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Thoughts on LockeOber?

I know there have been some recent posts and I'll do a search and see what I can find...but i'm wondering if some could share their recent experiences.
I have never been...am very intrigued by that lobster stew. Thinking about heading there for a celebratory dinner..wondering how stuffy/formal/old-boy-network this place is. Should I just hit the bar one night for a bowl of the stew and a glass of wine, or is it worth having the full-on dining experience? And if so, what else is good there?

I've got 2 dinners to choose --the list is Pigalle, Prezza, and LockeOber. Of the three, I've been to Prezza and had a great meal, and I think this one is a definite. So it's between Pigalle or LockeOber (both very different I know, which is why I'm posing this question.) TIA.

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  1. I like Locke Ober a lot..but most of my "like" comes from the room and service. I think the food is generally good but not spectacular. Pigalle doesn't have the atmosphere/history of Locks but has better food.

    How about lunch at Locks 1 day? Get the same experience without the big price tag.

    1. I had dinner at Locke Ober a couple of years back now, right after Lydia Shire took over. It was quite good, but not memorable. I'd go for Pigalle (never been myself, tho') and save Locke Ober for lobster stew and martinis at the bar (which I just finally got to a couple of weeks ago). They also have clams casino on the menu - I'm wondering how they are. I think this place is more like the Oak Room / Oak Bar - half the fun is the setting, more than the food.

      1. Thanks, sounds like lunch and drinks at the bar may be the way to go. A question (esp for MB fka MB): were you casually dressed at lunchtime? I realize probably just about anything goes but just wondering what would be ok at the bar...

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        1. re: twentyoystahs

          Jeans and an Urban-Outfitters-esque tee with my messenger bag. Didn't get all dolled up that day and it was fine (though surely I would have had more fun had I stepped up my game!) The State House Gang was there in their khaki mafia uniform: blue shirt and - what else - khakis. So I wouldn't sweat it.

        2. Locke-Ober is more about the experience than the food, which is very good but not memorable. But eating at the bar does not do the place justice. You need to be in the main room on the first floor. There is nothing else like it.

          Also, this is a dress-up place. No casual attire.

          1. I think Locke-Ober's food is totally underrated and that it's a mistake to claim that the only reason to go there is because of the ambiance. Both times I've been - about 6 months ago to the main dining room and two weeks ago to the bar - I was impressed (and somewhat surprised) by the extremely high quality of the ingredients and the attention to detail of both front and back of house. While the food isn't cutting edge creative, it *is* more creative than it gets credit for being. Compare it, for example, to the Oak Bar, which I think is the closest comparison in Boston (in respect of ambiance, price and style of cooking). I've eaten at the OB dozens of times and love the place, but from what I've seen so far, L-O has a distinctly more creative and skilled kitchen. (We have plans to go going back this week to sample more of the menu). Unlike the OB, L-O's food isn't just high-quality steakhouse. The choices are more wide ranging, the flavors more subtle, they have a finer hand with seafood and there's a willingness to branch out from the steakhouse formula of huge-piece-of-meat with potatoes/spinach/mushrooms.

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