Blu bills itself as a “hidden gem.” But it’s hard to miss, towering four stories above Sports Club/LA and immediately recognizable by its curved steel pipe lattices and floor-to-ceiling, wall-to-wall windows. The view from the inside is even more enticing: a sweeping 360-degree view of Downtown Crossing is a treat if you can pry your eyes off the curved banquettes, oval-shaped stand-alone bar, and plates of coriander-dusted scallops and roasted duck breast. The airy, sunny hues give way to seductive blues come evening, as the space takes on a sophisticated club-like ambience. Neon lights color the white piping while the city lights glimmer in the background, and the eatery comes alive with young professionals sipping martinis, cocktails, and fine wines. Patrons can revel in desserts such as cinnamon-orange crème brulee and seasonal cheesecakes that Gayot promises are “worth the extra calories,” despite seeing the toned celebrities and muscular team mascots prancing around the posh Sports Club/LA.
The menus at Barlow's combine traditional American recipes with a creative gourmet flare. Inaugurate your dinner with a helping of minted lamb skewers, served with sweet soy-and-almond pesto ($11). The fig and prosciutto pizza woos weary taste buds with its sweet saltiness, sealing the deal with added gorgonzola and arugula ($13) . Childhood nostalgia is deliciously evoked with thick slices of bacon-wrapped meatloaf saddled with mashed potatoes, garlic spinach, and mushroom gravy ($17). Hungry ears can feast on live jazz Tuesday nights, and pigskin buffs can catch up on NFL games throughout the season.
Housed inside the old Gas Light building in the Third Ward, Tulip Restaurant combines an Old World menu of Turkish and Mediterranean fare with a chic industrial aesthetic. Cream City brick walls provide the backdrop to framed pattern prints and an onyx bar with colorful lighting. Amid the dining-room tables, a pair of comfy couches and a coffee table surround a red fireplace that provides a place to warm hands or interrogate uncooperative chestnuts. Turkish dishes include succulent lamb chops, while Mediterranean fare ranges from fettuccine with sautéed shrimp to homemade ravioli.
Where would we be without food? On a planet dominated by merciless banana overlords, that's where. With today's Groupon, $35 gets you $75 worth of soup, salad, meat, fish, and drinks at the Oak Room, located inside Back Bay's Fairmont Copley Plaza Hotel. This elegant eatery has won numerous honors from Boston Magazine, including Best Steakhouse Restaurant in 2003. Your Groupon is good for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and brunch, but cannot be used on Christmas Day, New Year's Eve, Valentine's Day Eve, Valentine's Day, or in doppelganger dimensions where Picasso was an art thief and the sun wears cool shades.
Turner's dinner menu brims with cleanly executed, fresh seafood dishes. Start by coating your mouth in Turner's velvety clam chowder ($8), which comes with homemade oyster crackers that have been suited up in scuba gear and treasure maps for their deep-soup-diving adventure. Otherwise, attempt the seared diver scallops ($15), which are succulently stained in blood-orange pep-rally paint and served with a firm helping of crystallized leeks. Discriminating seafarers and disguised grizzly bears, however, will want to save themselves for a main course of wild salmon ($29), a lively filet waltzing with laughing bird shrimp fried rice, succulent mango, and green papaya in a robust tamarind reduction. For a taste of the sea that doesn't require an enormous straw, try the seafood risotto's ($35) eclectic balance of Maine lobster, bay scallops, and Caribbean shrimp delicately dotted within a Parmigiano-Reggiano risotto. Turner's lunch menu includes several dinner-menu favorites, and adds on midday satiations such as seafood dip ($10), lobster rolls ($17), and fish and chips ($12). The express lunch menu, which offers three courses for the Groupon-covering cost of $19, fits neatly into the time-crunched schedules of gourmands on the go, overbooked killer whales, and freelance haberdashers.
The Zanti family is no stranger to the sea. In 1898, Giuseppe Zanti, Sr., left his tiny Italian fishing village for the more fertile waters of America. When his son, Giuseppe, Jr., heard of the senior Zanti's success on American shores, he too made the trek across the Atlantic to net lobsters, crabs, and fish in Boston Harbor, teaching his own sons along the way. After World War II, Giuseppe, Jr. sensed an oncoming boon in the lobster trade and teamed up with his sons to debut Commercial Lobster, a wholesale business devoted entirely to lobster. Still under the rule of the Zanti family, the Commercial Lobster of today makes up the wholesale branch of Yankee Lobster Fish Market, a full-fledged seafood market. In addition to selling whole live and stuffed lobsters like their predecessors, modern-day Zantis also serve a seafood-centric menu of oysters, clams, and, of course, lobster in the casual, ocean-themed eatery of Yankee Lobster Company. After finally removing the protective rubber bands from his hands, Guy Fieri dubbed the lobster mac ‘n' cheese here “ridiculous” on an episode of Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives.