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Looking for restaurant recommendations in the South End

Janiekins Jul 20, 2008 05:45 PM

Hubby and I at at Hamerly's Bistro a couple of weeks ago and we loved it. Looking for another recommendation in the South End with great food but not too stuffy. We like steak, seafood, italian and french. Willing to spend up yo $30.00 per person per entree.

What do you think of Petit Robert Bistro, Gaslight, Franklin Cafe? Any other suggestions for not to be missed restaurants would be greatly appreciated.

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    BackBayGirl RE: Janiekins Jul 20, 2008 07:08 PM

    Franklin is always good. I like Petit Robert too but haven't been there in awhile, so not sure if others who've been recently could weigh in. I also love Union Bar & Lounge. The food is delicious and their cornbread...mmmm! Picco is good for pizza and ice cream. I know, nothing fancy, but if you're craving a good pizza, Picco has it. I've heard good things about Anchovies though I've never been.

    1. mini_me RE: Janiekins Jul 20, 2008 10:40 PM

      How about Stella for Italian? I went there recently and thought the food there was very good (loved the pizza), there was also a wide selection of cocktails and lots of outdoor seating.

      I have a short review on my blog with some photos. Hope it's helpful :) http://bostonchomps.blogspot.com/2008...

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        ghostcat RE: Janiekins Jul 20, 2008 11:05 PM

        The Union Bar and Grille is my favorite So End place, followed by Rocca's and Pop's. I've never had a bad meal at Franklin, and appreciate it's late hours. I've have three bad experiences at the Gaslight, but should give it another shot. I've yet to try Sibling Rivaltry and it's gotten some mixed chow impressions. I've only been to Banc once, and enjoyed it, but was overwhelmed by the decor. It was brand new when I went there so maybe it's a tad less overwheming on the second visit. If you can snag a Restaurant Week reservation at Icarus, you'll enjoy one of the best meals in the city for $33.08.

        2 Replies
        1. re: ghostcat
          gini RE: ghostcat Jul 29, 2008 11:00 AM

          Has anyone tried the Icarus anniversary menu? http://icarusrestaurant.com/july08.html

          1. re: gini
            MC Slim JB RE: gini Jul 29, 2008 11:49 AM

            I've done it almost every year for the past few years, not this year yet. Think of it as an above average Restaurant Week meal, in a nicer than average setting, with a chance to really not save any money by buying nice wine, and you get the idea.

        2. lissy RE: Janiekins Jul 21, 2008 03:42 AM

          I personally stay away from the South End location of Petit Robert Bistro. I think the food is good but I have not once gone there where I did not have service issues. I've never had the same problems at their Kenmore location. Franklin has reliably good food at reasonable prices. The atmosphere is quite different from Hamersley's. Franklin is much smaller, darker and more of a local crowd.

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            UES Mayor RE: Janiekins Jul 21, 2008 05:47 AM

            Toro!!!! Not to be missed-its a tappas bar/restaurant-you will absolutely love. Don't forget to have the corn on cob w white cheese!!!!!!

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              Janiekins RE: Janiekins Jul 21, 2008 08:58 AM

              Thanks everyone for the helpful info. I have narrowed it down to either Union Bar and Grill or Toro. Which one should I pick?

              2 Replies
              1. re: Janiekins
                MC Slim JB RE: Janiekins Jul 21, 2008 09:14 AM

                Union has more of the grownup feel you might associate with Hamersley's; it's New American menu is solid but unadventurous. Bartending isn't what it used to be; they let their best bartenders get away (or pushed them out, not sure). It takes reservations, has a decent (if too American-centric) wine list, and has fine desserts, including a terrific cheese plate.

                Toro is younger, more casual, louder, and has what is probably the South End's best bartending at the moment. The food is really terrific, but not everyone enjoys the tapas style of dining (I love it, especially with slightly larger groups than two people). It does not take reservations, though, which can make for some painful waits on weekend nights. I prefer the wine list here, which has lots of good Spanish and South American wines, and more modest wines. Limited desserts and an overpriced cheese plate.

                1. re: MC Slim JB
                  twentyoystahs RE: MC Slim JB Jul 21, 2008 12:17 PM

                  Second Toro.
                  I had another great meal here recently; everytime we've dined here we enjoy it. I love the tapas/small plate style of dining, allowing you to try lots of different dishes while not completely stuffing yourself full with entree sized portions. Plus, everything really is delicious. You definitely need to get there early or be ok with lingering at the bar while waiting for a table to open up, it's pretty much always busy (with good reason.)

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                letseat714 RE: Janiekins Jul 23, 2008 01:18 PM

                I went to Gaslight twice and loved it. The lamb was exquisite. The dining room is large with old-fashioned white tile walls, so one doesn't necessarily go there for a romantic atmosphere. However, the bar is gorgeous, the servers are extremely knowledgeable and friendly, and Nicole the manager is a love. She sets a comfortable, welcoming tone.

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                  vballgal RE: Janiekins Jul 25, 2008 06:37 PM

                  hi! like the op, i'm looking for a restaurant in the south end. i'm going next friday with a couple of girlfriends and i want something not too loud/crazy (so that we can catch up) but something that also has a fun atmosphere/scene (and obviously great food!) i know toro might fit the bill but i really want to make a reservation so i think that's out. i've been to stella, franklin and rocca and want to try something new, so i was thinking maybe union, pops or gaslight...any opinions on those three? thanks in advance!

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: vballgal
                    MC Slim JB RE: vballgal Jul 25, 2008 08:32 PM

                    I like all three of those places. I'd say Union has the best service and the most adult/fancy vibe. Very solid New American food. The bar was great when it had better bartending; I'm not such a fan of it now. Gaslight has the liveliest atmosphere, the most interesting cocktail list, and pretty good food, but it's very loud, not great for conversation. Pops has the best food for the money, really pretty decor, a good patio, and surprisingly good drinks for a place without a proper bar.

                    1. re: MC Slim JB
                      vballgal RE: MC Slim JB Jul 26, 2008 04:17 AM

                      awesome, thanks so much for the info mc slim! i guess i'll see what the reservation situation is like but i think i'm leaning toward pops, especially having the patio option might be nice. i'll report back!

                      1. re: vballgal
                        vballgal RE: vballgal Aug 15, 2008 11:08 AM

                        hi! this is a very delayed (been on vacation) quick report back on my question above - we ended up going to pops. we ate inside because the patio was packed but i loved the inside decor! we shared the tuna ceviche - super fresh tuna and pieces of avocado, really delicious - and a salad to start, i had the lamb chops with beans and mustard greens, another had the scallops with spinach and risotto and another had the duck confit with mashed potatoes. everything was excellent. i absolutely loved my lamb - cooked perfectly - and all of us wanted to lick our plates! we shared their homemade sangria as well as a bottle of red that i'm forgetting. we had a super friendly and attentive waiter, great service all night. i can't wait to go back!! thanks for the advice!

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