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Kenmore Square Ideas - Great Bay?

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Saturday night dinner in early June? We are staying at the Commonwealth Hotel and thought that Great Bay might be a good idea. We know nothing about it, though, as we are from out of town (NYC). We were thinking about gettting a private room (party of 12 with kids ranging from 3 to 5 to 10 to 12 to 16 to 18, lots of parents and a couple of grandparents too). Any thoughts about Great Bay would be appreciated - or other ideas around Kenmore Square (we do know that there will be a late afternoon Sox game that day but thought we should be OK since we would expect to start dinner on the early side while the game is going on)....


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  1. Great Bay is very nice, they're catering my wedding in Sept 09. It is very nice, and a little upscale for kids. Petite Robert is right down the block and is one of the best French bistros I've ever been to and the prices can't be beat.

    1. Never been but have heard pretty good things about it. Planning on going during summer but that will be too late to report back to you. They do have a website that you can check out and it appears that they are very expensive for a seafood restaurant in Boston. Also in the Commonwealth Hotel is Eastern Standard which has received good reviews on this board; it usually is very crowded before the Red Sox but if you go after the game starts maybe it would not be too bad. My suspicion is that Great Bay will be far less crowded due to its high prices and the fact that Eastern Standard is more popular, more casual, and not as pricey. In addition, Great Bay is co-owned by Michael Schlow, who owns several very highly regarded restaurants in Boston.

      1. I have been to Great Bay many times and always found it be very good although I don't think it would be a good choice for most younger children. They have a Ceviche/Sashimi counter in the middle of the restaurant that does some very nice dishes. You can order from the main menu or the small plates menu where you might find find things the children would enjoy. I also second the rec on Petit Robert but I don't think it would be a good spot for a large group.

        1. I'd choose Eastern Standard over Great Bay as a single person, great food and atmosphere -- sit outside and watch the Sox fans while you enjoy steak frites and a great wine. They do have a private room which might be an option for you.

          1. I like Great Bay quite a bit. We've gone after Sox games...most recently after the Opening Day game, and as long as you have a reservation its really not that crowded. As bakerboyz suggests, the postgame crowd seems to overwhelm Eastern Standard rather more. I like both places.

            Personally, I've been to Petit Robert only once, and found the food not nearly as good as Eastern standard, and the service spotty too. Its a bit small for a party of 12...unless they have a private room (they might?).

            Another option in the area might be Trattoria Toscana.

            1. I always enjoy Great Bay - but it comes at a high price. Eastern Standard would get my overall vote for value/quality - and the cocktails are truly outstanding.

              If you end up at Great Bay - the butterscotch pudding is a MUST, whether you like butterscotch and/or pudding or not! It's more of an incredible buttery, carmelized pot de creme...wow..I've made detours after dinner at other top spots just to have it for dessert.

              3 Replies
              1. re: rlh

                i add my vote to eastern standard, especially with kids - outdoor is possible if the weather permits, food is excellent but eclectic enough to provide an option for everyone (even the hamburgers are great). and its just next door to great bay. it is also a good choice for breakfast

                1. re: teezeetoo

                  Went to both Eastern Standard and Great Bay last night - ES still continues to amaze at every level h- the Periodista and the fries were the big hits this time .

                  Sadly, Great Bay is now off our destination list since they've discontinued their one of a kind spectacular butterscotch pudding dessert and replaced it with a serviceable but not memorable chocolate pudding. It is still a nice space with professional service but at the high prices, it will be limited to corporate dinners when in the neighborhood for me.

                  1. re: rlh

                    Thanks for all the advice- our party has blossomed into 15 and we thought we would reserve the private room at Great Bay. Better for kids - let 'em run wild. Taking my 3 yr old son to his first at Fenway - Go Sox