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Dinner in Boston


aidan
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My wife is taking me out to dinner this week in Boston for my birthday. I am out of the loop as far as the restaurant scene here. I had a couple ideas (harvest, garden at the cellar, ten tables, mistral, clio etc.). Any recomendations would be great.

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Aidan,

What kind of atmosphere would you like, and any kind of food in particular you feel like eating? Also, any area in particular that you will be near? Do you have a car or are there transportation issues to consider?

We aim to make our visitors happy...

- L.

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We had a delicious meal at Craigie on Main on New Years Eve and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it. I suggest making a reservation to sit in the bar area which is very lively and offers the bar menu as well as the regular dinner menu for the most food choices. The food is French bistro fare a cut well above. Casual attire, bustling atmosphere, fabulous food. Not fancy, schmancy wear a suit and tie.

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I have no preference on cuisine or atmosphere. We just moved back to Mass from southern Maine, where I worked at a local restaurant. I plan on exploring more of the city, so it isn't a one time deal. I also live within an hour of Boston now, so transportation is a non issue. We are both open to any food, we just want a fun meal. We also don't care if it is ultra formal or sitting at the bar. I fully understand I am not being overly useful in the info department in so much as to what I am looking for, but vagueness limits pigeonholing, and I want to know where you would want to go to if it were up to you. Thank you for responses thus far.

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For a birthday dinner, I'd probably pick:

1. Clio, which does (in my opinion) the best tasting menu in the city--some modern techniques, inventive flavor combinations, really tasty food

2. Craigie on Main--delicious, perfectly prepared food, relaxed atmosphere, great staff

3. O Ya--spectacular sushi

All three are relatively pricey, but I think they're worth it.

The place we go most often for a casual meal is Eastern Standard. Really good food and excellent cocktails.

I've had mediocre dinners at both Harvest and Mistral.

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For a birthday dinner, I'd probably pick:

1. Clio, which does (in my opinion) the best tasting menu in the city--some modern techniques, inventive flavor combinations, really tasty food

Second the Clio recommendation: we had a wonderful 7 couse new years tasting.

Two other alternative for a great tasting menu are No. 9 park and TW Food.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Depending on when your birthday is, this might be too little too late.

1) Clio - I had their tasting menu there a few years ago and thought it was a solid meal but not spectacular. The atmosphere is cozy.

2) O Ya - Poor service and pretentious. Everything was foamed or deconstructed. I thought most of the dressings did not really enhance the flavour of the fish but merely added visual appeal. We spent around $160 per person (not including tax and tip) and left there relatively unfulfilled. I think it depends on what you want. I just want an amazing piece of fish and don't necessarily need microgreens and foamed olive oil on it to make me happy.

3) Rendezvous - I agree that I've always had a solid meal there but it's not really an intimate setting if that's what you're looking for.

4) Harvest and Mistral - agree that they're mediocre.

5) No 9 Park - I had the tasting menu and it was a solid meal. Maybe it's just me but I thought the dishes were uninspired. I thought the atmosphere was a little impersonal though.

5) L'Espalier - I'm going to add this to the list. I really enjoy this restaurant and had the best tasting meal experience here (for Boston). Their new location isn't nearly as cozy as their old one...it just feels like any other hotel restaurant. However, their service is always impeccable - attentive but not overbearing. If you're on a tight budget, you can consider their Wine Mondays or Cheese Tuesdays. It's a 3 course tasting menu with wine pairings (+/- cheese depending on the day) for $60. If you tell them it's for a birthday, they'll give you a private table. Because they're appealing to the masses, the dinners on Wine Mondays aren't nearly as inventive as their regular tasting menu.

Craigie on Main is on my list.....

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