Drinks Before Dinner in the North End
We're heading out to Taranta for dinner, but wanted to do drinks somewhere before. We'd like a place with good martini's and a lively scene, but not ear shattering music. Would prefer not to have to park twice, so something in the north end would be good where we can easily walk.
That being said if there's someplace around the wattefront that's great we can do that too and then head up to Hanover St.
I'd probably park and walk over to the Wharf Bar at the Boston Harbor Hotel. If you want to stay in the North End, Lucca is your best bet.
I don't know of much in that immediate area, but several of the city's best cocktail spots are in the half mile to mile range.
Depending on how up or down scale you want to go, No. 9 Park and JM Curley are walkable (although at least half a mile) or an easy 2-stop train ride from Park to Haymarket. Drink is slightly further and not as train-accessible, but the walk to the North End along the greenway/waterfront is nice as long as it is not too cold and windy. All three make fantastic cocktails. No 9 Park is dressy and a little stuffy, while JM Curley is more relaxed and homey (although somewhat busy during peak hours).
Drink is pretty much a mob scene, but with their bespoke cocktail concept it is definitely a fun place to get a couple of rounds. Much more so if you can get an actual spot at the bar, patrons sitting around the periphery tend to get short shrift from the servers.
You could also go to Blue Inc which is a bit closer than the other options. Most of their cocktails are gimmicky and seem to involve liquid nitrogen in one way or another, but as long as you stay on menu and don't mind a little whimsy it can be an entertaining little pre-dinner diversion. Not an every day kind of cocktail experience though, unless you really like whimsy.