From its quiet corner on North Sussex Street, The Laughing Lion stands as a beacon beckoning diners to come enjoy gastropub fare inside newly renovated bar and dining areas. Hanging lights illuminate walls clad in flat-screen TVs, artwork, and the portrait of a lion who, though he isn't laughing, probably thinks giraffes look hilarious. For a more intimate dining experience, the Blue room gives groups private, personalized service during nights on the town or special occasions. Live entertainment—from bands and DJs to standup comedians—fills the space with music and laughs on select nights throughout the week.
Aashirwad Palace & Martini Lounge’s gastronomic alchemists transmute the recipes and ingredients of subcontinental cooking to timelessly flavorful Indian dishes. Culinary adventures begin with bites from one of more than 20 appetizers such as the the chicken pakora’s spicy garlic-laced fritters or the Paneer Tika Sizzler’s homemade cheese-and-tandoori masala marinade. Entrees run the gamut of mealtime matter, ranging from vegetarian chana masala to spinach-packed lamb saag. A mild yogurt sauce and fresh coriander envelop the boneless-chicken korma, while the shrimp baigan's baked eggplant sizzles in a blend of herbs, spices, and fire-breathing shellfish. A dried-fruit garnish tops the navaratan korma, buttressed by mixed vegetables in a rich sauce made from members of the leafiest food groups. Grapes get tipsy in two glasses of wine, which quench throats and ably complements dishes.
Aromas of lamb simmering in curry and yogurt-marinated shrimp cooking in traditional clay ovens waft through the dining room of the aptly named Indian Aroma. Guests dig into vegetarian appetizers and entrees, such as paneer pakora––housemade indian cheese fritters and eggplant baked with herbs and spices––and enjoy tender lamb and goat entrees seasoned with rich indian spices. Chafing dishes line the stone-topped counters of the buffet area where diners may fill plates with fresh-baked naan and basmati rice before adjourning to tables by the flickering fireplace. The modern, minimalist decor is a contrast to the traditional Indian cuisine, with lacquered tables, a wood-paneled floor, and a wrought-iron-chandelier centerpiece that habitually reads over diners' shoulders.
Music is a way of life at Taste Bar & Bistro, especially Thursday through Saturday nights, when the restaurant thumps to the sounds of karaoke, DJ music, or live jazz. But it’s Taste’s thoughtfully prepared pub food that draws crowds even before the musicians take the stage. The menu comprises small plates such as steamed littleneck clams and spicy calamari, as well as heartier entrees that include cheeseburgers and spaghetti and shrimp fra diavolo. Throughout festivities, bartenders mix specialty martinis and pour wines and draft beers that enliven dinner time or can be used to paint a smiley face on one’s shirt during happy hour.
Decorative bottles of olive oil perch atop Anna Marie’s display case filled with freshly-baked pizzas, lending a rustic Italian air to the cozy trattoria. Cooks crown these specialty pies and calzones with spinach, Bermuda onions, pepperoni, and hot cherry peppers, as well as whip up colorful plates of veal marsala and chicken or eggplant parmesan. They also crafts more than two dozen gourmet sandwiches named for celebrities, such as the Joe Pesci with roast beef, turkey, ham, and cole slaw, and the Michelangelo, whose recipe consisting of fresh mozzarella, arugula, and tomatoes is painstakingly painted on the ceiling.
We make all of their own dressings, soups & sauces and Mozzarella by hand. Mozzarella Sticks are made from Fresh Mozzarella. Spedini, mozzarella sandwiched between ciabatta bread and served with anchovy or marinara sauce. Entrées include hard to find traditional items like Beef or Pork Braciole & Osso Bucco.