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Jul 15, 2007 08:20 AM

No. 9 Park--Bar/Cafe

I'm trying to decide where to go for a birthday dinner next week. I have been wanting to try No. 9 Park for a while, but the main menu is just too pricy--and the atmosphere is probably more formal than I'm interested in. I was thinking that maybe we could eat in the bar side where the prices are much more reasonable, but as I've never been there, I don't have a good sense for what it's like.

Is there typically a long wait for a seat at the bar? We'd be going on a Wednesday. Any other thoughts?

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  1. If you want to try the cafe menu at No. 9, you can also sit in the cafe in the front part of the restaurant. The special thing about the bar is that you can order off both the cafe menu and the main dining room menu. I tend to eat there late and never have had problems getting a seat at the bar or a table on weekdays. Summer is especially slow for restaurants in Boston, so you're likely to be fine.

    1. I prefer dining in the cafe at No. 9, usually ordering a mix of cafe and dining room menu items. If you like cocktails, be sure to arrive early enough to have a seat at the bar and a conversation with their barstaff. They're amazing mixologists, always able to identify and make something extraordinary for you.

      4 Replies
      1. re: MC Slim JB

        actually, if you sit at a table in the cafe, you can only order from the cafe menu. The only place they ley you order from BOTH menus is at the bar counter.

        1. re: Clos Vougeot

          Now that you mention it, my last several dinners at No. 9 have been at the bar. I've been seated in the cafe, too, but only for cocktails. Useful to know, but I wonder why they make this distinction.

          1. re: Clos Vougeot

            good to know. i would sit at the bar if it was just two of us, but it will now be four of us so we'll probably need to sit at a table in the cafe.

            1. re: alyssap99

              The bar/cafe menu thing, I think it has something to do with kitchen flow.

              Alyssa, I think you'll find plenty to keep you happy on the cafe menu.

              Frankie thanks for that pasta tip, it sounds great! I haven't noticed that one, I wonder if it is new.

        2. Alyssa- The bar/cafe' at #9 is a great call for your birthday. You shouldn't have a long wait on a Wednesday evening. Ryan and John on the bar are great guys and can guide you through the menu. If you sit in the cafe', there are a couple of comfortable banquettes, and if there are enough in your party, there is a nice table in the window. The service and food are excellent. Enjoy your birthday dinner.

          1. thanks for the responses; it sounds like a go!
            any dishes (again, preferably from the cafe menu, or perhaps apps from the main menu) that shouldn't be missed? i am all over the cocktails, don't worry. :)

            3 Replies
            1. re: alyssap99

              I'm a big fan of the truffled gnocchi w/peas and mushrooms and the prune-stuffed gnocchi. The gnocchi is made fresh every day and is very light. Please let us know how your evening goes.

              1. re: alyssap99

                The Gorgonzola Fondue with marinated lamb and toasted brioche is to die for as are both gnocchi dishes that BBG recommends.

                1. re: alyssap99

                  Eating in the cafe is always a great time, Ryan and John are uncommonly welcoming and engaging. I agree with the gorgonzola fondue, love it. They also have some great cheeses, last time Joe selected 4 'smelly' cheeses for me that were fantastic. I also really like the steak tartare, although highly respected posters on this board aren't as keen on it as I am. But I get a wicked craving for it sometimes. I've also really enjoyed the steak frites, although I see on the cafe menu that they now have hangar steak with bone marrow marmalade which I haven't tried yet but I intend to go back soon to check it out.

                2. My husband really likes 9 Park and it gets rave reviews, mostly, but I have been disappointed twice by the small portions!!! Maybe just my bad luck, but it seems even more overpriced, when you leave hungry after a full meal. But the food is good quality.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Lucymax

                    I agree that the portions in the dining room are small, but the cafe prices and portion sizes seem just right. We typically sit at the bar and order apps off the regular menu and entrees off the cafe as split a pasta in the middle.. Save room for dessert or cheese both are excellent and be sure to have some fabulous dessert wines.

                    1. re: ghettochic

                      My wife and I ate at the bar last week at 9 park--it was very comfortable
                      and we enjoyed the food---the prices are a little less they have a seperate bar menu--however, the portions are very small--but good quality food.
                      tryout the pasta dish--Angel hair with broccoli rrabe and sweet italian sausage--it is wonderful.

                      Frankie Imbergamo