Jump to content


Welcome to the eG Forums!

These forums are a service of the Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, a 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to advancement of the culinary arts. Anyone can read the forums, however if you would like to participate in active discussions please join the Society.

Photo

The Best Boston Restaurant


  • Please log in to reply
62 replies to this topic

#1 AngAcq

AngAcq
  • legacy participant
  • 2 posts

Posted 16 March 2004 - 07:15 AM

Hello! My husband and I will be traveling to Boston soon and would like to know what is considered the BEST restaurant. We'll be staying in the backbay area, however as long as it is easily accessible we can get around to other areas. Price is no object, we're looking for the best food (no preference on cuisine).

Thanks.

#2 Verjuice

Verjuice
  • participating member
  • 712 posts
  • Location:The High, Dry Desert

Posted 16 March 2004 - 07:46 AM

Boston Best Of

No. 9 Park gets my vote. You should check out this link, though, and scroll down to R for restaurants. I have found it very reliable.


Have fun, and by the way, welcome! :smile:

#3 AngAcq

AngAcq
  • legacy participant
  • 2 posts

Posted 16 March 2004 - 07:54 AM

Thanks. What do you all think of Grill 23...I've heard some good things about that place.

#4 bigwino

bigwino
  • participating member
  • 201 posts

Posted 16 March 2004 - 08:09 AM

Grill 23 is very good, for a steakhouse. Go to any excellent steakhouse in any city and you've got the same thing (I think).

I would second No. 9 Park (though I would NOT recommend the tasting menu). I would also strongly recommend Radius.

The tasting menu at No. 9 was a disappointment for my wife and me. Very expensive, not well done and the wine pairings were questionable. It is also very expensive for what you get. I returned another time and had an a la carte meal and was very impressed.

Just one man's opinion.....

#5 Verjuice

Verjuice
  • participating member
  • 712 posts
  • Location:The High, Dry Desert

Posted 16 March 2004 - 08:47 AM

Although I haven't tried Radius, I am going to be in Boston for one night in April, and I'm going to be dining there; have heard wonderful things about it.

bigwino, have you had Barbara Lynch's gnocchi? :biggrin: Awesome.

#6 bigwino

bigwino
  • participating member
  • 201 posts

Posted 16 March 2004 - 12:06 PM

I haven't had the gnocchi yet. They weren't part of the tasting menu and on my return trip something else got my attention over the gnocchi.

I've heard they're pretty incredible. Next time....

#7 kechefs

kechefs
  • participating member
  • 14 posts
  • Location:Wolfeboro, N.H.

Posted 16 March 2004 - 03:24 PM

We very much enjoy Hammersleys Bistro every time we are in Boston.Mistral is also very good, Radius is wonderful as is Julien at the Langham.
"What some call health, if purchased by perpetual anxiety about diet, isn't much better than tedious disease"
George Dennison Prentice

#8 Schneier

Schneier
  • participating member
  • 1,625 posts
  • Location:Minneapolis, MN

Posted 16 March 2004 - 08:52 PM

I've posted reviews of both Radius and No. 9 Park last year in this section.

Bruce

#9 Gary Tanigawa

Gary Tanigawa
  • participating member
  • 128 posts
  • Location:Alexandria, VA

Posted 17 March 2004 - 04:08 PM

Any other opinions on the tasting menu at No. 9 Park?

Edited by Gary Tanigawa, 17 March 2004 - 09:05 PM.


#10 Wilson

Wilson
  • legacy participant
  • 85 posts
  • Location:Seattle

Posted 17 March 2004 - 08:40 PM

Of the steakhouses in Boston, I'd say Grill 23 is the most generic of the bunch. If that's what you want, I'd recommend either the Oak Room or Locke-Ober. In the case of Locke-Ober, the place isn't a steakhouse but they have a wonderful chateaubriand for 2 on the menu.

My favorites in Boston are Locke-Ober, L'Espalier and Le Soir.

- Locke-Ober. Ancient institution. Was fading badly before being rescued by Lydia Shire, a noted local restauranteur. She kept what needed to be kept and changed what needed to be changed, and now it sparkles again. Besides the chateaubriand, I recommend the beef stroganoff and JFK's lobster stew.

- L'Espalier. French haute cuisine in the Back Bay. Get the tasting menu with the wine accompaniment. Perfectly paired, and the service is just outstanding.

- Le Soir is in the nearby (10 miles) suburb of Newton. Reachable by the Mass Pike (I-90) or the Green Line (Newton Highlands stop and a three-block walk). French bistro with wonderful food, warm and personal service. The only negative is that the room is noisier than I'd like. But that's common in Boston.

