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Help me Choose B'day Dinner w/Hubby

We live in South Bay so rarely get into "town," so I'd like this to be special, but don't want my husband to feel "taken." Providence, Hatfield's, Josie, Melisse, Lucques or...??? I've also wanted to eat at Peppone's for years. (BTW, we were very disappointed with Water Grill a few years back - portions were tiny, prices too high, food was nothing special.) Been to Spago, AOC and Angelini Osteria. I know most of these are very expensive, so which ones live up to the price and hype?

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  1. Hatfield's is amazing -- great food, great pairings. Atmosphere minimalist and a little cool with smallish tables -- but food-wise pretty grand.

    1. A group of seven of us enjoyed our overall dinner at Hatfield's a few months ago. Awesome service, great food, but not the kind of food I'm still thinking about and want to go back to right away.

      A place that I do think is special and serves extraordinary food is Josie. Every meal I've had there has been consistently top notch along with gracious service in a formal, but relaxed decor.

      Never eaten at Lucques for dinner, but my wife and I had a dynamite long lunch there during a rainy Friday afternoon.

      But, if I was in your shoes, I'd go to Providence. I've never been, but it always gets the highest reviews on this board and many other foodie sites.

      1. Any of the ones you mentioned would be great but, as a caution, the chef at Providence used to be the chef at Water Grill a few years ago so (depending on when you went to Water Grill) you might not care for what he is doing at Providence either--though his cooking is more cutting edge now than it was then. You might also consider Grace (on Beverly) and Vincenti (on San Vicente near Bundy). Peppone is nice in an old school way but, to my tastes, underwhelming

        1. Out of all those you mentioned, to be sure of avoiding disappointment I would go to Peppone.

          1. By taken I guess you mean you want someplace that has decent price, decent portion, great food?

            I still haven't made it to Babitas, but from the many positive reviews on this board for that restaurant why limit yourself to only to that part of "town"?