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Sep 10, 2007 04:21 PM

MC2,Anthony's Pier 4, or Excelsior for Thanksgving?

Has anyone been to any of these places for Thanksgiving? If not, a general yay/nay on each place would be good.

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    1. re: hotoynoodle

      Honestly, I dont know. I saw it listed in an article online about places to eat Thanksgiving dinner in Boston. It is in Cambridge. I found this review at ( but I tend to trust Chow a little more than random articles I find online.

      1. re: EvanWilliams

        I would trust Chowhound much, much more. While some of the articles on sites like Yelp may be fine - and honest - many sites have so called 'reviews' placed there to benefit the establishment. That could happen here, too - but it usually be spotted right away.

        The other thing is this - those of us on this board have one thing in common - we are very serious about quality of food.

        Anthony's Pier 4 has been repeatedly given bad reviews here. Not only is the food meh - or outright bad - the prices are high. That said, I haven't dined there since the original owner was alive - many,many years ago. They were established back in the day where there were only a handful of restaurants in Boston & the surrounding areas. Today there are SO many more options (hooray!).

        But if you want to find a good place to celebrate Thanksgiving, try a search on this board & you'll come up with past suggestions (Sel de la Terre is one that was recommended in the past.)

    2. MC2 is a completely unremarkable hotel restaurant in the Marriott Kendall Square.

      I haven't dined at Excelsior in quite a while, but I found it one of the uglier and least interesting high-end restaurants in Boston, with egregiously marked-up wines. I understand its menu has gotten duller since the departure of Lydia Shire from the venture. Its downstairs bar is still a scene, kind of a meat rack for 30- and 40-somethings.

      Anthony's Pier 4 is exactly what you 'd expect for Boston's It Place of 1972: your great-grandmother's idea of a great swanky restaurant. Waterfront view, lobster done eight ways, baked and broiled and fried seafood of every description, prime rib, steaks, and chops. It's old and fusty and still beloved by Bostonians of a certain age. I see from many discussions here that the wine list has some golden oldies on it that are considered great bargains. I rate it like most waterfront restaurants (though I haven't dine there in a while either, though I think my opinion of this never-changing restaurant is probably still reliaible): not worth the premium. It is a rare place in Boston to get popovers.

      Restaurants on Thanksgiving do the very traditional Thanksgiving dinner, even though many of them dread it (pro chefs seem to hate turkey). I'd probably aim for something New American -- where they are likelier to use better local ingredients -- with great service. Perhaps some place like Hamersley's, or Union, or Harvest. But it probably matters less where you go on that day than most.

      4 Replies
      1. re: MC Slim JB

        Anthony's Pier 4 does a wonderful meal for Thanksgiving and it is not overpriced.
        With the addition of their Glover Salad (a caesar type salad), popovers and marinated mushrooms I don't think you can go wrong. I have spent many happy and delicious Thanksgivings there. We tried alternate locations and always went back to Pier 4.

        Anthony's sons, Anthony, Jr. and Michael, are doing a great job with the restaurant. The decor was updated a couple of years ago, new menus and menu items have been added but the old ones are still there. Their wine list is outstanding not just "golden oldies". They also have a new updated website.

        If you haven't been there in years, give it a try.

        1. re: edgewater

          Well, that's good to know. I've heard some really awful stuff (recent) about their Swampscott location from people on & off of Chowhound. I can remember when they were the mainstay in the Boston area.

          1. re: edgewater

            I went to Pier 4 last thanksgiving with my sister and 90 year old mother . As in the old days the view is spectacylar, the popovers outstanding. we did not have the turkey but what we had was DREADFUL! the lobsterwas full of water and stuffed with what appeared to be canned lobster, etc,etc,etc,

          2. re: MC Slim JB

            i'm relatively certain neither hammersley's nor union are open on thanksgiving. very few independents open that day, and neither show availability on opentable for thanksgiving.

            i'd do clio rather than excelsior, and honestly, for all the griping about anthony's it's worth it for the kitsch factor, the wine list and the view.

          3. I'd go anywhere else but Anthony's Pier 4 for any meal. It's awful! Don't waste your money.

            1. I went to Harvest two years ago for T-day and was extremely please. They offered a choice of three or four courses to be paired with wine or not (extra cost for pairings). The food was wonderful and included some traditional turkey day fare. We all chose something different at each course so were able to try almost all options. We left satisfied and relaxed.