To quote the famed Alicia Bridges song from the ‘70s, who doesn’t love the nightlife?
If you were like me, your 20s and 30s were jam-packed with weekends in restaurants, bars and clubs, surrounded by other happy-go-lucky youth dancing to pulsating music and enjoying potent potables.
Once you reach your 40s, evenings out may be less on the wild side and more on the mild side, but that’s not to say you don’t still like to get down and go out!
The question, though, is where do you head that’s appropriate speed for someone of a certain age? Read: No overly drunk patrons, wrecked bathrooms or music you can feel in the seat of your bar stool.
Prepare to imbibe a plethora of thirst-quenching cocktails and indulge in mouthwatering nibbles as we venture around Metro Boston to discover these boites, lounges, eateries and beer halls.
Situated near a residential area of Somerville by the Cambridge border, Dali has been the home for traditional Spanish tapas since the late 1980s. On any given night, grab several pals to relish plates of croquetas, jamón and ceviché. Feeling more than just peckish? Enjoy three types of paella or the pescado a la sal, an entire fish baked within salt. Pair them all with a range of sherries, wines and mixed drinks, including the perennial classic, sangria.
415 Washington St., Somerville
Monikered for a strong proponent of the Temperance Movement who had a propensity for wielding a hatchet at venues that served liquor, Carrie Nation is the kind of club where you’re expected to break a few rules in order to have a good time. Mere blocks from the State House, the front bar is spacious and brightly lit, with a hint of the contemporary, but head over to the speakeasy in the back and be transported to a world of decadence; sultry, sexy, forbidden. Where you pick your spot announces your level of debauchery for the evening.
11 Beacon St., Boston
When it’s one of those evenings where you crave a more low-key atmosphere, you’ll want to return to Cambridge to be gladdened by The Druid. You never know who you will encounter at this cozy Irish pub tucked inside Inman Square, but the constant comforts are the jovial bartending staff, pints of Guinness, and the scrumptious and secret recipe for the fries with curry sauce that no matter how much I cajoled them for it, remained one.
1357 Cambridge St., Cambridge
If you had to select a term that perfectly describes the heart and soul of the Barcelona Wine Bar, it would be diversity. With two locations in Boston, and additional venues in eight other states, the modern setting of the BWB complements the adventure in gastronomy that awaits you. Encompassing a substantial roster of charcuterie and roughly 30 types of tapas, this is one journey that any foodie will be ecstatic to embark on. As for the libations, BWB certainly lives up to its name. Presenting a cornucopia of wines from throughout Europe, South America, and the U.S., any oenophile will not want to awaken from this dream.
Barcelona Wine Bar
1700 Beacon St., Brookline
525 Tremont St., Boston
In the mood to watch a game? Over at Miller’s Ale House, featuring an extensive assortment of brews on tap and a lively menu of classic pub grub, you can bring the kids, Grandma, your best friend from kindergarten, your spouse’s brother, and your old college roommate to enjoy the family friendly environment. With televisions everywhere you look, Miller’s also hosts screenings of some of the biggest pay-per-view sports entertainment events.
Miller’s Ale House
617 Arsenal Street, Watertown
If you’re driving though MIT country, try not to blink or you just might just miss the glorious, saucy Cuchi Cuchi. Sip on timeless drinks such as the negroni, mai tai and lemon drop surrounded by sumptuous Art Nouveau and bohemian décor. The cuisine is best described as around the world in 80 plates. There may not actually be 80 of them, but these petits plats let you sample fare across many international borders, from chicken Kiev to duck a l’orange crepes and spaghetti alla carbonara.
795 Main St., Cambridge
Walk through the doors of Dorchester’s Dorset Hall, and you will feel immediately and instantly drawn to its modern interior, further brightened by light wood paneling throughout. While the upstairs bar is perfect for socializing with the locals or talking amongst yourselves, the downstairs bar is more intimate, as stylish banquettes line the center of the room before it opens up into the dining area. American bar and comfort food is deliciously amplified and anything but ordinary. As for drinks, whether you crave something sophisticated like a Dorset Fix or one of many ice-cold craft beers, you’ll be satisfied.
367 Neponset Ave., Dorchester