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Anniversary dinner suggestions with wife expecting

Dear CHers,

Our second anniversary is coming up, and we would like to go out an celebrate. However, my wife is expecting, which is great, but it limits some food options -- she can't have too much by way of seafood, nor can she have undercooked meat etc.

Last year we went to the Oak Room, and had a wonderful time.

I was thinking Aujourd'hui -- I've been there once, but my wife hasn't -- and that time was a pretty pleasant experience.

Any suggestions for a romantic setting?



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  1. Radius. no doubt.

    8 High St, Boston, MA 02129

    1 Reply
    1. re: ecwashere7

      I did a tasting menu at Radius for my Birthday when I was six months pregnant - they were most accomodating to my food restrictions (and to my husband's not wanting to deal with the same restrictions) and it end up being a terrific meal. I also had a good experience with at Craigie Street when pregnant .

    2. I would recommend scouting out Sorellina. They have some incredible food. Radius is goo too though.

      1. I'd pick a place where there is a real connection between the diner and the kitchen.

        You might also want to discuss this when you make a reservation. I would expect excellent attention to your needs from L'Espalier, Bina Osteria, Hamersley's Bistro, or #9 Park.

        Another idea would be to call the Chef orientated restaurants where they do tasting menus. Those kitchens are used to adjusting things to accommodate allergies and preferences. They are better at improvisation. I would think they would also be able to work around the limitations of a pregnancy.

        1. thanks for the feedback so far. A few questions:

          Is radius that good? I've not been there myself, but have heard very mixed things about it. In terms of atmosphere and food, what are the plus/minuses of #9 park, troquet, and the new L'Espalier location (haven't had a chance to go to the new location yet)?

          Any other recommendations from CHers?

          thanks again,


          1. I ate at both Clio and Hammersley's when I was preggers and both of them had plenty of options. I know at Clio I had the crab and avocado appetizer and some kind of fish for the entree (I think I ate most seafood while pg except for the raw stuff and the mercury laden ones - but my memory's a little hazy). At Hammersley's I had the famous roast chicken and the mushroom appetizer. My husband had the cassoulet which I also tried. The big bummer of it all is not drinking wine with such great food.

            7 Replies
            1. re: MrsCheese

              thanks for the info MrsCheese. Speaking to Mrs trublue, she says she thinks she would prefer "simple" food -- not too creative/ fatty/ over-filling. Since she's prefering smaller portions, would rather go a la carte than prix fixe if possible, since may not make it to third or fourth course. Hammersley's sounds right: but although I've been there for brunch, that was outside, and I've never looked in -- would the atmosphere be considered romantic? I should say that we tend to opt for fairly formal places for occasions such as these...and it strikes me as fairly casual?


              1. re: trueblu

                I don't think of Hammersley's as casual at all. I don't think I'd say romantic but it's a very nice dining room and the food would definitely fit in with the more simple request, but done very well. Aujourd'hui seems like it should be a 5 or 10 year place.

                1. re: Joanie

                  thanks. I don't really agree on your definition of what should only constitute a "five or ten year place" -- for example, I've already eaten at l'Espalier and Aujourd 'hui for non-special occasions, and it's conceiveable that we won't be in Boston in 3 years' time.

                  However, from the 'simple' food criteria, Hammersley's seems fine.


                2. re: trueblu

                  Hammersley's isn't overly romantic, but very nice. I wouldn't call it casual. I would have no qualms about going there for an anniversary. Mine was a birthday dinner though - we did Clio for our anniversary (though I didn't find Clio any more romantic than Hammersley's).

                  1. re: trueblu

                    I agree that Hamersley's is very nice, although not formal, and the service is top-notch. I'd put the atmosphere at just a hair less fancy/formal than No. 9 Park. Maybe somewhere between Eastern Standard and No. 9. The portions are far from small, though.

                    1. re: pollystyrene

                      A lot of people seem to be batting for Hammersley's, and the menu looks spot on. Would I look out of place in a suit (which is what I would normally wear on such an occasion), or even jacket and tie?


                      1. re: trueblu

                        I've definitely seen plenty of men there in jacket and tie, and I doubt you'd look out of place in a suit either. It's one of those places where just about everyone looks nice and a few really dress up.

                3. Well, we settled on Hamersley's in the end. There was good, indifferent, and very good about the evening.

                  In terms of venue: I would say this is _not_ a great anniversary place: it is a pretty dining room (we were put in the side room -- ? because it was meant to be quieter -- although a fairly loud party of four sat next to us, and with the tiny tables with no space inbetween, we could hear not only every word, but the sound of the chewing), but it is not even close to "fine dining". We had two waiters -- one very charming and friendly, the other surly and silent.

                  Furthermore, I had booked through "open table" and specified in the notes that this was our anniversary, and that my wife was pregnant (from a food resiriction point of view). Either they didn't bother to read this bit, or they didn't care. Certainly noone mentioned our anniversary, and I had to remind the waiter that my wife was pregnant (wrt to some menu suggestions that he offered), so that was rather disappointing.

                  However, venue and service aside, the food was really very good indeed. My wife had the curried carrot and lentil soup to start, which was v. good, and I had the salad of roasted pear -- which was sublime. To follow, my wife had the roast chicken -- which again was very good indeed (although I would argue that I can make one to the same standard) and I had the cassoulet, which was excellent, and which I could never make in a month of sundays. One minor point: the cassoulet was a bit light on the confit side, with more pork than duck, (although all the meats in it were delicious).

                  We opted to share a dessert, and had the 'special' which was a trio of mini apple strudel, lemon pudding, and a chocolate baked alaska. This was rather disappointing overall, although perfectly edible. The baked alaska was not hot on the outside, and just frozen on the inside. The lemon pudding was fairly nondescript, and the strudel was fine.

                  As a minor aside: I had a good walk through the dining room, and I was the only customer wearing a tie, although a fair number were wearing jackets. I don't think this is just a venue issue: I have found dining out in America becoming increasingly casual. E.g. at one of the tables in our little side room, two ladies were dressed fairly formally, but the man, although 'smart' was wearing a jacket and shirt, no tie -- and they were in their 60s+.

                  Overall, we had a very nice evening -- ultimately, I would rather we went somewhere where we had nice food than a pretty place with bad food. My wife enjoyed her meal, which is important. But it somehow lacked the 'wow' factor that one desires for an anniversary celebration.


                  1 Reply
                  1. re: trueblu

                    next time try Radius. Had my birthday dinner there and the service was amazing.