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BEST ACTON RESTAURANT?

m
minuteman Jun 7, 2006 11:50 AM

I recently moved to Acton and am looking for the best restaurant there for dinner. Any cuisine or price; I am simply looking for the best.
Thanks for any suggestions!

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  1. t
    three of us RE: minuteman Jun 7, 2006 01:17 PM

    Check out the New England Board. There have been posts re. the Acton area.

    5 Replies
    1. re: three of us
      m
      minuteman RE: three of us Jun 7, 2006 02:37 PM

      Thanks. I've reviewed those postings, but they list a number of different restaurants. I'm looking for an overall best for dinner...

      1. re: minuteman
        j
        jb RE: minuteman Jun 7, 2006 02:57 PM

        What sort of dinner? Best what? Pizza, chinese, elegant, thai, italian? I think you need to be more specific. Does it have to be actually IN acton or just close by?

        1. re: jb
          c
          cheryl RE: jb Jun 7, 2006 03:17 PM

          I agree with jb's post. You need to be more specific. However, having lived near Acton for 11 years I have yet to find a good restaurant in the area so it may not matter.

          1. re: jb
            m
            minuteman RE: jb Jun 7, 2006 05:32 PM

            Fair enough. Elegant, or at least several steps up from a pizza joint. I'd prefer it be in Acton, although I'd consider neighboring towns. Thanks.

          2. re: minuteman
            k
            K RE: minuteman Jun 8, 2006 08:34 AM

            In Acton proper, I think you're out of luck. There is a French restaurant on 2A that you may have noticed, Le Lyonnais, that looks upscale. I've eaten there twice and in my opinion, it's "eh". In my opinion that the best restaurant around here is Serafina in Concord, which someone else recommended. It's Mediterranean/Italian, very good.

        2. b
          Bino RE: minuteman Jun 7, 2006 05:34 PM

          Good Luck.
          There are many places to eat, but few are worth anything.
          Filho's on 119 in Groton, Bamboo in Westford on 110, Dahila in Bedford, Aigo Bistro in Concord and Walden Grill are all good. But in Acton, there is nothing worth eating except for TC Landos Pizza on 27.
          There are good places west and north of 128, but you really have to look and don't let price be your only guide.

          J's at the nashoba Winery in Bolton is very nice, elegant 18th century setting, not cheap and not terribly innovative, but the overall experience is very nice. In Priceton is Sonoma which is fantastic, but a long drive, nice on a Saturday or Sunday. Check it out, have always had great meals at Sonoma. The Sole Proprietor in Worcester has worl-class seafood, I have been goinghere for 18 years, don't miss it.

          Welcome to the area.

          1. b
            bostonfoodie111 RE: minuteman Jun 7, 2006 06:58 PM

            BTW, Aigo is, sadly, closed. I like Serafina in Concord for Italian. It is not out of the world but it is very good for the area.

            1. l
              lynn RE: minuteman Jun 8, 2006 05:55 PM

              i must be the only one who looked at subject line too quickly and thought it said "best ACTION resturant" and thought "what the f___?"

              1. t
                The SummerVillian RE: minuteman Jun 10, 2006 07:46 PM

                Most of the posters below are pretty correct.
                Although as pleasant an atmosphere as Serafina has
                we have twice been more than underwhelmed by the food. (& prices)
                My take on the area is there are two better than average
                chinese places one in Acton one in Concord.
                the Acton one is rather simple and has been there more than 10 years w/ same mgt.
                (taciturn by the way) but the food is always fresh and they will
                adapt the dishes (some decent fresh shellfish specials too)
                to the exact way you would like them prepared, which means
                a lot to me in evaluating a place. It is a low key, comfortable,
                white table cloth, low priced place... Ginger Court on 2A /acton
                -----------------
                In Concord (X tracks from train sta.)a little more expensive & with a bunch more attitude & traffic, is Chang An.
                This place will never be confused with Chau Chau city or anything, but it is somewhat better than average suburban chinese food
                & its fairly quiet and elegant, in an erzats oriental sort of way.
                Mgt. here can be actually nasty (am I spotting a trend here?) And for entertainment, there is this rather comic group of condesending Amahs normally hanging at the chashiers, checking out the customers & doing no disernable work!
                The bartender's friendly though, if your by yourself eat in there.
                They do quite an interesting (if unauthentic) fillet of schrod with lemon and lettuce which typically has a bright, fresh thickened lemon sauce and very fresh fish.
                Their L. time buffet, isn't up to Yangtse's (one town over in either direction.) both (GC &CA) have perfectly satisfying food which isn't easy to find in the area.

