings, fried and slathered in buffalo sauce, earned a Boston A-List nomination for Best Wings 2012 and an invitation to dine with the mayor. In addition to wings, The Pub also sates appetites with a variety of classic bar foods, from sweet potato fries and mozzarella sticks to hot pastrami sandwiches and cups of seasonal beef stew. Those looking for a heavier meal can aim forks at chicken, steak, and sausage dinners served with a side of french fries, rice, or salad.
Nubar radiates an assured air that comes from the stewardship of three generations of the Guleserian family. Their contemporary approach to classic cuisine manifests itself in seasonal dishes that have included roasted local haddock with saffron and duck breast with cherries and bok choy. Chefs use ingredients from local farms, fisheries, and bakeries to enhance their creations and cut down on the food's jet lag. Nubar's rooftop garden also enriches warm-weather fare with fresh-picked herbs and vegetables.
Set within the confines of the auspicious Sheraton Commander Hotel, Nubar wraps its guests in sleek lines and soothing hues of brown. Behind a bar made entirely of butter-yellow honey onyx, bartenders shake and stir artisanal spirits into classic or modern cocktails. With a cocktail, local beer, or wine glass in hand, patrons can recline on leather ottomans and admire the linear fireplace that separates the lounge from the dining room. Soft light cascades from wide cylindrical lamps and minimalist candelabras that stretch up the wall.
In business for 30 years, Nick's Comedy Stop has served as an essential venue for up-and-coming comedians, having hosted Jerry Seinfeld, Jay Leno, and other notable jesters before their big breaks. The venue hosts shows twice a week, featuring hilarious headliners, emerging comics, and moments of silence for misunderstood punch lines.
Irish Pub Cuisine | Critically Acclaimed Veggie Burger | Live Irish Music | Historic Space
The Vibe: With its wooden bar top, stained-glass windows, and Guinness swag, The Druid looks like a classic Irish pub. The building itself, however, isn't a typical restaurant space—in fact, it's the city’s oldest wooden mercantile building.
While You're Waiting: Grab a drink at The Druid's bar, where top-shelf spirits share space with 12 taps. These drafts include European favorites such as Stella Artois and, of course, Guinness.
When to Go: Try to plan your visit for a Tuesday night at 9 p.m. or a Saturday afternoon at 4 p.m. That’s when the pub hosts traditional Irish bands.