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.
On Friday nights at Extreme Dancesport, the floorboards heat up under the swinging steps of students, regulars, and teachers cutting a rug at Boston Swing?s Central?s weekly social dances. Sometimes it?s pre-recorded tunes and sometimes it?s a live band inspiring the boogiers, but either way, it?s a rollicking good time for all ages and skill levels and no partner is required.
The weekly party, which starts with a group class from 8-9 p.m. and then transforms into a free-for-all from 9 p.m. ? 12 a.m., is the focal point of the non-profit dance organization. Boston Swing Central also offers classes and boot camps where dance instructors teach you how to do the east coast, lindy hop, and Charleston.
If your old method of sampling everything on a restaurant's menu tends to make bewildered enemies of everyone else in the restaurant, today's Groupon will let you curtail the thievery while still treating the palate. For $15, you get $35 worth of small-plate Thai cuisine and drinks at Ronnarong Thai Tapas Bar in Somerville.
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.
Over seven years, the Boston String Quartet has vibrated strings in collaboration with artists such as John Mayer and the Boston Ballet, stirred the air molecules at Symphony Hall and PBS, and performed by invitation for former President George H.W. Bush. With this deal, eighth-note connoisseurs can wrap their eardrums around the quartet's dulcet tones as they present "Xibus," an evening of contemporary and classical that marks the zenith of a two-day workshop collaborating with Finneytown High School orchestra students. Over the course of the evening program, the quartet and the students will cajole their chordophones into ringing out in harmonious arrangements of music by Carlos Santana, the Beatles, Led Zeppelin, and Bill Gates's new Viking-punk band, as well as performing original compositions by members of Boston String Quartet.
The low thrum of an electric bass. The clean jangle of an electric piano. At School of Groove, owner Christopher Vuk presides over instructors as they fill the space with music and help students through scales, rhythms, and eventually full pieces on a wide range of instruments. The teachers have played music alongside musicians including Herbie Hancock, John Mayer, and Paul Simon, and guest rock musicians occasionally lead sessions to impart their skills or explain why they think every smashable guitar is full of candy. In private lessons and group sessions, hands-on practice illuminates the processes of improvising, writing, and recording music. Students at the school can also join a band, where they'll write their own music, build teamwork skills, and perform at venues such as Hard Rock Cafe and Ryles Jazz Club.