Back Bay Recommendations
As many warned, stay away from Newbury street unless you want some action and unimaginative and pricey food.
Limited budget- Franklin Cafe http://www.franklincafe.com/)
Consitently excellent dishes at a reasonable price. Smaller place with about 8 tables. The chefs just know how to create flavorful dishes with simple fresh ingredients. It is similar in its style and execution to the Spotted Pig. I've been going there for ~10 years and am always surprised that it is rarely recommended. The best part of it is the food, but the second is that it is one of the last truly local (no suburban housewives on a night out) places around. Karen will take care of you at the bar on Monday and Tuesday nights if you get there late and have to wait for a table (no reservations
Unlimited budget- No 9 Park. http://www.no9park.com/
I don't go there as often as Franklin but Barbara Lynch cooks some amazing dishes that are actually worth the price. It's not Per Se but it's definitely Boston's best.
Both places are a short walk or cab ride away.
Dr. Jimbob's list is indeed excellent. Also L'Espalier is closing its location on Gloucester St.at the end of August and reopening at trhe new Mandarin Oriental Hotel in mid-September.
When dining alone, I like to eat at the bar. Bar dining is good at Eastern Standard in Kenmore Square (but not if the Red Sox are playing at home which they are on the 14th). In the South End, the bar at Union on Washington St. is good. Near your hotel, the bar at Davio's is good but most of the other places in that neighborhood are not memorable.
75 Arlington Street, Boston, MA 02116
528 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02215
Union Bar and Grille
1357 Washington Street, Boston, MA 02118
Casa Romero in the Back Bay is good for authentic Mexican food. It's on Gloucester St. Above that (literally upstairs) is L'Espalier for fine French cuisine. It's expensive, but it is worth it if you're looking for a more upscale night with guaranteed wonderful food. If you're looking one night just for apps and drinks, Cottonwood Cafe would fit the bill. It's Southwestern and they have a patio so you can sit outside if it's nice. Parish Cafe is good too for sandwiches and a drink. They too have outdoor seating available. They're open late too (I believe they serve until 1:30am). For an Irish pub type place, Solas at the Lenox Hotel is good. Nothing fancy, but decent pub grub and of course Guinness.
La Voile (Mediterranean French). http://www.chowhound.com/topics/490552
Vlora (Albanian). http://www.chowhound.com/topics/48552...
Tapeo (Spanish, though this place is mostly dissed on this board).
Parish Cafe, if you're looking for an interesting sandwich and a good beer.
And if you're willing to walk a few blocks, the corner of Berkeley and Tremont Streets in the South End is home to a number of fine eateries, including Butcher Shop/B&G Oysters (two places from the No 9 Park empire), Hammersley's Bistro, Sibling Rivalry. All extensively discussed and findable on simple seaching.
361 Boylston St, Boston, MA 02116
261 Newbury Street, Boston, MA 02116
545 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02116
Tapeo Restaurant & Tapas Bar
266 Newbury Street, Boston, MA 02116
Generally, Back Bay restaurants are not fabulous. You will probably have to walk or take the T to better places.
So help us a bit. What kind of food do you like? What will your company think is reasonable? Will you have a car? Will you be dining alone? Where on Arlington St? The more info the better.
Being from the NW I like fresh and local for one. I like everything from Thai to Indian to Mexican to Italian to standard simple fair when done well. That being said my company doesn’t care, but I am dining mostly alone maybe one picky college friend night where she will pick something. I don’t want to have to travel far since I have long business days.
a 10 minute t or cab ride will get you to a lot of great spots. taberna de haro (very auth spanish) in brookline. oleana in cambridge which is turkish/arabic med food locally grown focus and one of the most unique and excellent dining spots. also in cambridge is ole mexican. duk bua in brighton for thai. for fresh seafood either neptune oysters in the north end or b&g oysters in the south end. just a few thoughts. back bay is pretty vanilla for restaurants