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Favorite Restaurant on Charles St

lescaret Oct 16, 2007 05:52 AM

What's your favorite restaurant on Charles St, and why? I want to take my spouse out before the ballet Saturday night and she suggests we eat somewhere on Charles St. I've been to the Beacon Hill Bistro and liked it but we're thinking of trying something new. Suggestions? Warnings?

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    powerfulpierre RE: lescaret Oct 16, 2007 07:03 AM

    For something a bit different while still elegant and delicious, try Lala Rohk at 97 Mt. Vernon Street. Persian cuisine with a very nice atmosphere - a perfect pre-ballet meal. I was hesitant at first but when Mrs. said we were going to try it I was glad she did.

    3 Replies
    1. re: powerfulpierre
      hiddenboston RE: powerfulpierre Oct 16, 2007 07:06 AM

      I agree. Lala Rokh is only about a block up the hill from Charles Street and is a very cozy, romantic place.

      1. re: hiddenboston
        nasilemak RE: hiddenboston Oct 16, 2007 07:40 AM

        Lala Rokh is a nice spot. For a more casual spot the King and I is a good choice.

        1. re: nasilemak
          content RE: nasilemak Oct 16, 2007 08:55 PM

          King and I is at the far end of Charles St. I L-O-V-E their Chicken Rama Garden cause of the yummy peanut sauce.

    2. lissy RE: lescaret Oct 16, 2007 07:44 AM

      I like bin 26 on Charles St for wines by the glass, cheese plates and cured meats.

      bin 26
      boston ma, boston, ma

      1. h
        hellohi1968 RE: lescaret Oct 16, 2007 07:46 AM

        Try Bin 26 Enoteca. The food is great and the wine list is off the hook. Great neighborhood vibe. The tomato soup is fantastic!

        2 Replies
        1. re: hellohi1968
          powerfulpierre RE: hellohi1968 Oct 16, 2007 08:28 AM

          Bin 26 is also on my must try list. I believe they are owned by the "Lala Rokh" family.

          1. re: hellohi1968
            Delhiwala RE: hellohi1968 Oct 19, 2007 03:27 PM

            Bin 26 Enoteca is fabulous! But be sure to get a reservation for a Friday or Saturday night meal since the place is very popular.
            Otherwise, I also like Lala Rokh (which is run by the same people as Bin 26 Enoteca although the food is totally different) a lot. It is Persian food, and serves exotic, tasty and sensual food.

          2. c
            csammy RE: lescaret Oct 16, 2007 09:21 AM

            Don't forget about Pigalle! It is on Charles St. and much closer to the Ballet.

            1. b
              bachslunch RE: lescaret Oct 16, 2007 02:40 PM

              Will second Lala Rokh and also suggest Hungry I, which I liked the one time I went.

              Haven't been to BHB except for brunch, which was good, and haven't tried Bin 26 yet.

              1 Reply
              1. re: bachslunch
                pollystyrene RE: bachslunch Oct 16, 2007 08:27 PM

                We used to go to Hungry I every Christmas Eve years ago. The food was good, but it was the cozy, romantic atmosphere that kept us coming back. We stopped going when I became a vegetarian because they didn't offer anything without flesh. If that's an issue, check the on-line menu first.

                I haven't been able to get there yet, but I'd go to Pigalle. It sounds great.

              2. s
                ShelT54 RE: lescaret Oct 16, 2007 06:59 PM

                Artu is reasonably priced Italian food with good service

                1. t
                  troyboy77777 RE: lescaret Oct 17, 2007 10:31 AM

                  57 chestnut is my favorite

                  1. Dr.Jimbob RE: lescaret Oct 17, 2007 12:25 PM

                    Panificio was my default go-to place when I lived on the Hill and didn't feel like cooking. Homey, dark cafe look and feel (complete with lights dimming every time the Red Line runs by), decent wine list, pretty much universally consistently wonderful food at attractive prices. Their steak tips could be counted on to be done right, their chicken-broccoli-penne did an Italian standard with style and flavor, and the wine list is decent. There has been some turnover in the staff recently, so I don't know if it's what it once was, but is worth investigating.

