Fuel up for a day of gallery-hopping with the hot dog à la maison, a Gruyère-topped bratwurst, at South End’s Butcher Shop. The boucherie-inspired restaurant has a curatorial respect for meat, filling three glass display cases with all manner of sides and slabs.
Tucked into an alley off Harrison Avenue, the new Rocca Kitchen & Bar pays homage to Italy’s Liguria region, an aesthetic backed by the Duffy Design Group’s interior of cork walls, slate floors, and hammered bronze. If the teal and goldenrod palette seems too heavy for a late-summer night, take your marinated sardines and twice-cooked artichokes out on the courtyard patio.
Across town, even staid Beacon Hill is getting an infusion of cool. Bin 26 Enoteca, designed by of-the-moment Office dA, serves homemade cocoa tagliatelle with porcini ragout in a room festooned with decoupaged wine labels and wine-cork coat pegs.
Nibble on French-Indian appetizers like the tandoori stuffed quail at Mantra, a Downtown Crossing boîte with a stylish, late-night bar scene. Most of the action revolves around the red-suede banquettes, chain-mail curtains, and twenty-foot, woven-wood cocktail den.