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Recommendations for pre-Symphony dinner?

My man-candy is taking me to the Symphony Saturday night for the 8 p.m. show, and we'd like to get dinner beforehand somewhere nearby, preferably somewhere that won't break the bank. Typically I'd be inclined to go for an overstuffed BBQ Spike's hotdog, but don't want to ruin my pretty dress. Thoughts?

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    1. Brasserie Jo at the Colannade Hotel. Love their frites and pate.

      1. Had a colleague recommend Island Hopper, and I don't see any recent postings about this pan-asian place on the corner of Mass and Comm - any weigh-ins?

        1 Reply
        1. re: Lauren R.

          Island Hopper is good but not special. It's sort of a mix of Asian cuisines in a not very exciting atmosphere.

          As noted in the older posts listed above (thanks cmafp), the area near Symphony Hall lacks good choices. Since Saturday night is going to be cold, you will probably want to be as close as possible. Brasserie Jo fits that bill the best.

          BTW, Saturday's concert looks good: Mozart, Haydn and Handel.

          Brasserie JO
          120 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02116

        2. It's not "fancy" but Symphony Sushi is around the corner from Symphony Hall and is frequented by BSO players and staff. I've been there a few times and the quality is very consistent and tasty. It is about half the hike of Brasserie Jo and won't break the bank. Enjoy - going to the BSO is always a favorite pleasure of mine.

          1 Reply
          1. re: bostonfoodie111

            This is my choice in the nabe as well. Traditional sushi, reasonable prices. I can't believe more people don't hit this place!

          2. Jae's for some amazing hot and sour soup to warm you bones and then some sushi and wasabi to warm you heart!

            1. It is a disgraceful reflection on the start of the arts - and food - in Boston that the choices in the Symphony/Huntington/Jordan Hall area are so few and almost universally appalling.

              2 Replies
              1. re: fantundo

                Yeah, we just have to suffer with a world-class symphony and affordable sushi around the corner; oh, the horror!

                1. re: galleygirl

                  I'm certainly not complaining about the Symphony, or about Huntington, where I'm a regular. But I do think the area could be made a lot more inviting, which would encourage more people to support them.

              2. The Symphony has a dinner buffet with full bar service right in the Hall. Call for reservations.

                4 Replies
                1. re: southie

                  Do you know the approximate cost for this?

                    1. re: Allstonian

                      Thanks; I particularly like the link for paying for cocktails in advance and avoiding the line!
                      Of course, for $32.50, I could get a LOT of sushi...Still, I'll poke my head in and check it out...

                      1. re: Allstonian

                        I've been and am not impressed. It's "ok" but it's basically a catered dinner. ick. I'd rather pick my own dishes and have some yummy sushi. Jae's is not exactly CLOSE to Symphony Hall, esp considering the frigid weather coming to us! BUt I agree galleygirl - I don't know why more people don't go! It's really very good!

                  1. I always like Brasserie Jo for dinner before a Symphony Hall show.

                    1. symphony sushi- havent been in a while off of 1 of the side streets really good sushi

                      1. Not a great area for walking to good chow, but not hopeless.

                        Pho and I: decent not great Vietnamese and Thai food, slightly nicer looking than your typical pho shop.

                        Moby Dick -- sub-shop-looking place with Persian sandwiches and salads, actually pretty good. Why the name? I suspect the previous owner ran a seafood place and the new guys didn't want to spend to upgrade the sign.

                        Brasserie Jo -- good Alsatian menu (and some more modest offerings at the bar, like croque monsieur), great big cocktails. Only a slight hotel premium.

                        Columbus Cafe -- around the corner in the South End, a very decent eclectic American place with very nice prices for the neighborhood.

                        Bukowski -- fun place to go when you're dressed up for the Symphony, a little shoebox of a place with a hundred beers by the bottle and a dozen or more on tap, plus cheap bar food (burgers, dogs, mac and cheese).

                        Sasso -- pricey, grand Northern Italian place with excellent food. More upscale sibling of the North End's Lucca.

                        Woody's -- hidden little wood-fire pizza joint, surprisingly good given its college-proximate location, plus pitchers of beer.

                        Haru -- fancy, modern-looking sushi chain. Not extraordinary, but convenient.

                        Giacomo's -- not my favorite South End place, but undeniably popular mid-priced Italian-American with huge portions.

                        Petit Robert Bistro -- excellent of its type, which is to say a pretty authentic, mid-priced French bistro with very French service (i.e., not much for "flair") and decent wines. I'm glad they take reservations now.

                        Bhindi Bazaar -- my favorite Indian within an easy walk of Symphony, with a geographically wide-ranging menu and good prices.

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: MC Slim JB

                          How about the Mandarin's restaurant? Walked thru, nice space and you can walk to mall and only have to weather the walk thru the Christian Science corridor. Anyone been?

                          1. re: gyppielou

                            I think you must mean Asana; the Mandarin Oriental hotel is also home to L'Espalier and a Sel de la Terre. I have only been to Asana's adjacent bar (M Bar), which is a typically swanky and very expensive five-star-hotel bar. Asana got a pretty fair review in the Globe recently. It appears to be a kind of east+west menu (not to say fusion, just some dishes that appear French, others that are Chinese or Indian or Japanese). It looks pretty expensive, lots of entrees in the 30s.

                            Sel de la Terre seems like a reasonable if somewhat pricey option for country French. I haven't tried the Mandarin Oriental one, only the original on the waterfront, which I've always liked.

                          2. re: MC Slim JB

                            Prediction: Sasso does not survive this economy. I am not commenting on the food, but on the absence of patrons. I walk by often -- I live nearby -- and it's always empty. And when I had lunch there last month, we were the only diners in the place for the entire lunch.

                            1. re: Blumie

                              If you like spikes, then it sounds like Brasserie and some of the other sit-down places might not be the most appealing. Don't go to Pho and I, a few doors down from Spikes is Pad Thai, much better thai food, same pricing. Pho and I uses, no joke, the same cheap color coded dishes at my cafeteria (northeastern), not that presentation is everything, but the food is just worse than Pad Thai.

                              But if a giant tasty hot dog is your thing, seriously the best sub shop place is on huntington across from the YMCA is Cappy's (there's two of them, this one is better) Their Chicken Ceaser wraps is best on the east coast no joke, i've had everything Chicken ceaser wrap around there, lived in the area for 6 years.

                              Then down the street from Symphony hall is ...New YOrk PIZZA, best pizza in the city, (i live in ny now, the pizza isn't worse, and cheaper than NYC) great subs (but chx ceaser wrap isn't better than cappys)

                              Symphony sushi is best sushi place in the area, good and affordable sushi, nice atmosphere, and close to SH.

                              That noodle place on the corner, never been to, but never had an interest in going.

                              and if you want some decent food that won't break the bank, CHEESECAKE factory, i know people knock it, but after everything is said and done, i've had many more enjoyable and satisfying experiences there than most other places around the area.

                              oh almost forgot! TIGER LILYS! its not just where underagers go to drink, but greatttt food there, never had a meal i didnt like (was wasted most of the time, but i've gotten things from there sober, and really good haha, and right next door is another thai place, good atmosphere, OKAY food, TIger's is much better (is literally acroos from the HALL) and across from Tiger's is..BOSTON MARKET...don't sleep, afordable, good comfort food.