A nice dinner with a little jazz in Boston...where would you go?
We'll be in Boston on Oct 14th, Sunday night. We are 2 couples traveling together and this will be the last night of a 2 week trip before going back home to Los Angeles.
We'd like to go to a good moderately priced restaurant (approx $35 pp without wine) (we like all types of food) and hope to listen to a little music afterwards....in the same place ad dinner if possible. We don't know where we are staying yet and don't know Boston at all.
Any suggestions.....where would you go?
There is a place called Ryles in Inman Square on the Somerville/Cambridge line. On the subway/"T" from Boston, it can run anywhere from 15 min to an hour, depending on where you are. Or a quick 15 minute cab ride. I have never been here but have heard the food is decent and the music is great! It's around the corner from my house and have heard great things. Let us know if you end up going!
If you like Sinatra with your jazz I would recommend Lucky's Lounge Sinatra Sundays.
I like to eat in the roxbury neighborhood and then walk over to wallys for some after dinner jazz.
My problem with ryles(have not been in a year, so they may have stopped doing this) is that they charge you to see the band even though you are eating dinner. If you want to just eat and not be there for the entire show, they will waive the cover but make you sit in the back. IMO if I am paying for a full meal I should have to pay for the music. if I am just drinking, that is different.
Sculler's might be perfect you. Its in the Doubletree Hotel in Cambridge. They have a package with dinner in their restaurant before the show and have top name groups in the club. We saw Harry Connick and his trio there and were blown away by the group and the lightening storm over the Charles River that was going on in the window behind Harry. It's a really nice jazz club with decent food. I don't know who is playing the 14th. There is a web site for Scullers.
Ryles is also nice but more of a neighborhood club with music.
Another option in Boston proper might be Les Zygomates. French Bistro style, $35 pp w/o wine might be tight but do-able. While no expert, I have always found thier wine selection very interesting, if not a little off the beaten path.
There is a restaurant side and a bar side (full menu available at both) and they have jazz nightly.
Les Zygomates Wine Bar & Bistro
129 South St, Boston, MA 02111
Sacrifice the music/meal in the same building, and be willing to walk a bit or cab between the two, and your options open up a lot. You should probably buy advance tickets for shows at Regattabar or Scullers, which often sell out.
The Regattabar/Rialto combination is nice except for the fact that you can't get out of Rialto for anywhere near $35/head. Most of its entrees are over $30, most of its first and second courses over $10.
Some possible combinations:
Regattabar and: Craigie Street Bistro (organic New American/French, $36 three-course prix fixe) or Tamarind Bay (creative Indian) or Chez Henri (bar for Cuban food or dining room for bistro French -- I far prefer the former) or Garden at the Cellar (elevated pub food showered with fresh herbs).
Ryles and: East Coast Grill (grilled seafood and BBQ) or B-Side Lounge (bar food) or Oleana (pan-Mediterranean) or Casa Portugal or Midwest Grill (Brazilian churrasco rodizio, a great bargain) or Magnolia's (Southern U.S.) or Ole (creative Mexican).
Scullers and (via taxi): Aneka Rasa (Malaysian) or Carlo's Cucina Italiana (very good, inexpensive Italian-American) or Shanghai Gate or Rangoli (Indian, including Southern) or the above-mentioned Regattabar options near Harvard Square.
Wally's Cafe or The Beehive and: Metropolis Cafe (Euro bistro) or Toro (tapas, no reservations, but reasonable to walk in on a Sunday night) or Orinoco (Venezuelan) or Pops (bargain-priced American in a very pretty room) or Addis Red Sea (Ethiopian). Don't be tempted to eat at The Beehive; atmosphere and drinks are its forte.
Les Zygomates: the simple choice for a combined music/meal deal. Very good French bistro fare, a lot of interesting wines, good bartending, a reasonable prix fixe, two rooms (one with music, one without).
Lucky's: that Sinatra impersonator and the 50s-vintage American food aren't bad. A hard-drinking, noisy young crowd most nights, though, often not really there for the music.