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Cocktails and dinner in backbay / fens

Visiting from San Fran, looking for a place for good cocktails and dinner. Price is really not an object.

Thanks for the help,
infamouspank

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  1. For dinner, Clio in Back Bay. Tasting menu.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Bostonbob3

      thanks,
      how about for cocktails?

      cheers

    2. One of my favorite cocktail/dinner combinations is the bar at Eastern Standard in Kenmore Square for drinks, followed by a ten-minute walk to Trattoria Toscana in the Fenway for dinner. The former is one of the few places in town where they take cocktail craft seriously, the latter is a modest hole-in-the-wall with awesome Tuscan cuisine (though they go farther afield on pastas).

      If money is no object, the rather overpriced Sorellina in the Back Bay might do the job: good drinks, cool atmosphere, slightly creative luxury Italian, a generous dose of hotspot buzz.

      Clio is another good pick if you don't care about a massive tab (its bartending could be stronger). Its downstairs sashimi bar, Uni, is also pretty amazing, and breathtakingly costly.

      If elaborately-plated luxury New French built around local ingredients is your fancy, I'd suggest L'Espalier, another Back Bay place where it's hard not to drop $200 a head. Cocktails are decent, not extraordinary: they're all about their jaw-dropping wine list.

      The cocktails at Douzo in the Back Bay are decent, plus they have some interesting sakes, and it's a handsome, fun, broad-menued Japanese place with lovely if not incredibly exotic sushi.

      No. 9 Park has the other stupendous bar on this side of the river (it trained a lot of Eastern Standard's barstaff), though it's technically on Beacon Hill. I'm not so enamored of the dining room fare -- I think it's a little pricey for what it is -- but just having a drink there and finding dinner somewhere else is worthwhile. Another two-fer I like is drinks at No. 9's bar, then dinner at nearby Grotto, another budget-priced Italian in a cool, funky Beacon Hill basement.

      5 Replies
      1. re: MC Slim JB

        sweet, thanks for the suggestions.
        I'm not a huge fan of italian food, so clio is looking good. The menu seems interesting. I'll have to check out Douzo tomorrow.

        cheers,
        iS

        1. re: infamouspank

          Incidentally, it's only a ten-minute walk from Eastern Standard to Clio.

          1. re: MC Slim JB

            definitely have to check that out tonight too.

        2. re: MC Slim JB

          Haven't been to Sorellina yet, is the bar area fairly large (i.e. with a few tables, etc)? Was thinking of taking a friend there for drinks and maybe nibbles but didn't really want to fight for a spot at the bar.

          1. re: delikado

            There's definitely some seating in the bar area for dining, but I haven't been by on a weekend lately; I imagine it would be a bit of a scrum then.

        3. If you're willing to cross the Mass Ave bridge from Back Bay to Kendall Sq in Cambridge, I'd recommend Salts for very meticulous and inventive French/New American food.

          3 Replies
          1. re: limster

            But you don't really think of bartending and Salts at the same time, do you? Do they even have a full liquor license?

            1. re: Joanie

              Wasn't recommending Salts for for bartending, but for the food, since others have suggested that they can get cocktails at one place and eat somewhere else.

              1. re: Joanie

                Salts has a beer/wine/cordial license, I believe. There are excellent cocktails to be had nearby at Cuchi Cuchi, the Rendezvous at Central Square, and Green Street.