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Feb 12, 2009 04:26 AM

My boss is paying (and he has $)

I love so many restaurants in town. Hungry Mother, Green St., Neptune, etc... I need a more "formal" spot My boss and I are going out for an annual meeting/review (he owns the place I work, dont actually work with him). We did Neptune last time and while the food needs no comment, it wasn't the best place to actually talk shop. He is an adventurous eater, but is old school so Maison Robert, Locke Ober and the like would be better. Where would you go for price is no object?

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  1. Besides Locke Ober, the Oak Room might be a good old school place esp. if you want steak. Moo and KO Prime along the more modern steak lines. Troquet for wine, Four Seasons for $$$$. You say he's adventurous, would he want something like O Ya? L'Espalier, Clio and No. 9 Park are some usual $$ recs. If you want something hip in the Italian or French/new American vein, there's Sorellina and Mistral. Traditional nice cooking at Hammersleys in the south end. Fun excellent northern Italian at Prezza in the north end. All fairly pricey. He's probably been everywhere.

    8 Replies
    1. re: Joanie

      Yeah, he gets around. I was hoping there was some place I just couldn't think of. Is O Ya all that (I used to run a Kitchen in New York, I have a biased view of Frank Bruni comments)

      1. re: uwebres

        I was really impressed with O Ya when I went (i think it has the best food in Boston right now), but I don't know if it'd be the best for a business meeting (it doesn't have the same formal feel as the other high price restaurants mentioned like No. 9 Park and Clio)

        1. re: uwebres

          O Ya *is* all that, but I agree the room isn't conducive to a quiet professional talk.

          Add the new L'espalier to your list for consideration.

          1. re: uwebres

            i would consider o-ya marginal. there are some interesting flavors but, they are repetative. i find the emphasis is leaning more towards the quality of ingredients than the overall execution. while i think it's tasty, i'd rather spend my money at uni or oishi. ting san is always doing something new and interesting and gotta love the hamachi pastrami at uni
            hopefully someone can convince me to be able to root for o-ya after reading that boston magazine article. i shouldn't be swayed by media but it's hard to get past that one.
            i imagine your bias towards frank bruni. i'm always cautious when reading his stuff

            1. re: cockscomb

              Personally I am more likely to try O Ya because of the Boston mag article - mostly because I hate whiny chefs who have too much reverence for themselves. But the whole kaiseiki thing was overdone 15 years ago, so I was a bit surprised that Bruni was so impressed in 2008.

              1. re: almansa

                yeah, i definitely see that side as well. i guess that i read the article after i had been there was just an added measure of disappointment for me. i could see if i read it before having been to o-ya it would interest me more. i'm still not sure why bruni was so impressed.

                1. re: cockscomb

                  Yeah, but here at least, it's all about the food, not the big media or the inter-chef warfare gossip in BoMag. In my opinion, the food at O Ya is outstanding ... hamachi with banana pepper mousse comes immediately to mind.

                2. re: almansa

                  O-Ya is not really kaiseki, more creative sushi and sashimi with creative a la carte cooked items as well (think Sushi of Gari)...most of their items have no overlap with Uni, Oishii or any other place around here. I think the portions have gotten smaller and presentation slightly less than originally, but it's still worth a try if you have $ to blow. I also find it to be a friendlier, more professional place service-wise than say Oishii. I would certainly not go to say Oishii to talk business, unless you want everybody bumping elbows with you and listening in. If your boss is old-school, he can just order a kobe steak or lobster dish. Try the cold daikon dumplings w/ cashew etc while you're there.

          2. If I were you, I'd go to Mama Maria in the North End and get the small private room. Great food, charming location, formal (but not stuffy) and you can talk shop.

            3 Replies
            1. re: Delhiwala

              Totally agree with the Mamma Maria recommendation. I have been able to score the private room on several occasions and its really a great experience. Both the food and service are fantastic. You can't go wrong there. And it definitely has that sort of "old school" feel to it!

              1. re: Delhiwala

                I third Mama Maria. Think it sounds like it would fit the bill perfectly.

                1. re: Delhiwala

                  Yes, Mamma Maria and don't forget about the valet parking!

                2. I'd go to BiNA. It's open for lunch or dinner, and the food was really sophisticated without being to out-there.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: PorkTerrine

                    I think Great Bay or Clio would be solid additions to the list. Both have the combination of atmosphere and food. Great Bay has amazing upscale bartending too.

                    1. re: ced9

                      i like the atmosphere at the bar at great bay, but have received sub-par spacey service more than once and find the food underwhelming. bland to the point of i can never remember the next day what i had for dinner.

                      i second bina -- it's new and a cool space too.

                  2. Thank you all for all the suggestions. I guess I was opening an o ya can of worms. I have no problem dropping $200 bucks for me and my so oncee a month or so, this is a chance for me to go for a $400 place and not have to look at the prices on the menu or wine list. I miss blue ribbon in soho, you can have a multi course fine diningish meal or pick 5 apps and some wine. A former co worker and I celebrated his hiring at per se by blowing a grand there, and had no entrees, but also had a great meal for two for $150 including wine.

                    5 Replies
                      1. re: uwebres

                        something very untimely these days about "blowing a grand" on dinner, i think.

                        1. re: hotoynoodle

                          It was three years ago, in NYC, $1000 dinners were not that rare then

                        2. re: uwebres

                          blue ribbon, although fun, is much less interesting foodwise than O-Ya...