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May 3, 2007 10:28 AM

Need Great Rest. 10 mile radius of Needham

Dear Hounds:

I have been lucky to have a babysitter every Thursday night for the last two months and probably the next two. My wife and I have gone out on all Chow-discovered restaurants and had a great time. But now I've run out and thought I would appeal to the group. We've already been to:

Isabella's & Bamboo (Dedham)
Vela, Maugus and Jimmy's (Wellesley)
Fava, Sweet Basil, Masala Arts (Needham)
Pava, Sabra (ick), Met Bar, Le Soir, Skipjacks, Legals, Appetito, Capital Grille (Newton)

Plus too many to mention in Brookline, Allston.

Framingham, Natick is good too. Definitely looking for great food, nice restaurant experience.

Any ideas?


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  1. Le Soir is now 51 Lincoln. People like the Biltmore for a fairly casual place. Have you been to Ariadne in Newtonville?

    8 Replies
    1. re: Joanie

      Chiara Bistro is only about 5 miles from Needham @ 569 High Street (Route 109) in Westwood. It has a warm, welcoming atmosphere and I have experienced excellent food and service on my visits. Their website is

      1. re: edgewater

        We went to chiara and it was FANTASTIC. As usual, a great hound find. For dessert we went to Bubbling Brook on the Walpole border. Also great. Thanks!

        1. re: bloomeanie

          I am so glad you loved Chiara. I was there for Brunch this morning. I have another suggestion that I don't see listed. It's Maxwells 148 @ 148 East Central Street (Route 135) in Natick not far over the Wellesley line. Their website is Again this place is warm and welcoming and the food and service have been excellent when I have been there.

      2. re: Joanie

        I used to go the Biltmore when it served locals bowling-alley style food. Have not been to the new one. I have been to Ariadne though the service was so bad during one lunch that we both got parking tickets. We vowed not to go back (though in all fairness the food was good, but the added $40 put the meal out of bargain status).

        1. re: Joanie

          When did Le Soir change to 51 Lincoln? Where did the ownership of Le Soir move? How does the new place compare?

          Enough questions - I second Maxwells 148 - great place.

          1. re: L84Dinner

            It changed a few months ago, the guy from the Met Club is cooking. Le Soir guy is opening a new place, downtown or seaport district maybe. People seem to like 51 Lincoln for the most part.

            1. re: L84Dinner

              We went to 51 lincoln, too. Excellent. Great food, though by no means generous of portion. Not cheap, but from the salads to the dessert, thoughtful and delicious food. I will say they didn't bring us a bread basket, and never acknowledged it or apologized. They did bring me a third un-asked for glass of wine which I rejected, though.

              1. re: bloomeanie

                I have been to 51 Lincoln Street twice and though I would love to love it since it is in my neighborhood, I have to admit it has been a disappointment. I was there last week and had the day cured pan seared salmon. It was so salty to make it inedible. The bib salad with asparagus, snap peas and scallion vinagrette would have been good if it had not been so salty.

                We much prefer Kouzina's food. We also recently tried The Biltmore in the neighborhood and it is a great place for homey food and good drinks. We will be back often. IMO their grilled salmon with fried artichokes and roasted asparagus was far superior to the salmon served at 51 Lincoln. We have also tried the meatloaf, cheeseburger, and ceasar salad with grilled chicken. All great!

          2. Lumiere in West Newton is our go to place in the western suburbs. Excellent food in a nice setting and good value.

            1. Aquitaine Bis in Chestnut Hill
              Sophia's Grotto in Roslindale

              2 Replies
              1. re: drb

                The Biltmore in Lower (Upper?) Falls, Newton. Great upscale pub food and drinks.

                1. re: onefineleo

                  yes--upper falls. had a great experience there last weekend!

              2. 51 Lincoln is good- the chef Jeff Fournier was the original chef at the Met Club.
                Biltmore is great for casual.
                Blue on Highland Avenue in Needham gets mixed reviews although someone told me recently that they went there and it was good (but loud).
                Apocrypha in Needham- on the same street as not your average Joes- very pretty, very pretentious but very good food for a fancy night out ($$$$).(search my review on this board)
                Blue Ginger in Wellesley- lots of mixed reviews on this board but we love it.
                AltaStrada- in Wellesley Center- lots of "antipasti"- not my favorite place but other like it
                Yama- Japanese - across from Whole Foods in Wellesly Hills -(BYOB)
                Oga- great Japanese food , sushi and other, Route 9 right side in Natick going West
                Metro 9 Steakhouse- near Legal on Route 9 in Framingham- pretty good food-
                Sechuwan Gourmet- Route 9 Framingham above Waterspot on the right heading West
                Cafe Mangal- very small, interesting cozy just before Wellesley Center on Wash. St(BYOB)
                Kouzina- Waban Center- very nice cozy with good food and wine.

                1 Reply
                1. re: emilief

                  emilief has got the list! I will second her opinion on kouzina, cafe mangal, sichuan gourmet, and oga's. My two cents on some:

                  kouzina is great greek-ish food
                  cafe mangal - FANTASTIC yummy goodness. the chicken dardenelle (sp?) is awessome

                  Also consider:
                  oishii: suishi on rte 9 - tiny place, get there when they open
                  aquitaine bis near oishii - not too bad. try brunch/lunch maybe?
                  eurotaste in needham - i heard they changed ownership, so maybe it is no longer good... but it was a decent red-sauce italian place a while back
                  amarin of thailand in wellesley -- pretty good, if weirdly angry waitstaff :)
                  ten tables - 8.4mi from needham in jp. great food.

                  and many more!

                2. For Italian, try Bon Caldo on route 1 in Norwood.