                The Villian

                1 Reply
                1. re: The SummerVillian
                  j
                  jb RE: The SummerVillian Jun 13, 2006 04:25 PM

                  The lunch buffet at yangtzee in littleton, actually all the food at that location is terrible. Some of the worst chinese food I have ever had. Even the airport or mall food court is better, seriously. What is odd is the Lexington location is actually passable and their sunday dimsum buffet is very good.

                  The Sunday dinner buffet at Bamboo in Westford is excellent.

                2. d
                  dickcaro RE: minuteman Aug 4, 2007 01:53 PM

                  The very best restaurant in the Acton-Concord area is the Colonial Inn, Concord. If you don't like the high prices, they have an early-bird every day except Saturday. It may be a little early for many. The Sunday Brunch is to "die-for." Fantastic pastries and desserts.

                  Monsoon (place in Maynard too) is wonderful Indian at reasonable prices.

                  Scupper Jack's is OK, especially if you get the early-bird or the Sunday specials. They have the best salad bar in the area. Don't expect an overloaded plate.

                  Le Lyonaise is upscale French. The chef is from Belgium. Expect exquisite food, small portions, and high prices. Very European.

                  Atlantic Seafood Company is very good. Better seafood than Scupper Jack's. About the same prices, but no salad bar. Cozy-ier inside, but no view.

                  Thai Chili in Maynard may be the best Thai restaurant in the area. Excellent food, low prices, huge portions. Split one entry for two people.

                  Il Forno is a new Italian restaurant in the Nagog shopping center. It is REALLY good. Prices are reasonable, portions are large - if you like red-sauce Italian. Pizza is very good too. This is a family place.

                  Aigo in Concord was good, but way too expensive.

                  Roche Bros. takeout is probably some of the best food in the area, if you pick the right things. The steak tips are out of this world, as are the roasted veggies.

                  I like both 99 in Westford and Not Your Average Joe's on Main St. Acton. They are both creative. Try the coconut shrimp at 99, and the pizza at Joe's. Joe's bread is to lust-for. The garlic oil is good too.

                  It's not a long drive to Arlington. The best place there is Tryst on Mass Ave. We also like Flora, Olivio's, and Jimmy's all on Mass Ave. and Scutra on Summer St.

                  So, maybe a month of places in the area.

                  10 Replies
                  1. re: dickcaro
                    s
                    Swankalicious RE: dickcaro Aug 4, 2007 02:57 PM

                    I am from Acton and I can assure you, the restaurants there range from blah (Scupper Jacks) to downright scary (Makaha).
                    Bamboo in Westford is great. Idylewilde, on Central Street, has some good dinners to go, as does Roche Brothers.
                    I'm trying to think of other places and really can't. Ugh.

                    1. re: dickcaro
                      t
                      three of us RE: dickcaro Aug 4, 2007 04:13 PM

                      Well, everything is relative, I guess. The Colonial Inn in Concord is dreadful, IMO. Can't speak to the brunch but the dinners I've had remind me of mom's cooking in the 60s --- overcooked veggies, overcooked meat, and lots and lots of salt in everything. I never went willingly but more out of deference to some elderly friends who loved it.

