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Where would you eat...money not a factor?

shepherdspie Jun 12, 2007 09:01 AM

Where would you eat in the Boston area for a romantic anniversary dinner...money no object?


  1. h
    hsquare2southend Jun 15, 2007 03:40 PM

    Great suggestions all around. I'd vote for L'Espalier in the city, but La Campania in Waltham (just went there last week and was blown away), or Toppers (went there last month and was VERY pleased with the experience all around), or the White Barn Inn are also great suggestions in New England. I haven't been to L'Etoile on the Vineyard since it moved out of the Charlotte Inn, but it used to be fantastic.

    1. Rubee Jun 13, 2007 09:57 PM

      I love Limster's idea - how fantastic would that be?

      And, BTW, all the other suggestions (I love those mentioned above by MC - White Barn Inn - an original signature dish of lobster with vanilla/cognac/coral sauce is one of the best things I've ever eaten, but didn't include them because you specifically asked for Boston-area), reminded me that I left out a phenomenal place where the knowledgeable chef will absolutely stun you with wine and food pairings.

      Two of the best meals I've ever had were the two tasting menus at Troquet where we gave the chef a budget for the tasting menu, and a budget for wine. Really amazing. The first one from a couple of years ago started with - not memorized, wonderful touch, they printed a menu for our party of four- a "crudo amuse" (oysters, geoduck, kingfish, ahi, fluke) with a Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Satlesse Gold Kap and, included amongst many courses, a squab duet with rhubarb and verjus paired with a 2001 Gegllianello Super Tuscan, and finished at the end of the night with a cheese course accompanied by a 1962 Quinta Do Noval Nacional port. I'll have to find the menu fron last year (where we actually had, if possible, an even better dinner), but we all still talk about the pairing of a French chablis with bay scallops, gnocchi, and white truffle...


      3 Replies
      1. re: Rubee
        shepherdspie Jun 14, 2007 10:31 AM

        Thanks to everyone. Good recommendations that I will pass along to my brother in law!

        1. re: shepherdspie
          BostonBarGuy Jun 14, 2007 10:42 AM

          Could you please ask them to report back on where they went and all of the pros, cons, etc.? Thank you.

          1. re: BostonBarGuy
            shepherdspie Jun 14, 2007 11:17 AM

            I absolutely will...more info to come at the end of the month!

      2. limster Jun 13, 2007 09:23 PM

        I'd pick your top 7 places from the list in this thread and have one course at each place. Find out what the signature dishes are at your top 7 and order them from lightest to heaviest, followed by cheese and dessert.

        1. MC Slim JB Jun 13, 2007 07:36 AM

          The obvious answer includes the priciest places in town. These are well-documented in the responses here. I personally think L'Espalier seems the most romantic and special, but I like to dress up for these kinds of dinners, and don't mind a bit of formality. The wine list is also pretty far-reaching, useful if you're in a mood to blow big bucks. I also like the pricey sushi/sashimi specialists (Uni in particular), but I don't like sitting at a table, prefer dining at the bar, which makes the experience is a bit of a love triangle: you, your date, and the itamae. One place not mentioned on that list is Rialto, which I quite like for occasion dinners (it's menu is almost all creative Italian now).

          For such occasions, I often make day trips outside the city; overnight stays are even more romantic. Some places I like for this purpose are Arrows in Ogunquit, ME, the White Barn Inn in Kennebunkport, ME, Chillingsworth in Brewster on Cape Cod, The Pearl or Topper's on Nantucket (I'm also curious to try the Straight Wharf now that it has been taken over by two Boston chefs I admire, and the new-management version of Chanticleer), and L'Etoile on the Vineyard.

          Or take the Acela to Manhattan. That's a very pleasant way to get to/from the city (from South Station, Back Bay, or Rt 128 Boston to Penn Station, no airport security to deal with, and some pleasant views on the RI/CT coastline). Your options in the city are myriad.

          A last thought: charter a small boat with a decent galley for a Boston Harbor cruise and hire a private chef for the evening.

          4 Replies
          1. re: MC Slim JB
            edgewater Jun 13, 2007 08:25 AM

            I would highly recommend Sorellina for a totally overall fabulous experience.

            If you want to take a trip, the White Barn Inn (MC also recommeded) is just wonderful and very romantic. It's an easy day trip from Boston.

            1. re: MC Slim JB
              WineTravel Jun 13, 2007 08:54 PM

              Slim, you really do know your stuff. Certainly one of the most insightful and knowledgeable people on CH. It's a pleasure reading your posts. Keep up the good work.

