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Boston Restaurant Recommendations


dweller
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Can you give a little more direction? Cuisine preferred? Boston proper or anywhere in the Boston area? Loud-ish hot spot or quiet upscale???

Pending your guidance, here are a few:

l'espalier

This is the finest French restaurant in Boston. Setting is a Back Bay townhouse, small intimate dining rooms, decorated impecably, extraordinary service. Chef/owner that actually cooks. Incredible wine. Known and lesser-known regional cheeses. Very $$$, but if you go all out for the tasting menu, you may never want to leave.

Sibling Rivalry

Very cool concept. Two brothers, both chefs, each responsible for their own parts of the menu. For each main ingredient, you get one interpretation by one brother and one interpretation by the other. You can pick all dishes from one or mix and match. Open kitchen, very nice decor, very good food. Not as pricey as L'espalier, but no Olive Garden either.

Lumiere

In the nearby Boston suburb of Newton, MA, sits this small, unassuming French gem. The Chef/owner has received various attention, including a nomination this year for a James Beard Award. Clean, modern French inspired food.

All of these places are on Open Table

so you can make reservations or see more restaurant info in one easy place.

Best of luck and welcome (in advance) to Boston!

-Mark-

---------------------------------------------------------

"If you don't want to use butter, add cream."

Julia Child

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Oleana in Cambridge...

As a former East Coaster who has lived in the Bay Area for over 15 years this restaurant has been on my list. The innovative Middle East/Arab Mediterranean cuisine seems to be quite different than anything I'm aware of in the Bay Area. My sister and brother in law had a great dinner their last fall and ever since hearing the menu descriptions I've been interested. The restaurant also seems to have some non-obvious but intriguing sounding desserts which is a major plus for me as well.

Spring 2007 Dinner Menu

PRET A MANGER

Warm Organic Kalamata Olives with Rigani & Sesame Seeds 4

Spicy Carrot Puree & Egyptian Spice Mix with Nuts & Olive Oil 4

Armenian Bean & Walnut Pâté with Homemade String Cheese 4

Deviled Eggs with Tuna & Black Olives 5

Warm Buttered Hummus with Basturma & Tomato 4

Whipped Feta with Sweet & Hot Peppers 4

APPETIZERS

Fried Mussels & Hot Peppers with Turkish Tarator Sauce 10

Red Wine-Barley Rusk with Cucumber Jus, Tomato, Whipped Ricotta & Kalamata Olives 10

Cacik—Salad of Spring Greens & Cucumber with Thick, Garlicky Yogurt 11

Asparagus, Green Almond Pesto, Fava Puree & Soft Boiled Egg 12

Walnut & Sesame Fatayer with Homemade Mozzarella & Rhubarb Jam 10

Lamb & Beef Borek with Wild Leeks, Orange & Cumin 10

Spinach Falafel, Tahini, Yogurt with Beets & Mâche 10

Sultan’s Delight; Tamarind Glazed Beef & Smokey Eggplant Puree with Pinenuts 12

GRAINS & GREENS

Spicy Fideos & Chick Peas with Green Chard & Orange Aioli 8/15

Ricotta & Bread Dumplings with Red Wine, Porcini and Kale 8/15

FISH

Halibut & Rice in Vine Leaves with Pine Nuts, Muscat Grapes & Sorrel butter 26

Hake Kibbeh Stuffed with Crab & Peas. Nettle broth with Hot Mint Butter 23

Lemon-Ginger Split Lobster with Sunchoke & Spring Onion Shish market price

Tuna, Barley Couscous, & Spinach Salad with Sesame & Green Olive 26

MEAT

Lamb Steak with Turkish Spices & Fava Bean Moussaka 24

Flattened Lemon Chicken with Za’atar & Turkish Cheese Pancake 24

River Rock Beef Kebob with Finger Bread, Green Garlic & Fiddlehead Fries 25

Free Range Veal & Almond Dumpling—Moroccan Style with Fava Bean Salad 24

Pork Ribs with Pomegranate Glaze, Bean Plaki & Parsnip-Coriander Slaw 24

Spring 2007 Dessert Menu

MAURA'S HOMEMADE ICE CREAM

Baked Alaska; Coconut Ice Cream & Passion Fruit Caramel 14

Nougat Glace with Pistachio Katmer & Sweet Apricot Dolma 12

Sicilian Almond Cremolata with Warm Chocolate Panino 11

Pineapple Granité, Frozen Yogurt Chiboust & Ginger Meringue 12

Espresso Ice Cream with Sticky Toffee Pudding & Espresso Caramel 11

Dondurma with Turkish Delight Crisps & Rhubarb-Rose Sharbat 12

Cocoa Sherbet with Chocolate Marquise & Sesame Pot de Crème 12

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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We live in Boston and are big foodies and eat everywhere.