                      1. re: dickcaro
                        Harp00n RE: dickcaro Aug 5, 2007 12:51 PM

                        Hello dickcaro,
                        I agree with most of your comments, but I gotta say I side big-time with "three of us" on the egregious Colonial Inn. Sudbury's Wayside Inn is cutting edge in comparison. The two best restos in the area, based on execution of their stated intentions, are Monsoon and Le Lyonnaise, IMO. Both are terrific dining experiences that have never disappointed.

                        Harp00n

                        -----
                        Monsoon
                        155 Main St, Maynard, MA 01754

                        Le Lyonnais Restaurant
                        416 Great Rd, Acton, MA 01720

                        1. re: Harp00n
                          Keithel RE: Harp00n Aug 6, 2007 02:44 PM

                          Harp00n - Monsoon opened up a location right nearby Le Lyonnais in Acton -- it's about the same distance from the Rt 27-2A intersection in the opposite direction as Le Lyonnais -- so about 1mi away from each other -- not far from the Donelans.

                          It's owned by the same folks too, and I find has just as good food as their Maynard location.

                          -----
                          Monsoon
                          273 Great Rd, Acton, MA 01720

                          1. re: Harp00n
                            Keithel RE: Harp00n Aug 6, 2007 02:47 PM

                            Speaking of Le Lyonnaise - which I find to be pretty good, but a bit fancy for me most of the time. --

                            How is 5 Strawberry Hill in comparison?
                            I had heard that it's predecessor, Maison Maison wasn't bad (some reports that it was better than Le Lyonnaise), but that doesn't matter now - as it was replaced quite a while back with 5 Strawberry Hill.

                            I've seen reports on it, but not how it is when compared to Le Lyonnaise.

                            1. re: Keithel
                              Harp00n RE: Keithel Aug 6, 2007 09:05 PM

                              Maison Maison? Wow, that was ages ago! They are/were different animals, Keithel. Le Lyonnaise is more French Country. Maison Maison was a full-bore Frenchy! And yes, it was very good. Strangely, I've never been to 5 Strawberry Hill. As I remember, I was put-off by some initially bad reviews. Good to know about Monsoon in Acton and all though the Maynard branch is handier I will have to try the new location. Thanks!

                              Harp00n

                              1. re: Harp00n
                                Keithel RE: Harp00n Aug 7, 2007 10:00 AM

                                LOL -- I guess I'm dating myself here..
                                Maison Maison was around when I moved in, oh, about 5 1/2 years ago.

                                Re: Monsoon - don't be put off by them being in a very strange looking building -- no, they aren't an Indian Pizza Hut -- but they did move in to the old Pizza Hut building -- so you will see the telltale weird pointy hat roof most old Pizza Huts have.

                              2. re: Keithel
                                j
                                JefFoodie RE: Keithel Sep 15, 2007 07:19 PM

                                Apparently (according to my server at 5 Strawberry Hill), that restaurant is just Maison Maison with a new name--same owners, same food (in fact, my menu still said Maison Maison). Sadly, the name change was prompted by a large drop in business during the ridiculous fit of France-bashing that gripped this nation when France had the nerve not to support our invasion of Iraq. Seems pretty silly--not to say shameful--in retrospect.

                                Food and atmosphere are very nice. For me, not worth the price.

                            2. re: dickcaro
                              j
                              JefFoodie RE: dickcaro Sep 15, 2007 06:18 PM

                              Dickcaro is definitely right about Thai Chili in Maynard. That's really the only extraordinary restaurant in the area. Very friendly, too.

                              On the other hand, I can't let an endorsement of the Colonial Inn (boring and bland even by bluehair standards) or Le Lyonaise pass unchallenged. I really tried hard to like Le Lyonaise...it's in a lovely old colonial house, it displays a picture of Julia Child, and wouldn't it just be great to have a good French restaurant nearby? But the place is moribund. Usually there's only been one other table, and the food has been what you'd expect would be possible in a place with so little traffic...tasted frozen and reheated to order. It's a shame, but I've given up on it.

