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40th (and he's a foodie)

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My partner's 40th is the end of January. We're going to weekend in Boston. I'm looking for a couple of recommendations...

1. Dinner - I'm looking for great food, but also a warm and intimate atmosphere (not necessarily uptight or old-world "fancy" - we don't think someone has to pull out your chair or scrape crumbs to ensure a good meal)... but would like a rather sexy vibe. He is a hideous food and wine snob (bordeaux lectures are endless). Also an adventurous eater (can't resist any gutty challenges on European travels). He has expressed some interest in Craigie Street Bistrot? Also Petit Robert, but recent reviews suggest to me that it is perhaps a little staid?

2. Accommodations - Perhaps a zag for chowhounding recommendations, but where is the most special accommodation in Boston? We love old-world grace, but also boutique. I was thinking perhaps XV Beacon or Ritz (understand it is changing ownership??).

Also, any interesting dinner recommendations for our "other night" of for lunching (or cocktailing!) would be appreciated. Something more casual, but still intimate and fun (we liked Tapeo, have always loved the bar at the Ritz, he loved Lucca).

Much appreciated...
Rab.

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  1. What about Hamersley's Bistro? There are a lot of sexy, hip, initimate places in the South End.

    XV Beacon is great! I've stayed there and loved it! Nine Zero is a hip, boutique hotel as well. There is a Ritz on Avery Street (not the prettiest location like the one on Newbury). What about Four Seasons? Too cliche?

    Next to Tapeo's on Newbury is Piattini's (basically tapas sized plate of italian food). I HIGHLY recommend the eggplant parm with the smoked mozzarella and the butternut squash ravioli! There is another Piattini's a little further away and it more of a wine bar.

    Les Zygomites (sp) near South Station is supposed to be amazing food and wine! I've only been once but a few of my coworkers had a function there and raved.

    What about something like afternoon tea. that is very old world grace - I love tea at the Ritz and the Boston Harbor Hotel. I didn't care for tea at the Four Seasons. I know Langham Hotel also afternoon tea.

    1. If you stay at Nine Zero, you are mere steps away from No 9 Park, a fabulous cocktail locale. Dinner there would also be great, but the bar area is more hopping than the dining room.

      I think Chez Henri has a wonderful atmosphere for dinner, relaxed, warm, etc. It's in Cambridge though. You could also do cocktails there, then head off and have dinner at Craigie Street. I've still never been, but it gets raves on this board.

      1. Eastern Standard in Kenmore Square - great food/great cocktails
        No. 9 Beacon Hill - THE best cocktails
        Sornellia (sp)Copley Square - total WOW factor - space, service, food, price
        Rendeveous - Central Square Cambridge - good food/cocktails
        Ruth Chris School Street - have heard good things. Personally don't like steak houses

        Celebrate and enjoy!

        1. Taranta in the North End. Romantic, kind of intimate seating, chef often on site. Peruvian meets Italian. Monstrously large incredibly tender pork served with pervuvian corn the size of lima beans is the signature dish, but I've tried other dishes and the chef is really doing an interesting blend of cultures.

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