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Favorite Restaurants near Jury's Hotel

I'm surprising my husband with a trip to Boston for his birthday in April. He's been once but didn't really get to experience any of the Boston cuisine. He and I are both foodies and love a good meal, from dives to 5-star restaurants, we just appreciate good food. In starting my search for must-try restaurants in Boston, I've found the task to be a little daunting. It seems if you asked 5 people their top 3 restaurants, you'd get 15 different answers. While that's great, it's also makes it very difficult to narrow my search. We will be in the city for 2 1/2 days and will need to find 2 breakfast spots, 2 or 3 lunch spots, and 3 dinner spots. The one place I've found thus far that looks right up our alley is Ten Tables. I understand the Chef's Table is the place to sit and the Tasting Menu is the way to go. I don't mind to pay as long as the food merits the cost. I'd love to have seafood at least once, if not more. We're not big on oysters or clams but we do love all fish, shrimp, crab, and lobster. We don't do chains, although I've heard good things about Legal. For breakfast, I prefer pancakes/french toast and my husband prefers more eggs/bacon. As far as location, I'd love to find at least a few places within walking distance of our hotel, Jury's, but I realize we'll probably have to cab it to get to others. I know there have been other posts regarding your favorite spots but hopefully you can narrow in on your favorites based on my criteria. Thanks so much and I look forward to hearing your responses.

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  1. A couple of thoughts:

    For seafood, absolutely skip Legal's. I highly recommend B&G Oysters, which notwithstanding its name has a excellent menu of other fish and seafood dishes, including some wonderful lobster dishes. It's expensive and elegant in a faux casual kinda way. It's a five-minute cab ride or, on a nice evening, an easy walk from Jury's. If there's a wait for a table (they take only very limited reservations), you can leave your cell number and grab a drink at one of the many nearby places.

    For breakfast, Jury's offers a tolerably good breakfast buffet, which includes made-to-order (and surprisingly good) omelets and waffles, and excellent coffee and fresh orange juice. It won't blow you away, but it's a good, easy, no-hassle (never a wait for a table) option. And at $18, it's a better value than most upscale hotel breakfast buffets.

    Another nearby breakfast and lunch option is Mike & Patty's ( http://www.mikeandpattys.com/ ) in the adjacent Bay Village neighborhood (again, about a five-minute walk from Jury's). Note that this is a little closet of a place (if it's empty and the two of you walk in, it will be crowded). But they overachieve as far as the food. A great place that every neighborhood would love to have.

    1. One thing I forgot to ask. Is there anything close to the arena where the Celtics play (the name escapes me right now)? I'm debating treating him to a game and I wanted to know what food options might be nearby.
      Also, is Mr. Bartley's "the" place for burgers? Is this the best hole-in-the-wall place?

      9 Replies
      1. re: de5181

        Here is the most recent discussion of options near the TD Banknorth Garden (or whatever we happen to be calling it nowadays). If you search there are many others.


        Burgers are a VERY controversial subject on this board. Bartley's is one of my favorites, but many people will vehemently disagree. It's hard to disagree that it's a Boston-area institution and it certainly is a hole in the wall. I have not changed my order in 30 years: cheddar buger deluxe, which comes with both fries and their not-to-be-missed onion rings. (That said, I don't like a lot of "stuff" on my burger, so if you do, you might want to order something else or supplement this with toppings!)

        1. re: de5181

          Check for tix, as they are very hard to come by.

          1. re: de5181

            the C's are essentially sold out for the year. They release a very limited amount of tix the day of the game but if they're playing a worthwhile opponent, you have not shot at a ticket. This will change your dinning plans. But I'd stick around the area and head to Scampo in the Liberty hotel. It's worth seeing if you're from out of town and perhaps it will be on your radar to stay at the the next time you're in town.

            I'll also reccomend B&G Oyster for seafood and the Parish Cafe for lunch.

            1. re: cannedmilkandfruitypebbles

              While I recognize that we're supposed to be discussing chow and not sports tickets, there are plenty of Celtics tickets available through brokers for those willing to pay for them.

              1. re: Blumie

                anything can be had for a price. Goes without saying.

                1. re: cannedmilkandfruitypebbles

                  I would have thought it goes without saying until the posts on this board that Celt's tics can't be had!!!

