District Lounge

Welcome to a new blog feature, one I like to call “My Roommate And I Are Often In The Same Place At The Same Time But We Don’t Always Agree On How Much Fun We Had While We Were There.”

Or, for the sake of brevity, “Roommate Reviews.”

The other night I dragged Riboflavin along to the opening night of Melange, a new lesbian night at District Lounge. Those of you familiar with downtown Boston will know what I mean when I say that to get there, you can either get mildly lost walking through Chinatown, or walk from NEMC until you’re pretty confident you’re about to start hitching on the Pike. Either way, it’s on Lincoln Street.

The evening is run by the organizers of Deep, the Saturday night dance event at Aria that will sadly be taking a summer hiatus because the Roxy feels the need to usurp the venue. Regardless, I’d been to District once before at a special Pride event (with one of my other roommates–I swear I have friends who don’t live with me) and really liked the location. After the jump, our point-by-point review.

Bang for the Buck.
mk: It’s hard to go wrong with no cover. That’s right, no cover. I never understand how regular events can afford to not charge a cover, but I’m always grateful. Although I felt a little overcharged for our drinks (ten bucks for a Corona and a Shirley Temple? For that to be true, one or the other has to be ridiculously overpriced) the lack of cover and abundant free appetizers meant money well spent.
Riboflavin: Agreed. You might think I would find it even more worth the money since I don’t drink, but it seems like non-alcoholic drinks often cost almost as much as alcoholic ones. Still, the lack of cover charge makes this definitely affordable, and you don’t have to stay the whole night just to make it worth the money.

Atmosphere.
mk: I still maintain that District has the nicest feel of any specifically lesbian venue I’ve seen so far. Dim but not sketchy lighting, funky decor, and actual seating make this a comfortable environment for drinking. And if you arrive early enough, the music is even at a volume compatible with non-shouted conversation.
Riboflavin: I’ve only been there once so far, for just an hour or so, and I spent a big chunk of that time looking around at the visually pleasing décor. And there are flat screen TVs that say “District,” so that’s… that. The seating was comfortable, though the tables-with-half-circle-couches setup seems to be ideal for parties of four or more.

Music.
mk: I’m not a huge fan of the DJ who presides at both Melange and Deep. She has a tendency to trainwreck transitions, she plays songs that are pretty fundamentally undanceable, and she clearly doesn’t notice that certain songs instantly empty the dance floor. At Melange, however, at least an hour of more mellow tunes precedes the actual dancing portion of the evening. I give that selection high marks. My first visit was marked by mellow numbers, while this week featured some sweet classic rock. Seriously, who’s that lady?
Riboflavin: Like I said, I’ve only been there for the earlier part of the evening, so I only heard the mellow music. It was a nice after-work vibe and the music was solid. Not “Oh my god I love this song,” but nowhere near “Oh man, I have to criticize this constantly until it’s over.”

Drinks.
mk: Something about the combination of lime and Corona made me feel like I was drinking bubble gum. This has never happened to me before, though, so I’m willing to chalk that up to a Weird Thing. On my first visit I had a couple of Jolly Ranchers, which tasted remarkably like watermelon Jolly Rancher. Pretty standard cocktail price of eight dollars and extremely tasty. I also had the worst (or second best, since I’ve only had two) martini I’ve ever had. I asked for it dirty, and it was too clean for my tastes.
Riboflavin: All I’ve had from there is water and a Shirley Temple. They were both fine. I kind of wanted another Shirley Temple, so I guess that means it was decent.

Eats.
mk: So tasty! It’s a little unclear whether the food came from a caterer or off the District menu (they appear to serve food, though the area Melange takes up isn’t really a dining area) but either way the apps were super. First, a basil and tomato flat bread. Pretty standard, a little messy. Second, chicken fingers with honey mustard. I can’t comment much on the sauce- I dipped a tiny bit since all I had was a cocktail napkin- but the fingers themselves were exquisite. Fried in an extremely light, flaky batter sprinkled with sea-salt, the chicken was a big hit. Lastly, a crazy fancy flatbread: chicken, asiago, carmelized onions, potato slices, and slivers of green onion. Amazing. My second slice was harder to manage, but ridiculously good.
Riboflavin: The breading on the chicken fingers melted in my mouth. I wanted to eat a lot more of the chicken and potato flatbread. This was my dinner.

Service.
mk: The bartender this week isn’t getting much love from me. I tipped her as much as I do for baseline bar service, but she was extremely inattentive. Riboflavin had to wait at least five minutes to get a glass of water, and she was a little curt with me when I ordered (after doing my standard awkward smile not once but twice to get her attention). The woman who served me on the previous visit, on the other hand, was wonderful. Prompt, attentive, very friendly, and with a clear sense of humor. This week’s appetizer server was of a similar high caliber. Friendly, patient, and attentive without being pushy.
Riboflavin: It’s true – I did have to wait for five minutes to get a glass of water. Maybe it was my fault, though – maybe I felt guilty for just getting water and was therefore subconsciously sending off “ignore me” vibes. I, too, appreciated the appetizer server. She didn’t get impatient at all when I took a little too long to pick out what I wanted from a tray of identical items.

Bouncers.
mk: I only mention this because I’ve gotten used to the bouncers at lesbian nights being Big Dudes Who Don’t Talk To Me Because I’m A Dyke. Tuesday night at Melange, by contrast, a lovely man working the door actually answered me when I asked how he was doing, and seemed light-heartedly concerned that we were leaving so early.
Riboflavin: Yeah, that guy at the door was refreshing. He wasn’t cold, like most of the male bouncers I’ve encountered at dyke clubs, but neither was he overly nice in a sketchy way. I always wonder how these guys describe their evening jobs to their buddies.

To sum up, I’ll take a page from my brother’s new rating system (visit his New Orleans blog if you’re interested in news and reviews from the Big Easy) and give Melange/District a verdict of Just About Every Tuesday.

And, indeed, we’re going back tonight. Stay tuned!

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3 Responses to District Lounge

  1. lala says:

    thanks for the review 🙂 i wanted to go when i first heard about it, but at the time, no one was available to go with me… yes, i’m a big chicken.

    now that i have a willing guinea pig, er, friend to go with me, i’m gonna give it a go next tuesday (7/24).

    one thing i didn’t see in your review though, how were the other women there? was it busy? were they friendly? what was the vibe?

  2. pandanose says:

    Coming to this late thanks to my recent break, lala, so I apologize if you’ve already been and answered your own question by now. If you haven’t, read on:

    Melange gets pretty busy, but it takes a while. And until it does, the dozen or so people who are there will all congregate directly in front of the bar and give you dirty looks when you try to slither in to order. As such, I tend to rate the crowd “cliquey, but slightly upscale.”

    I did end up in a lovely conversation with someone on my first visit after the bartender mixed up our tabs, but that led to an unfortunate situation where it probably seemed like I was trying to pick her up. Other than her, I really haven’t talked to anyone I didn’t know. But then, I have a girlfriend, so I probably wouldn’t regardless of the vibe.

  3. lala says:

    pandanose,

    no apology necessary 🙂 i have not gone yet — gonna give it a go tomorrow night with a friend of mine.

    good to know that going on the later side will work out better as far as a larger pool of people to converse with and about the cliquey bar berm (i will get some good use out of my sly bar ordering tricks 😉 ).

    thanks again for the mini review, i find them helpful 🙂

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