In a more recently gentrified section of the uber-gentrified South End, Union Bar and Grille
sits along up-and-coming Washington Street, a strip of loft condos, new shops and restaurants, and vintage structures in the neighborhood's southern reaches. Union - at 1357 Washington Street, is airy, swank, and fun with black leather booths and a beautiful bar. Chef Seth Woods prepares superb regional cuisine, and Union has become especially popular for weekend brunches (investigate such gustatory wonders as linguica sandwiches with fried eggs, cheese, grilled Portuguese sausage, and spicy sauce on an English muffin, or crips New England cod cakes with poached eggs and hollandaise sauce). At dinner, you might sample the likes of hand-rolled gnocchi with peas, pancetta, Pecorina Romano, and parsley, followed by grilled and smoked Long Island duck breast with a wild-leek-and-goat-cheese tart, rhubarb chutney, and ginger citrus jus. There's a fab wine list, desserts that include Vermont maple bread pudding with walnut pralines and vanilla ice cream, and a long list of cognacs, grappas, ports, single malts, and other after-dessert beverages. The restaurant is part of the Aquitaine restaurant group, which also includes such gay-popular South End mainstays as Aquitaine Bar a Vin Bistrot
and Metropolis Cafe
, as well as Aquitaine Bis in Chestnut Hill and the stylish Armani Cafe on Newbury Street.