Hands down for that special dinner is to do either the tasting at Clio or its sister sushi bar Uni. Both have the best ingrediants and using modern techniques to highlight their dishes (Nothing over-the-top Alinea style but done well).

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  • 4 weeks later...

nice report back faine, thank you!

We will be in Boston for 1 night, 1 day only- dinner is at No. 9 Park but are looking for a lunch spot on Friday. We are staying at the W waterfront and will be checking out the new modern art museum as well as doing a bit of shopping on Newberry. Any great casual lunch suggestions that are easy to get to from any of these locations? we'll be leaving town around 4pm......

Summer Shack doesn't sound like it is near where we will be??

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nice report back faine, thank you!

We will be in Boston for 1 night, 1 day only- dinner is at No. 9 Park but are looking for a lunch spot on Friday. We are staying at the W waterfront and will be checking out the new modern art museum as well as doing a bit of shopping on Newberry.  Any great casual lunch suggestions that are easy to get to from any of these locations? we'll be leaving town around 4pm......

Summer Shack doesn't sound like it is near where we will be??

LMF, given how much you post about cocktails, my first suggestion would be Eastern Standard in Kenmore Sq (not super far from the end of Newbury St). It's casual, good food and great drinks. We almost always eat at the bar :wink:

Also near Newbury St (on Boylston St near the park) Parish Cafe has very good sandwiches, decent beer list, but not good mixed drinks.

Near the waterfront, Sel de la Terre has been solid on several occasions.

Hope you have a great time!

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Hi a New Jersey member here, but, need some help for a friend that will be in Boston as the end of the month. Can someone recommend a really good restaurant for someone going to a trade show. They will be eating at Anthony's Pier 4 - they have no choice as they have to attend a dinner there.

Any other really good restaurants in the area of the Pier?

Thanks for any and all suggestions!!

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LMF, given how much you post about cocktails, my first suggestion would be Eastern Standard in Kenmore Sq (not super far from the end of Newbury St).  It's casual, good food and great drinks.  We almost always eat at the bar  :wink:

Nishla, thank you for the ES recommendation, we went after dinner last night and had a fabulous time with Tom (he says hi!!) really great drinks and what a list- Jackson gave us a menu. perfect recommendation- I owe you next time you are in Seattle! :biggrin:

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  • 4 weeks later...

Will be in Boston for work for 2 weeks during July. Have not visited new england since I was 12 years old... would very much like to get your ideas and recommendations on which places to visit. Will likely be roaming as a lone female, not that this should make any difference.

Ideally looking for a selection of clam/lobster, high-end dining, as well as simple places with astounding food. Aside from restaurants, do you know of any other fun foodie activities? Maybe a cheesemaking experience or something like that.

Many thanks!!

Heaven - steaming bowl of perfectly slippery flat rice noodles, coriander, spring onions, thin slices of marbled beef, hot hot hot broth...

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Ideally looking for a selection of clam/lobster, high-end dining, as well as simple places with astounding food. Aside from restaurants, do you know of any other fun foodie activities? Maybe a cheesemaking experience or something like that.

Lobster place: Jasper White's Summer Shack (not the one downtown; the one near the Alewife T Station). The one downtown is fine for quickie food, but if you want more of a serious meal in a very low key place, go Alewife location.

High end:

l'Espalier

No. 9 Park

Radius

-Mark-

---------------------------------------------------------

"If you don't want to use butter, add cream."

Julia Child

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I have no idea what any other Boston eGulleters think about it, but I love Petit Robert Bistro in Kenmore Square. The food is great all around and the prices are outstanding. For lunch, definitely head over to Parish Cafe, they have the best sandwich lineup of any restaurant I've ever seen. Publick House in Washington Square is the best pub around, for both food and beer, although it fills up quickly. Happy eating!

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Ken Oringer has been putting out cutting edge food for a long time now. If there was ever a real "foodie" restaurant in Boston it is Clio. You can also go next door to Uni for great sushi.

There are other restaurants as well like, Salts or Craigie Street Bistrot in Cambridge if you're near Harvard.

There is also great pizza in Boston. Santarpio's is in the East End, and Pizzaria Regina is in the North End.

Via Matta is a very good contemporary Italian restaurant from Michael Schlow in the Back Bay.

I don't know what your schedule is, but I hope it includes Fenway Park, and if it does you have to have a Fenway Frank.

