So, I have this list...
I have a list of places that I have been wanting to check-out but have not been yet. some are new, some old. I have been living in Boston for 6 years now and have read the CH boards about them, but yet to go to them. Where should I go and why. Please ne honest
The List -
Meyer's and Chang
I do not want to go during RW - too crazy!
Of the places in your list, I have been to Dante, No 9 Park, KO Prime, Grotto, Uni, O Ya, Mela, Lala Rohk, Bin 26. Of those I've been to I go back somewhat regularly to:
No 9 Park-I was just there last weekend at the bar and had the tasty truffled gnocchi with peas and lobster. The portion was actually a bit bigger than I remembered. I also had some kind of Boston lettuce salad with bacon and boy it was more than bacon, it was lovely braised pork. I think both of these might have been on their cafe menu.
Grotto is great for when you're in the mood for reasonbly priced Italian in big portions of often rich food.
I like both O Ya and Uni a lot. I had a fab meal at Uni a few weeks ago though I think I prefer O Ya though I don't think you can go wrong at either if you're after upscale, creative sushi preparation.
Bin 26 is great for their wine selection which I like to enjoy with plates of cheese and cured meats.
Grotto - romantic, subterranean, rich and indulgent Italian food at bargain basement prices. I see an unverified correlation between people that like Prezza and people that like Grotto. Based on your profile and my bad analytics, you might too.
Uni/O Ya - the top two sashimi/fish restaurants in Boston, both unique, both killer. They've got their shigoto down pat.
Salts - they have an attention to detail here that is remarkable.
Craigie Street Bistrot - sustainable ingredients, seasonal cooking, French technique, subterranean vibe - Chef Shaw is holdin' down the fort.
Lala Rohk - unique Persian cuisine in an incredibly romantic atmosphere.
Another vote for Salts, Craigie Street, and No. 9. These are some of my regular special occassion restaurants.
Most recently went to Salts and I loved how welcoming they were from the minute I made the reservations. The service was very attentive and personable, the space is warm and cozy and the food was exquisite.
No. 9 Park has that old Boston elegance. Their prune-stuffed gnocchi is one of my favorite dishes. My favorite time there was a tasting menu on New Years Eve 2001-02. Other times I've been there have been great too but their talent really showed in the tasting menu. It was VERY expensive that time but worth it.
Craigie Street's food is on par with Salts and No.9. The location feels a little less formal so your evening is going to be more about the food then luxurious atmosphere. But in someway the space is very transporting.
Finally, I know you didn't ask what we didn't like but I throw this out there: I wasn't all that impressed with the food at Lala Rohk. I only went one time though. Perhaps I need a greater sample size to really make a judgment.
Of those, I would check out the following (ranked in order of personal preference):
- Salts: One of my favorite places in Boston. Service and food are always great. Thanks for reminding me to get back there.
- Grotto: Great value and great food. Always something new and interesting on the menu.
- Craigie St: Really spectacular every time. The menu may not look like the best online (depending on your adventure level), however any concerns will vanish after you eat there. The while concept works, and the food is always flawless.
- 9 Park: Not my personal favorite among Boston’s elite restaurants. Definitely worth a visit (or several) if you have never been.
- O Ya (over Uni): Incredible flavors. However after several visits I do think it goes a bit beyond over priced into gouging territory. The upside is you can get a table any time (even on a weekend night).
- Hemland: Have never eaten food like this anywhere else. For me a unique, and always satisfying experience.
Not only is RW too crazy, but IMO a bad time to try somewhere new (unless it is simply a matter of economics) as you do not get the full flavor of what a particular restaurant offers.
The rest of your list is fine, but I am not necessarily rushing to get there. The only two I would avoid are Moo and KP Prime, these ultra high end steak houses don’t cut it for me.
I would recommend Salts, Craigie Street and La La Rokh.
The others I would not recommend for various reasons including being overpriced or overly small portions or consistency issues with the cooking itself.