Restaurants that insert "Neighborhood" into their name aren't typically places you'd want to hang, unless you're a retired basketball coach whose photo was hung on the wall by an appreciative waitstaff, or a football team hoping to catch a late meal after a dispiriting loss, or a town drunk who loves Southwestern Spring Rolls. For a "neighborhood" spot that actually works, hit Neighborhood Services Tavern
Just opened in the ex-Sol Ey!'s, NST's a dark-'n-cozy dinner-only cave from the chef-owner behind Lovers Lane's non-tavern Neighborhood Services; the heavily woodsy new digs are more casual, with naked tables, exposed-brick walls, a wood-awning'd bar, and black-and-white pics of Steve McQueen, James Dean, and Connery-as-Bond leaning over a pool table -- vastly cooler than Connery-as-Forrester, leaning over a paycheck. The affordable "refined New American" menu uses local goodness whenever possible (& it makes its own sausage & ricotta), with starters running from Creek Stone Meatballs w/ blue gremolata to the cracked mustard-sauced Tavern Banger, which you'll avoid hitting on 'til after the last Tavern Hot Girl has left for the night (but you should just do it now, 'cause you've got a pretty good idea how this is gonna shake out). For mains, there's the halibut/cod Fish Cheeks & Chips w/ malted slaw & smoked paprika remoulade, thin-cut bone-in Berkshire Minute T-Chops, and "Nightly Plates" like Thursday's country-fried game hen and Saturday's Uncle Roger's Sliced Lamb; tweaked carryovers include the Schnitz w/ black pepper spaetzle, and Rock Shrimp n' Cheddar Grits, as opposed to Rock Lobster, which is always paired with a desire to never again hear "Rock Lobster".
For the boozer that's in/is you, the eclectic bar stocks around 50 wines, four taps (Stella/Abita Pale Ale/New Belgium 1554/Blvd Wheat), a dozen bottled/canned beers (Bridgeport IPA to Schlitz), and 10 signature cocktails such as the pineapple-infused Pisco/lime/nutmeg/Angostura/egg white "Egg Man" and the Buffalo Trace/lemon/grenadine/absinthe "Bourbon and Bullets" -- or, what it'd take for you to actually be "Feeling good, in the neighborhood..."