Birthday Dinner: Oishii Boston Or...?
My husband and I are finally getting a night out and we want it to be nice (my birthday) and are willing to spend about $100-$125.00 before drinks. We have had fantastic meals at Craigie Street and Salts but I wanted to try something new. I have read mixed things about Oishii Boston (I love Oishii but the lack of reservations make it prohibitive for a Saturday night with a babysitter!) Overall I am wondering if Oishii Boston is "worth it" or if people have other recommendations for a good meal without breaking the bank...Thanks in advance.
As a "that side of the river" guy, Craigie and Salts are two of my favorite occasion restaurants in town; the experiences there are so tailored to my wife's and my tastes that we seldom feel compelled to head into Boston for our special nights out. That said, a few thoughts:
The food at Oishii Boston is very good, but I'd argue it feels nowhere near as celebratory as the other places you mentioned. It's urbane and stylish, but it strikes me as a little night-clubby and soulless.
Clio comes in at roughly the same price point as Salts and Craigie Street (entrees stretch across the 30s, so you'd have to be a little careful, but it's definitely do-able), features some of the finest and most progressive cooking technique in the city, and although it bills itself as French-American, the dishes are replete with Asian (especially Japanese) influences. Although the room isn't my favorite in town, it definitely feels to me like much more of an occasion place than Oishii.
You might also check out Troquet. They place a heavy emphasis on their wine program, but the food (French with a little Italian thrown in) is about as good as I've had anywhere around town. It's a shade less expensive than Clio, so $60pp on food is easily possible.
Had dinner at Troquet this week and it was really excellent. Lots of seasonal specials- stone crab ceviche, squash bisque with poached lobster, nanctucket bay scallops e.g.
The roast suckling pig is so good I can still taste it. We had excellent service also. Definitely less expensive ( and less pretentious) than Clio.