I'm not high on Radius. It's a love it or hate it kind of place, and I'm afraid I'm more in the hate-it crowd. The food's never done much for me, and the attitude is a bit much. The space is uninspiring. I'd also avoid Rialto, a vastly over-praised place in the Charles Hotel in Cambridge. They have a celebrity chef of some sort, hence a bunch of fawning reviews. I thought it was pedestrian.


Special favorites, more moderately priced:

- Stellina's, an Italian bistro in Watertown, a nearby suburb (8 miles) reachable via the Mass Pike. One of the best Italian restaurants I've been to outside of Italy. Authenic cuisine, and a warm tomato salad to die for.

- Evoo, a New American bistro on the Cambridge-Somerville border. Good food, great value. "Evoo" stands for "extra virgin olive oil." Very Cambridge.


I haven't been to #9 Park. Hamerley's Bistro is a good, solid New American sort of place. Varies from very good to excellent, depending on the evening.

#11 jo-mel

jo-mel
  • participating member
  • 1,633 posts
  • Location:New Jersey via Massachusetts

Posted 17 March 2004 - 08:47 PM

Locke-Ober! Lydia Shire has captured the flavor of Lobster Savannah that I remember from the early 50s. I usually like my lobster steamed and eaten outdoors ----with the exception of Lobster Savannah!!

#12 Verjuice

Verjuice
  • participating member
  • 712 posts
  • Location:The High, Dry Desert

Posted 19 March 2004 - 04:17 AM

Has anyone been to Craigie Street Bistrot? I haven't been yet.

#13 bigwino

bigwino
  • participating member
  • 201 posts

Posted 19 March 2004 - 07:25 AM

I'm going to Craigie Street tomorrow night! First time, so I don't have any comments yet, but I will report back.

Sorry, no pics will be forthcoming. I can't imagine taking pics through my meal...

#14 liamdc

liamdc
  • participating member
  • 274 posts
  • Location:Madison, Wisconsin

Posted 19 March 2004 - 09:55 AM

Any other opinions on the tasting menu at No. 9 Park?

Here are some thoughts I shared a few months back...

http://forums.egulle...topic=35914&hl=
Liam

Eat it, eat it
If it's gettin' cold, reheat it
Have a big dinner, have a light snack
If you don't like it, you can't send it back
Just eat it -- Weird Al Yankovic

#15 GordonCooks

GordonCooks
  • participating member
  • 2,550 posts
  • Location:Rochester, NY

Posted 19 March 2004 - 11:08 AM

Clio, The Federalist, & Radius are tops in my book. No 9 Park is starting to fade a little. More gets you less lately.

edit sp

Edited by GordonCooks, 19 March 2004 - 11:10 AM.


#16 BJL

BJL
  • participating member
  • 58 posts

Posted 07 April 2004 - 08:04 AM

Heading to Boston from NY and need a suggestion for one exceptional meal, but nothing too pretentious.

Based on this and other boards I was thinking about Radius or Locke-Ober. I had initially thought of Upstairs on the Square. But now Clio and the Federalist catch my attention. Any thoughts on which direction to go? Priority is excellent food, money not an issue.

We are staying near Fanueil Hall, but are pretty adept at navigating public transp. in Boston. Thanks

#17 pattimw

pattimw
  • participating member
  • 242 posts
  • Location:Quincy, MA

Posted 07 April 2004 - 10:56 AM

Heading to Boston from NY and need a suggestion for one exceptional meal, but nothing too pretentious.

Based on this and other boards I was thinking about Radius or Locke-Ober. I had initially thought of Upstairs on the Square. But now Clio and the Federalist catch my attention. Any thoughts on which direction to go? Priority is excellent food, money not an issue.

We are staying near Fanueil Hall, but are pretty adept at navigating public transp. in Boston. Thanks

I think if you were going for non-pretentious, I would stay away from Locke-Ober and Radius, while these are excellent restaurants, they are a bit stuffy: ie, they know how good they are.

I think Clio or Upstairs on the Square are more the direction you would want to go. I would also check out Hamersley's Bistro, Trocquet, oleana, Icarus, Pigalle, Le Mistral, Meritage.

Good luck - hope you enjoy your stay!

#18 little ms foodie

little ms foodie
  • participating member
  • 3,063 posts
  • Location:Seattle, WA

Posted 07 April 2004 - 11:05 AM

If you are staying near F Hall you should try out Kingfish Hall for great seafood. Not in the same category as the restaurants you are discussing here but my husband and I had a wonderful meal sitting outside a few years back. Mmmm, I like Todd English's flavor combinations and the way presentations are done. It's pretty casual and they are open for lunch also I believe.

