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If You Had to Choose...

Which one would you pick for a fun birthday celebration on a Friday night...

Via Matta
Mama Maria
B&G Oyster
Neptune Oyster
The Butcher Shop

We like all of the menus/cuisines listed above; however, as out-of-towners we are looking for the one with the best service, atmosphere and overall experience. As I mentioned in another post, we will be celebrating my 28th birthday and enjoy non-rushed service in a lively atmosphere.

Thanks Again!

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  1. How many people are in your dinner party? Some of the places mentioned (B&G, Butcher Shop and Neptune) are on the smaller side.

    1 Reply
    1. re: mats77

      We are in two people - me and my husband

    2. That's a nice lineup! For your purposes, I'd probably choose Sorellina, but I think you'd be happy at just about any of those places. Prezza next, then Via Matta. The Butcher Shop and Neptune Oyster are kind of casual, B&G is kind of cramped, Mamma Maria is a bit fusty.


      1. I would narrow it down to a stop at B&G for oysters, lobster roll and a walk across the street to the Butcher Shop for a cheese selection and wine. But then you would be missing out on the oysters at Neptune followed by a lovely paella at Prezza. The more I think about it, I would go with Neptune and Prezza. Their paella is amazing and if they have the baked figs wrapped in prosciutto stuffed with gorgonzola you will never regret it.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Pegmeister

          Good plan, but you could really only do that on a weeknight or very early on Fri or Sat without a huge wait at both places.

          The places that you listed are all so different. For a high energy casual night I would go with P-meister's suggestion(s).

          For higher-end dining, I'd choose Sorrelina.

          1. re: Pegmeister

            I like the idea of doubling up Neptune Oyster and Prezza. Has anyone on the board ever been to the Pearl Oyster Bar in NYC. Since I live so close the restaurant, we go there often for the lobster roll and I don't want to replicate that experience in Boston...unless of course it is much better!

          2. I would also vote for Sorellina, great place for special occasions and I have never felt rushed there. They also have a nice bar/lounge area for drink before dinner. Some of the smaller places might make you dinner feel a little more hurried.

            1. Based on your criteria:
              1. Sorrelina
              2. Via Matta
              3. Prezza
              Any 3 of these would be great. I have never had a bad experience or meal at Sorrelina or Via Matta. Prezza has great food, however I have had some service issues including waiting 45 min+ when I had a reservation.

              IMO the Butcher Shop is overpriced at any time and not very good for a group on a weekend night unless you get there early and stake out good space.
              Neptune will be packed on a Friday and is a bit cramped under normal circumstances.
              Mame Maria is fine, but not that fun of an atmosphere. Also, I would prefer Prezza of Via Matta for Italian food.

              1. I agree with Sorrelina. Celebrated a 30th there recently and they did a fantastic job. We didn't feel rushed at all.


                1. Another vote for Sorrelina. I don't think you could go wrong with Prezza either, but from an overall-experience point of view, I think Sorrelina edges out Prezza, as well as the others that you listed.

                  1. both b&g and the butcher shop are all about turn-over. they do not want you to linger. i'd feel awkward taking a long time at neptune because it is so tiny and you can see the line.

                    i prefer prezza's food over sorrelina's but the service at the latter is far more polished.

                    mama maria, feh.

                    happy birthday!

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: hotoynoodle

                      Gosh, I've never felt rushed and often linger (maybe because I'm oblivious?). But then, I usually avoid that end of the area on weekends.

                    2. - Sorrelina is good, a tad older, dressy and quiet (at least when I've been during the week). If you're from an urban center, it's a restaurant that that you'd find many of
                      - Mama Marie is good but would never be labeled as lively - it can be romantic
                      - It's possible to 'double-dip' with B&G & the Butcher Shop given that they both take reservations - lively, very small, cramped and casual
                      - Neptune is also lively, small and can be noisy

                      For neighborhoods, the SE is definitely the most active on a weekend. There are tons of restaurants with some very nice bars.

                      Since your restaurants are all good, it will come down to the menu and the vibe. Good luck, let us know, and happy eating!

                      1. It seemss like the majority of the votes are for Sorellina, given that it seems to satisfy our criteria. I had heard so many good things about Via Matta that I must admit I am surprised it was most people's third choice among the Italian selections. Any reason?

                        In terms of Neptune Oyster and B&G, I had heard that they are a bit crowded on weekend nights. Consequently, it is a bit rushed at both locations, which we strive to avoid at all costs. Perhaps they are better suited for lunch. Thoughts...

                        1. Although this is an order thread, we are setting out for our trip tomorrow and still have yet to decided among Sorellina, Via Matta, Mama Maria and Prezza. Plus, we have now throw Mistral into the mix - ugh!!!
                          Not to be pest, but if were choosing on the following criteria, which would you pick:
                          1. Fun, lively atmosphere with a good bar scene
                          2. Great homemade pasta or fresh fish dishes
                          3. Good value (portion to price - my husband is a former Arena football player so he eats big!)
                          Thank you.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: koc2281

                            if your criteria are in order of priority, I would say Mistral for sure. But you may be disappointed with your # 3 on your list. It is expensive but I have never had a bad meal there. Much better than Via Matta and Mama Maria for sure. I would have Sorellina second and Prezza/Via Matta third.

                            1. re: koc2281

                              I agree with Mistral for your criteria. I actually think you will be fine on point 3 as well. Mistral is expensive (however most of your choices are), however the portions are quite large. If he gets the sirloin or lamb chops he won't go away hungry.

                              1. re: koc2281

                                Sorry I missed this thread the first time around, but I would have suggested Mistral even without it being on your original list. The food is good, the space is beautiful at night, and its a lively, trendy spot.

                                You could even grab oysters beforehand at B&G, if you really wanted--its just a couple blocks south.