9 West St., Downtown Crossing
We go weak for a good independent bookstore, and Brattle meets all of our criteria. Three floors heaped haphazardly with new and used books, more than a few antiquarian and first editions, and an adjacent alley down the side of the store stacked with the overfill. Brattle has been fueling Boston’s literary curiosities since 1825, and the current proprietor, Kenneth Gloss, is a past president of the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association and sits on the Boston Public Library’s board. Not only is he a man who loves a good book, but Gloss knows his stuff. So much of the pleasure of finding yourself in an independent bookstore is spending an hour or two getting lost among the titles and maybe sitting down with a bundle of books on your lap reading some, discarding others. Brattle regularly hosts readings and literary events, enthusiastically attended by this university city’s more erudite crowd.
2 Winter Place, Downtown Crossing
Located in the same building that was once Locke-Ober (one of Boston’s oldest restaurants dating to the 1870s), Yvonne's is a supper club and whiskey bar with the most glamorous, over-the-top opulent decor in the city. The walls are done in dark Dominican mahogany and jewel-toned wallpaper, the bar—a long marble slab—is tricked out in crystal, brass, and gold accessories, decadent chandeliers hanging from the ceilings. The menu has a Mediterranean bent with giant bean hummus, chicken & quinoa meatballs, and crispy tuna. Reservations are necessary, but the pro move is to come for a nightcap on a weeknight, when the crowds are thin, leaving more room to sip a whiskey at the bar or in the library room.
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