40th (and he's a foodie)
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).
Consider Central Kitchen in Cambridge. Small menu, very good food. Amazing "how did they get this" deals on old French bottle on the reserve list. Atmosphere is informal, can be a little on the loud hoppin' side. More of an upscale bar feel.
For serious fine dining with endless wine lists, try No.9 Park (never disappoints) or Federalist. Also L'Espalier, but they're definitely going to be pulling your chair out for you.
And I'll second the Hammersley's rec. A good middle ground on the fanciness scale, with great food and wine (if not quite an endless list).
I can second Sorellina (fantastic sexy atmosphere & even better food -husband took me there for my 30th --the maccheroncelli with kobe beef meatballs is great to split as an appetizer). Taranta is one of my absolute favorite restaurants. I have also had great experiences at Troquet & Mistral.
For food and lodging, I recommend the Four Seasons. Aujourd'hui has a very down to earth sommelier, a great brunch, fun food/wine pairings. The Bristol Lounge is also good for a burger and a hearty burgundy. The location is wonderful, the beds are great. The Ritz is now the Taj. Don't know how that will affect dining/high tea, etc, if at all.
I was wondering about the afternoon tea service myself, since I went for one last time this past Sunday. I checked on the Taj Boston website and they will be continue to offer tea.
Still, R.I.P. The Ritz Carlton Boston Common 1927-2007.
I am a huge fan of the Boston Four Seasons, so I second thegolferbitch's recommendation.
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.
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!
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.
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.