Few would venture out to the intersection of Cambridge Street and Storrow Drive in search of an upscale dining destination — or even a casual neighborhood joint — yet that urban corner is home to two eateries that cover both of those bases. Fusion Lounge is a causal bar, open all day, and a perfect spot to grab a drink and a bite, or to watch a game. Nearby, the Green Room works for dinner proper or a date night of dinner and a concert.
Both are easy to overlook, as they're tucked away inside the DoubleTree Suites between Boston and Cambridge. The hotel's nondescript exterior belies Fusion Lounge's newly renovated, post modern interior of bleached white surfaces — from Bauhaus-inspired seating to a towering atrium — and a clever carpeting of silvery gray etched with purple, which subtly echoes the concrete and purple window casings of the Brutalist apartment buildings in view on Memorial Drive.
On the flip side, the Green Room's design encompasses a cozy mix of autumnal tones — rusty golds and burnished reds —and is adjacent to Scullers, the renowned jazz club, hence the call-out in the restaurant's name. Boston’s ever-clogged western artery, Storrow Drive, notwithstanding, the Green Room also provides views of the Charles River’s more gentle traffic of rowers and the odd water bird.
The menu mixes classics, such as chicken parm and steak, with the contemporary, a crispy shrimp tempura or an "adult" mac and cheese. A chilled cocktail of shrimp and cucumber in a spicy tomato sauce is served in a canning jar, a trendy bit of service that's becoming common on many menus these days. A pan roasted salmon sits on noodles lightly coated with a smoky sesame oil and tossed with spinach and slivers of red pepper and carrot. A bowl of fresh ripe strawberries and blueberries topped with a generous jigger of Grand Marnier and a dollop of whipped cream is the perfect end-of-summer finish.