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Home for the holidays

I'm a North Shore native coming home for the holidays from L.A. I'd love to take my wife to a couple of places in Boston and/or the North Shore that are worth seeking out, but not too pricey. They can be somewhat traditional but not tourist traps. Places we've enjoyed in the past include Daily Catch in the North End, O Fado in Peabody, Mr. Bartley's in Harvard Square, and Blue Fin in Middleton. We probably don't need any more asian recommendations as we have all the japanese, thai, & vietnamese we can handle out here. Thanks in advance...

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  1. Finz in Salem has been great everytime we have gone-- Seafood obviously-- (more than average prices but not too expensive) if considering Italian-- Restaurant Molise in Wakefield is very affordable and great food.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Salbert

      Thanks much. Anyone out there have any Boston recs? C'mon guys! I don't want to end up at the Union Oyster House...

      1. re: alexfood

        For Boston proper, how about Lucca in the North End--yummy rabbit dish, great on a cold night.

        Les Zygomates is terrifc, and it's sister next door is no slouch either. Les Zyg is great for post prandial music and libation, too.

        Many other faves will come up with a Boston search, too, of course.

        1. re: alexfood

          I think you should do a search on the board and you'll come up with lots of recs. I also think it would be helpful if you gave us a few more parameters: i.e type of food? price range? ambiance? etc. Off the cuff I can offer some relatively new spots that come recommended:

          In the south end:

          B & G Oysters: fun to sit at the bar, order some oysters, maybe share an app and entree, have a few glasses of prosecco. Not cheap though.

          Stella: Good Italian. Very "sceney" spot but I think the food is pretty good and it's got great energy.

          Toro: One of my favorite new spots. Spanish tapas, fun, lively environment that often comes with a lengthy wait. Try and show up early or off-peak hrs for best experience.

          North End:

          La Brace: Disclaimer: i haven't been but have heard great things. Good pastas and grilled meats/fish.

          Antico Forno: A standby for me for cozy, warm environment and delicious brick oven baked pastas, meats, and fish.

          Cambridge:

          East Coast Grill --do a search and you'll see why just abt everyone loves this place

          Chez Henri: sit at the bar and order the best cuban sandwich in Boston or relax in the restaurant for a bit more of an formal experience (but not overly formal by any means)

          Hmm. I know there are more to recommend but these are top of mind. Good luck.

          Toro:

      2. For the north shore, How about Ithaka in Ipswich? there's also a german influenced high end place in Lynn who's name I can;t remember. In Boston, Grotto on Beacon Hill, Troquet on Boylston, Neptune in the North end

        1. I would reccommend a place called Catch Restaurant in Winchester. It is not in Boston but it is an excellent place servinf extremly well prepared seafood in a nice atmosphere. It is a bit pricy depending on how creative you get with wine.

          1. To clarify above responses: Oxford Street Grill in downtown Lynn. Ithaki in Ipswich. O'Fado is closed, btw.

            For an offbeat breakfast, Kane's for doughnuts in Saugus (between Cliftondale Sq and the Lynn line, closer to the latter).

            1 Reply
            1. re: Karl S

              One word of caution on the Oxford Street Grill: the chef who did that amazing Austrian-influenced menu is gone. The new concept looks a lot more pedestrian, yet another $20-entree New American "bistro".

            2. Hey Alexfood,

              Welcome back to Boston (or the North Shore).
              Can't help you with Boston recommendations, but
              if you were a fan of O'Fado, there's a new
              Portuguese restaurant in the city of Peabody.

              It's the Trackside, on Warren St. Like O'Fado,
              a hole in the wall.. but the food is quite good,
              the service very laid back and friendly, and the
              prices reasonable.

              I've tried.. the pork and clams, house steak
              (with a mustard cream sauce and a fried egg
              on top), the seafood stew (like cioppino),
              broiled seafood, and the braised octopus
              (the most tender and delicious version I've
              ever tasted!).

              Portuguese beer is 2.75 a bottle and the
              Vinho Verde wine by the glass... about 3.50.
              Excellent value....

              Give it a try!

              Gusman

              1 Reply
              1. re: gusman2424

                Thanks Gusman! My parents have informed me that Trackside is on the itinerary. Love octopus!

                Also thanks to everyone else who gave recs. Now if only I could bring the warm weather with me...