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A Restaurant in the "Ladder District"??

My brother and his wife are throwing a party the Saturday night after Thanksgiving in Boston at a place called FELT (never heard of it but it's located at 533 Washington St.), which apparently is in the "Ladder District." I grew up outside of Boston and in all my years of living there I never heard of the Ladder District.

My boyfriend and I will probably be hanging out around Boston and going to the party later in the night. I'm looking for delicious restaurant recommendations nearby (or at least 1-2 T stops over). We are into all types of cuisines, big foodies, and are looking for something not too fancy and moderatly priced (entrees around $15-$30 would be good). No steak houses though.

Thanks all!!

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  1. Just checked out their website. FELT is located near the Downtown Crossing or Boylston Street T Stops. And it's near the Opera House, Ritz Carleton and Boston Common if that helps with location for all of you.

    1. The Ladder District is a recently made-up name for Downtown Crossing. An attempt to change its image, I guess. Not sure it has caught on, though. Anyway... Silvertone is right down that way, Bromfield Street, I believe. Fits the bill for what you're looking for. Casual, relatively inexpensive, lively with good food and drinks.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Kbee

        Now if they just stuck to Downtown Crossing I would have all the info I needed to direct you folks. lol Thanks for the clarity and the recommendation, I'll check it out.

        1. re: Kbee

          Actually, it is a decades-old name that was revived by a very savvy PR maven in Boston when she was developing the concept, brand and publicity for Mantra before it opened. She did an interview with and got some press in the Wall Street Journal, and the name has since enjoyed new popularity. http://www.andoniapr.com/

          To the OP's question - try IVY - afforable (if not quite memorable, but still not bad) dishes and very affordable wine list.

        2. Check out Ivy, on Winter St?, between park st. and downtown crossing. Food is pretty good, not amazing but definitely do able, very affordable wines, and a cool atmosphere. also, this fits your price point well. another place not too far away is Teatro, right by the boston common movie theatre. good italian.

          1. My pick would be Teatro. It's a short walk to Felt, has $15 - $30 entrees and the food is great.

            3 Replies
            1. re: heWho

              Teatro sounds good but the Zagat's review said it's very loud. How bad is it? Is it possible to hold a conversation with your date. (A nice laid-back, where we could talk would be great since this will be the first time we are really alone all weekend with out our family in town for Thanksgiving lol)

              1. re: Elyssa

                The food is good at Teatro, but yes, I was there last week (mid week, 7-ish) and couldn't believe how loud it was, despite the sound attentuation panels all along the walls. You could always check out the bar at No.9 Park, one of my all-time faves. Much less expensive menu than the dining room and fabulous cocktails. I love the truffled gnocchi with lobster and peas.

                1. re: Kbee

                  FWIW, I've never found Teatro to be any louder than any other busy restaurant. I never visited before the improvements, but they have squishy flooring and sound dampening pannels on the walls, which seem to do a pretty good job.

                  [Sorry, should have read down further before posting. I see this aleady has been addressed.]

            2. My vote would be for Kingston Station, which is relatively nearby - new bistro style, nice atmosphere and good food. Across the street is Good Life, which used to get great reception here on the board, altho reports lately have been lukewarm.
              Otherwise, agree that Silvertones or Teatro are good standbys.

              1. If you're truly into trying all cuisines, check out Kaze Shabu Zen, the hot pot place, which is just down the street from Felt. Three blocks tops.

                41 Essex St, Boston, MA 02111

                1. A clever bit of marketing, that revival of the term "Ladder District" was. Compare to the hateful coinage "SoWa", which sounds more like "so what?" than SoHo.

                  The nice thing about Downtown Crossing is you're a couple of T stops away from a ton of great options (and you definitely want to eat *before* you get to Felt).

                  If you want to walk, I suggest the Good Life, Teatro, Silvertone, or maybe one of the nicer-seeming spaces in Chinatown, perhaps New Shanghai, which despite being a Chinese place with white tablecloths actually has good food.

