Best of Boston

2002 Best Lounge

The Enormous Room

After centuries of sit-up-straight rigidity, it is now possible for Bostonians to lie back, sip on high-octane martinis, nibble on North African goodies, and maybe steal a kiss or two. Upstairs from his Central Square restaurant, Central Kitchen, E-Room’s chef-owner Gary Strack has opened the most seductive grotto this side of Marrakesh: rug-covered tiers shrouded in darkness, lots of intoxicating music, couches soft as quicksand, shadows that dance on the brick walls. The food is sublime, the drinks are mixed by award-winners Joe McGuirk and Kristen Porter, and the music is spun by some of the city’s hippest up-and-comers. Yes, finally, we stiff New Englanders can actually lounge.

567 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, 617-491-5500,