Help 'hounds!!! - Boston visit this weekend ...
Hi there! We're visiting this weekend from NYC to see a friend peform at the Huntington Theater. We're staying at the Copley Square hotel, also on Huntington Street.
I just did a search and came up with a few things from 1999 (Himaliya and Elephant Walk), but mostly "get out of Copley Square." Eeek ... where *should* we go? We'd like a nice pre-theater dinner ... maybe a good lunch spot, too. I'm a vegetarian, but we're adventurous. We'll have a car, but we'd prefer to walk/cab/subway.
Also, we've got Saturday afternoon free - any art exhibits or other things we should see or do? Thanks in advance!!
Well, we didn't spread out as much as I had hoped, but we had a relaxing weekend anyway. Thanks for all your tips, even if we didn't get a chance to follow up on them! But, we did find a good place, actually in the Copley Square area. (!)
Abe and Louie's on Boyleston ... The place has this almost goofy formality that makes it kind of charming. (The 17-year-old maitre with braces hands me a menu, bows and says deeply "For the lady." ) A pretty room, oil reproductions, hard wood, cool plumbing in the bathroom. Kid friendly.
We had brunch there both days and I was pretty impressed. First day I had an omlette with goat cheese, tomato, fresh basil and onion. Nice mix of egg and fillings. Not overcooked. Plus "Brunch potatoes" were this heavenly mixture of onions and potatoes, almost mashed, fried golden brown. Not greasy at all. Mmmmm.... (And they serve booze before noon - always a plus.)
The second day I had french toast with maple syrup, pecans, carmelized bannana. Wow. Exceedingly sweet, but fantastic. (Maybe ask for the syrup on the side) ... the bread was coated with something .. almost like coconut? I don't know, but it made the toast even more crispy. It wasn't heavy like most diner chow. And when I asked about a side order of the potatoes, the waiter brought me a little free plate.
For our theater dinner; we wound up at Brasserie Jo and I have to say I'm the worst possible person to review this as a vegetarian, but I was still a bit underwhelmed. By the time we got there they only had their late menu with NOTHING sans meat. I asked for just a veggie platter and they brought out a few side dishes - spinach, au gratin potatoes, asparagus, etc. Everything had about a pound of salt on it. It was almost inedible. ... I can see the French chef now; "Oh, she does not like meat, ech??" But, I think that says a lot about a place. How hard is it to screw up green beans?
Anyway; thanks a lot, you've got a lovely city and I'll come back again soon ....
Yes, getting out of Copley Square is probably a good idea, though there are some exceptions. Cool art exhibit owuld be Dangerous Curves: The Art of the Guitar at the MFA, and their normal collection is stunning as well.
For something interesting and local, try headig to the South End. It's the artsy, chic yet friendly, cafe lifestyle part of town. Follow Clarendon St. out of Copley Square towards Tremont and you are there.
Garden of Eden is a neighborhood gem for lunch or coffee any time of day. Nice French-American stuff, yummy sandwiches. South End Galleria on Columbus Ave. is a nice veggie option, creative Italian cooked by a native with handmade pastas, excellent chicken under a brick, awesome risotto. Salamander is near Copely Square and a nice upscale option. It's French-Asian with gusto, culturally astute, has real nice veggie stuff and a Satay bar where you can eat for half the price.
Newbury Street has a fun lunch at Cafe Louis, with the legendary pizzas by the owners of Al Forno, a killer apple and arugala salad. Pho Pasteur is good for Vietnamese -- and cheap. Bomboa (right around the corner form Hard Rock) has awesome drinks, sexy atmosphere, fine French-Brazilian food. And, in the South End, you can always try the Franklin Cafe. They serve better-than-you'd-imagine American bistro fare until 2 a.m. with scene and drinks and tunes.
All those South End recommendations were good. I'd also suggest the Parish Cafe on Boylston by Arlington for fancy sandwiches and drinks. It's kind of a fun place, just had the Schlow (rare beef tenderloin, caramelized
onions, horseradish) last nite. White Star Tavern on Boylston blows hot and cold but the price is cheap enough and I've had nice casual food there. For a fancy dinner, you're right by Ambrosia. And Top of the Hub is quite decent, esp. with the view.