Restaurant Club Seeks Suggestions
Some foodie friends and I recently started a restaurant club - We plan to go to one restaurant in the Boston or north of Boston area once/month. Our first restaurant was going to be O Ya...We got a reservation but were frightened away by the cost (min of 100/person). We are looking more in the 50/person range or less...There are so many restaurants that we'd like to try and we're having a hard time deciding (Hungry Mother, Oleana, ....) so I decided to post this thread in an effort to make this decision easier. Any suggestions?
Does 50 include wine?
Cool experiences for 50/person that spring to mind for me
Toro in the South End (Spanish Tapas, my favorite restaurant that's not super-expensive)
Myers+Chang (Chinese/pan-Asian, I think I might like this restaurant better than most people, but I've really enjoyed it when i went)
Grotto (Italian, went there last night with my fiancee and some foodie friends, we all really enjoyed it)
Oga Sushi (in Natick, my favorite non-O Ya sushi in the Boston area. Doing the lowest price omakase (specify a price at the outset, otherwise they just keep bringing food) would run a bit more than 50/person but I'd say it's worth it. Their regular sushi and appetizers are also quite good.
Bar at Craigie St. on Main - (French/Local/Earthy-Crunchy, the main dining room is very expensive, but I had a very good meal at the bar there that 'd recommend)
Taranta in the North End (Italian with some Peruvian (I think?) flavors, I'm not a big North End fan, but I think Taranta combines good solid Italian food with some inventive flavors)
Rocca in the South End (Italian, might push your price range a bit).
In terms of places you mention, I liked but didn't love Hungry mother and Oleana when i've been there (on the other hand I think Sofra, the new bakery in Belmont by the woman who owns Oleana, is fantastic). I was lucky enough to get the Omakase at O Ya for a birthday present (really several birthday presents, in fact), and it was unbelievably good, and it'd be my pick for the best restaurant in Boston right now. That said, anything you get there definitely will be really expensive, so it's probably more a once-a-year (or lifetime) place
How far north of Boston are you willing to go? Are these folks up for an adventurous trip? There are a few restaurants in southern NH that I feel are worth the trip. Mileaway in Milford, NH consistently delivers high quality food and service that makes you feel like you're "dining" vs. "eating out". Another elegant dining experience we had was at the Chesterfield Inn in Chesterfield (outside of Keene, NH), and a third place, which looks very promising but haven't been to yet is called the Woodbound Inn in Jaffrey, NH. It has recently been bought and renovated by a CIA trained chef who relocated his restaurant, Aylmer's Grille, from the Peterborough area to this Inn. Looking forward to trying it. Stopped by yesterday to p/u a menu, and the dining room is spotless and newly redone in a minimalistic chic way. Here's their website. Bon appetit!http://www.woodbound.com/