Dinner off Blueline for Airport Stay-ers...
We're staying at the Airport Hilton on Wednesday night but want to come into Boston for dinner. Our schedule isn't tight, but we thought we'd look for something on the blueline to mitigate cost and frustration. I've come up with this short-list. Is there anything here that wins approval... or should we just ditch the stay-on-the-T plan and go somewhere else.
We now that Neptune is a bit further afield. And we're concerned that Marliave or Grotto might be compromised by the Restaurant Week thing.
Price isn't an issue... we've got nothing to prove (thought about eating at the bar at Locke Ober??)... we really just want a spot to hang-out and relax... a delicious dinner that doesn't require restaurant death march from the T (bonus points for good cocktails).
I very much like Neptune Oyster, have enjoyed Grotto, and haven't tried the reincarnated Marliave (though this last gets plenty of good word of mouth around here). All can indeed be reached with a relatively modest walk from a Blue Line stop.
There are several East Boston places which get solid love on this board and are a moderate walk from the airport. Of these, I've liked Angela's Cafe and Santarpio's.
I don't consider Neptune that far from the Aquarium T stop, but I walk alot. Neptune's is also only beer and wine. I've heard good things about Marliave for cocktails, but have been told the cafe is better eating than upstairs (which is also good eating, but white table cloth eating). If you really don't want to walk at all, Sel de la Terre is across the street from Aquarium T stop.
All three on your list are good options. Neptune is my favorite for food and Marliave probably gives you the best combination of cocktails and Food.
Another option might be to do a combination of two restaurants: cocktails at NO.9 Park and then dinner at Grotto or cocktails at Marliave and dinner at Bina Osteria in Downtown Crossing, all of which are a short walk to each other and the blue line. Or just go all out and stay at NO.9 Park for both!
re: Matt H
I had a fantastic pastrami sandwich at Marliave the otherday. A bit untraditional, on a brioche-like round bun rather than sliced bread, but it was really very tasty, better than the one I had at Sammy Lagrassa's (which is around the corner).
I was surprised that the menu was the same whether you sat in the bar area, lounge area, or dining room. I was under the impression that the dining room had a more upscale menu.
Just for the record - Grotto is a board favorite, but the one and only time that Barmy and I ate there was during Restaurant Week and we had a memorably bad meal. Poorly-executed food, truly terrible service, and just a bad experience all around. I believe that you have passed through Boston before; I'd strongly recommend that you save Grotto for a visit that doesn't occur during RW.