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Mar 17, 2009 03:40 PM

only 3 Meals in Boston.....

hello hounders from Boston...
My wife and I will be in Boston for few days at the end of April...
we are looking for 3 recommendations from you all for the quintessential Boston dining experiences... any cuisine, any budget... just looking for 3 meals that will make our Boston trip special..
thanks in advance

- Perceptor from Los Angeles

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  1. Here's what gets my vote:
    Troquet one night
    Number 9 Park a second night (I like Sorrellina more but Number 9 Park sits at the foot of the State House and Beacon Hill and thus is very Boston-y)
    And since you will probably want a less expensive night, as those two are pricey, have dinner one night at a casual seafood joint like The Barking Crab or the Sail Loft as both are on the waterfront.
    I assume by "quintessential Boston" you are looking for seafood but I think our high end dining is quintessential Boston.

    3 Replies
      1. re: Perceptor

        One more suggestion - 75 Chestnut in Beacon Hill is lovely...very Boston-y as well. You might like it and you can wander down Charles Street either before or after dinner. Charles Street is my favorite street in the city. Enjoy!

      2. re: bostongal

        Would agree with much from bostongal here, but am very much no fan of either Barking Crab or Boston Sail Loft. Neptune Oyster is not far from either, and runs rings around both.

      3. Perceptor, your reports are always a pleasure to read-- at the high end, I would suggest O-Ya and the tasting menu at CLio. (Close seconds in this category imo would be the tastings at Troquet and 9 Park) For more casual, Craigie on Main, Scampo. For cocktails, Craigie, Drink (very limited food though), Eastern Standard.

        1 Reply
        1. Questions similar to this come up a lot here, and you're of course only going to get a small subset of opinions for your specific post; the best thing you could possibly do is search the board and come back with more specific questions. That said, my two cents:

          In my opinion, the local elements that are most different from what you can get in Los Angeles would be the North End and Cambridge. The former is our Little Italy, the latter our erudite academic center. A few ideas in each:


          Salts and Craigie on Main - these two Central Square neighbors are bar none my favorite upscale destinations in the metropolitan area. Craigie is a little more masculine and aggressive (organ meat, bone marrow, quail with the feet still on), Salts a little more subtle and demure (refined nods to Ferran Adria, an almost telepathic sense of integration within a dish). NB Salts is beer and wine only, Craigie has a full liquor license.

          Baraka Cafe - this place just epitomizes Cambridge dining to me. Delicious, homey North African in a tiny side street storefront. Call the requisite 36 hours in advance for the outstanding squab b'stilla. Cash only, no alcohol (although Green St Grille, a 5-minute walk away, makes some of the city's best cocktails).

          North End

          Prezza - a bustling Italian steakhouse with great homemade pastas and a very respectable wine list.

          Neptune Oyster - get your New England seafood fix here. Great raw bar, as well as a lobster roll served either cold (with mayo) or hot (with drawn butter), on a homemade brioche roll.

          Caffe Vittoria - old school Italian coffeehouse, open late.

          [I agree with barleywino that Clio and O Ya are great, but for an Angelino, I tried to steer clear of recommending anything with Asian accents.]

          1 Reply
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            1. three things i would find special in boston

              oleana; in cambridge, i've always had nothing less than great food and wine experiences. great chef and an excellent wine list well suited for the menu

              toro - south end, jamie bissonet (chef) is on the top of the nose to tail food ladder right next to fergus henderson

              silvertone-downtown; grilled cheese and tomato soup, a shot of fernet and a high life.

              3 Replies
                1. re: cockscomb

                  Just to prove Finlero's point--and i echo his first paragraph--I disagree that Oleana and Sivertone are special. I was underwhelmed with both.

                  I agree with the Prezza rec. (Is it a steakhouse, though?) For a tiny notch down in food quality but a big leap up in Boston charm and elegance, I'd recommend another North Ender, Mamma Maria. I also second Scampo since I haven't come across any fine dining in a renovated jailhouse in LA.

                  1. re: cockscomb

                    Oleana is a great recommendation, representative of a lot of Cambridge joints. I would recommend something in the South End, too, perhaps Hammersley's (casual)? If you want a piece of Somerville, Highland Kitchen is solid and has great, cheap drinks. There are some other great recs on here, so I won't go on. These would be considered a bit out of the way (save Hammersley's I guess), but worth it.