Edited by kpzachary (log)
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OK, here comes my list:

fine dining, the top (but, to be honest not top on a national/international level, think 1 star Michelin, not two or three):

Radius, No9 Park and Clio

(I realize here that my overall selection is a bit skewed towards places associated with No 9 Park, Clio and Radius.......but I think that is because those are the smartest of the bigger restaurateurs to me, they reliably seem to come with smart concepts and sharp execution)

very good and especially interesting food, but less formal, less elaborate and less expensive:

Craigie Street (especially dishes including organ meat, try the "chef's whim" for a good and surprising deal )

Oleana (interesting and smart version of eastern mediterranean, the 5 course vegetarian prix fix is lots of fun)

B&G Oysters (smart take on simple seafood, great wine list, in my book decidedly more sophisticated than Neptune Oysters, but that sentiment is definitely not shared by all)

fun places with an edge and some style:

Toro (excellent Tapas, fun crowd)

The Butcher Shop (very good meat centered snacks and great wines, the most fun to drop in late for a quick bite and a drink)

simple seafood:

if you pick the right dishes Jasper White's summer shack can still be fun

(oysters and clams, grilled clams, clam ceviche, simply grilled fish......then stop)

homey food with superb wine:

Silvertone Bar and Grille (either the perfect pork chop or the mac'n cheese combined with some of their fanastic wines at unbeatable prices)

italian Italian:

Via Matta (not as good as Lupa in NYC, but the closest I have found to real italian)

Stopping here, will come back later with some recommendations on the cheaper side of things.

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  • 2 weeks later...

We am visiting Boston in August arriving late saturday night from London and departing wednesday morning...i want to make the most out of our visit and would really appreciate some help.

The only reservation so far is for No9 Park for our last dinner, btw what does 'business casual' constitute ?

Thinking about hiring a car on the Monday and heading out to Cape Cod for casual late seafood lunch...Impudent oyster ? Wicked oyster ? need to make reservations ? or are we crazy driving there in early August holiday traffic ?

Meanwhile back to Boston...other places that look worth a punt...

The Butchers Block

B & G Oysters

Uni

FuGaKyu

EVOO

I love casual places where the food and wine comes first so if there is something i am missing out on please tell me...haven't been to Boston for 8 years so this is all based on internet research. My fave places in NYC are Lupa, Babbo, Gramercy (back in the day) if that helps...

Charlie

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Welcome to New England Charlie. Pity you can't stay longer.

Biz casual (to me, anyway) is jacket & no tie, all else is up to you. The Cape is served by one major road and yes, that gets quite slow in August - worse on weekends. I recommend a really early start. There are some very nice areas along the coast north of Boston that show a lot of local color, should you be faced with an alternative.

Can't help you on Boston eateries, but I'm sure others will weigh in.

"I took the habit of asking Pierre to bring me whatever looks good today and he would bring out the most wonderful things," - bleudauvergne

foodblogs: Dining Downeast I - Dining Downeast II

Portland Food Map.com

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Welcome to New England Charlie. Pity you can't stay longer.

Biz casual (to me, anyway) is jacket & no tie, all else is up to you.  The Cape is served by one major road and yes, that gets quite slow in August - worse on weekends.  I recommend a really early start.  There are some very nice areas along the coast north of Boston that show a lot of local color, should you be faced with an alternative.

Can't help you on Boston eateries, but I'm sure others will weigh in.

Thanks johnnyd, interesting you should mention north of Boston as that was our first plan was Portland but were too late for a hotel that we liked also I had some recs for restaurants up there - is it doable in a day ? if not where is worth going to for a good feed !?

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I second Bitcher Shop, B&G Oyster, and a shrt walk down the street will get you Toro. Also try Ken Oringers new Taqueria in Fenway, I hear its good. On your way back from the cape, stop off in Plymouth at the winebar/restaurant I chef at for a mid way refresher :smile:

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On your way back from the cape, stop off in Plymouth at the winebar/restaurant I chef at for a mid way refresher
... which is Enoteca di Vino 39 Court St in Plymouth.

Portland is doable in a day. It's a 90-100 minute drive. There is Portsmouth on the way too. But in Massachussets, I once drove along the coast from Marblehead to Rockport, through Beverley, Manchester and Gloucester. Saw some beautiful New England coastline, a crazy castle that the guy who invented remote control radio built in the 1920s, and many, many places I wish we could have stopped to eat. The trick is to cut inland to the interstate for a short return trip. Depending on time, you can pick and choose among many options. You can't deny the magic of Cape Cod though. :smile:

"I took the habit of asking Pierre to bring me whatever looks good today and he would bring out the most wonderful things," - bleudauvergne

foodblogs: Dining Downeast I - Dining Downeast II

Portland Food Map.com

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