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Where to take gourmands without breaking the bank?

TraderVic Oct 12, 2006 04:24 AM

I like to invite good friends out to eat often. I don't like to let them pay (i invited them after all and they are my guests) and splitting checks is not something that I would inflict upon myself much less a friend after a long dinner that is more of a memorable experience than a meal. I enjoy the culinary artistry and decadent atmosphere easily found in the more expensive establishments of any city. My funds are not without limits.

I have made the rounds of the expensive places but would like to keep the party going without breaking the bank, where can I go that has the culinary talent to satiate the gourmand, and the atmosphere to indulge the romantic.

I have been to Helmand and it was not bad, Campania also was not bad and they were both reasonable (by that I mean that 6 people can eat well and drink good wine without breaking the $500 mark, including a generous tip). Any other suggestions?

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  1. limster RE: TraderVic Oct 12, 2006 05:00 AM

    If you've already made the rounds of the expensive places in the area, I'd recommend seeking the path less travelled by. Kebab factory (punjabi dishes are best), Tamarind Bay, Trattoria Toscana, Cafe Baraka (advance order of squab bastilla is very worthwhile, but no alcohol or BYOB), Gourmet Seafood, Shanghai Gate, Anh Hong (might not be atmospheric, but table cooking makes up for it; order both the 7 course of beef and the 7 courses of fish for a 14 course meal).

    1. wittlejosh RE: TraderVic Oct 12, 2006 11:41 AM

      Metropolis Cafe (entrees top out in the low $20s, if I remember correctly), in the South End; it's where I always take my food-loving friends

      Dok Bua in Brookline, great Thai food and they have a BYOB policy! (spring for a $1 corkscrew at the wine store----they won't open it...)

      1. Joanie RE: TraderVic Oct 12, 2006 12:13 PM

        If La Campania is okay with you (entrees $23-36), I'd suggest Union, Great Bay, Eastern Standard, Davio's, Caffe Umbra, Umbria, Prezza, Chez Henri, Blue Room, and many more that have been written up here.

        3 Replies
        1. re: Joanie
          twentyoystahs RE: Joanie Oct 12, 2006 02:45 PM

          Or, how about Grotto? I always think of this spot when I'm thinking of good food served at great value. They offer a prix fixe meal of $33 (? or is it $30? somewhere around there) pp, w/app, entree and dessert. More than enough food and a great opportunity to try lots of different things (if your friends are up for sharing.)

          Another TERRIFIC spot that has been mentioned many times is Ten Tables. Go on a wed night when they offer their prix fixe dinner for just $25 pp, again, app, entree and dessert. Spectacular food, one of the best dining experiences I've had in Boston in a while. You MUST make reservations for this though, it's a popular night for this restaurant, and the place is small.

          1. re: twentyoystahs
            DoubleMan RE: twentyoystahs Oct 12, 2006 02:52 PM

            I second Ten Tables. Went there last week and had a great meal. Their charcuterie plate is always incredible.

            For a more expensive meal, but certainly in your price point, Blue Room in Kendall is great. They have a very interesting and well-priced wine list.

            1. re: DoubleMan
              ptrefler RE: DoubleMan Oct 12, 2006 10:06 PM

              I have been to Ten Tables a few times and not been as happy as I expected to be. It is really conveniently located for me. I have seen you mention it several times and I agree with most of your recommendations. Am I ordering poorly? Suggestions about what types of things to order would be welcome, I don't have that many choices within 2 or 3 miles. by the way, I agree with you about the Blue Room, I find it good and under appreciated.

        2. steinpilz RE: TraderVic Oct 12, 2006 11:42 PM

          I think your friends would like Eastern Standard or Neptune Oyster, they're both great.

          1. t
            TraderVic RE: TraderVic Oct 13, 2006 01:33 PM

            Thank you all for the great suggestions, I will report back as we make our memorable way through them.

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