                  1. re: Blumie

                    you're very literal, then. I doubt someone from out of town is going to want to deal with Scalpers last mintue. Nonetheless, they should make their way over there to check out Scampo.

                    1. re: cannedmilkandfruitypebbles

                      "... you have no shot at a ticket." Hmmm.

                      Why would someone from out of town not want to deal with scalpers? Stub Hub, Ace Tickets, Ebay. If you don't mind paying, there are plenty of options. Exactly what I do when I travel. YMMV.

                  2. re: cannedmilkandfruitypebbles

                    I was trying to get tix recently and the prices on Stub Hub were pretty outrageous.

            2. For fine dining: Grill 23 is right across the street. You can walk to Troquet, Sorrellina, Davio's, Via Matta, L'Espalier, La Voile, Sel de le Terre, Mistral, No. 9 Park, Hamersleys Bistro and probably more that I cant think of at the moment.

              1 Reply
              1. re: C. Hamster

                I second all these recs. Expensive but you'll be happy at any of them.

                If you don't want to plan everything in advance, I suggest strolling "Restaurant Row" which is Tremont St in the South End and very near you. B&G Oyster is here (as well as its sister restaurant across the street specializing in meats), Hamerslyey's Bistro, Pops...you can stroll and check out menus.

                To clarify your "T" question: it is short for MBTA, Mass Bay Transport. Authority. Technically it refers to the public transportation system including trains, buses and boats, but when someone says "T" they generally mean the subway system which is comprised of red, orange, blue and green lines. The newer "silver line" is actually a bus route with stops in the south end, so you may encounter that too. It's very handy and worth getting a pass for a few days' travel. www.mbta.com

              2. For dinner I would add Scampo in the Liberty Hotel as a great choice. Excellent food and the place has a very hip buzz right now. Try a lobster pizza for a starter or one of the offerings from their mozzarella bar. I aprticularly like the prosciutto with pear carpaccio. For seafood I really like Atlantic Fish Co. On Boylston St. Try the Swordfish Chop if you are a fan of this type of fish.

                1 Reply
                1. re: RoyRon

                  I strongly second Scampo for excellent food (especially the Lobster pizza) and also recomend that you spend a few minutes before dinner walking around the upstairs lobby of the Liberty Hotel (where Scampo is) since it is a former jail and very interesting.

                2. Another rec for fish is Neptune's in the North End and Jury's is very near to the Parrish Cafe on Boylston - a great lunch choice.

                  1. If it's not Sun., go to Charlie's Sandwich Shoppe on Columbus Ave., a 10 min walk. Old school, giant pancakes, turkey hash, etc. You're close to the 39 bus so if you want to save cab fare, the 39 will drop you 1/2 block from 10 Tables.

                    7 Replies
                    1. re: Joanie

                      Wow, thanks for all the advice! One name that seems to keep coming up is B&G Oyster. I've also seen quite a few votes for Neptune. I've seen many of the restaurants mentioned here on other "favorites" lists and I guess I just don't comprehend how small Boston really is. So is the Garden close to Jurys, relatively speaking? I have it pictured practically in another city. How long should I expect it to take to get from Jurys to the Garden? And is Harvard Square pretty close as well?
                      Joanie, you mentioned the bus, is that a safe method of transportation in Boston? And is it pretty easy? There's also the "T", right? Please excuse my niavity but I'm from a city that doesn't readily use either.
                      For the record, I had intended to go through an intermediary for the Celtics tickets. They are crazy expensive though ): That does help to know that I shoudn't wait until the day of to but them.

                      1. re: de5181

                        Hi De:

                        I live on Berkeley a few blocks south of Jury's so I'll throw in my two cents.

                        B&G is fantastic, definitely go there, I would say food-wise it is neck in neck with Neptune, but I think has a much better ambiance. There is a lobster taggliatelle dish with mushrooms which is to die for. The food is inventive and there's a great wine list, too. (note: only beer and wine is served).

                        The Garden is nowhere near Jury's - it is in a neighborhood called the West End, which is sort of situated between Beacon Hill and the North End. If you were to talk to the Garden from Jury's, it would probably take about 45 minutes.

                        I would not recommend the bus - the buses in Boston are unreliable, especially on the weekend. The T is the way to go. Jury's is a 5 minute walk from Back Bay Station. At Back Bay Station, you can hop on the orange line and take it to North Station, which is literally attached to the TD Banknorth Garden. You won't have to worry about switching lines or trying to navigate the complicated bus system.

