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Boston Restaurant Recommendations


dweller
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1. The supposed best Modern American restaurants:

Radius

Excelsior

Clio

Troquet (Mediterannean, awesome wine list/values)

Locke-Ober (Old World Boston lives on --- JFK's oyster stew, etc.)

Hamersley's Bistro (French --- lovely South End location)

No. 9 Park (Italian)

2. Seafood. Buckets of crabs, lobsters, clams and scallops. Somewhere full of life and flying shells.

In Boston proper:

Jasper White's Summer Shack (one in Arlington ---the "flagship" --- and another in Back Bay)

The No Name Restaurant --- touristy, overrated, but an experience

Legal Seafoods --- generally overrated; good, but not great

North of Boston (birthplace of the fried clam):

In Essex: Woodman's

In Marblehead: The Barnacle (magical setting); Maddie's Sail Loft (serious cocktails). Marblehead, by the way, is a great town to visit on a day trip.

3. The famed lobster roll. I've heard lots about them, but never tried one.

Traditional: Jasper White's Summer Shack; Legal Seafoods

Upscale: B&G Oyster Bar (in the South End)

4. Any beers/breweries I should look out for?

Tremont Ale; Sam Adams; Harpoon

5. Any quirky little places I might otherwise never find?

For southern-style barbecue: Redbones in Somerville (they also have a selection of 50+ microbrews on tap)

In Boston's North End (a neighborhood settled predominantly by Italian immigrants): Sage, Carmen and Bricco (for casual, but upscale Italian); Cafe Graffitti (for espresso drinks and local color); Mike's Pastry (for Italian sweets).

6. The best markets/stores for food and related things.

Meats: Savenor's (Beacon Hill)

Sulmona (North End)

John Dewar & Co. (Newton)

Salumeria (Italian specialty foods): Salumeria Italiana (North End)

Bread: Hi-Rise Bakery (Cambridge --- great soups and sandwiches)

Produce: Whole Foods Markets (multiple locations)

Haymarket (outdoor market Saturday mornings near Quincy Marketplace --- more for the experience/ambience than the quality)

ENJOY!!

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I agree with giovanni on all the above and would like to throw in a few more:

Yankee Lobster Fish Market on Northern Ave. for buckets of fresh lobster, seafood and a great lobster or crab roll (they're the only ones in Boston that hand-pick their crabmeat) and all the lobster is shucked daily.

Down one block from here is Harpoon Brewery.

Another place in the North End: The Daily Catch which is quirky in it's own right; only ten tables and most of the dishes are served in the saute pan in which they were cooked! Their specialty is calamari: fried, in white sauce, in red sauce, stuffed, squid ink pasta and even calamari "meatballs". All are excellent, so is the seafood fra diavolo.

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I agree with lleechef on The Daily Catch.

I don't know the Yankee Lobster Fish Market, but it reminded me that true lobster fanatics shouldn't miss J. Hook & Co., one of the country's largest purveyors of lobster, which is open to the public and sells fresh lobster rolls.

One more thought: For breakfast, try Charlie's Sandwich Shoppe on Columbus Ave in the South End. Legendary breakfast food --- omelets, pancakes, french toast, home fries and turkey hash. You'll sit at communal tables with investment bankers, lawyers, cops, construction workers --- a whole spectrum of Boston's socio-economic landscape. The place is over 75 years old, and still run by the same family. Check it out some AM (closed Sundays).

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This was a few years ago, but I had a terriffic spicy tomato lobster pasta dish at Giaccamo's on Hanover St. in the North End. The ambiance is very nice also. It's a small place so good to make reservations if they take them.

I also like the Union Oyster House; nice Boston atmosphere (one of the oldest restaurants in Boston) and great oyster stew and cherry stone clams on the half shell.

"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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Since Hi-Rise was mentioned more than once, I don't know why Formaggio Kitchen hasn't been named yet (it's right down the street, on Huron Ave. in Cambridge). They have a website at formaggiokitchen.com, but seeing all those things in person (and trying whatever you like) is really wonderful. If you are a cheese fan or like fancy food shops at all, this is a must.

Craigie Street Bistrot, which someone mentioned, is also very close.

Locke-Ober is a really nice place now that it's under new management, and the Lobster Stew is a knockout.

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  • 3 months later...

Hello Bostonians! Hoping to travel to your fair city in October, for a first time visit, and need some Boston MUST restaurant suggestions.....will be on a budget but do like to enjoy a "splurge" meal too. Probably will be there 3-4 days doing the sights and then hope to ferry over to Cape Cod.....any suggestions there?? How about an overnight stay suggestion?? I am hoping for good weather at that time, is that correct......and maybe the fall "colors" will be at their finest. I'd appreciate all info from the natives!!! Thanks, Genie

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I'll leave it to others to suggest restaurants, but don't expect to see great fall colors if you're going to Cape Cod. It's a lot of scrub pine trees, especially futher out on the Cape. You need to head to western MA, Vermont or NH.