#19 pattimw

pattimw
  • participating member
  • 242 posts
  • Location:Quincy, MA

Posted 08 April 2004 - 06:27 AM

If you are staying near F Hall you should try out Kingfish Hall for great seafood. Not in the same category as the restaurants you are discussing here but my husband and I had a wonderful meal sitting outside a few years back. Mmmm, I like Todd English's flavor combinations and the way presentations are done. It's pretty casual and they are open for lunch also I believe.

I agree with you on that one. I was very impressed - I took my husband there for a birthday lunch. I was thinking that Todd English was stretching himself too thin, but this was a pleasant surprise.

#20 alithea

alithea
  • participating member
  • 84 posts

Posted 08 April 2004 - 08:37 AM

I used to live in the North End and when Italian got irritating we'd always head for Kingfish Hall. It was a very good and dependable place, much better than it had to be for its touristy location. But it's not a temple of haute cuisine.

I have mixed feelings about most of the places mentioned -- No. 9 Park, Radius, the Federalist, L'Espalier, Rialto, and Upstairs on the Square. I think Clio is pretty fantastic though. If you were in Kenmore Square for any reason, you might keep Great Bay (run by the same people who run Radius) in mind as well.

#21 morda

morda
  • participating member
  • 116 posts

Posted 09 April 2004 - 10:06 AM

I went to Radius and the food and service were very good, but that was about 5 years ago so I'm glad to hear it's still doing well, at least by some accounts.

Are you looking specifically for an upscale restaurant? To be honest, if I were heading up to Boston, I would:

1) go to Chinatown and have some dim sum. Then stop at a bakery and get egg tarts, the sticky rice cake, wife cakes, moon cakes, bbq pork buns, whatever else looks good, to go. I can't give specific recommendations for places anymore, but I'm sure that there are others who can.

2) rent a car, drive about 20 miles out of the city and go to this little hole-in-the-wall South Indian restaurant in Ashland.

3) hit as many brew pubs as possible and try their house-made beers. This is something I really I missed when I lived in DC and now when I live in SC. Does beer count as food?

But maybe I'm weird.

morda

#22 lleechef

lleechef
  • participating member
  • 57 posts
  • Location:Anchorage, AK

Posted 09 April 2004 - 10:35 AM

Rialto and Radius.

#23 VivreManger

VivreManger
  • participating member
  • 950 posts

Posted 10 April 2004 - 06:28 AM

I think Hammersley's is over-rated. I certainly don't think it's the best.

#24 marezion

marezion
  • participating member
  • 31 posts

Posted 14 April 2004 - 12:33 PM

I just found this thread, which has been dead for a while, it seems. I'm going to Boston this weekend and have reservations at 75 Chestnut.

Does anyone have any recommendations?

:rolleyes:

#25 bigwino

bigwino
  • participating member
  • 201 posts

Posted 14 April 2004 - 02:01 PM

Four days is dead for a while? :blink:

I think you'll find the recs pretty up to date here.

#26 pattimw

pattimw
  • participating member
  • 242 posts
  • Location:Quincy, MA

Posted 16 April 2004 - 12:41 PM

I think Hammersley's is over-rated. I certainly don't think it's the best.

what happened? I always thought it was reliable.

#27 VivreManger

VivreManger
  • participating member
  • 950 posts

Posted 17 April 2004 - 12:29 PM

Reliable does not mean the best. I ate there once and was disappointed. other friends have shared my judgement. I had their signature chicken dish and, while it was perfectly acceptable bird, I would not pay what I paid for it ever again.

My high-end dining experience has tended to be out of Boston in NYC: Bouley's, London: Gordon Ramsey (Royal Hospital Road, Pied a Terre and Montreal: Les Chevres and -- quite a bit cheaper -- Brunoise. All of these places are superiof to Hammersley's by a long shot.

#28 Brad S

Brad S
  • participating member
  • 510 posts

Posted 17 April 2004 - 01:43 PM

A couple years ago for my wifes birthday we went to Radius for dinner.

The service was excellent, the food was excellent and the house was very smart.
Turnip Greens are Better than Nothing. Ask the people who have tried both.

#29 Schneier

Schneier
  • participating member
  • 1,625 posts
  • Location:Minneapolis, MN

Posted 18 April 2004 - 08:22 AM

A couple years ago for my wifes birthday we went to Radius for dinner.

The service was excellent, the food was excellent and the house was very smart.

I would vote for Radius over No. 9 Park.

Bruce

#30 bigwino

bigwino
  • participating member
  • 201 posts

Posted 18 April 2004 - 09:01 AM

For the fine dining experience, I'd have to concur with Bruce.

If you're talking food quality alone, I'd say they're tied. Of course, at that price, the whole experience should count, right?