                        If you want to head up to Harvard Square (or other parts of Cambrige), you take the red line. That is easily done by taking the orange line (from Back Bay Station, near your hotel) to Downtown Crossing, then switching to the northbound red line. The red line has a stop called Harvard which will put you right in the middle of the action.

                        And, finally - another great breakfast spot which I haven't seen suggested is Masa - it would be a 5-10 minute walk from your hotel, and has a 9.95 prix fix brunch on Saturday and Sunday which is awesome - featuring things like a plantain empanada, Southwestern eggs benedict, a great smoked salmon quesadilla -- you get the drift. It's fantastic. For a more traditional pancake-type brunch I second the vote for Charlie's. Best pancakes in the South End.

                        Hope that helps!

                          1. re: Lauren R.

                            It's worth noting that "the Garden is nowhere near Jury's" only in a Boston sense. By the standards of most major cities, they are very close (under 1-3/4 miles according to mapquest). I agree that the orange line is a great option. By taxi, the ride would take 5-15 minutes, depending on traffic. The walk would be under half an hour.

                            As for getting to Harvard Square and other locations on the Red Line from Jurys, one is better off walking to the corner of Berkeley and Boylston, just a block from Jurys, to get the Green Line inbound to Park Street, where one can transfer to the Red Line. Not a big difference between that and the Orange Line to Downtown Crossing, but it could save five or 10 minutes between the shorter walk and the more frequent train service.

                            1. re: Lauren R.

                              I disagree about the 39 bus (which I take every day). It leaves from Back Bay station which as noted is a close walk to the hotel and *usually* comes frequently. There's always the chance of a bunch in a row going in the direction you're not going, but overall, it's fine. And like I said, it drops you almost right at 10 Tables. I agree with Blumie that "nowhere near" in Boston is very relative. You don't say where you're coming from but most cities aren't as tiny as Boston. The Garden is only 5 stops on the Green Line from the hotel and you can easily get off at Government Center (as far as many trains go) and walk 10 min over to the Garden.

                              The Masa brunch I thought was $7.95 on Sat. and Sun. til 11:30. Then the price goes up later in the day.

                              1. re: Lauren R.

                                Wow, "No where near Jury's"??? I concur with Blumie. To 95% of the US population, if not more, the Garden is very close to Jury's. If you take the Green line from Berkeley Street, it is a few minutes away. You could walk from Jury's to Scampo in 20 min, and then walk to the Garden from there.

                                I would add Metropolis on Tremont Street to your list. It is in the "Restaurant Row" area Niblet refers to.

                              2. re: de5181

                                I'd recommend the"T" to travelers, but not any of the Boston buses, sorry to say. I take public transportation all over the world when I travel, but Boston's busses are highly unreliable, and not worth the waits they often entail. For once, I'd splurge on the cab fare ...

                            2. When in April will you be here? Be warned that period from the 18th to the 20th will be somewhat chaotic because the Boston Marathon will be on the 20th. And your hotel is about three blocks from the finish line. Traffic and public transit gets disrupted and crowded.

                              1. You guys have been SO helpful! I wanted to run my list (greatly narrowed thanks to you) by you now and see if anyone has any compelling arguement either for or against any of these. As you can see, I still need to narrow the list so definitely feel free to be as brutally honest as you'd like!

                                Also, I saw a recent post for fried fish recommendations and based on the overwhelming response, I wondered if one of these might be a better seafood option - better than Neptune of B&G. The ones I saw mentioned were Moulton's, Pescatore, The Barking Crab and Sail Loft. I also have no idea where these are located and whether or not they'd be even feasible for us.

                                So here's my list broken into breakfast/lunch/dinner.
                                Charlie's Sandwich Shop
                                Masa (for the pre fixe Sat. brunch)
                                Centre St Cafe
                                Sound Bites
                                Zaftigs Deli

                                Parish Cafe
                                Umberto Galleria
                                Mr. Bartleys
                                Santarpio's Pizza
                                Hi-Rise Bread Co.

                                Ten Tables
                                Neptune Oyster
                                B&G Oyster
                                Via Matta
                                Prezza - is this close near The Garden?
                                Taranta - is this close to The Gardne?

