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2 great restaurants in Boston/not Clio's level

We will be in Boston for 2 nights in Oct, and haven't been to Boston before. We are from DC and we eat at good/interesting restaurants all the time. We want to try some delicious/interesting/good decor, restaurants but not at the expense level of Clio, which we will have to try someday, just not right now. Is Sibling Rivalry good? Are there any other suggestions? We like all kinds of food. And we are staying around Boston Commons. Thanks in advance for any help and suggestions!

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  1. Fun, authentic Spanish atmosphere is at Dali in Somerville, closest to Harvard Sq. Cab it over. Excellent tapas. The sister restauarant is on Newbury but not nearly as enjoyable as Dali.

    Helmand for Afghan is great...decent atmosphere but feels a bit like a large room.

    Oh...if you want value and kind of a darker bar feel, check the Franklin Cafe in the South End.


    1. Sel de La Terre near the Aquarium is a really nice, not too pricey restaurant. It is owned by the same people as L'espalier, a very pricey restaurant that has been in Boston for many (30+?) years. Also Meritage in the Boston Harbor Hotel is lovely. Harvest in Harvard Square is good- a little pricey but reliable. For tourisy place that is fun try Durgin Park- great prime rib, Boston Baked Beans and Indian Pudding. Stroll around Fanueil Hall Market first and enjoy the sights. Enjoy

      1. Teatro, 177 Tremont St., is right on the Common. http://www.teatroboston.com/frames.html

        1. would second Meritage in the Boston Harbor Hotel with a added bonus of the most beautiful ocean views a real find in downtown also try Mamma Marias in the north end charming and great food too good luck and report back when you visit

          1. Durgin Park is a great suggestion, if you'd like some Boston flavor. The food is excellent, and they have items you don't see too much anymore, such as Indian Pudding.

            Some other suggestions:

            In Cambridge: Rendezvous (continental bistro fare, excellent), O'Cantinho (great Portuguese),Helmand, Oleana (Moroccan-like)

            In Boston: Douzo (Japanese), Laurel Grill and bar, Sibiling Rivalry (good food, if you can get past the "shtick"), Toro, Union Bar and Grill, Franklin Cafe, Orinoco, B&G Oysters. For the North End, try Antico Forno, La Summa, Daily Catch, Artu, Limoncello, Sage or Mamma Maria (the last two are a bit pricier than the others, but absolutely wonderful).

            Happy eating :)

            1. I'd absolutely go to Sage in the North End, and maybe Oleana if you don't mind heading out to Cambridge. I'd skip Sibling Rivalry-- nothing special-- if you want to head to the South End my votes would be for B&G Oysters or Franklin Cafe.

              1. I like Sage, but don't the prices come close to Clio..same with Sibling Rivaly?

                I think of Grotto as a great option at a significantly lower price point.

                2 Replies
                1. re: 9lives

                  I don't think either one is quite at the price level of Clio, but they definitely aren't cheap by any stretch. I had forgotten about Grotto, that's a great suggestion too.

                  1. re: 9lives

                    Sage isn't cheap, but not even close to Clio in price.

                  2. In the SE, Union Bar and Grille for a great meal and service in a cool surrounding, had a great Restaurant Week meal there recently. Back Bay I would try Tapeo for authentic Spanish or Armani Cafe for Italian. Always enjoy Via Matta for a great Italian meal with the trendy scene.

                    1. Thanks so much to all of you! I would love to try all of them. And I just realized that we can go to lunch and dinner, so I can try 4 places. Again, thanks very much!

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Pegpaul

                        BTW, not to be a jerk (hey, I've heard the accusation from a few of you:)), but it's the Boston Common. No "s."

                      2. I second the Teatro recommendation. Good italian in a lively (if somewhat noisy) room, overlooking the common. (Though you actually can't see the common when you are dining.) Great food though, at prices that won't break the bank.
                        No on Sibling Rivalry. It's ok, but expensive, and there are better places to try. Grotto is also a great choice, similar fare as Teatro but a better bargain; it's just that I like Teatro's location better. If you make it over to Cambridge, try Rendezvous. Great food served in a casual environment at totally reasonable prices. Lots of posts on this. I'm also a huge East Coast Grill food, for great fresh seafood and grilled fish/meats. Really fun, lively environment too. Again, lots of posts, do a search for more info.

                        1. I think Helmand is extraordinary, and certainly offers everything you asked for. This would be my first choice for dinner.

                          How about a trip to the North End for lunch? Galeria Umberto is great. It offers delicious Sicilian pizza by the slice for about $1.25, as well as lots of other Italian treats, in a unique, spacious setting. (If you think it sucks, which you won't, you're only out $1.25!) Better than any pizza I've had in DC. Around there are some renowned Italian pastry shops to try for great sweets--Mike's Pastry and Modern Pastry. Try a cannoli from Mike's or a torrone from Modern--divine! And Caffe Paradiso, also nearby, has excellent coffee and Italian drinks.

                          1. My mouth is watering....thanks for the tips on the pizza for lunch and desserts. Maybe we should stay another few days!
                            Again, thanks everyone for all your suggestions. I'm doing the research on all of these now and I will let you know which we go to.