1337 India Street, Little Italy
(Has gone out of business since this article was published.)
Anthology is a three-level restaurant and club just south of Little Italy on India. Inspired by CEO Howard Berkson’s roots in Chicago nightlife, the 13,000-square-foot establishment pairs New American fine dining with live music in a sophisticated environment of 30-foot high ceilings, a wall of drapes illuminated by soft blue lighting, natural wood finishes, and concrete interior walls. The club hosts jazz, blues, classic rock, R&B, world, and Latin music and has seen performances from Chick Corea, Earl Thomas, and the Count Basie Orchestra. Reservations are encouraged.
Haylie and I are seated a few tables back from the stage, where a Tina Turner video projects on the wall. Our server, Tabitha, brings us a wine list of 250+ selections and the Fresh Vibe Tuesday menu featuring appetizers and entrées for under $20. We order an appetizer of buttery Calamari al Ajillo ($7), which is garnished with Yukon gold potatoes and organic olives.
The house band opens with a jazz number sung by the sultry Rebecca Jade. Members of the well-versed group have performed with Stevie Wonder, Jason Mraz, and Stanley Turrentine. The digital sound quality is immaculate as the group covers a Grover Washington Jr. tune. Tabitha returns with an entrée of Red Snapper Veracruz ($17) and a plate of Roasted Spring Vegetable & Manchego Cheese Tamales ($14) served with sweet corn purée and a citrus-y tomatillo & avocado salsa.
The band goes on to play tunes from Louis Armstrong, Aretha Franklin, Christina Aguilera, and the Jobim classic “Corcovado” as patrons converse softly over the music. Jade sings an a cappella “Happy Birthday” to a woman in the audience, which, Haylie conjectures, secretly makes us all wish it were our birthdays.
The mezzanine, empty on this night, hosts dining and a chic bar/lounge with an aerial view of the stage. The second level offers informal dining with a view, a Taylor Guitars private dining room, a balcony over India Street, and a lounge with an 18-foot-long fireplace. The restrooms (the true measure, Haylie tells me) maintain the upscale ambiance with mouthwash, marble sinks, and automatic everything.
Attire: Upscale casual
Prices: $15-$45 (up to $100). Value and VIP tickets available.
Happy Hour: Tuesday-Friday, 5:30-7:00 p.m.
Capacity: 300 seats
Hours: 5:30-10:30 p.m., Tuesday-Thursday; 5:30-12:30 a.m., Friday and Saturday
Best deal: Fresh Vibe Tuesdays. $5 entry. No food/drink minimum ($15 per person most nights).