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2 Nights in Boston

RayP Apr 4, 2009 06:33 AM

Never been to Boston. Staying at the TAJ in May for a weekend. Looking for 2 GREAT restaurants. $$ not an issue. looking for Seafood (of course) and a great Steakhouse but not a chain. I've been reading other threads and it sounds like Neptune Oyster is a must.

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  1. b
    BBHound RE: RayP Apr 4, 2009 08:10 AM

    Neptune Oyster is indeed a favorite seafood place. You could go at lunch, sit at the counter and order the lobster roll which I prefer in the warm version. Wonderful.

    If you insist on steak, Grill 23 is the local champion and is near your hotel. Not a chain but similar in many respects. Reservations needed.

    There are other places in Boston that are really unique but don't quite fit your requests. If $$$ are no object, I would suggest Locke-Ober, an amazing historic place where the food is very good, not great. Try the JFK lobster stew for an apetizer. Lots of seafood on the menu. Make sure you sit in the main room on the first floor.

    BTW, the food at your hotel isn't shabby.

    3 Replies
    1. re: BBHound
      justbeingpolite RE: BBHound Apr 4, 2009 12:45 PM

      Also close to the Taj, just the other side of the common, are both KO Prime and Moo, non-traditional steakhouses. The first is a Ken Orringer restaurant that I believe still has Jamie Bissonnette at the helm, and Moo has Jamie Mammano (Teatro, Mistral, Sorellina) via David Hutton. Both easy to find online and check out.

      1. re: justbeingpolite
        almansa RE: justbeingpolite Apr 5, 2009 12:46 PM

        Jamie is at Toro now, and KO Prime feels more like an afterthought.

        1. re: justbeingpolite
          ritcey RE: justbeingpolite Apr 6, 2009 02:40 PM

          Incidentally, I hit Mooo for the $35 3-course dinner a couple of Sunday's ago - really great deal. I ended up going off the main menu, but my DC went w/ the prix fixe - salad to start, full-sized steak for the main, full-sized side and dessert. As far as we could tell, it was a choice of items straight off the main menu. If you're a Sunday/Monday night diner, it's worth a look. Free valet too, if you're driving.

      2. g
        ghostcat RE: RayP Apr 4, 2009 11:14 PM

        Davio's, down the street from you hotel is an Italian restaurant noted for it's steaks. It's a haunt for sports figures and other high profile celebrities. Aside from that and the fact that there are several locations, it' not a chain in the true sense of the word, and is worth a trip to. Neptune is really great for very fresh sea food and it's lobster roll. It's small and usually crowded, but worth the effort. Oceanaire is more elegant and offers a more formal approach to fresh fish. Grill 23 and Locke Ober's are both very solid recommendations and both places will give you a better impression of Boston dining.

        1. f
          fsesusan RE: RayP Apr 5, 2009 11:33 AM

          Neptune is excellent but you might want to try Legal Sea Foods or its newest concept, Legal Test Kitchen in the Seaport. For steaks, Grill 23., Davio's, Moo or KO Prime.

          3 Replies
          1. re: fsesusan
            bachslunch RE: fsesusan Apr 5, 2009 03:35 PM

            Legal Sea Foods gets varying love on this board, but I've yet to see any thoughts around here that it's better than Neptune Oyster. I prefer the latter, and recommend it most highly.

            Have yet to see any positive feedback on Legal Test Kitchen here. Haven't been, myself.

            1. re: bachslunch
              hotoynoodle RE: bachslunch Apr 7, 2009 09:29 AM

              having given up on anything edible at legal's besides oysters and bluefish pate, i've still had some of very worst service nightmares at various locations. the service at ltk was horrible. last time at park square the oysters were thoroughly waterlogged and shucked into shreds and now the pate is no longer on all their menus.

              absolutely no point in ever going. never.

              if i could, i'd eat at neptune once a week.

            2. re: fsesusan
              alwayscooking RE: fsesusan Apr 5, 2009 04:49 PM

              Ugh to both Legal and Test Kitchen - bland food other than the chowder. I just don't get the popularity.

              Best for seafood - B&G Oyster. It has a wide range of seafood and is very small/intimate with the kitchen taking up the center of the room. It's also located in the South End, walking distance from your hotel and the area is a fun place to spend and evening.