                                Do any on my dinner list require reservations for something as early as 5:30? And do any require a sports coat for men? We'll be coming the 2nd weekend in April so I think we'll be avoiding Restaurant Week.

                                Thank you all again for all your imput. It has been invaluable to me!

                                9 Replies
                                1. re: de5181

                                  I'd substitute Pizzeria Regina in the North End for Santarpio's. If choosing between Prezza and Taranta for a North End dinner, I greatly prefer Prezza. Yes, they are both within walking distance from the Garden. Someone can tell you how long it would take since I've never done it.

                                  1. re: pollystyrene

                                    Both Prezza and Taranta are ~10-15 min leisurely walk from the Garden. 20 min if you are a slow walker.

                                  2. re: de5181

                                    It depends if you want to make things easy or do some traveling to hit these places. Moulton's isn't convenient to the Jury Hotel. Most people think the Barking Crab is kind of mediocre. Charlie's and Masa are easiest for breakfast/brunch, Centre St. will have a line. All your lunch choices are pretty easy except Santarpio's which isn't so hard to get to. As mentioned, Prezza and Taranta, both in the north end, are close to the Garden and should be fine if you go early. No sports coat needed but you'd want to put together a nice outfit. Now it's just a matter of what you want to eat: burger vs. Chilean sandwich, fried vs. non fried seafood (altho both B&G and Neptune have a few fried things), etc.

                                    1. re: de5181

                                      Note that Chacarero is not open on the weekends, but if you are in town on a weekday, it's well worth making it your lunch that day.

                                      Absolutely do NOT substitute any of those fried seafood joints for B&G or Neptune. Even if you like fried seafood, the quality of those places is no where near B&G or Neptune. Moreover, both B&G and Neptune will have some fried seafood -- calamari and fried clams in the case of B&G -- if you need a fix. (Also, I had the best fish and chips of my life at B&G, but it was a special and not on the regular menu. If you go and its slow, you might ask if they would make it for you if you're interested.)

                                      Also note that some of your places, particularly the breakfast places, are not at all convenient to your hotel. You've got to decide whether you really want to travel 20-30 minutes for breakfast when you've got some pretty decent options nearby.

                                      1. re: Blumie

                                        You mentioned that some of my choices, particulary breakfast, were not that close to my hotel. Could you tell me which breakfast places you were referring to? I'm not as concerned about dinner choices but I am pretty hungry in the mornings and don't want to have to travel far. Thanks!

                                        1. re: de5181

                                          As I noted, Charile's and Masa are pretty close, but Masa only serves brunch on the weekend and Charlie's is closed on Sun. Zaftig's is a fairly quick trip on the C green line, not so crowded if you go on a weekday. The others take a little while to get to. And I also mentioned that you won't need reservations at Prezza or Taranta going so early.

                                          1. re: Joanie

                                            Soundbites for breakfast is not near your hotel. Its also not easy to get to by T (it is in Ball Square, Medford, so closet T stop would be Davis on the Red line then walk about 15 minutes). I love the Wonder Waffle at Soundbites and the stuffed french toast at Zaftigs and would travel for either given plenty of time, but neither is convenient or close to your hotel.

                                            You have some great choices here - Ten Tables is one of my favorites. If it were me, I'd replace Hi-Rise with Flour bakery, but you can't go wrong with Hi-Rise and its convenient if you are exploring Harvard Sq.

                                      2. re: de5181

                                        My opinion (if you haven't had enough already!)

                                        Pizzeria Regina over Santarpio's
                                        Charlies - overrated and just not very good (I could get killed for saying that!)
                                        Masa - absolutely
                                        Ten Tables - yes
                                        Via Matta - eh
                                        B&G over Neptune - because I like to have one fish course there and then walk across the street to their sister restaurant The Butcher Shop for meat and cheese courses (and there's plenty of night life around)

                                        What didn't get included in your list was Bina Ostria (relatively new and a fav), No 9, Mistral, Myers+Chang for lunch - too bad! You'll have to come back or stay longer.

                                        (I really don't know how you'll manage 3 meals like this a day!)