                              1. re: JefFoodie
                                b
                                bachslunch RE: JefFoodie Sep 16, 2007 07:20 AM

                                My experience at Le Lyonnaise wasn't like this at all from a food standpoint, though the place was not crowded. Here's what I wrote up several months ago:

                                http://www.chowhound.com/topics/396464

                                (the reply, not the initial post)

                            3. peregrine RE: minuteman Aug 4, 2007 05:23 PM

                              In Concord, excellent French, and sometimes Moroccan, take-out is available from La Provence, across from the Depot. I think they close fairly early, so I'm not sure about eating dinner at the restaurant.

                              The Atlantic Sea Grill at 77 Great Road is not bad, and Scupperjack's at Nagog Pond is OK, too. Not raves, but nice fish dinners.

                              I'll second Serafina in Concord, Dalya's and Ginger in Bedford.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: peregrine
                                e
                                edgewater RE: peregrine Aug 4, 2007 07:54 PM

                                The Gibbet Hill Grill in Groton is outstanding...food, service and ambience. It's probably about a half hour away. If that's not too far, I would highly recommend it as I know I have before.

                                1. re: edgewater
                                  r
                                  raddoc RE: edgewater Aug 5, 2007 07:16 AM

                                  I've never seen Ginger in Bedford mentioned on this board before, but it's a very nice tiny little family run (I assume) sushi restaurant. Nothing fancy, but solid, affordable, fresh sushi.

                              2. b
                                bear RE: minuteman Aug 5, 2007 08:50 AM

                                Anyone been to Number 5 Strawberry Hill? French, I think. Probably worth checking out.

                                How about Il Forno in Nagog Plaza? It's BYOB, which can be a plus.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: bear
                                  s
                                  Swankalicious RE: bear Aug 5, 2007 11:40 AM

                                  5 Strawberry Hill is good enough, but wayyy overpriced for what it is.
                                  I did forget to mention Gibbett Hill -- it's solid with a nice atmosphere.

                                  1. re: bear
                                    Keithel RE: bear Aug 6, 2007 02:58 PM

                                    Il Forno (which was mentioned earlier) is excellent. The chefs at all of their locations really care about delivering good food, and will definitely take requests. Often I ask them to add some veggies to a pasta dish - letting them decide what sort of veggies, and they'll usually come up with something really tasty.

                                    I had a really great Chicken Francaise there once that the chef added Zuchini to -- yum! Excellent - great addition to the chicken and pasta.

                                    -----
                                    IL Forno Authentic Italian Restaurant Brick Oven Pizza
                                    Nagog Park, MA 01720, USA, Nagog Park, MA 01720

                                  2. Keithel RE: minuteman Aug 6, 2007 03:00 PM

                                    Does anyone know how Tobiko - Japanese Fusion is?

                                    BTW - I think this whole thread probably should go in the New England board. I only found it by freak accident.

                                    -----
                                    Tobiko Japanese Fusion
                                    103 Nagog Park, MA 01720

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: Keithel
                                      h
                                      hargau RE: Keithel Aug 6, 2007 03:34 PM

                                      I have been to Tobiko twice now. First time was to try their dimsum on sunday. It wasnt bad, small selection of maybe a dozen things off a menu. Slow to come out but ok. Certainly not boston.

                                      2nd time i had hot and sour soup, pan fried noodles, and my gf had a pho bowl and scallion pancakes. The Pho wasnt very good but didnt expect it to be as vietnamese really isnt their thing. rest was ok. I have not tried any of the japanese though.

