Red Lantern Restaurant & LoungeNovember 17, 2011
Cocktail Lounge of the Year Entry
Name of Lounge: Red Lantern Restaurant & Lounge
Location: Boston, Mass.
Ownership/Parent Company: Big Night Entertainment Group
Square Footage: 9,000
Drawing on inspiration from Asia, the new Red Lantern Restaurant & Lounge offers a tantalizing cocktail and dinner menu, stylized interior and ethereal atmosphere that transports guests to another world. Open truss work, original interior and exterior red brick and oversized operable windows characterize the space, while a simple “Red Lantern” sign marches across the roof line. Custom 10-foot wooden exterior doors welcome guests and an 8-foot lantern hangs at the entryway, beckoning visitors into a handsome foyer. Inside, 20-foot ceremonial black lacquered doors set the tone for the venue’s traditional Asian décor. A 40-foot custom marble bar lies ahead, while hundreds of sultry glowing red lanterns draw attention to a wall shimmering with hand-collected seashells from the beaches of Vietnam. An oversized Buddha surrounded by an army of acupuncture statues rising to the ceiling watch over the room.
Red Lantern’s open floor plan offers guests many options for cocktail and culinary adventures. Between the bar and main dining area sits a vibrant lounge with plush custom-made settees, where guests can enjoy a drink or meal. Set against the back wall of the two-story, 233-seat dining room and lounge is Red Lantern’s visual masterpiece, an open kitchen featuring a wood-fired grill and four wok stations. A six-seat sushi bar and 12-seat stone dining counter run the length of the kitchen.
All staff members, including bartenders, VIP cocktail servers, security and managers receive extensive training in their respective positions and in customer relations to ensure all patrons enjoy a quality entertainment experience. All bartenders and servers are TIPS certified and Big Night Entertainment group has a long history of promoting from within and retains a number of long-standing employees.
The lounge’s extensive cocktail menu features a wide array of Asian-inspired drinks, including the Grass-Fed Mule (lemon-grass-infused Grey Goose Citron, fresh lime and ginger beer), the Wasabi Mary (Grey Goose and Red Lantern’s special Wasabi Mary Mix) and the delicious desert-like Fortune Cookie (Ciroc Coconut, Kahlua, Frangelico and milk). Creative and fun martinis include the Geisha (Stoli Strasberi, passion fruit and bubbly), Drunken Samurai (Moonstone Pear Sake, Amaretto and fresh lemon) and Sumo Summer (Hendricks, fresh basil, grapefruit and sparkling Rosé).
Four–person scorpion bowls come in Yin and Yang options, of course; the Yin is a fruity, sweet blend of Bacardi Gold, Bacardi Select, 151, orange, pineapple and cherry. The sour Yang combines Stoli Strasberi, Stoli Gala Applik, 10 Cane Rum, sour and cranberry. The bar also boasts a wide array of sparkling, red and white wines, shots and draft and bottled beer. And, of course, Red Lantern has a full sake menu and offers Gekkeikan Traditional Sake Service. For a fiery shot, servers recommend The Flaming Plum, with Umeshu and Palinka. Kanpai!
Red Lantern’s expert staff goes to great lengths to ensure the quality of service, and the food and drink menus exceed customer expectations. Servers are friendly, knowledgeable and treat every guest like a regular, which is why this upscale cocktail lounge has blossomed into one of Boston’s most popular hotspots, just five months after opening. Ownership and management are dedicated to improving the customer experience and are continually enhancing services; Red Lantern, for example, was the city’s first venue to implement Tabbedout, a secure mobile payment solution enabling patrons to open, view and pay their restaurant and bar tabs using smartphones.