Back Bay - Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
I'll be staying at the Back Bay Hilton and I'm looking for recommendations for local breakfast (prefer yogurt/granola type menu over bacon/eggs), lunch (quick, inexpensive, but good. I'll be sightseeing and don't want to spend a lot of time on lunch) and dinner. I would like to do seafood for dinner, but it doesn't have to be exclusively seafood. I've done some reading and have these as possibilities - Tapeo, Sonsie, Stephanie's. I like good food, but I prefer a casual restaurant (not a super fancy dining room). Where should I eat?
i asked some advice recently about reasonably priced weekend lunch places in that area. you can check that out here: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...
i would second the vote for giacomo's. get the frutti de mer with the house special sauce. yum!
if you are sightseeing in cambridge, that opens a whole other area for chowing, too.
Thanks to everyone for your advice and recommendations. I've read quite a bit about the generally overpriced mediocre food available in Back Bay, so I'm considering expanding my restaurant search more to the east. I'll be sightseeing in the Boston Common/Fanueil Hall area that afternoon so it would be easy to get dinner in that area. I would like to do seafood for dinner, but it doesn’t have to be exclusively seafood. I’m looking for good food, but in a casual setting, not looking for a super fancy dining room (I’ll probably be in jeans/casual dress from sightseeing). Any suggestions?
If you're by the Tremont side of the Common during the day, you could have a quick and pleasant lunch at Troquet. Walk straight back and order at the bar--they have 2 or 3 soups and maybe a dozen sandwiches. It was a little odd eating soup with a plastic spoon at Troquet, but it worked :).
For breakfast, jump on the Green line C train, get off at the first above ground stop and hit The Busy Bee in Brookline. Or you can just walk up Beacon Street.
Also, Chef Chang's is right there too with excellent food and very reasonable lunch specials.
For either lunch or dinner I like Brasserie Jo which is right across Huntington from the Hilton. Eastern Standard in Kenmore is pretty good. Great Bay is a seafood place in Kenmore that has gotten mixed reviews. I ate there during restaurant week and thought it was good but nothing special. I still like Legal, but am getting frustrated by their decining service and sometimes spotty cooking, though the fish itself has always been excellent. IMO their Pru location smells bad -- perhaps something in the carpet.
Casa Romero is another thought, though I haven't been ther in years.
I agree -- skip Sonsie unless you are a foreign student going to BU.
I'd scratch Sonsie - too scene-ier-than-thou. They'll seat you in the back unless you're wearing something backless; they'll serve a little bitty bowl of string beans and a biggie size check; they'll forget you exist until you cry wolf, when they'll look down their nose like you're red riding hood. Even Zagat only gives the food an optimistic 21.
Bukowski Tavern has highbrow beer and lowbrow food.
I know Legal Seafood gets mixed reviews from chowhounds, but I sure do like their tuna burger. It's ground tuna and spices, not a slab.
I like the attitude of Trident Bookstore and Cafe, and they may be able to provide a yogurt smoothie.
For diiner I would suggest Giacomo's, in the South End. Probably about a 10 minute walk from the Hilton. Its a reasonably priced Italian restaurant that really seems to specialize in seafood.
For lunch, if you'll be sightseeing:
Near Fenway Park is El Pelon on Peterborough St. for a burrito, or fish tacos.
In Downtown Crossing is Chacarero, they make excellent chilean sandwiches.