                                      Overall i like Bamboo in Westford better

                                      1. re: Keithel
                                        j
                                        JefFoodie RE: Keithel Sep 15, 2007 06:28 PM

                                        I like the food at Tobiko--sushi/sashimi, noodle dishes, tempura, soups. Just ate there for about the 8-10th time tonight. More ambitious entrees are spotty. I've had delicious fish in garlic sauce and not-so-good scallops in wasabi sauce. It's a pleasantly-decorated place as well. I do have a major criticism of the restaurant, however: the staff. The feeling my wife and I get at Tobiko's is that we are an unexpected and unwelcome intrusion on the staff's leisure time. The hostess (and owner, perhaps, since she's always there?) is consistently unfriendly to the point of rudeness; the servers are, for the most part, painfully shy and hesitant; and everybody (except the sushi chef) sort of lounges around morosely even if our glasses need filling. If there's a Red Sox game on their mood is better, but the ignore you even more. Maybe they're depressed that they're not getting more business; maybe they'd get more business if their behavior were not such a turn-off. I know I'd go more often.

                                      2. BobB RE: minuteman Aug 7, 2007 11:44 AM

                                        I worked near Acton a few years ago and there was a really extraordinary little Thai place there called Benjarong. I don't know whether they're still there, and I only ever went for lunch, but it was some of the best Thai I've had in the States, complex and flavorful, certainly far beyond what one would expect for a nondescript-looking storefront in a strip mall. The address was 214 Main St.

                                        They would also give you genuine Thai heat levels if you asked - the menu said they could prepare their dishes at heat levels one to three, but they would also do four or five on request. Four was enough for a chilihead like me to feel it, five was truly Thai!

                                        If it's still there can someone in Acton let us know? Thanks!

                                        8 Replies
                                        1. re: BobB
                                          b
                                          bostonfoodie111 RE: BobB Aug 7, 2007 11:48 AM

                                          Yes, it's still there and is one of mhy fav thai places. GREAT HEAT!! And their dishes are so tasty!

                                          1. re: BobB
                                            h
                                            hargau RE: BobB Aug 7, 2007 12:40 PM

                                            funny i have been there 3-4 times and was never impressed with it at all. seemed like typical generic suburban thai

                                            1. re: hargau
                                              BobB RE: hargau Aug 7, 2007 12:52 PM

                                              Hmm. It may have gone downhill - as I mentioned, it's been several years since I was there. Nor does it (or did it) compare to Dok Bua, which is a block from where I now live (lucky me!). But I certainly had many memorable lunches there.

                                              1. re: BobB
                                                h
                                                hargau RE: BobB Aug 7, 2007 12:56 PM

                                                Maybe i need to try it again. What did you like to order there? Was it good just because they would make it hot? To me mediocre food with extra crushed red pepper put on it is just spicy mediocre food :)

                                                1. re: hargau
                                                  BobB RE: hargau Aug 7, 2007 01:59 PM

                                                  No, I thought their curries (duck choo chee comes particularly to mind) had a great depth and complexity of flavor.

                                                  1. re: BobB
                                                    h
                                                    hargau RE: BobB Aug 7, 2007 02:04 PM

                                                    Ok cool, when i go back i will try that one. Last visit i tried the masaman curry. Now i make this curry at home with a curry paste that comes in a can, available at super 88 and elsewhere.
                                                    http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/I...
                                                    You use the paste and a few cans of coconut milk and it comes out excellent. Spice it up with some Sirachi when eaten. The version i got at this restaurant tasted like they used the same can but difference was they added the chicken and potatoes at the end and didnt cook them in it. I find alot of thai places do this.... They offer a dish such as "red", "yellow" or "masamaan" curry. Then they offer a choice of chicken, shrimp, duck..... I think they have the base made up and just stir in whatever you pick. Perhaps understandable when they have so many combos and i simmer mine for over an hour, which obviously they cant do to order.

                                                    If you like curries you have to try this stuff

                                                    It tastes SO much better when you actually cook the meat and the potatoes IN the curry so it runs through and not just on the top.

                                                    Recently a friend who prides himself on eating the spicest foods you can throw at him, took me to a thai place he liked. Well i got like 3 stars and he got 5. The only difference was his had about a 1/4" layer of dry spices (mostly red pepper) on the top..

