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OMFG! Someone else is paying for dinner!

It's a friend's birthday and a third friend is taking us both out for dinner. Last year we went to PRB, and it was great, right atmosphere, food and price point and this year we're looking for a repeat somewhere else.

Preferences are on the Red Line or in the South End, but that's not etched in stone (carved in wood though, good hard wood, like oak). I was thinking of Gaslight, Rendezvous or Salts, but I've never been to Salts and had a bad meal at Rendezvous, but it was the dreaded potpie that the whole board thought I had been terribly unlucky in choosing. Very open to other ideas too.

Any thoughts? I'm the whiniest of the bunch so if I'm happy everyone's happy, which is just fine as far as I'm concerned. Thanks!

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  1. If you have never been to Salts, you really can't go wrong there. Every meal we have had there is outstanding. Gaslight is a good addition, but foodwise not close to on the same level as Salts. Salts is definitely quieter than Gaslight, but it can still be plenty of fun for a special occasion.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Gabatta

      No question Salts is in a different league than Gaslight --but that's also price-wise as well. Gaslight is fairly inexpensive (nothing over $20), some great classic French brassierie selections. In addition, lotsa buzz at Gaslight & the food is excellent. It's a boisterous atmosphere with lots of energy. I think Salts is a little more subdued. Just depends what you're looking for.
      If you decide on Gaslight, you can (and should) make a rez.

    2. Agree, Salts is fabulous. Pops in the SE can be good and fun, too.

      Also, Red Line takes you to Beacon Hill. The BH Bistro is pretty damn good, as is Lala Rokh.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Bostonbob3

        Yes, Pops is lovely for a nice bday event. Good food, nice staff, excellent decor.
        Or what about B&G? Also has a good special event vibe (and the wine list is to die for).

        If you want fun and boisterous, as twentyoystahs notes, Gaslight is a good choice, and if the staff is told in advance that it's a bday, they do their best to celebrate the special occasion by making you feel quite well taken care of. (At least, that was my experience.)

      2. When I think of comparable to PRB, I think Ten Tables in JP. I'm not sure where that comes from. Not on the Redline, sorry. You could also do Grotto in Beacon Hill.

        1. Yikes, just took a look at Salts' menu, a little more expensive than I had imagined. That will be when I'm paying my own way, unfortunately.

          1. Central Kitchen - better than Rendevouz in our opinion? Gargoyles?

            1. Whole board? I thought the pot pie, along with everything else I've had at Rendezvous, was excellent, with quality well above what I would expect for the price. I also think it's slightly better than Central, but agree Central Kitchen would be a good choice.

              Gargoyle's and Rocca's not bad choices either.

              3 Replies
              1. re: Alcachofa

                Rocca sounds like it might work just right. . . .

                I guess the pot pie wasn't as bad my increasingly poor memory indicates, rereading my post on this, but still was disappointing.

                http://www.chowhound.com/topics/419912

                Rereading that thread, I think we need another merit-less crank post to get us back on our toes. Any takers? Some topic ideas: "Troquet Pouring Boone's Farm instead of Yquem," or "Clio Serving Stouffer's Mac and Cheese for $45."

                1. re: sailormouth

                  Personally I'd like to dig up more obscure references to 80s music. That was fun! Well, at least for those of us who are in the demographic. Woops, gotta go ... Robert deNiro's waiting.

                  1. re: sailormouth

                    I've only been to Rocca a couple of times but I really wasn't wowed by the food either time. Though the trofie w/pesto was undoubtably excellent. Everything else, just alright, certainly not memorable. Maybe things are better now, I was there back in late spring. Gaslight, on the other hand, has proved to be excellent food-wise the two times I've been there. I had some service issues the first time, but the second time service was fine. So..though I don't think Rocca is a bad choice, and maybe there are some smart things to order there are other places I'd recommend first. Plus I love the vibe at Gaslight, and think it's perfect for a celebration.

                    In that same price range, I also think Rendezvous is a great choice --food and service are always consistently good there. I've had good meals at both PRB locations too and prices are definitely reasonable there too.

                2. Although it is not on the Red Line or in the South, EVOO would be a great option. The food, service and atmosphere are all top notch. I have never had a problem parking when I go to EVOO - either in their lot or on the street.

                  1. Garden at the Cellar, maybe?

                    1. I'd go for The Publick House. Serious Belgian beers, excellent food for the price point (main courses average in the mid to high teens).