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Nov 14, 2001 09:48 AM

"Nice" lunch place West/Northwest of Boston

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Trying to find an upscale (but not high-end expensive for lunch) place that the president of my company can take his senior staff to lunch a few weeks before Christmas.

Our company is located in Burlington; the president doesn't want to drive into Boston (which obviously precludes a lot of great restaurants!). Also, places that they might have been interested in (Lumiere/West Newton, Il Capriccio/Waltham) are not open for lunch.

Last year I sent them to Silks at the Stonehedge Inn in Tyngsboro, and they had a very enjoyable meal.

I've been looking in the towns of Wellesley, Waltham, Newton, and Acton/Concord; Blue Ginger is one choice, as is Aquitaine Bis. I've also done some searches online; Le Lyonnais in Acton came up as a possibility -anyone know if it is open for lunch?

Anyone know anything about La Campania in Waltham? Seems like it might be too casual for what he wants (he vetoed Tuscan Grill as too casual, although I've had a wonderful meal there and don't think it casual).

Any help would be appreciated!

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  1. Concord Inn in downtown historic Concord. Beautiful old Inn, open for lunch, tea and dinner. I've had Christmas Day dinner there: it's very festive. The food is good, but not quite up to the Stonehedge Inn level of sophistication (their wine list is thicker than my phone book!). The menu focuses on New England-y roasts, fish, lamb, etc.

    1. Oh, go to Blue Ginger!!! i dragged my urban snob,(i.e., only in the Back Bay...) out there for a celebration dinner, and they were ecstatic...Go for that seabass marinated in miso...

      3 Replies
      1. re: galleygirl

        I have to say I was very disappointed in Blue Ginger and even after I e-mailed Ming Tsai and detailed some very legitimate issues, we got no response. We paid big bucks for a very very unimpressive meal. We had a noodle dish that was very confused with way too much stuff going on and it was sticky/pasty in texture. Something went wrong I'm sure. Didn't even finish it. The tuna appetizer, very tiny and way overdone to almost dried-out and served oh-so-uppity in a martini glass. Barely edible and I'm a tuna maven, so trust me. When we asked the server which wine would be better "A" or "B" she said "oh, both are good I'm sure" - not what I'd expect after seeing Ming getting very worked up on TV about selecting the right wine with his food. Of course, the wine was only so-so and we had wished the server had been properly informed. Then again, her junior year at Wellesley must have been very demanding. My wife's dish was competely forgettable but can't even recall it. I guess thats where the term 'unimpressive' comes from. I hope my experience there was unusual and not par-for-the-course. I won't go back. We felt it was very hyped and huge rip-off.

        1. re: Hugh DeMann

          Well, I only went once, and it was 10 months ago, enough time for a place to do down hill, so maybe I shouldn't have posted...But my meal was just great, all our apps, including a deep-fried raw tuna and noodle roll, were unique and had us all passing them around for tastes. But like I said, 10 months ago....That's about as often as I get out to Wellesley, and as often as I can afford Blue Ginger.

          1. re: galleygirl

            Maybe they have (had?) a crackerjack lunch crew on board. I wish I'd had your experience.

      2. I'm with you on the Tuscan Grill. Seems like the best choice of all. Warm, inviting environment and excellent food. Blue Ginger is overrated, in my opinion and rather cavernous in its ambience. Aquitane Bis would be my second choice.

        1. Try considering CP Nuttings in Waltham for the occasion. Fabulous decor on interior--very classy and tasteful. Chateaubriand to die for. I dine out frequently and wouldn't name drop as there are holes-in-the-wall as good as white-tablecloth establishments, but I was very impressed with CP Nuttings the three times I've been there. Truthfully, I won't go anywhere else for steak/filet mignon. I used to frequent the Italian restaurant that once occupied the building. Also My personal choice is Campagnia over Tuscan Grill. Tuscan Grill is small and narrow on the inside and the last two times I was there, I was disappointed in the food. Campagnia is not huge, but he atmosphere is lovely. The food.....well I've never had a bad meal and it is as rustic and authentic as it gets. I've taken many clients there and I must say, all have been impressed. CP Nuttings or Campagnia, both in Waltham. Call and ask them to fax you menus for a pending business occasion, that's what I do, and it definitely helps make the choice. Good LUck!

          1 Reply
          1. re: Jpepin

            I've been wondering about CP Nuttings since it opened and have never heard a thing about the food. Sounds good, I'll try it!

          2. Well, after several days of researching various places the senior mgmt. staff could have a nice lunch, the President told me today to make reservations at Silks in Tyngsboro, just like last year.

            He almost decided on Aquitaine Bis, but liked the atmosphere and food of Silks so much he decided to "make it simple for me." :-) ::::Sigh::::

            Thanks for all of your suggestions! Hopefully they'll be put to use in the future.