Busy as a Bistro

With Beehive’s debut, the South End gets a faux-bohemian haven.

In a neighborhood rife with $30 plates of “comfort food” tarted up with organic ramps and pomegranate purée, the Beehive’s quirky grub and chilled-out subterranean setting are a respite. If the scads of day-trippers clad in Nautica and locals with strollers give you pause, though, rest easy. The sophisticated if disjointed menu by chef Adam Halberg offers no amnesty to the Applebee’s set: The fried cauliflower with frisée, basil, and grapes and the aptly named “bunch of bacon” seem like snacks that a munchies-addled chef would cobble together off-hours. By the time the live music starts around 8 p.m., the strollers have rolled on and an authentically groovy energy kicks in. And by your second Negroni, it dawns on you that those are legit Berklee jazzers onstage, the artwork is by real local artists, and that cod with bacon, butter beans, and red chili gnocchi is pretty darned good.

541 Tremont St., Boston, 617-423-0069, beehiveboston.com. $$$