              1. re: WineTravel
                saridt Jun 15, 2007 12:45 PM

                I agree that Arrows is a wonderful choice & if you go a wonderful place to stay nearby is the Scotch Hill Inn --we stayed there last summer for our anniversary-- a wonderful (and different) gourmet breakfast is included daily on the beautiful porch --blueberry sausages, homemade quiche with summer veggies...yum. They also offer a variety of cheeses and wines in the afternoon.

                My dinner from Arrows that weekend is actually my avatar...

              2. re: MC Slim JB
                Elyssa Jun 15, 2007 12:50 PM

                Arrows is an excellent recommendation and one of my all time favorite restaurants in the world! I have been there for a number of special occasions. If money was no object--I would hire a driver and go up to Arrows (making sure to stop off at Pie In The Sky on the way back to stock up on the most delicious Maine pies!)

              3. b
                bachslunch Jun 13, 2007 06:20 AM

                With money no object, my first choice would be L'Espalier.

                1 Reply
                1. re: bachslunch
                  chefstu Jun 13, 2007 06:41 AM

                  Ditto to L'Espalier.

                2. b
                  BostonBarGuy Jun 12, 2007 12:18 PM

                  #1- Uni for sashimi then Clio
                  #2- #9 Park(Bar for drinks then corner banquette in cafe')
                  #3- Mistral(corner banquette in far end of dining room)
                  #4- Oishi S. End(private table downstairs)
                  #5- Sorellina
                  #6- L'Espalier(It's only low on my list because it's very refined and quite. Service and food are exquisite.)

                  Bristol Lounge for after dinner drinks. Happy Anniversary. Please let us know where you end up and how it was.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: BostonBarGuy
                    hoplover Jun 12, 2007 12:40 PM

                    BostoBarGuy has a great list that you cannot wrong with. Great Choices!!

                    1. re: BostonBarGuy
                      WineTravel Jun 13, 2007 08:48 PM

                      Nice well chosen list.... and I love the fact that you add the loc of the best tables. It really is so important... and can make all the difference in some of these places.

                    2. c
                      catspercapita Jun 12, 2007 10:56 AM

                      La Campagnia in Waltham. We went for an anniversary dinner a few years ago and it was terrific. The money was well spent. I wish money was no object so I could eat there all the time.

                      1. ScubaSteve Jun 12, 2007 10:43 AM

                        in decending order

                        No. 9 (grudgingly as i love the food, not so much the room)

                        1. NiKoLe1625 Jun 12, 2007 10:08 AM

                          Clio definitely!

                          1. k
                            kbjackson Jun 12, 2007 09:57 AM

                            No. 9 Park...hands down..

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: kbjackson
                              Rubee Jun 12, 2007 10:35 AM

                              Even though I recommended the other two because I love them, I should add that No 9 Park is where we usually go every year for our anniversary.

                            2. j
                              JBM Jun 12, 2007 09:21 AM

                              O-Ya. Perfect place if money really doesn't matter.

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: JBM
                                Rubee Jun 12, 2007 09:25 AM

                                Yes, exactly where I would want to go (though it's not really a 'romantic' room). O Ya first, and second would be the tasting menu at Clio for me.

                                Northender's recs are good too - they all fit an anniversary for romantic atmosphere and great food, though I haven't been to them recently.

                                1. re: Rubee
                                  JBM Jun 12, 2007 09:38 AM

                                  Very fair point, Rubee. O-Ya fits the "money no object" criteria but maybe not the romantic part. Of course it could be said that the food at O-Ya is so damn sexy that it ups the overall romance level. Ok, I'm reaching there. Lol.

                                  1. re: JBM
                                    Rubee Jun 12, 2007 09:49 AM

                                    "the food at O-Ya is so damn sexy that it ups the overall romance level"

                                    Heh-heh. Yep, I'll go with that!

                              2. n
                                Northender Jun 12, 2007 09:15 AM

                                Lots of choices depending on your romance:food quotient.

                                L'Espalier is on most folks' list - French food. great ambiance; lots ofmarriage proposals going on.
                                Mamma Maria in the North End - there are lots of small rooms with nice views of North Square.
                                Other Hounds highly tout Clio but I have not been there yet.
                                Lala Rokh on Beacon Hill is a lovely quiet room with very nice Persian food.

                                I am sure you will get lots of other great recs. from the folks on this Board.

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