                                        1. re: alwayscooking

                                          I'm not sure how I'm going to pull off 3 big meals in one day either but that's a sacrifice I'm willing to make for good food! Food is one of our primary loves associated with travel so we like to try as much as possible each trip. Mind you, we won't be dining on 5-course meals at all feeding times! Thanks for your concern (:

                                      3. Thank you all for your input, it's greatly appreciated. No one mentioned whether any of my dinner choices would require a reservation (keep in mind we are early eaters, i.e. 5:30 or 6). This trip is a surprise for my husband and I wanted to wait until we got there to let him pick the dinner choices. I do know to call Ten Tables to request the chef's table but what about the others? Oh, and keep in mind we'd be hitting the North End restaurants the night of a Celtics game.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: de5181

                                          Even that early, you may have trouble getting seated at Ten Tables on the weekend. The other places should be fine.

                                        2. I'd shine my shoes and walk right across the street to Grille 23 & Bar. It's a good one, and one of my favorites. They excell with seafood as well as beef. Jay Murray is a very creative chef. And, if you have too much wine (an extensive wine list w/ good management), you can just roll back to your hotel safely.
                                          Enjoy Your Stay,

                                          8 Replies
                                          1. re: CocoDan

                                            I would too. Grill 23 is a great place.

                                            Reservations are always a good idea for dinner anywhere nice in Boston.

                                            I'd go to Davio's over Via Matta. They are very near each other and your hotel.

                                            Pizzaria regina is better than Santarpios and you can stroll the North End beforeand after yoiu eat. Santarp's is next to the airport cargo hangers.

                                            Expect an 1 hour wait in line at Zaftig's for less than spectacular, but expensive, food. Its nowhere near your hotel, but can be accessed via a 15-30 min T ride. Same for Center Street, it's a 20-30 min bus ride.

                                            The service at B&G has been horrible each and every time I have been. I don't need attitude or slow service, so won't go any more. Neptune is great.

                                            I'm wondering why Chinatown isn't on your list. It's an easy walk.

                                            1. re: C. Hamster

                                              C. Hamster, thanks for your helpful post. I will gladly mark Zaftig's and Center Street off my list since they are farther than I'd like to travel, especially for breakfast!

                                              While I would love to add Chinatown to my list, we're only going to be in the area 2 1/2 days and I'm just not sure we'd have time. I did look up the Myers & Chang that someone recommended previously and while it looks good, there are others that sound better to me. Thanks though.

                                              1. re: de5181

                                                I hear you.

                                                Chinatown could be a play-it-by-ear option if your plans change.

                                                I also forgot to say that Radius and Via Matta are owned by the same chef. Another reason to suggest Davio's instead. The bar at Davio's is a great place to eat, by the way. I do like Via Matta, though.

                                                All of the places you've selected are good. You're sure to have a good time, no matter what.

                                                1. re: de5181

                                                  Please go to almost anywhere in Chinatown over Myers & Chang.

                                                  Drop Radius from your list.

                                                  I disagree with the Via Matta nay-sayers, but you should look at the online menus for Prezza, Taranta, and Via Matta and pick the one you think would be best. Also, while I like Davio's, I would put these other three restaurants ahead of it.

                                                2. re: C. Hamster

                                                  On my many, many visits to B&G, I never have experienced anything other than excellent service. As has been my experience at all of Barbara Lynch's establishments, the service is very professional. And contrary to your experience of "attitude," I've always found them to be warm and welcoming. Our experiences are so opposite, I'd be curious to hear what others' experience has been.

                                                  1. re: Blumie

                                                    Ditto on excellent service at all of Lynch's places - I've never had anything but professional attention and willing assistance. The only 'attitude' I've detected is the desire to please.

                                                    1. re: Blumie

                                                      I love B.L. and have spent many a wonderful time at #9 and Butcher Shop and have met her several times. Have not been to Drink or Sportello.

                                                      The service at #9 is always stellar. The service at BS is always good, sometimes very good.

                                                      I know good service, and I expect it from a place like B&G. The first time the server was full of attitude and inattention, though the food was great. The second time I was with different people and the same thing happened, except worse in the inattention category. My DC's were pretty pissed off and vowed not to return.

                                                      I have since been back 2 more times and the service was OK and bad.

                                                      I eat out a lot at very good places (and some not so good ones, too, admittedly). I am knowledgeable about food and service and have appropriate expectations for both. I am certainly willing to pay $$ for them.

                                                      4 bad experiences says something to me.... but perhaps it was coincidence.

                                                      If I can find any of my friends that weren't offended by B&G in the past, I'll give it another chance. Thanks to you guys.

