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Feb 13, 2009 08:54 AM

Boston Back Bay recs?

My wife and I will be spending a weekend in Boston in early May and are looking for a recommendation for a Saturday night dinner. I was thinking Blue Ginger (because I like Ming's show),but it's 17 miles away and we won't have a car. Is public transportation to BG an option? If not, what you some of you recommend. I'd like to stay in that price range (mid 20's to mid 30's for mains). No sushi, no steakhouses. Pretty much anything else would do, although my wife isn't terribly adventurous. A really great fish place would work. We're a somewhat older couple, so a hip, jivey scene isn't really what I'm looking for. Just good food, service and ambiance. TIA.

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  1. I think the best fish in Back Bay/Theater District is Grill 23. I guess it's officially a "steak house," but I think their seafood is better.

    Neptune Oyster in the North End is a hound fav.

    I'd just search the site. There are lots of great places right on the T.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Bostonbob3

      Of these two, Neptune Oyster looked like a place we would really like. Unfortunately, they don't take reservations. I should have added that as a requirement. Don't want to take my chances on a table on a Saturday night.

    2. A few recs for you:
      For delicious food and a sedate atmosphere I highly recommend Radius in the Financial District.

      A short ride on the T should bring you to Great Bay at Kenmore Sq for good seafood.

      7 Replies
      1. re: foxspirit

        Thanks. Both look great, take reservations and are pretty close by. Not being a Bostonite - is the T the subway? Could I take it to Blue Ginger (is Blue Ginger actually any good?)

        1. re: bnemes3343

          Most folks from out of town immediately think Blue Ginger. A TV show doesn't make a restaurant, and I'm sure that wherever you are from, you have at the very least its equal. The T is the subway, and no, you can't take it to BG. I'd second Great Bay or suggest the Oceanaire for a more traditional experience.

          1. re: bnemes3343

            Yes sorry. The T is how we refer to the MBTA, our public transit service. If you're in the back bay you can take the green line subway to Kenmore Sq. I'm not sure about T to Blue Ginger (I've only driven there) but will usually let you know if there's a bus or train stop near by. For my dollar I think the Blue Ginger is over priced and over hyped chinese fusion food. There's less inventive but far tastier chinese to be found in Chinatown proper, not far from the Back Bay area. Possibly if you don't like too authentic flavors (hey, some people don't but I'm actually chinese and grew up on the stuff) it might be more to your tastes. A more western spin on the flavors and cooking style.

            1. re: foxspirit

              Thanks to both for the info on BG. I live in NY so, yes, we have some good eats. Too bad if BG is not as good as the show would have you hope for (but, of course, it's not like Ming Tsai would be in the kitchen anyway). Great Bay looks very appealing. And... I guess the T is what poor Charlie was riding on and couldn't get off that we sang about with our cheapo guitars in college?

              1. re: bnemes3343

                The way the T's being run lately, that might happen to you, too. :))

                You might want to look into Eastern Standard as well. Pretty casual, but some interesting eats.

                1. re: Bostonbob3

                  In my opinion - Eastern Standard is three stars better than Great Bay. I took my parents to Bouchee on Newbury St. and they enjoyed the meal, and it was reasonable (and it's actually in back bay).

                2. re: bnemes3343

                  Actually, Ming is in the kitchen quite a bit. But for the effort it would take you to get there, and the experience you'll have, you have so many better choices in the area. Boston is very walkable, so don't limit yourself to the Back Bay.

          2. All on Boylston in the Back Bay: Atlantic Fish & Sel de la Terre. Threw in SDLT for some variety & because they're in the BB. Peruse the menus.

            Atlantic Fish Co
            761 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02116

            Sel de la Terre
            774 Boylston St., Boston, MA 02199

            2 Replies
            1. re: Taralli

              Oh yes Sel De La Terre always has terrific food too!

              1. re: Taralli

                Second both Atlantic Fish and Sel de la Terre. If you really want fish, Atlantic is the best place in Back Bay. Better than Great Bay.

                If other types of food are possible, I'd suggest La Voile on Newbury or Vlora at Copley Square. And don't forget that the South End is a short walk from Back Bay and has numerous good restaurants.

                La Voile
                261 Newbury Street, Boston, MA 02116

                545 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02116

              2. I'd take the subway to the North End for Prezza or Mama Maria. If you get lucky with timing, you could sit down for a snack and drink at Neptune first. Or walk to the south end and try one of the many restaurants in that section of town, Hamersley's Bistro, Rocca, etc.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Joanie

                  Lots of great looking menus. Luckily I actually have two dinners and three lunches, so I should be able to get five places in.

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