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Feb 15, 2009 09:46 AM

Best in Boston if hubs does NOT have a jacket


I will be up from FL for the coming weekend--staying at the Ritz and wanted some GREAT food- good chefs, good ambience,takes reservations, not off the wall prices but Do NOT require a coat and tie....Hubs is working in the area and did not bring one...

Last time we were in Boston, we went to Maison Robert- outstanding food but very dressy ( ie. coat reqd)...We love gourmet food and have 2 nites to partake in the BOSTON experience...along with brunch on Sunday somewhere nice.

PLEASE answer ASAP as I need to make reservations somewhere...


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  1. I can't think of any restaurants in Boston that require jackets any more. The only one i'd research further is locke ober. If you're ok with Maison Robert pricing, include mistral, sorrelina, bina, #9 park, mooo, ko prime, vai matta, and grille 23 in your research. For top-tier pricing look at clio and l'espalier.

    7 Replies
    1. re: skylark938

      I was looking at #9 Park and wondered if you needed a magnifying lens to see the food on the plate? If we do the 3 course dinner , will that be enough to feed 2 healty eaters?

      1. re: Andy

        I think you hit the nail on the head. Magnifying glass needed. When my partner and I went for our anniversary, we left underwhelmed and hungry. My partner went to grab a burger afterward. I would skip #9.

        1. re: Melmybelle

          really??? i have never needed a magnifying glass and have never left hungry. what is it with the large portions? there are plenty of places serving heaping plates of swill. the quality of the food is what you pay for, not the gorge effect.

      2. re: skylark938


        How about Radius Restaurant for Sat, nite and Vlora on Friday nite...I went online and got mixed reviews on #9 and via Matta- and we don't want a steak house...we are more into mediterranean, french, anything thai or sushi and of course, terrific seafood...

        Let me know what you think of these and thanks

        1. re: Andy

          Hi Andy

          I have to say that No 9 is my favorite in the city, and I havent had any issues with portion size.

          Vlora Ive heard MANY mixed reviews on...

          1. re: Andy

            Whether or not you like Vlora, it's not really doing a high-end fine-dining thing at all. Its menu is very simple Albanian, Greek, and Italian food, with some modestly priced wines to go along with it and some crazy southeastern European nightclub kind of atmosphere. I wouldn't recommend it to visitors for the food, though I like it.

            I'd have some recommendations if the original poster could be more specific on what he considers "not off the wall prices". Many of the places discussed here (like Radius) do not meet the not-crazy price standard in my mind.

          2. re: skylark938

            On Boylston Streel. between Atlington and Boylston, there is a Filines Basrment across from a Marshalls, and both can be decent for for jackets and ties at affordable price.

            Boston it not just about dressing well, but jackets are warm, practial and get better respect.

            The servers dress for the occasion why not the guest

            (As an aside, I hope I never read another post asking about cute jeans, expensve shoes, and a frilly top)

          3. The few places I would feel uncomfortable without a jacket and tie are:
            Locke Ober, Pier 4, L'Espalier, Silks,Oak Room, the former dining room at the Ritz(not sure about the Taj now). Anything that has opened within 20 years should be OK. If they request or require, they may have in the coatroom.

            3 Replies
            1. re: trufflehound

              Does anyone on this board go to Pier 4 anymore (or ever)? The only thing good on their menu is free parking.

              1. re: CocoDan

                Gotta say - I was dragged there for lunch the other day and it was pretty decent. Don't throw a shoe at me for this, but our oysters were very fresh and my cold seafood plate was ok. Comped us popovers - generous pour on my second drink. Not going to rush back, but it was decent on this particular afternoon.

                1. re: CocoDan

                  I've actually been a couple of times in the past year. It looks a little worn, but is otherwise pretty much exactly what it always was: the It Place of 1979. It's a good place to go if you want to feel young: the tables are spaced wide enough to accommodate walkers. And until I finally hit Ula Cafe, it was the only place in town I knew of where you could get popovers: those still rock.

              2. Call the concierge at the Ritz - surely they can arrange for a jacket for hubby - then the world is your oyster.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Bob Dobalina

                  If you're coming up from Florida, why not pack a jacket ( and maybe a tie ) for hubs?

                2. Nobody insists on a coat and tie in Boston anymore, and almost nobody turns away diners in nice jeans and smart tops. (This was true even before the economy threatened to put lots of places out of business.)

                  Jer-Ne at the new Ritz says "casual attire suggested." L'Espalier with its "jacket and tie most comfortable but not required" dress code routinely seats customers not even making the effort to hit the "smart casual" standard: I've seen people in designer tracksuits in there. Radius seats diners who look like they're dressed for a metal concert. Clio says "business casual", which to many Bostonians means khakis and golf shirts. Aujourd'hui says "jacket preferred", and in my experience, less than half the male customers bother.

                  At the Taj, the Cafe code is "no workout attire, t-shirts, shorts or tennis shoes." I've seen plenty of jeans in the Bar there. (The Dining Room is no more.) The Oak Room says, "business casual: no sport pants, shorts, t-shirts, hats, sneakers, or sport sandals." They say they prefer no jeans, but routinely seat jeans-wearers anyway.

                  The lone holdout is Locke-Ober: "No tennis shoes, hiking boots, athletic shoes, jeans, denim clothing, shorts or t-shirts in any of the common dining areas, without exception. Jeans and tennis shoes in the bar at management's discretion."

                  Private clubs are another matter, but even the Harvard Club doesn't require a jacket and tie in the dining room for dinner anymore.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: MC Slim JB

                    ha! that's good to know mc slim... i went into the bar one night to meet a few friends who were finishing dinner. i was told i could not stay in the bar because i was wearing jeans. i don't need to go into detail as to what i was wearing but i definitely would not have been turned away in any other place in this city. i was wearing shoes, not trainers, and a jacket but apparently not up to managements standards. too bad, cuz being in my neighborhood, it is certainly a place i want to support. i have no desire to hurry back plus, my ascot is still at the dry cleaners

                    1. re: MC Slim JB

                      The last time I was at the Harvard Club, my date was loaned a crimson jacket -- he looked ready to go out with the marching band. I was amused though. That was 12 years ago at least, so good to know times have changed.

                      I happened to be at Locke-Ober last night, and mindful of their stated dress code, neither of us wore jeans or sneakers. I thought we were decently dressed (nice sweather/button down shirt, slacks) but did feel a bit like we were given not quite first-class treatment (compared to the excellent service we've gotten at L'Espalier, for instance.) The meal met our expectations, but probably won't be on our repeat list.

                    2. You must have gone to the original Maison Robert, which was very formal but closed years ago. Dining out now is not the special occassion it was years ago, and there are no real strick dress codes, as MC Slim JB pointed out. The last time I was at Locke Obers, more than one guy wore jeans. Forget about the jacket and think about the kind of food you want to eat. I like Teatro which is just about in the same block as the Ritz. Bina is near by, but is pricey if you do the full four courses they recommend. If you want a fun time, head over to the LIberty Hotel and try Scampo's. If the chef is there, you will have a great time.