10 New Boston Holiday Party Venues

By Kara Baskin November 9, 2011, 9:20 AM EST


Photo: Courtesy of the W

With the holiday season coming up, these new and recently renovated bars, lounges, nightclubs, restaurants, bakeries, private rooms, and more—even a heated rooftop—in and around Boston can accommodate corporate groups small and large for company holiday parties of every type.

1. Descent, a modernistic lounge located beneath the theater district’s W Hotel, is scheduled to open later this month. The subterranean space is available for buyout. It’s anchored by a 40-foot-long bar with cherry red bar stools, coupled with a red glass-encased DJ booth. The lounge can accommodate 100 for a cocktail reception or 40 seated at banquettes. Specialty cocktails include the Red Light Caipirinha and a chocolate Manhattan made with mole bitters.

2. Celebrity chef Jody Adams opened Trade at Atlantic Wharf in October. The waterfront restaurant is available for buyout and can host groups of 170 for a seated party and 250 for cocktails. A private dining room seats 32 or holds 45 for a reception. The globally inspired menu highlights specialties from chef Adams’s African and European travels while incorporating local ingredients. Options include fluke ceviche with kaffir lime salt and Wellfleet clam chowder with crisp pancetta. The restaurant is Wi-Fi accessible. Flowers may be brought in from outside vendors.

3. Storyville, a New Orleans-style lounge in the Back Bay, opened in September. It is available for buyout, hosting cocktail receptions for as many as 420 guests. The Bordello room can host 120 for cocktails, and the main room can hold 300. Spaces throughout can be roped off for smaller, semiprivate events. The menu offers Cajun specialties with a New England twist. Duck a l’orange and cod in crawfish butter are specialties. The space has a full sound system with a DJ booth and a microphone.

4. Legal Harborside's third-floor rooftop opened in July and is available for buyout. The glass-enclosed, heated roof offers dramatic views of the Boston skyline and harbor. A copper fireplace provides extra warmth. The space accommodates 125 people for private events; the rooftop can also be cordoned off for semiprivate groups of 50. The seafood-centric menu includes sushi boats, a raw bar, bacon-wrapped scallops, and a lobster risotto station. The space also houses three flat 60-inch TVs for slideshows and logo placement.

5. Mod lounge Bijou opened in the theater district in June. The club offers two stories of drinking and DJ-fueled dancing. The Jetsons-esque second floor is lined with booths. The third level, outfitted with two bars and the area’s only JBL Series 5 sound system, has a dance-hall feel. The second and third floors are available for buyout and accommodate 281 and 345, respectively. Areas of the club can also be roped off for private events.

6. Guilt opened in June in the former Jukebox space. The 5,000-square-foot nightclub has an old-Hollywood vibe with burgundy walls, golden sofas, and mirrors. The 409-capacity venue is available for semiprivate events every evening and for buyout on Fridays and Saturdays. Two V.I.P. areas are offset by wrought-iron railings. The space has four high-definition TV screens, a retractable screen with a projector, greenrooms, and two full bars.

7. Morton’s The Steakhouse Back Bay and Seaport locations have introduced the Experience Enhancement package for holiday parties this season. The pre-meal tasting program, led by the restaurants’ sommeliers, lets guests explore and compare select wines and scotches. Both spaces are available for buyout, seating 120 and 122, respectively. Mahogany-paneled private dining rooms, dotted with Oriental rugs, hold 82 and 50, respectively. Menu items at both locations include double-cut filet mignon with Bernaise sauce and a signature Morton’s salad with bleu cheese dressing. Both spaces also offer theater-style audiovisual capabilities with drop-down screens, high-definition projection systems, and surround-sound speakers.

8. Noche, located in the South End, now offers holiday-themed menus for private events. The 50-seat Latin restaurant and lounge, which has a nighttime theme with moon sculptures and a starry ceiling, opened in June and is available for buyouts for 125 guests. Also on-site: a 12-seat private dining room with its own iPod docking station. The holiday menu includes interactive food stations with dishes like hangar steak in chimichurri sauce, barbecued Cornish hen, and warm goat cheese salad, and a bartender pairs cocktails with each dish.

9. Sweet, a cupcake bakery in Downtown Crossing, is available for holiday events. The newest branch of the local chain opened in June. The space is available for buyout, hosting receptions for 50. Known for uniquely flavored cupcakes, Sweet’s holiday flavors include eggnog, candy cane, and gingerbread. The bakery also customizes cakes and cupcakes with company logos and other images. A flat-screen TV plays DVDs, and holiday decorations line the windows.

10. Kendall Square’s Area Four, a bakery, coffeehouse, and restaurant, opened in June. A private dining room, secluded by a reclaimed Berkshires barn door, accommodates 20 seated or 40 for cocktails. The main dining room can accommodate a semiprivate seated meal for 20 at a communal table. Seasonal menu items include local swordfish pate, bacon and sea salt pretzel nuggets, a variety of pizzas, and homemade sundaes, plus a soft-serve ice cream station. Wine and beer is offered in keg format. Menus are fully customizable for private events.

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