                                                      p.s. The hostess has always been warm and friendly. If only she were also the server ....

                                                    2. re: C. Hamster

                                                      Sorry to harp on this C. Hamster, but I had dinner at B&G tonight (my review is at http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/605929# ), and once again the service could not have been better. We only encountered two employees, the hostess and our waiter, but both were as professional and as pleasant as could be. The hostess welcomed us warmly and was cheerful as she seated us at the counter. The waiter was incredibly nice, even giving us a complimentary order of calamari during our meal. (I only eat there a handful of times a year, so I'm not enough of a regular to get special service.) As you'll see in my report, I had some minor complaints abouts the food, but absolutely none about the service. I just don't know how to reconcile my experiences with the poor service that you report.

                                                  2. Went last night to Neptune. I hadn't been since the summer and forgot how great it is. I don't eat oysters at all, but found the menu replete with so many other types of seafood choices it was hard to make up my mind.
                                                    The Sunday special was risotto with Little Neck clams, garlic, red chilli pepper and a few other ingredients. It was outstanding. We split that and also tried an appetizer portion of fresh, large whole shrimp in their shells sauteed with tomatoes, garlic, Portugese sausage and olive oil. The kind of dish that is a joy to share with your SO.
                                                    We went overboard ordering, and for entrees the SO had a simple preparation of pan seared scallops sitting on a flavorful squash puree. Simple and delicious. I had the Georges Bank grilled swordfish, cooked to perfection. Other entrees that looked really interesting were a Lobster Stew accompanied by Verrill Farms (a local farm) turnips; also an organic Scottish Salmon. We spied that at another table and it too looked great. I don't eat salmon that is not wild, even if it is organic and from Scotland, but I would almost break that personal rule as that dish looked so good.
                                                    The menu changes often, so I can't promise that this same range of choices will be available for your trip. I do hope you include Neptune on your list for your husband's BD. It's close to the TD Garden, and it is also open for lunch. The wine list has great variety; we tried a Greek wine from Santorini that matched the seafood perfectly; there were also choices that ranged from Sancerre to Albarino, and even a wine from Croatia. It appears a great deal of thought goes into their wine selection which could be another selling point if your husband is in to wines.
                                                    With it's location in the North End, you can take a nice walk after your meal and stop at any of the Italian bakeries and cafes that line the streets. I would go to Neptune, or B&G before I would ever consider Legal's.
                                                    I would think about replacing Ten Tables with a meal on Craigie on Main in Cambridge. It is an easy cab ride right past MIT.

                                                    8 Replies
                                                    1. re: snowcone

                                                      Tnx for the report!

                                                      I'll eat your oysters!

                                                      1. re: snowcone

                                                        As of Sunday afternoon lunch (nearly empty, by the way!), the lobster stew was actually an appetizer, not an entree. Smoky bacon, Verrill turnips, big chunks of lobster. It was surprisingly light for its cream base, and was apparently made with pea puree.

                                                        We were tempted by the risotto with clams-- glad to hear it didn't disappoint!

                                                        1. re: snowcone

                                                          Wow, your review alone has sealed the deal for Neptune. Neither of us eat oysters either so I was afraid that would limit our menu selections. Not the case it seems from your review. My mouth was literally watering with each entree you described. Now it seems the problem will be trying to make a decision!
                                                          Thanks for the advice on Ten Tables but I've already booked it, as that was one of the first places I came across during my search and it just won my heart. I hope I'm not disappointed. I did see where Bon Appetit gave Craigie a nod for their brunch in the most recent issue.

                                                          1. re: de5181

                                                            I'm back from our trip and I can't thank you Chowhounders enough for your spot-on suggestions! While the food was really quite good at Ten Tables, the experience of sitting at the chef's table was second-to-none. Since I love to cook, this was right up my alley and I easily could have sat there all night watching them and taking notes.

                                                            Friday morning we went to Charlie's for breakfast. Despite the fact I'll probably lose several readers right now, I wasn't that impressed. The service was borderline rude (keep in mind I'm from the south and we love us some hospitality) and the food was mediocre. We did sit at the counter and I did enjoy watching the team work like a well-oiled machine. My husband had the "award winning" turkey hash and not overly thrilled with it. It lacked salt and flavor. I had the raspberry pancakes, after hearing that their pancakes were the best in town. Had it not been for the raspberries, I would have stopped after the first few bites. They were bland and heavy. So, Alwayscooking, I agree with you that this one doesn't deserve the hype.