            3. mcf RE: RayP Apr 5, 2009 04:40 PM

              you MUST go to Finale for desserts. If we lived in Boston, we'd be fat and broke thanks to them. Delicious, beautiful works of art when we were there a few years ago. We went to the one in Back Bay.

              5 Replies
              1. re: mcf
                bachslunch RE: mcf Apr 5, 2009 06:41 PM

                My experience with the desserts at Finale is that they look notably better than they taste. Finale gets little love on this board, from what I've seen.

                1. re: bachslunch
                  pollystyrene RE: bachslunch Apr 5, 2009 10:23 PM

                  Agreed. I think Finale is all style and no substance.

                  1. re: pollystyrene
                    Snoop37 RE: pollystyrene Apr 7, 2009 08:15 AM

                    I third that. I went last night and was very disappointed in their chocolate malt cake. They have great cookies though... anything more elaborate is usually meh.

                    1. re: Snoop37
                      mcf RE: Snoop37 Apr 11, 2009 01:54 PM

                      Wow, I was there a couple of years ago on successive nights and everything we had was amazing. We're pretty discriminating and don't even usually eat desserts, but we made an exception for them. Can't comment about more recently, though.

                  2. re: bachslunch
                    mcf RE: bachslunch Apr 11, 2009 01:53 PM

                    Wow, I disagree, they are very beautiful, and the flavors are very well thought out. Manjari mousse, with cabernet sorbet and apricot puree, for instance. Incredible.

                2. k
                  kristinayee RE: RayP Apr 6, 2009 11:38 AM

                  I think Abe and Louie's should also be in the running for a steakhouse. I haven't had a bad meal there yet.

                  Kristina Y.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: kristinayee
                    Snoop37 RE: kristinayee Apr 7, 2009 08:20 AM

                    I also agree with this statement. I think Abe and Louie's might be the best steakhouse in town right now. Grill 23 has definitely slipped in my book. I went here a couple weeks ago and ordered the NY strip... wasn't anything to write home about. I hate when my steak is even slightly burned so I order medium/rare... it was still kind of burnt and chewy.

                    The seafood entrees are noticeably better seeing that the scallops were pretty good. For appetizers, Steak Tartar was solid, not extraordinary and the sides were okay... we ordered the potato puffs (tater tots).

                    Go for Abe and Louis's for sure.

                    1. re: Snoop37
                      bakerboyz RE: Snoop37 Apr 7, 2009 08:29 AM

                      Just curious, have you been to either Mooo or Oak Room recently? I haven't been to either and am curious how they might compare to Abe and Louie's.

                      1. re: bakerboyz
                        Snoop37 RE: bakerboyz Apr 7, 2009 09:36 AM

                        Never been to Mooo... but that place gets a lot of mixed reviews overall on this board and others. As for Oak Room, I had a pretty good lobster roll there once, but again I think it's a case where I enjoyed that more than the actual steak. I got a NY Strip here as well and it started off being moist and tender, but it grew chewy very fast. It was a race with time and I generally don't like scarfing down food in the space of 5 minutes. The room is just so beautiful I get distracted.

                  2. r
                    RayP RE: RayP Apr 6, 2009 12:14 PM

                    Thank you one and all hounds!! Lots of GREAT choices here!! I can't wait!!

                    1. j
                      jajjguy RE: RayP Apr 7, 2009 09:16 PM

                      Head to Central Sq Cambridge to Craigie on Main. Go for the tasting menu. Yippee!

                      Everyone seems to love the steak at Prezza in the North End. Me, I love their wine.

                      1. r
                        RayP RE: RayP May 4, 2009 06:28 AM

                        THANK you to all you Boston hounds for the GREAT recs! Neptune Oyster Bar had the best lobster roll (warm of course) and oysters I've ever had!! Went there early enough so seating was not a problem at the bar!! Def a must stop when in Boston. Grill 23..FANTASTIC..service was great..not rushed even for a busy Saturday night and all 6 steaks cooked to perfection. Atlantic Fish Co..yet ANOTHER winner! Seafood extremely fresh server was over the top excellent! Had the biggest Swordfish chop i've ever seen and scallops were like butter!

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