Good yet hip rec
Coming to Boston during the holidays and will be staying at a hotel in the Beacon Hill area. We are from the area originally but now live in DC. Looking for a nice yet hip restuarant for dinner. We've been to more traditional places in past years but are looking for something a little different this year. Price range - open but maybe 60-70 pp for food (not all of us drink).
Any recs from the Boston chowhounds would be helpful.
The problem I always have making rec's on these kinds of questions is what the requester means by "hip" -- "trendy" is another one I have difficulty with. In referring to hipness, sometimes people mean the atmosphere, other times the food, other times the kind of crowd that frequents the place, or some combination of the above.
Example: I know some people that think Stella is trendy and hip, and others (people I consider actual hipsters) who would rather have knitting needles driven through their eyeballs than dine there again. The Beehive is another similarly polarizing spot: lots of folks consider it an It Place (check the lines out the door most nights), yet I know folks whom I expected to be attracted to it based on how it was promoted (artists, musicians, and other bohemian types) who find the crowd it attracts to be too square and mainstream for their tastes.
The pricing guideline is a big help, but can you be more specific, or offer examples of places in Boston or even DC that you think meet the standard of "hipness"? I think that might net you better results; it certainly would help me make some suggestions.
re: MC Slim JB
The core problem in Boston is that any place that gets buzz as being "hip" is immediately accosted by all sorts of "un-hip" people, thereby turning it into a clone of every other restaurant scene in Boston. If you want "hip" and not a place full of frat boys, I'd suggest places like B-Side or Deep Ellum, which have managed to retain some of that edgy feel: though I'm not sure this is what the OP had in mind since they're not really in the "nice restaurant" category.
In terms of what the OP is looking for, I'd recommend Toro, Beehive (MC's objection notwithstanding!), and East Coast Grill... if you're coming from out of town and looking for good food, and an "interesting" atmosphere, they are all pretty good options.
I agree with the MC. When reading your question, I was wondering if you meant funky/hipster-hip or trendy hip or scenester hip or foodie hip. At that price range, the place that jumps to mind is Sorellina, which has been around just long enough to have stood the test of time, but is still new enough to be trendy. I haven't gotten there yet, but the reviews are very good, and the room looks posh and modern. O Ya would be a more extreme, and more expensive option.
I second Sgt Snackers' suggestion (there goes my daily allotment of "s's") - East Coast Grill has great food, is located off the beaten track, and is unconsciously hip. I truly believe that not even invasions of squares could dehipify it. Its lack of pretention and reasonable prices (I think it would be hard to spend $60 per person on food), though, could mean that there are those who wouldn't think of it as a "nice" restaurant. If it doesn't fit the bill for dinner, I highly recommend the Sunday brunch.