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May 5, 2002 10:23 PM

First Night in Boston

  • b

and I'm not sure where to have my first dinner: either Prezza or Sage in the North End , or Hamersley's Bistro. I'll be taking a North End tour on Saturday, so I definitely want to have dinner in the North End that night...If I ate there Friday night, that would be two nights in a row for Italian.......Hmmmmmmm. Decisions,decisions!

I will be in Boston from May 17-25; is it too early to make reservations? I know some of the North End spots are jammed, so I wanted to be sure I don't get locked out (though if necessary, I guess I could beg the concierge at my hotel to get me in!)..........

My other dinner spots will be: Sel de la Terre



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  1. Sage is my favorite of the three you mentioned. A smaller place with more attention to detail. Really wonderful Italian food, prided on fresh ingredients.

    However, if you didn't want two nights in a row in the North End, I would consider Franklin Cafe rather than Hammersley's. They are both South End American bistros, but I think Franklin Cafe has better food at a much lower cost.

    1. You have such a great selection of restaurants! I know you've been busy on this board winnowing down the choices. Just a couple of suggestions - if you eat at Prezza Saturday night, definitely make reservations because they tend to book up fast on weekends (don't know about Sage). Also, the last time I was at the Franklin (1+ years ago), it was much too smoky for me to enjoy my meal (if that makes a difference for you); I don't know if that's still true...

      6 Replies
      1. re: Rubee

        Thank you both!

        Franklin Cafe is out, if it's as smoky as you say, Rubee. I can't stand being around cigarette smoke if I can help it.....

        I'm so psyched about coming to Boston; I've been planning this for months!

        1. re: Betsy

          Well, if you do wind up at Hammersley's, I would do some research of reviews so you can isolate dishes that have been good. On several visits, I have been underwhelmed. That being said, their Roast Chicken (on one visit) was one of the best dishes I've tasted in Boston. (It was good, but less impressive, on another visit.) Their menu can be a bit hit or miss. And the quality spotty. But, if you find the winners among the menu, you will probably be VERY happy. It can be excellent. Note: one winner is NOT the mixed seafood appetizer.

          1. re: C. Simon

            I’ve read about that roast chicken so often, I can taste it. It’s practically the sole reason (not quite, but almost) I want to dine at Hamersley’s........Hopefully, the dish will be at it’s best when I go there!

            I made reservations at Sage on Friday, May 17th, and Prezza on May 18th. I figured that I might as well go to Hamersley’s (assuming I go) on a Sunday, when some of these restaurants are closed.

            1. re: Betsy

              Of course, I KNOW you will post with all your thoughts on the places you'll be enjoying! :) Also, just curious, where are you visiting from?

              1. re: Rubee

                I sure will!

                I'm coming up from NY (I live about 50 minutes from the City), so I'm used to having to make tough choices about restaurants!

                I just hope it warms up a bit; I see that it's been in the 60's recently...Still, as long as it doesn't rain too much or too hard, I'll be happy!

                1. re: Betsy

                  Hopefully you'll have nice weather - it was 78 today. Hope you have a great time in Boston!