Sophisticated (I'll settle for good) bar food.
Hello, as some might say "first time long time". I read chow three times a week and eat out almost every night. I have driven many miles out of the way on chowhounds reccomendations.
This might fly in the face of some people but i prefer to sit at the bar. That being said, I'm in desperate need for a restuarant bar that is casual and upscale. My problem is that I don't live in Boston, I'm in Wakefield. Anyone know of any great restaurant bars within 20 minutes of Wakefield and not in Boston. A good example of a places I'd go are the Blue Ox bar, Turner's(melrose), Oye. I don't mind paying for GOOD food. Please give me a gastropub.
Oof, tough area. When I hear Wakefield, I immediately think Sushi Island, but I imagine you know that one, and it doesn't exactly fit your description, but it's one of my favorite traditional Japanese places around that doesn't cost $100+/head.
Most everything else I know is closer to Burlington, well within your drive time. One that comes to mind is Sichuan Garden in North Woburn. Solid bartending, and a very traditional Sichuan menu (in addition to more Westernized fare).
L'Andana in Burlington is another: upscale, modern Italian with a small, comfy bar in the corner.
I've enjoyed sitting at the bar at Blue Stove inside the Nordstrom's in the Burlington Mall, though I think it's beer/wine only.
Summer Winter in Burlington is another one I've enjoyed, though I haven't been back in a couple of years. It's much better than you would expect from its cheesy Marriott hotel setting. Full bar, if memory serves.
You could do worse in that area than the bar at the Capital Grille in Burlington; very standard luxury-steakhouse fare. Rather good burger that's only served at lunch, alas.