Best of Boston

2002 Best Bar Food, Gourmet

West Side Lounge

From the day it opened, the West Side was a draw for Cantabrigians looking for a perfectly made cocktail and a darkly lit booth. But when chef Alex Jenkins arrived last fall, there was another reason to visit: Her menu of Mediterranean and creative American standards goes a step above most bar food, mixing flavorful recipes with straightforward presentation. The reasonably priced menu changes seasonally and makes good use of local ingredients. Tried-and-true dishes like centra di tavola—with artichoke and olive spreads—and the bistro pizzas are the best bets.

1680 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, 617-441-5566,