                                                    1. re: hargau
                                                      b
                                                      bostonfoodie111 RE: hargau Aug 7, 2007 08:22 PM

                                                      I like their Drunken Noodles dish as well. Nice and spicy and has gooof flavor. :)

                                            2. re: BobB
                                              j
                                              JefFoodie RE: BobB Sep 15, 2007 06:35 PM

                                              Benjarong is still there and I agree it's pretty good. It was the first restaurant we discovered on moving to the area, so we ate there a number of times that first year (7 years ago). Once we found Thai Chili in Maynard--just ten minutes or less away--we never went back. There's just no comparison, really. I'm no expert on Thai food, but Thai Chili--food, restaurant, staff--has character. Benjarong has none--it's just like so many other cookie-cutter Thai restaurants right down to the salmon color scheme and hotel atmosphere.

                                            3. s
                                              StellaZ RE: minuteman Aug 25, 2007 12:19 PM

                                              So glad you posed this question, as we've been looking ourselves after moving to Acton 3 years ago and have been slowing making the rounds of local restaurants. We are not "foodies" by any stretch of the imagination, but ugh, what a load of disappointing meals we've had -- when you've got small kids and don't get out much, it can feel like a personal insult. Here are my thoughts after reading others', for what it's worth:

                                              In the "I really don't think you should" category: Scupper Jack's. "OK" is not a recommendation, and I think that's actually a generous designation (although it can be fun to have a drink at the bar and listen to the "acts" they have there -- usually a two-person combo that makes you think of the Sweeney Sisters and others on SNL). And I hate to say it, but I'd put Le Lyonnais here as well. We had a very well executed meal and great service, but the atmosphere is just BAD, and I think that's a key component when you're paying a lot for a meal. Last in this category is Nancy's Air Field Cafe in Stowe -- what a bizarre place. Don't be fooled by the "hidden gem" hype: bad atmosphere, food and service, for an unconscionable price. First time I ever sent a meal back (a well-done steak when I'd ordered rare -- really, how simple yet how important is that?), and I actually got grief about it.

                                              In the "at least I don't get angry" category: Benjarong, Not Your Average Joe's, 51 Main (in Maynard). Uneven but occasionally quite tasty. Nothing to get excited about. Il Forno -- I've eaten there a few times and it was great, then the last time I went (of course, on a rare date with my husband), it was awful. Anyone can have a bad night, though.

                                              In the "I expected to be disappointed but surprisingly wasn't" category: Sierra's (Mexican in Sudbury), Monsoon, Tobiko (fairly interesting menu), Atlantic Sea Grill (truly decent seafood).

                                              In the "yeah, that's what I'm talking about" category: Serafina, which others have mentioned a lot, was really wonderful. Malcoms Steakhouse in Maynard (on the Acton line) is fairly new and was really, really good (and pretty pricey -- I wonder if that and the bad location will doom them). And then, if you really want to have a dining experience, go to the Herb Lyceum at Gilson's in Groton. You bring your own wine, sit communally in an old barn, and eveyone basically eats the same thing, but the chef comes out of the kitchen and explains each course to you, and I'd put this on my list of the finest meals I've ever had, anywhere. You need reservations.

                                              Hey, maybe I'm more of a foodie than I thought. Thanks for all the other posts -- we're going out tonight, and I was looking for some good ideas. Have heard great things about Gibbet Hill, but Sonoma sounds enticing. Decided against 5 Strawberry Hill after reading the reviews ....

                                              10 Replies
                                              1. re: StellaZ
                                                TonyO RE: StellaZ Aug 25, 2007 12:35 PM

                                                I am only an occassional visitor to that area (and do not really know where towns are in relation to Acton) but think the following places are very good to excellent and would be within 1 hour of Acton:

                                                Chloe: Hudson
                                                Romaine's : Northboro (maybe ??)
                                                Willy's : Southboro (maybe ??)
                                                Wildwood: (Marlborough)

                                                There is a very good Chinese place in Sudbury that I think is called Lotus Blossom.

