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Boston's Best Neighborhood Spots

drewames03 Apr 17, 2007 07:34 AM

What are Boston's(Cambridge, Somerville, Brookline) best mid-priced, HIGH QUALITY, restaurants? I'm talking about the kind of place you can go to 2-3 times a week. A place that has a nice environment and great food & drinks. There seems to be a shortage in the city.

  1. b
    Bostonbob3 Apr 17, 2007 07:36 AM

    I'll start: Silvertone. Excellent "upscale" comfort food, great bar, best wine prices around.

    1. hiddenboston Apr 17, 2007 07:37 AM

      To me, the ultimate neighborhood spot in the Boston area is C.F. Donovan's in Savin Hill (Dorchester). The food is excellent, the menu is varied, the owner is always there (and seems to know everyone!), the waitstaff is friendly and efficient, and the people who go there typically live in and around the neighborhood and are repeat customers.

      1 Reply
      1. re: hiddenboston
        Bostonguy70 Jun 27, 2007 11:38 AM

        I was there last Wednesday, had the new pan roasted cod which was great and saw the Phantom Gourmet taping. I heard they got a new chef and the food has been outstanding. I am planning on going on Friday and will post how it was.

      2. d
        DowntownChick Apr 17, 2007 09:55 AM

        I'm a huge Good Life fan. I often go multiple times a week for drinks and apps.

        1. g
          garlic breath Apr 17, 2007 10:12 AM

          Some Cambridge joints that fit the bill are the bar at Chez Henri, Plough & Stars, Atwood's, West Side Lounge (although not sure who is cooking there now), and Green Street (also preferrably--for me--at the bar). The Independent in Union Square, Somerville, can be quite good. All are establishments with lots of local character.

          1. BarmyFotheringayPhipps Apr 17, 2007 02:16 PM

            There are apparently some issues with the menu and kitchen currently -- the former is just a bit too ambitious for the latter, I suspect -- but Deep Ellum is striving for that neighborhood feel for Allston. And they deserve special credit for not catering to the college crowd.

            There are really people who go to the same restaurant two or three times a week? Huh.

            2 Replies
            1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps
              hiddenboston Apr 18, 2007 06:07 AM

              I can't imagine going to the same restaurant two or three times a week (I'd get bored pretty quickly), but I do know people who do that. Maybe it's the comfort/familiarity thing. I tend to go to O'Sullivan's maybe three times a month, and that's the place I hit most often. If I went there three times a week, I'd be in even worse shape than I am.

              1. re: hiddenboston
                Allstonian Apr 18, 2007 08:47 AM

                Well, part of the issue is that I think there's a lot of folks here who pretty much never dine at home. I was a breakfast regular at Centre Street Cafe in JP for a couple of years, but even that was a matter of eating there one morning somewhere between weekly and biweekly. We both cook a lot, and up until recently weren't really free to go out every week, let alone two or three nights a week.

                Just our new project of eating out in Allston every week is a big increase in our dining-out activity and a bit of a challenge - add in a trip downtown to a movie plus dinner, or anything like that, and we start to have trouble keeping up with the fresh food in the fridge. When the CSA kicks in in summertime, it's really a problem!

            2. MC Slim JB Apr 17, 2007 02:59 PM

              My favorites for regular visits tend to be bar/restaurants that serve above-average food. The Franklin, B-Side Lounge, Green Street, Ashmont Grill, Silvertone, The Biltmore, Miracle of Science, Audubon Circle, Washington Square Tavern, Alchemist Lounge. I think there's a common thread of above-average bartending there, too.

              1. kittychow Apr 18, 2007 06:18 AM

                I've found myself in long-term relationships like you describe at the B-Side, River Gods, The Plough & Star. I find that all three places are comfy and consistently deliver very satisfying comfort food.

                1. TomH Jun 27, 2007 11:49 AM

                  If I had to pick a couple they would be the East Coast Grille in Cambridge and Lil' Vinny's in Somerville on Medford Street (there is another Vinny's on Broadway).


                  1 Reply
                  1. re: TomH
                    LynDel Jun 27, 2007 04:12 PM

                    I agree with Tom, Lil' Vinny's in Somerville on Medford Street.
                    For Chinese we like Chef Chang's House Brookline http://chefchangshouse.com/ right next to the St. Mary's stop on the Green Line C train. There's also parking.

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