                  The South End is really close, too: consider The Beehive (which has great atmosphere, good drinks, and food that appears to be slowly improving under a new chef after a very disappointing start -- make reservations to avoid the weekend lines), Stella (cool-looking, and also improved food -- slightly creative Italian -- at nice prices for its sleek atmosphere), Union Bar & Grill (good seasonal New American with great service in a very handsome room), Masa (a lively Southwestern place, much improved food under its current chef, great tequila list), Metropolis (intimate little Mediterranean place), Addis Red Sea (if you haven't tried Ethiopian food, this is a great place to start, and it's a bargain for the 'hood). I'm only listing places that take reservations, as the South End gets overrun these days on weekends.

                  On Beacon Hill, I'd recommend Grotto (funky/cool space with slightly creative Italian), Beacon Hill Bistro (small-hotel restaurant with very solid French food), and Bin 26 (lively, loud wine-centric restaurant with decent Iberian-leaning small plates). Again, get reservations.

                  The North End is easy, too, if you get reservations. In your price range, I'd look at Taranta (great Italian seafood, some Peruvian touches in some dishes), Antico Forno (casual, good wood-oven pizzas and baked pastas, a relative bargain), and Vinoteca di Monica (solid, little-known red-saucey place with a full bar).

                  I hope you'll return here to report on wherever you end up!

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: MC Slim JB

                    I made a reservation for around 8pm at Teatro. The menu looked really good but the noise level concerns me a bit. I might make a reservation elsewhere as well since I'm a little nervous that I won't be able to hear my boyfriend talk..

                    1. re: Elyssa

                      I think you'll be fine. I took my 10 yr old daughter before the theater, and we had fine conversation, even though the tables are slightly wide, I thought. Food was terrific, and the scene entertaining.

                      1. re: Elyssa

                        The sound issue used to be really bad and then they put up the panels. I had been there both before and after and I thought it was terrible before they were put up but when I went since they had been installed I thought it really did the trick and I did not have the sound/hearing issue I'd had prior. I think the food there is really good too!

                        1. re: SEH

                          Good to hear (no pun inteded) that they took some steps to fix the sound issue. I'm going to stick to my reservation and will report back :)

                        2. re: Elyssa

                          Near Teatro is Via Matta (less than 5 min. walk) if you want an Italian backup plan. I love the food there and the prices are a bit higher, but on my last visit - maybe 2 months ago - I found the portion sizes to be more than adequate and made a meal out of one app and a half order of pasta (not on the menu, but they are glad to do it). It can also get loud in the main dining room, but I've always been fine with conversation at my table, and you could always eat in the more casual bar dining areas (there are two).

                      2. Right around the corner from Felt is blu. In is right next to the Sports Club LA. Food is very good and it isn't very loud (my wife and I took my parents there recently).

                        4 Avery Street, Boston, MA 02111

                        1. Thanks everyone so much for your suggestions. We ended up at Teatro on Saturday night and the meal was very nice. Unfortunatly the day before my boyfriend got the 24 hour stomach flu so we couldn't explore the menu as much as we would have liked but it ended up being perfect for what we were looking for. (I was originally going to make a reservation at Elephant Walk...thank God I didn't since Cambodian and French are probably rough after the flu).

                          Our waiter was very friendly and helpful in assisting us in choosing some light dishes. We started off with a delicious 1/2 order of pasta with gulf shrimp, tomatoes, and garlic, with a sprinkle of olive oil. It was simple but the pasta seemed very fresh and the tomatoes practically burst in your mouth. I really enjoyed this dish.

                          For a main course I got the flounder with lemon and white wine which was served with a delicious carmelized cauliflower. The dish was great. Light and fresh tasting. Nice after a heavy Thanksgiving dinner a few days before.

                          My bf got the Chicken Milanse, which was a HUGE piece of chicken perfectly breaded. It was served with a nice sauteed broccoli rabe. Just so you know the chicken had parmesan cheese on top, this was not listed on the menu but luckily it came off easy.

                          I know a lot people said the restaurant was incredibly loud but it ended up being fine. It wasn't silent but we didn't have to shout at each other either. Overall it was a great dinner and I would certainly return when all people present are in tip-top condition and we could try some of the heavier dishes like squash ravioli and the various pizza appetizers.

                          Thanks for the recommendation.