                                                Hopefully my mistakes can be addressed by one of the locals (Thanks in advance Harp00n !)

                                                1. re: TonyO
                                                  c
                                                  CiaoCat RE: TonyO Aug 25, 2007 07:49 PM

                                                  I'll echo Tony about Chloe in Hudson. Hard to picture feeling like Europe in the middle of Hudson, but you do... Not sure if the champagne and anisette cocktail is on the menu right now, but recommend trying it.

                                                  1. re: TonyO
                                                    j
                                                    JefFoodie RE: TonyO Sep 15, 2007 06:52 PM

                                                    Chloe is such a nice-looking place, but the food and service didn't match when I went not long after they opened. The server was like a diner waitress named Flossie had been teleported from her greasy spoon to this charming cafe. She actually called me "hon" and explained what mesclun is. I keep wanting to give it another chance, but my wife, who ate there two more times without me, refuses to return.

                                                    At Romaine's (Southborough, I think) you can count on very good food and service. It's priced for excellent, but that's life in the 'burbs, I guess. I don't go much b/c I find the menu a bit boring and the seating arrangement a bit uncomfortable.

                                                    Lotus Blossom is a place you should only go if you are fond of bland, totally Americanized "Chinese" food. The place is like a dressed-up and scaled-up food court Chinese stand.

                                                    One of the few places in the western burbs that I think actually offers "big city" quality is Tomasso Trattoria in Marlboro. Great, creative food; great, thoughtful wine list; nice decor (although dining layout is not comfortable). Their wine-tasting events are fun and they have an Italian gourmet store around the corner where I want to buy everything.

                                                    1. re: JefFoodie
                                                      s
                                                      steve999 RE: JefFoodie Sep 26, 2007 11:39 AM

                                                      Romaine's is actually in Northborough at the intersection of Main and rte 20. From 495, you would take rte 20 for about 4 miles into the center of Northborough. Turn right onto west main at the traffic light, and then immediately take a left into the plaza.

                                                      Tomasso is in a small plaza with a Cold Stone on Route 9 in Southborough. It's about half way between the Pike and 495, fairly close to where 85 and 9 intersect.

                                                      1. re: steve999
                                                        Keithel RE: steve999 Sep 26, 2007 11:48 AM

                                                        Ahh yes, I'm mistaken, it's not Marlboro -- thank you for correcting.

                                                  2. re: StellaZ
                                                    j
                                                    JefFoodie RE: StellaZ Sep 15, 2007 07:05 PM

                                                    Hey, StellaZ, I think you ARE a foodie! I like your "at least I don't get angry" category. That about sums up our situation in this area. (Although I couldn't find anything to order at 51 Main and couldn't concentrate on it anyway since every available wall surface had a TV on it...we ended up paying for our drinks and leaving.)

                                                    Re. Nancy's Air Field Cafe, I've never been for dinner and can't quite bring myself to try it. Thanks for sharing your experience. It's very nice for breakfast/brunch, however.

                                                    You're so right about Scupperjack's. I love the atmosphere/architecture (interesting open-layout post-and-beam construction on two floors w/ central fireplace stack) and have been more times than I care to admit. After all those visits, about the best I can say is that I once had a very nice piece of broiled swordfish. Every other visit was disappointing (actually, so was that visit, since my wife hated her food).

                                                    I still have bad memories of a seafood burrito (I admit, I'm partially to blame for ordering it) at Sierra's 6 years ago.

                                                    Monsoon is the best Indian I know this side of 128 (I think the Maynard location has the edge still).

                                                    Re. Gibbet Hill: their atmosphere is great. A bit like Scupperjack's meets Restoration Hardware in a big barn. The food is simple comfort food that is served (and I think also cooked) by teenagers. We've never had bad, great, or interesting food there. Go with modest expectations, however, and you'll enjoy your evening. At least they don't charge "excellent" prices for "good" food (maybe "very good" prices).