                                                            Thank you Pollystyrene for suggesting I swap out Santarpio's for Regina. Granted I haven't tried Santarp's but Regina was killer. Greasy, yes, but that's part of a great pizza. It was packed on game night and the line was 20 deep outside. Worth the wait!

                                                            Masa for brunch on Saturday was stellar. And at a price point of $7.95 for a pre fixe menu, are you kidding me, what a steal?! The plaintain empanadas aren't to be missed. The complimentary cornbread with accompaniments were a fantastic start to the meal! I ordered the chocolate chip pancakes with mango butter. They were flavorful enough on their own without the addition of syrup. My husband opted for the scrambled eggs with chorizo and farmers cheese. The eggs seemingly melted in his mouth (probably the ton of butter that was dripping from them!).

                                                            We saved the best for last at Neptune Oyster. Holy wow, that lobster roll with butter is to die for. My mouth is seriously watering right now just thinking about it. My husband got to sample several different oyster varieties for the first time and thoroughly enjoyed each of them. Although it was quite crammed in there and we had to sit at the counter, the food more than made up for the lack of space.

                                                            Somehow we managed to stuff in a few cannoli's after dinner at Modern. The cannoli was good but the Napoleon left a lot to be desired. The layers were not flaky, rather cardboard-like. The cream filling was sparse and the icing on top tasted of stale smoke or some other chemical. I believe they were at least a day old, if not more.

                                                            We also managed to get over to Flour. Again, not impressed overall. The brownie was good but the scone, apple cake, and oreo were all hard and dry. To be fair, we did go in the middle of the afternoon after these pastries had set out most of the morning. I would have loved to have made it to Hi-Rise for comparison but I guess there's always next time.

                                                            We thoroughly enjoyed our stay in your lovely city. It's definitely on our list of places to return to someday. One ending comment that we noted that seems to be the trend in Boston is the size of the restaurants. With the exception of the burger joint by Fenway, every restaurant we dined in was very narrow and essentially half or a third the size of the restaurants we're accustomed to. Lucky for us, we're early eaters and this wasn't an issue, but I can only imagine what these places are like in prime dinner time!

                                                            Thanks again to everyone for your very helpful advice. My husband noted that we didn't eat a bad place the whole trip and I owe that all to you guys!

                                                            1. re: de5181

                                                              Thanks for reporting back, fellow chocolate chip pancake lover. I'm glad you enjoyed most of your meals. You're right; space is scarce and pricey in the city so many restaurants are pretty cramped. One of my favorite places that isn't like that is Eastern Standard in Kenmore Square. It's a big, open, airy place where your husband can eat oysters 'til his heart's content, the menu is varied, and everything I've had on it is very good. Maybe you can put it on your list for the next visit. Also, I've had the same experience with stale pastries at Modern. My favorite for cannoli is Mike's across the street. Some slam it, but since they do such a heavy business, things fly off the shelves before they can get stale. The line there is similar to Regina's, but it moves quickly, and once in the door you won't mind waiting as you gawk at case after case of goodies.

                                                              1. re: de5181

                                                                It's always nice to get a follow-up report from a visitor; sounds like you did really well!

                                                                Don't feel bad about not liking Charlie's. I used to love it, but I think it has slid considerably over the years (though the room is still cool). No better example than that now-underwhelming turkey hash.

                                                                In my book, any trip to Boston that includes Neptune was not in vain, and you hit a lot more good places. (I adore Ten Tables and really like Pizzeria Regina and Via Matta.)

                                                                Where are you from? What Chowhound board is your home board? We expect you to return the favor when we're down your way!


                                                                1. re: MC Slim JB

                                                                  I hadn't even been to this board prior to this trip and a friend's great suggestion to check here first. I will definitely be coming back for every other trip I make to find the hot spots, so to speak.

                                                                  By the way, I'm from KY, so I doubt you'll be needing my expertise anytime soon! If I'm wrong though, I'd be more than happy to return the favor. You guys are the best.

                                                                2. re: de5181

                                                                  Surprised about Flour's apple cake, has always been more on the oily side when I buy it. I agree that the oreo is no big deal. Haven't been to Charlie's in years, too bad it was only fair.