Where to go for late lunch/early dinner on Saturday, walking distance from Symphony Hall?
We go to Symphony hall regularly, and often go to Brasserie Jo for dinner before or after evening concerts. I think the food is very good, the service usually excellent, and the price is not bad (its a little expensive, but not outrageous for the area). You can park at the Colonnade too, its less expensive than parking in the Pru. However, I'm not sure they serve dinner until 5:30, so if you are going to go after, you might need to kill some time wandering in the Pru (personally, I can easily kill an hour in Barnes&Noble)
We've been known to stop at Jasper's Summer Shack for a quick bite beforehand. I know its got a pretty bad rep on Chowhound, but I like the grilled garlicky clams, and the calamari. I like to sit at the bar, have a glass of wine and eat apps.
I just wanted to warn you about Pho & I, I have been once and they messed up my order not once, but twice. I had ordered vegetable pad thai with out egg, because I am a vegetarian and at the time did not eat eggs. The first time my dish came out with the egg and the second with chicken. The waitress also felt the need to argue with me that there was no chicken in the dish although it was visible and my DC tasted it to make sure. I was also overcharged on my credit card a significant amount (the bill came to 20 something and was charged over 60) and had to go back and forth with the management several times to get it corrected.
I would recommend symphony sushi on Gainsborough. Its delicious and very reasonably priced.
The area near Symphony Hall lacks great places. It depends on what you like.
Vietnamese: Pho & I on Huntington a couple of doors down gets good reports but I have not been.
Sushi : Symphony Sushi on Gainesborough.
Pizza: Woody's on Hemenway.
Eclectic: Colombus Cafe on Columbus.
Thai: Bangkok City on Mass. is OK; Chilli Duck on Boylston is better.
If you can walk further, the area up near the intersection of Mass. and Newbury has many good choices. Worth the walk.
Someone will undoubtedly suggest Betty's across Huntington from Symphony Hall. Do not believe them. Also avoid restaurants in the Prudential Center.
For more expensive places, I agree that Brasserie Jo is good but not great.