                                                    1. re: JefFoodie
                                                      chickendhansak RE: JefFoodie Sep 15, 2007 07:17 PM

                                                      I work in Nagog Park where Il Forno, Tobiko and Crossroads Cafe are placed. The latter is a bar with a wide range of American comfort foods, and some slightly posher items. I eat lunches from these places and so probably don't have the best perspective, but here is my ranking for lunch action:

                                                      -- Tobiko: really good Japanese specials, mostly unpleasant Chinese specials
                                                      -- Il Forno: enjoyable "red" Italian, but slightly on the greasy side
                                                      -- Crossroads Cafe: in the "makes me angry" category, most of the time

                                                      FWIW, I find the staff at Tobiko to be much friendlier than they are obliged to be to someone who is just picking up lunchtime takeout.

                                                      1. re: chickendhansak
                                                        Kat RE: chickendhansak Sep 16, 2007 06:18 AM

                                                        Crossroads is hideous. We stopped going there a little over a year ago. Pink, uncooked chicken that we sent back and it came back uncooked a second time. And on the weekend evenings there was always a huge line. Why?

                                                        1. re: Kat
                                                          Keithel RE: Kat Sep 26, 2007 09:38 AM

                                                          And the prices! OMG!
                                                          I can't believe how much I was forced to pay when out with friends there for a turkey dinner -- just a plain ol turkey dinner!

                                                          So, yes, this goes in my 'makes me really angry' category. never again, even if friends pick it. I'd rather dine alone over at Il Forno.

                                                          Unlike some of you, I find Il Forno to be really good. They don't charge rediculously, they're BYOB, and the service is very good. Sure, you can find better places in Providence, and yes, I'd say that Romaines in Marlboro and Ziti's in Westboro are both better, but none are nearly as close to me.

                                                    2. re: StellaZ
                                                      t
                                                      toneil100 RE: StellaZ Oct 19, 2007 02:20 PM

                                                      Malcolms is no longer there. It has been replaced by Christophers. I haven't eaten there, but I hear it is very good. I do recall that they did get best chowder at the Boston ChowderFest this past summer.

                                                    3. rubysdad RE: minuteman Oct 15, 2007 02:30 PM

                                                      More concerning Tobiko. We eat there on a regular basis. All of the sushi is first rate-- comparable with anything you can find in Boston or NYC. Our waitress is polite, efficient, and has a great sense of humour. The hostess (and owner) has never been anything but gracious. In my opinion it's the best restaurant in Acton.

                                                      1. l
                                                        LakeClouds RE: minuteman Nov 1, 2007 07:43 AM

                                                        I'm really surprised by all the positives about Serafina. The place has slightly upgraded decor from the Michael's pub where the chef/owner started. I also found the service to have that same diner like quality. The recent food rating downgrade by Zagat to a 19 tells it all. That's not much better than the Papa Razzi chain at the old HoJo's on Elm Street and Serafina's is a lot pricier. In fact the Papa Razzi has better consistency with their food than Serafina where I've had the experience of getting both an undercooked and overcooked dish at the same time.

                                                        Unfortunately, you have to go closer to Boston if you're looking for a good dinner restaurant.

                                                        1. foodcritique1 RE: minuteman May 29, 2010 04:53 PM

                                                          The atmosphere was like a cute ole diner type of establishment, but the patrons are a bit off as whole, and the food was overcooked and lacking distinct flavor. The prices would be good if the cuisine was edible. The silverware was spotty and the service was inconsistent and lacking personality. I can honestly say that I felt robbed when I left and drove straight to Wendy's Drive-thru to purchase a burger with far more flavor and even easier on the wallet. I had tried the fish and clam platter at Julie's and I recommend NOT ORDERING this unless you want fried to hockey puck consistency fish. Total disappointment. Save your money.

                                                          -----
                                                          Julies Place
                                                          208A Main St, Acton, MA 01720

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