Bella Luna Restaurant & Milky Way Lounge, a winner of several “Best of Boston” awards from The Improper Bostonian, and a 2013 nominee for the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce's Small Business of the Year award, is renowned for its upscale and creative twist on traditional Italian fare. Dig into gourmet pizzas, butternut squash and pumpkin ravioli, eggplant puttanesca, and ribs braised in Sam Adams “Wee Heavy” scotch ale. Behind a U-shaped bar, bartenders craft signature cocktails and pour pints of American craft beers, including Allagash White, Harpoon IPA, and Left Hand Milk Stout.
The eatery is decorated with a subdued sci-fi theme, with dangling star lights, sparkly blue barstool cushions, and Martian bouncers. Try your hand at Ms. Pacman or MegaTouch, or listen to live music on select nights.
Jazz has had many homes over the years. Born in the South, moving to New Orleans and Chicago, and a world traveler in its old age, the musical form brings to mind myriad influences. Darryl’s Corner Bar & Kitchen is inspired by the storied musical form, from its lively cuisine to its song-filled atmosphere. Live jazz musicians coax classic strains and improvised notes from their instruments Tuesday through Sunday, drawing from every chapter of the genre’s varied history. Chefs riff on the bluesy style with a delectable menu of Southern eats, from crispy cheese grits with shrimp to fried chicken atop buttermilk waffles. The club’s vibrant lights and exposed-brick walls call to mind some of the most renowned jazz bars to be found in New Orleans or Chicago. To enhance this antique-nightclub atmosphere, bartenders whip up a lineup of craft cocktails while referring to their patrons as “hot chick” or “cool Felis catus.”
After graduating cooking school in Paris and testing his skills in French brasseries, Ian Just made his way back overseas to Les Zygomates and has been providing patrons with authentic French cuisine since its opening in 1994. The dinner menu is served starting at 5:30 p.m. and kicks off tastebud tournaments with a smorgasbord of small plates, such as the savory lobster and creamed leek crepe with black truffle sauce ($14). Munch on a bowl of mollusks with parsley and garlic butter ($10), discover a new appreciation for root vegetables with a plate of roasted beets paired with aged goat cheese ($9). The main meal stage pleases palates with plates of scallops accompanied by celery root puree, haricots verts, and brown butter sauce ($28). Molars and incisors exercise their functionality by working on grilled lamb chops with fava beans, leeks, fingerling potatoes, and bordelaise ($28), while swiss chard, potato mousseline, and reduction sauce ($23) saves chicken from its reputation on the worst-dressed list.
Popular globetrotting pop collective Architecture in Helsinki transforms Royale into a throbbing, futuristic discotheque as its latest tour storms American shores. Formed in Melbourne, the ambidextrous dance band stirs fans with a tornado of flamboyant sounds, infectious anthems, and commitment-free instrument swapping. With hits such as “Do the Whirlwind” and latest single “W.O.W.”, lead crooner Cameron Bird and his cakewalking team of tunesmiths tickle ear bones and rehabilitate ankles in support of their latest album, Moment Bends. During the kaleidoscopic performance, the band seduces dance floors with 10-foot hooks and sounds culled from hypnotic synths, romantic glockenspiels, and strummed chest hairs.
The party-loving minds behind Yacht Party Cruises wanted a creative way for locals and tourists to explore a city's late-night atmosphere. Eventually they launched a fleet of luxury yachts into the waters of eight of North America's most lively urban waterfronts. On each vessel, festivities abound as DJs spin everything from hip-hop to Sinatra, inviting passengers to shake a leg in between trips to the full bar or buffet lined with hot appetizers. All yachts boast extravagant details such as wraparound decks, fireplaces, or a glass atrium that hangs above the dance floor offering dancers a direct view of the man in the moon's game of solitaire. Guests can also step onto the decks for fresh air or panoramic views of city's skyline.
Voted Best Cigar Shop in the 2010 Boston A-List contest, Cigar Masters houses a fragrant collection of fine cigars and smoking accessories in a sophisticated setting. The shop maintains an aromatic armory of over 50 brands of chic cigars, from time-tested classics like Romeo y Julieta ($10), to specialty smokecicles such as La Flor Dominicana ($13). Refined unwinders can send each other sophisticated smoke signals with the smoldering bouquet of Liga Privadas ($16 each) or replace their signature Slim Jim with a more dignified Don Pepin Garcia ($10). The knowledgeable staff receives ongoing education, keeping them keen on the latest lighters, cigar cases, and stylish smoking bibs. A luxurious, urbane lounge creates an ideal haven for aficionados who wish to bask in the glow of varnished wood and leather seats amidst an aura of refined conversation and stuffed trophy scotches. The lounge offers a full selection of libations and requires proper evening attire after seven. Cigar Masters supports a variety of local charities, including the Greater Boston Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Back Bay Association.