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Need recommendations for Parents Visit

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My parents will be visiting from Ohio in a couple of weeks. They have not spent much time in Boston. My husband and I live in Milton and I know that the options here are very limited to dinner. I am looking for recommendations for dinner at a place that could be considered classic Boston. One problem my husband doesn't eat seafood. We could go somewhere that is prominetly seafood but would have to have some other good options. As for location, we are more than willing to go downtown and out to Cambridge or the North end or really anywhere else. Thanks as always for your help.

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  1. how about l'espalier (back bay) no.9 park (beacon hill) ?
    or if your parents are a bit more adventurous, taranta (peruvian/italian) in the north end...
    since you are looking for "classic boston" i was wishing the bay tower room was still open- the view was so great- but these places are all in lovely, historic areas of the city *and* have amazing food. if you'd like someplace less fancy, casablanca in harvard square is also very nice and has excellent food and a fun atmosphere. fortunately, these days, there are so many varied *great* options in boston!

    1 Reply
    1. re: ameria

      I would recommend The Top of the Hub, then you could go up to the Observation Deck
      afterwards. Also, the Duck Tours go from the Prudential and they are great. Also classic Boston and very good food is Anthony's Pier 4. I know there will be a lot of negative responses to this post but they buy top quality food and their chef was originally the chef at Maison Robert and also worked with Lydia Shire in her early days at the Bostonian. Other hounds, please don't put the restaurant down unless you have been there quite recently and had a bad experience. I was there a couple of weeks ago and everything was great. Emmyru, in addition to the meal, I think you parents would enjoy the popovers, marinated mushrooms and the Glover Salad which I think is excellent.

    2. For the record, "classic" Boston is not necessarily a good thing - the eating was not especially great here in the days of yore...but I quibble...

      Locke-Ober is a classic Boston restaurant that is very well regarded....

      Durgin Park is also definitely a classic - been doing the same thing pretty well for years - but it's pretty casual...

      1. Feel really silly that I've lived here for a couple decades and can't figure out what "classic Boston" might be beyond my fave clam shacks and Durgin Park. I guess I'd also throw The Oak Room out there as another classic option worth checking out.

        1. I go through this whenever my parents are in town. I don't like seafood, they love seafood. Their requirements: no Italian, must be able to have a conversation, must take reservations. They seem to like two places very very much.

          McCormick & Schmicks (even though this can be found outside of Boston, they love it.) It's big on seafood, but also have excellent steak and some tasty chicken options.

          Tremont 647 in the South End. They love the food and enjoy the neighborhood. I agree.

          They aren't super expensive, but they're nice restaurants. Each has its own charm.

          1. Showing folks around Boston is a treat, and eating in a place like Durgin Park is a great addition to the experience. I still remember going to Durgin Park when I was 8 years old and visiting Boston. Now it's almost 50 years later, I live here, and DP is not terribly different than it was back then (except the neighborhood is "improved.")The food is better than decent, and your folks will find many memorable aspects: seeing baked beans, Indian pudding, biscuit-based strawberry shortcake, and other traditional Boston foods on the menu; getting the little handouts with the poem about the boy and the recipes in the old fashioned print; the red-checkered table cloths, eating at those long tables with folks you might not know (if you don't like to do that, you don't have to, but I always think it's part of the fun.); the crumbly cornbread, those long narrow stairs up to the dining room, etc, etc., etc. The waitstaff is far more pleasant (and a lot younger and thinner) than they used to be, but they'll put on a rude face, just to make you smile.
            My husband's family is from the midwest, and they have found many choices for even the pickiest eaters. It's plain food, done well. If your husband doesn't eat seafood, there's plenty of other stuff on the menu. I still hear from former visitors about the prime rib that "practically falls off the plate, it's so big!" (or the plate is a little small, maybe?). If he is able to tolerate other folks eating seafood, this is a good place to try steamers, oysters (raw or fried are great) and lobster.
            In addition to the DP experience, most visitors really like to check out Quincy Market, which you can do before OR after you eat, since most of the shops are open pretty late.

            Durgin Park is nice, and atmospheric. It's also very affordable. If you're looking for something more upscale, (and a lot more expensive) Locke Ober's is another classic Boston restaurant. I haven't been since my college graduation, but I've heard it's been rejuvenated since Lydia Shire became involved.

            1. I agree with writer about going to Durgin Park for a Boston experience. Also, walking distance away is the Union Oyster House whereby you should sit at the horseshoe-shaped oyster bar and down a Sam Adams Boston beer and watch the shucker shuck the oysters. (I waitressed there years ago so I could save for my hippie trip to Europe!).
              Have a delightful time - you can see so much as B is such a walkable city.