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May 18, 2007 05:26 AM

Where to dine pre Pops?

My husband, son & I will be college visiting Boston this week. We stay in Cambridge 3 nites and Back Bay the last one. Wed is my 50th & we have tickets to the Pops. Where to dine all those nites? We like contemporary Italian, Mediterranean & American cuisines. We don’t like touristy, do like fun happening. Husband is Sarasota Skinflint.

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  1. Contemporary Italian? Sorrelina is close to Symphony Hall. It's quite good.

    1. It's Pops season again. We'll probably get this question three or four times before the season is over.

      Dining options near Symphony Hall are pretty mediocre. Generally, you need to walk ten to fifteen minutes to get to decent choices. There is a cluster of good restaurants near the intersection of Mass. Ave. and Boylston St. including Clio, one of the best (and most expensive) in Boston and L'Espalier around the corner. Chilli Duck for Thai, Island Hopper for Asian, Capital Grille for steak, etc.

      The area of Huntington Ave. towards Copley Square has some other possibilties though these generally are not as popular here. Brasserie Jo in the Colonade is good and close by. Turner Fisheries and the Palm in the Westin are middle of the road choices. Azure in the Lenox is good. Sorellina is very good but Sarasota Skinflint won't be happy there.

      Avoid the restaurants in the Prudential Center complex.

      There are also some good choices on Columbus Ave. in the South End. Columbus Cafe is near by and Jae's does interesting Asian.

      My favorite is in the Fenway, about a fifteen minute walk but worth it. Tratorria Toscana is a storefront at 130 Jersey St. with excellent Tuscan cuisine at extremely reasonable prices

      Enjoy Boston.

        1. BBHound makes some excellent recommendations for some fancy dining options in the Back Bay area, but if the Sarasota Skinflint thing is an issue, there are a few passable alternatives in the area. I like Bombay Cafe on Mass Ave betwen Berklee and Symphony, pretty decent Indian with lovely peshawari naan (roasted with nuts and honey). Betty's Wok & Noodle Diner is either really gimmicky or really clever, depending on your tolerance for '50s kitsch. Searching "Pops" or "Symphony Hall" on this board will find you plenty of other threads where this is discussed in detail.

          Cambridge has an astonishingly broad range of cuisines, cooking styles and favorite restaurants (searching Cambridge on this board will turn up lots and lots and lots of threads). So some more specifics on locations, cuisines and price ranges would be useful in narrowing down for your needs.

          1. So where did you go and how was it?