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Something like Donovan's in DOT but not Donovan's

I like this place as much as the next guy but think I'm getting in a rut. What else is good in the neighborhood that has a full bar and a menu that has something for everyone? Thanks.

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  1. It's not in Dot, but The Fat Cat in Quincy fits your bill. It's excellent.

    After having some horrid chow at Sonny's on Superbowl day, I'd not recommend them, even though the new chef is better.

    1. I guess you could always go to the Freeport Tavern on Morrissey Blvd., but the food doesn't compare to Donovan's, IMO.

      Amrheins in Southie isn't far away (about a 5-minute drive), and their food compares favorably with Donovan's, but it has a slightly more upscale, trendy feel to it, and feels like less of a neighborhood place.

      1 Reply
      1. re: hiddenboston

        Freeport Tavern is really inconsistent. Lovely room with the fireplace and all, but it's hit or miss. I would never recommend the meatloaf, yet they do a decent job with baked stuffed lobster. Their pasta dishes have been just a gloppy mess. It's a great spot to meet, have a glass of wine and move on. Amhrein's is probably the closest thing to Donovans. I also like 224 but find it too cramped at times, so I prefer to go there early. You could always go to dbar, they have a wonderful menu.

      2. have you tried these?
        224 Boston (224 Boston Street)
        Avenue Grille (856 Dot Ave)
        Blarney Stone (1505 Dot Ave) - geographically the farthest away, but closest in style

        1. Have you tried the Blasi Cafe/Fat Belly Deli on the corner of Adams and Minot Street?

          Oops, I just noticed the "full bar" requirement. They just have beer, wine and cordials so no full bar.

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          Blasi Cafe & Deli
          762 Adams St, Dorchester, MA 02122

          1. I first thought of the Blarney Stone. Surprised no one mentioned the Ashmont Grill. Too fancy?

            2 Replies
            1. re: MC Slim JB

              I wouldn't say that the Ashmont Grill was too fancy, but I do think it's overrated. Their menu is somewhat limited. and IMO the food is just average. I also can't stand those stemless wine glasses. Donovans has a different vibe, maybe it's because so many of the customers know each other. I would never hesitate to sit at the bar alone, and I can always find someone to chat with. The menu is huge, and the food is good across the board, whether it's a tenderloin with shrimp; chicken curry or a bleu burger. It can, however, can loud and when I'm looking for a quiet spot, I go to the Avenue Grille. The Avenue has a small but varied menu, good mixed grill and pasta dishes, especially the spinach ravioli which chicken, but they only have a beer and wine license. I haven't been to Blarney Stone in quite awhile. My one and only experience there wasn't good. It seemed more of a drinking spot, but I think I should give it another go.

              1. re: Pegmeister

                I hate those stemless wine glasses, too. Good for the restaurant, much less breakage, but terrible for wine drinkers.

            2. Try the Harp and Bard on the corner of Dot Ave and Savin Hill. They have great pub food and a great burger. I never understood why people like Donovans so much. Between the service and the food I am always dissapointed

              1 Reply
              1. re: big Kev

                There was a time I would have agreed with you about the Harp and Bard but those days are long gone. When Gino was cooking it was a great spot. However, between poor management on the part of the owner, and a huge turnover in staff you never get the feeling of a neighborhood spot. I do, however, miss the chicken supreme at times. Just can't bring myself back.

              2. Thanks everyone. I think we're going to try 224 Boston.