                    The Paramount Diner serves up a workmanlike buffet-style breakfast during the daylight hours but at night, it becomes a surprisingly good Continental style restaurant. A little bit pricier than Panificio though not quite as pricey as Beacon Hill Bistro, everything that we had there was fairly solid.

                    75 Chestnut is on Chestnut Street, behind Cheers. It has become another place that I have been returning to, now that I've moved out of the Beacon Hill area. Pretty much everything on the menu is a basic bar menu thing, but with some sort of twist that makes it interesting and flavorful. Beer and wine list leaves something to be desired, but I think they have one of the finest $10 range burgers in Boston.

                    Artu was a place that I fell in love with about 10 or 12 years ago. My favorite stuff there was their antipasto bar, their roast lamb and eggplant panini and their pasta e fagioli soup. They've had significant turnover and the food has been uneven the last few times I've been. Panificio, 75 Chestnut and Paramount are good enough that it isn't a serious contender for me. Even less so is Ristorante Toscano, which struck me as hideously overpriced, mediocre food.

                    And I suppose there's always Pigalle ...

                    144 Charles St, Boston, MA

                    44 Charles St, Boston, MA 02114

                    75 Chestnut
                    75 Chestnut Street, Boston, MA 02114

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: Dr.Jimbob
                      Alcachofa RE: Dr.Jimbob Oct 17, 2007 12:57 PM

                      Jim, can you recommend a few things on the 75 Ches menu? Because everything I've had at the "new" 75 has been flat out bad. Nice people working there, though.

                      I agree completely with Toscano. I wonder if the renovations will do anything to the kitchen. (Not holding my breath.)

                      For Thai food, if they're going to the theatre district, they can do way way WAY better than King & I by going to Montien. But, that gets them way off Charles St as well.

                      Another vote for Lala Rokh.

                      1. re: Alcachofa
                        Dr.Jimbob RE: Alcachofa Oct 17, 2007 07:01 PM

                        Sure. The herbed clam chowder was a major hit with a big group of people who went out there -- I think it was the herbs and bacon that elevated it above the average chowder.

                        The Bibb salad has a nice mix of fruit, nuts, goat cheese and vinegar that balances quite nicely, and it's inspired me to hack my own salads in a similar vein.

                        I have been very fond of the crab cake sandwich and the steamed mussels -- nothing here that necessarily stands out, but solid stuff decently done. And my wife really digs the pasta caprese -- nothing quite like mozzarella melting in the midst of your cappellini.

                        Their burger as I say is among my favorites. I have had a special fish filet which was very good, but I don't usually get the regular fish dish there. Their steaks are also good, though Panificio is arguably better for about the same or a bit less.

                        My Persian brother-in-law was disappointed by Lala Rokh -- I would also tend to agree that the seasonings are interesting, but a bit tamer than the real deal. In particular, I have learned to make fesanjan, a Persian chicken, walnuts and pomegranate stew from said brother-in-law, and wasn't blown away by L.R.'s version of same.

                        1. re: Alcachofa
                          hotoynoodle RE: Alcachofa Nov 3, 2007 10:54 AM

                          montien is a hop/skip/jump from the ballet.

                        2. re: Dr.Jimbob
                          Joanie RE: Dr.Jimbob Oct 18, 2007 05:06 AM

                          There's not a buffet breakfast at the Paramount. You order at the counter then find a seat, if that's what you meant. (And only find a seat after you've gotten your food.)

                          1. re: Dr.Jimbob
                            hotoynoodle RE: Dr.Jimbob Nov 3, 2007 10:53 AM

                            panifico and the paramount are counter service. i'd hardly want to have a special meal before the ballet. artu is terribly casual too.

                            i concur on lala rokh and bin 26. same owners. while neither is fancy, at least you feel like you're dining, not grabbing grub on the fly.

                          2. t
                            troyboy77777 RE: lescaret Oct 19, 2007 04:25 AM

                            don't go to Avilia...

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