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My Birthday Dinner- narrow the choices

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Me and my man are going to celebrate my birthday with some fine fine food. But I need help- which one?! I adore good food but I am no expert so don't want to be overcharged if I can't appreciate it- and I'm NOT a fan of the molecular gastronomy. Nothing to snobby. I've narrowed it down to:

L'Espalier
Troquet
Clio
Pigalle

But if you think there's an option we should go to instead, just holla! Thanks!

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  1. All of those get very high marks on the board, it depends what kind of atmosphere and food you are looking for, I would suggest doing individual searches to research. Also, Salts in Cambridge and No. 9 Park are also excellent.

    1. "Don't want to be overcharged" and "nothing too snobby," huh?

      In that case, although I love Clio a lot (not snobby, but very pricey), I'd choose Troquet or Pigalle from your list.

      Agree with Itownhound though; I prefer Salts to either place.

      No. 9 Park is too hit-or-miss lately for my tastes.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Bostonbob3

        How so (No. 9)?

      2. L'espalier. Very friendly. Always professional service. A bent towards local products. (As a local product supplier to them I can say they a good to us farmers.) Organized staff. Not too bigger than life feeling, but very special.

        1. Pigalle! Great food, great service and a grown-up but chill vibe.

          1. L'Espalier hands down. For something on the hipper side, consider Sorellina. The food and service are excellent - can get a bit noisy though - depends where you are sitting & the night.

            1. Why not try Ten Tables in Jamiaca Plain? I went there for my birthday last year and was very happy with my experience. It's super cozy (Only ten tables literally) but the service is great and the menu is creative and well executed. The price is right as well. Considering the quality of the food I felt as though I underpaid.

              1. Throw this in the ring too...Radius.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Sal Monella

                  Even though I haven't been to the four options suggested by the poster, I have to admit that I wasn't overly thrilled by a tasting menu at Radius last month. Service was good, but there is a sort of snobby air there. Haven't been to Salts or No 9 Park in several years, but have fond memories of them. Last year's splurge dinner was at EVOO, and that was quite tasty--maybe you can put that on a future list.

                2. Thanks everybody. I like how low key Salts seems, even though the menu looks fab. Clio is out ($) but Salts has been added. Dear me- its a good dilemma when there's so many great choices. More comments appreciated and I'll pass this on the man who make the final decision and let the evening's locale be a surprise. Cheers!

                  1. I love Troquet --ask for a table near the window...I recently posted about my terrible experience at Pigalle but I seem to be in the minority on that one.

                    1. I took my husband to Salts for his birthday earlier this month, and it was a wonderful evening. Please see my post:http://www.chowhound.com/topics/360114

                      I'd go again anytime.

                      (Happy Birthday)

                      1. Oleana in Cambridge -- for my money, it is the most original/singular menu in the area and every meal is great.

                        1. I'd second Salts...my husband and I have always counted that among our favorites. I would also really give a HUGE thumbs up to Sorrellina. Wow. We had the most amazing meal there before Christmas. Can't wait to go back! Plus it's a favorite of Manny Ramirez, who was dining there that night, so if you are a Sox fan, you never know!

                          1. I'd avoid Troquet. Loses on all points - waaay overpriced, food mediocre, service seriously lacking, loud atmosphere.

                            1. Yay for everyone's terribly thoughtful replies (and wishes for my birthday, yippee!). So? While Salts is the back-up- and I have a mile long list of 'Must Eat At...', I have reservations at No. 9 Park. I work at Oldways and we've a new book out that Barbara and Cat are in and are helping us promote. Since I haven't met them and we're doing an event together, I thought I should take pleasure in their cooking beforehand!