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Locke Ober.

Ernie Diamond Sep 22, 2006 02:45 PM

What's the word? I know this isn't the most popular restaurant on this board but an old Saveur article has piqued my interest. It has also been included on Gourmet's "Top 50 Restaurants" list.

Boston classic at the top of its game? A dinosaur past its prime? What do you think?

  1. w
    Willy3000 Dec 5, 2006 07:45 PM

    Locke Ober? Great place after the restoration by Lydia Shire. A couple years ago I flew a friend to Boston and took her there. I told her to order the Lobster Savannah. She gasped and said, "But it's so expensive!" I said yes, it's expensive. But I'm paying and you have to get it. She still tells me it was the best meal of her life.

    Here's to good old Boston
    Home of the bean and the cod
    Where Cabots speak only to Lowells
    And Lowells speak only to God

    That's what Locke Ober is all about. Also have JFK's Lobster Bisque. It's great.

    I only have one bad thing to say about the place, and it's completely not their fault. You can no longer smoke in restaurants in Boston because the Neo-Puritans have banned it. Not just there but in all kinds of places. Back in the goodle days, you could smoke a cigar in first-floor dining room and it was so civilized.

    One time I was doing exactly that, and some young kid came to our table and pointed to his grandmother. She has asthma, he said, and could I place extinguish my cigar? The asthma section is upstairs, I replied. You shouldn't have been so thoughtless as to seat your grandmother in the smoking section.

    He looked dejected and told me I was right, and retreated. Then I visualized headlines in the next morning's paper: "Yuppie's Cigar Kills Beloved Grandma" and put it out, thinking that they never should have admitted women to begin with.

    1. heathermb Sep 28, 2006 07:25 PM

      I'm actually meeting friends there tomorrow after work in the bar. Any recommendations on apps, drinks, etc?

      1 Reply
      1. re: heathermb
        t
        Taralli Dec 5, 2006 07:56 PM

        A martini.

      2. l
        lavelanet Sep 28, 2006 06:37 PM

        Simply put, go. You will understand once you've been. I've been a few times over the last decade and I completely agree with those posters above. But in reading their posts I don't think that the depth of what they've said can come though to anyone who's never been there. Let me give you and example: MY wife the first time she ever went there upon ordering the Cesar salad with her meal was stunned by care of the table side preparation of it. She said it was the best Cesar salad she'd ever had. The food there is extremely good. Not the cutting edge or imagination but you will not be disappointed with it. But I think that the atmosphere and experience are so different from anything you experience anymore that they tend to be the strongest memory of Locke Ober rather than the food.

        1. Karl S Sep 22, 2006 07:16 PM

          Locke Ober is just something to be treasured. Lydia did Boston a favor by keeping the place alive and well.

          It doesn't mean the food is of the Nth degress of foodie heaven; but it is always very fine (I've only eaten well over the past 2 decades there, pre-Lydia and with Lydia, as it were) and the entire experience is unique and not to be missed. They do not make places like this anymore, and they really cannot be created de novo.

          1. b
            BBHound Sep 22, 2006 06:08 PM

            What a coincidence. I was there for lunch today! (Someone else was buying.) And yes, I wore a blue blazar for the occassion.

            The atmosphere is amazing; the old time opulence is something everyone should experience. The service was also extremely professional. As an experience, it can't be beat.

            Oh yes, the food. The food was good but not fabulous. The menu was heavy on seafood, mostly broiled or fried. I had a well prepared scrod with a crispy breaded crust. A good sized piece, simply prepared but executed quite well. I don't know what the total bill came to but the scrod entree was priced at $19. At dinner, everything will cost a lot more.

            By all means go. Worth the bucks.

            3 Replies
            1. re: BBHound
              Ernie Diamond Sep 22, 2006 06:22 PM

              This is a great help folks. Thanks.

              I'm really looking forward to Lobster Thermidor and Indian Pudding in my best "Boston Brahmin" wear. I just needed to know that this was where to do it.

              1. re: Ernie Diamond
                f
                Fort Point Sep 22, 2006 09:34 PM

                One of the signature dishes of the original Locke Ober was Lobster Savannah. If it is still on the menu, you may want to consider it. Basically the lobster is cooked removed from the shell and mixed with cooked mushrooms, green pepper, spices. Then the meat is put back into the lobster shells sprinkled with cheese and bread crumbs and baked.

                1. re: Fort Point
                  Rubee Sep 23, 2006 05:00 PM

                  Second the Lobster Savannah - pricey, rich (ingredients also include sherry, brandy and a cream sauce), but so worth it.

            2. h
              hawkeye Sep 22, 2006 05:35 PM

              Naw, I would say less than that - $65-75 per (of course, depends on what "modest" means)...

              LO is old school Boston. Like blue blazer old school Boston. But I agree with those above...you have to go at least once for the experience and the prep is high quality.

              Thank God Lydia got involved, as IMO flavors have developed with her presence (not to mention destroyed the oppressive history of the place!).

              1. Ernie Diamond Sep 22, 2006 05:22 PM

                How expensive are we talking for a modest dinner for two? $100 per person? Thereabouts?

                1. s
                  Splendid Spatula Sep 22, 2006 05:00 PM

                  I've had several splendid special occasion meals there in recent years. Very high quality preparations, excellent attentive old-school service. I particularly recall a very flavorful steak on my last visit. It is very expensive, but worth it once in a while.

                  1. tatamagouche Sep 22, 2006 03:19 PM

                    Neither at its zenith nor its nadir, exactly. It's just the usual complaint: overpriced for the quality, which is good, not out of this world. You gotta have a meal there once, I think, for the experience, and drinks at the bar often.

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