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I lived in Boston until late 2003 and know the restaurants there and elsewhere in Massachusetts quite well. Before I take the time to give you recommendations, I have some questions for you:

1. What kind of food do you like? Do you have particular preferences or dislikes?

2. How much money are you willing to spend for meals and accommodations? Give numbers, not adjectives we can drive a truck through.

3. Will you be drinking wine at dinner? This vitally affects how much your meal will cost.

4. Where on Cape Cod will you be going, and how will you be getting around once you are there?

Edited by Wilson (log)
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Hamersely's Bistro, Troquet, and Meritage are all good "splurge" places.

Vinalia, a new restaurant that opened in the downtown crossing area, is also very good. The entrees are all under $20, but you feel as if you are eating in an "expensive" restaurant.

meritage, vinalia, and troquet focus on food and wine pairing. Hamersley's is a french bistro that is well liked in Boston and has consistently good food. I'll have to mine a little deeper for some cheaper dining experiences.

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  • 3 months later...

I'm going to be in Boston with 5 female 40ish friends Friday evening. We'll be staying on Boylston near Boston Common and would like to have dinner someplace within a mile of there. Looking for very good modern-American or Italian in the $10 - $30 entree range, in a place that's nice but casual enough that we don't have to dress up. Thanks!

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you're going to the right place for food in boston, there are lots of places on Newbury St. and Boylston within a twenty minute walk from Boston Commons. Try Abe & Louie's for steak or Atlantic Fish Co. for seafood that's better than Legal. Both are on Boylston btw Fairfield and Exeter (by the Prudential Tower). For somewhere slightly cheaper try Vinny T's which is towards Mass Ave. on Boylston for Italian.

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Teatro on Tremont is very good...right in your price range..and near the corner of Tremont and Boylston..on the Common

...http://www.teatroboston.com/frames.html

It can be loud, and a short wait. It's next to the Loews movie theater and you can dress up or not. I consider it high end food at mid level prices.

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  • 3 weeks later...

My parents and I are headed to Boston for a weekend for my sister's birthday. She has chosen the Capital Grille for dinner. Her main reason for choosing it is that she knows where it is and that she thinks it will be easy for my dad to get in and out of (he walks with a cane and doesn't go far). I'm not too excited about going to Boston to eat a chain restaurant that we have here in Detroit. Does anyone have a recommendation for a restaurant with very good food, and good accessibility? I'd have better luck convincing them to go to a more traditional place than trendy/what they'd consider "weird".

TIA!

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If you like steak houses, Davio's might be a decent choice. There are three of them (two in the Boston area and one in Philadelphia) so it's sort of a chain but it there isn't one where you live.

I haven't eaten at Davio's but I have read decent things about their menu and service. What really comes to mind is accessibility for your father. I jog past the place all the time and it is on a corner where you can get a cab to stop virtually right in front of the doors and there are not stairs between the sidewalk and the dining room.

They have website here that might be of some help.

In terms of location, Davio's is not all that far from Capital Grille. It is essentially two blocks south (or south-east) from the south-east corner of the Public Garden.

Hope that helps.

Stephen Bunge

St Paul, MN

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks for the suggestions - we did end up going to Davio's - but it was the one at the Royal Sonesta Hotel in Cambridge. We sat out on the patio and had a lovely dinner. The service was a bit off, but I think it was our server and not the whole place.

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  • 2 months later...

We will be in Boston the weekend of 11/14/04 and am looking for some recommendations of the newest and upscale restaurants that have been opened in the last year. Money and location is no object (as this is vacation) but excellect food, good service, are the most important. Old standbys are ok, but we have eaten at most.

I saw a sm. write up in this month's Gourment mag. about "Salt" any opinions.

Thanks for your help.......goatcheese

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Greetings - We have several food opportunities while in Boston in early November and am most curious to know of (1) a place for lunch Sunday (2) 2 ethnic places for Saturday and Sunday evenings where we can either get reservations now (eg two weeks in advance) or walk in and (3) somewhere open Monday lunch.

We love food not décor, innovation not classicism and price not pomp. (I know Boston a bit, having been born, grown up and gone to college there, but the restaurant scene changes so rapidly I love to try new places). Many thanks.

John Talbott

blog John Talbott's Paris

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Hi John, there's so much great ethnic in Boston, can you tell us where you'll be staying, a hint of your favorite cuisines, or things you can't get where you are, and where you're staying? Near Hynes Convention Center, or the new one in South Boston?

Staying on Newbury Street, convention center is the Hynes, any ethnicity but not French nor crabs since I get plenty in France & Baltimore. Thanks

John Talbott

blog John Talbott's Paris

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