Late August visit suggestions?
My wife and I will be visiting Boston (her business trip, I'm the accompanying spouse) in late August for a week, staying at the Copley Plaza.
We'll perhaps splurge on one or two pull-out-all-the-stops, spare-no-expense dinners, but otherwise our meals will be more modest (at least in price, not, I hope, in flavor).
On my potential list -- and I'd appreciate comments, that's why I'm posting it -- are:
-- Brasserie Jo (I've enjoyed the Chicago original)
-- Tremont 647
-- Blue Ginger (Yeah, I know it's probably crowded with other followers of FoodTV, but I missed Ming Tsai when he was guest chef at Cornell's Hotel Management School this spring, although Marcus Samuelsson of Aquavit was superb)
Also, can anyone offer any adventuresome eateries offering Mexican? To give you perspective of what we like, we're fans of Frontera Grill in Chicago and XYZ on Mount Desert Island (yes, Mount Desert Island, Maine; they serve incredible margaritas and an astounding braised tongue).
We also like tapas joints.
Any other suggestions, for either the deep pocket or no pockets meals?
PS: I can get more than enough quality red gravy at home in South Philly, so unless someone can offer a compelling reason, I'll probably only pass through North End for a quick lunch bite.
PPS: To get a better idea of my tastes, check out the link below
The hotel where your staying has a wonderful art deco type bar with music at night.
It is good to see the North End just to hang around and enjoy the cafe life at night. I love the Tiramisu at Caffe Graffiti.
Charles street is about a 10 minute walk from your hotel, it is the most attractive street in the city,
and there is a place called Figs, thin crust white pizza and great salads, it is small, get there when it opens-around 5-530.
Ribs and Chicken at Bob the Chefs, about 15 minutes walk, a lovely walk at night, can get crowded after 7, has live jazz, around 8pm I think.
There are so many good rests. in Boston now and most are within walking distance of your hotel or a short cab ride. One of the best rests. in town right now is Pigalle in the theater district. I also love Salts in Cambridge, Steve Rosen is a Food & Wine best new chef from two years ago. The Oak Bar at your hotel is a bit on the formal side and the expensive side for that matter but has the largest Martinis I have ever consumed. Radius is very hot, good for drinks and dinner. You might want to check out some of the Irish Bars in town for some local flavor, MJ O'Connors is good and fairly close to your hotel, but Doyles in Jamacia Plain reigns supreame in my book. The Sevens on Charles street is also pretty authentic, go for the beers and eat elsewhere.
I'm sorry but isn't every place mentioned in these threads a dreaded "foodie" haven? I think every single spot is a Boston Magazine "favorite" or "best of..."!
If that isn't a scarlet letter, I don't know what is.
So how about giving Bob (and me for that matter) some places to check out that haven't been cloyed by Beacon Hill residents and their ilk?
re: Al Fresco
I'm afraid you two may have missed the original question. Bob asked about "one or two pull-out-all-the-stops, spare-no-expense dinners" and some feedback on Brasserie Jo, Oleana, Tremont 647, Blue Ginger, an "adventuresome eatery offering Mexican" (of which, sad to say, I don't think we have), and tapas joints. It seems to me that the above chowhounds answered him with some info, though you two did not have one suggestion!. Because some of the restaurants mentioned are places that have been recognized by "foodies" doesn't mean that they don't offer wonderful food prepared by creative chefs. It's too bad that you rule out any restaurant that has a write-up in the major Boston magazines. Ironically, I did notice that Al Fresco recommends Pho Pasteur in a previous post, although it has won numerous "Best of Boston" awards.
Well, I guess like us, you travel on your stomach! For the "pull-out-all-the-stops, spare-no-expense dinners", I would suggest Radius and/or Clio. There are many great restaurants in Boston but I have had simply amazing dinners there. They're both "modern French" and the chefs use cutting-edge ingredients in fantastic dishes.
Tremont 647 is great - the menu is varied (the specialty is sea bass steamed in banana leaves), and you can eat outside on their patio. If you enjoy cocktails, make sure to ask the bartenders what their personal specialties are - they all have their own concoctions. Oleana was very good, but I've only been once. Anna Sortun has a few "tapas" selection on the menu. If you go - make sure to order the walnut and bean 'pate' drizzled with pomegranate syrup. It's wonderful slathered on their delicious bread. One warning, if you eat inside, however, the tables are VERY CLOSE.
For Tapas, you must go to DALI in Somerville. It's a lot of fun, great atmosphere, and the menu usually has 30-40 different tapas, including monthly tapas specials. Their entrees are just as good - try the whole fish baked in a salt crust. Even though it's not Spanish tapas, there's Bricco's in the North End. It's not a 'red sauce' kind of place (I've had dishes such as chestnut glazed duck), but we usually go for drinks and their 'Italian tapas' menu. Their fried olives are addictive. One more suggestion to show you a different side of the North End is Prezza. One of my favorites. Modern, upscale, warm and inviting inside. At a recent meal, the sweet corn raviolini with pancetta and rock shrimp was just unbelievable.
I love Oleana, so I would definately hit that one up. I also really like Tremont 647--kinda funky and fun; and good food to boot. I would also suggest East Coast Grill--lots of seafood, and lovely bold flavors. As for upscale I would do Clio, but I have to say I'm not a fan of Radius. I have been there 2x's and have not been impressed either visits. I would go to Mistral over Radius. I also like No. 9 Park, I think they do a lovely job w/food, and I enjoy the atmosphere. Oh, Mantra just opened. I went there only once, and to be quite honest, I really enjoyed what I had. Great flavors. It's a twist on Indian, and you can sense the subtle hints of the Indian spices going on. What else....there is just so much to do. Check out the ice cream thread down below if you enjoy ice cream...Oh, also, would definately suggest Dali for tapas (not Tapeo, however....)
I would second someone else's suggestion of Pigalle (Charles Street South, very close to Copley) as a great new restaurant. Try their house cocktail--the Pigalle Noir. Right now they have a warm black mission fig appetizer with goat cheese and wrapped in a thin dried ham--it is absolutely heavenly. I usually get a steak as an entree--right now it's a rib steak accompanied by aligot-potato mixture with potato straws on top. The bar is also quite nice and cozy, especially for Boston where I think we lack nice bars.
In the south end I like Hamersly Bistro, Aquitane. In harvard sq. Henrietta's table. Brasserie Jo is the only place that I know that serves the plateau de fruit de mer. For tapas, Dali-cambridge somerville line and his son's place on Newbury St. Tapeo's. (he told me he is opening another tapeo in Waltham)
You mentioned Brasserie Jo and although they sometimes get beaten up here, I like the restaurant and have had many good meals there. The mussels are great and the profiteroles are not too be missed.
The Oak Room may be a great place to splurge and it's in your hotel. The Chateaubriand served tableside is incredible!