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May 26, 2009 08:21 AM

Oblivious to Boston - Hound needs lunch and dinner recs for this weekend 5/29-31

Wife and I are coming to town from DC this Fri for Leonard Cohen at the Wang Theater Sat.
We're staying around the corner from the theater.
She's a "never-ever" in terms of visiting Boston, I haven't been there since friends were at BU 20 years ago (jeez has it been that long?!?!?). Memory of what I did, besides stumble to Brueger's for breakfast is definately hazy. We both grew up in NYC, but now live in DC, so the diversity and quality of meals has been lacking lately. We really miss italian and sushi.

We'd appreciate any early (6-ish) dinner recs near the theater for Saturday. We eat anything, but require a good gin gimlet as a part of the meal.

Since we need to also eat Friday, and have more time to explore, we'd appreciate any other recs for outside of the theater district. Preferably someplace "Boston-y" that isn't Legal Seafood or Cheers (sorry, but that is what comes to mind)

Finally, we'll be exploring Saturday during the day. If the weather is iffy, we'd like to take in the Titian, Tintoretto, Veronese exhibit at MFA. If nice weather, should we walk around Quincy Mkt? If not where else? Lunch is not required due to the early dinner.

In short:
Bostony Dinner Friday
Early dinner Saturday near Wang Theater
Areas to explore Saturday

Thanks !

PS- Best way from Logan to where we are staying is the T, right?

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  1. If you miss Italian, perhaps Friday night would be the best for the North End. Search out many, many threads here on the board. But Neptune Oyster is always a suggestion in various searches:

    Teatro in the theater district might be a great Italian alternative for you for your early dinner on Saturday - Although I'm not sure if they have a full bar for your gin gimlet. Others with more knowledge can hopefully help.

    I'd really avoid Quincy Market. Like the plague.

    1 Reply
    1. re: LindaWhit

      I really really really tried to do a search prior to posting, but with all of the different neighborhoods being mentioned I become overwhelmed. I'll search "Italian North End" specifically.
      I had that feeling about Quincy Mkt... thanks for the confirmation. Can cross that off of the possible places to explore list. I've had that plague at Southstreet NYC and even Georgetown DC enough to understand... it makes me itchy.

    2. For Japanese, O Ya or Oishii.

      For Boston-y, Neptune Oyster in the very Boston-y North End, which would be a more interesting place to wander than Quincy Market.

      For Italian, Prezza in the North End. For Italian and Boston-y, Mamma Maria in the North End.

      Other areas to explore: Beacon Hill, the Public Gardens, the South End, Harvard Square.

      In the Theater District, Erbaluce or Teatro. If you get an early start, the excellent bar at No. Park opens at 5:30.

      2 Replies
      1. re: pollystyrene

        Thanks, these are some great choices.
        I'm assuming you mean No. 9 Park?
        I'd forgotten all about Boston's Japanese... and oh how we miss good Sushi.

      2. A very Boston idea would be to check out the Institute of Contemporary Art in the Seaport area and then walk over to Drink in Fort Point Channel for some of THE best cocktail craft in the country (really), followed by dinner at Sportello (upstairs) or Persephone (a couple of blocks away), or head back toward the theatre area and get dinner in Chinatown. Drink is a must for anyone who appreciates very fine cocktails.

        Eastern Standard in Kenmore Square and Green Street in Central Square Cambridge are also top spots for cocktails and great food, but not so sure they make a great destination package (especially if the Red Sox are in town for Eastern Standard - it is always a zoo then - still good, but a zoo).

        Eastern Standard
        528 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02215

        Green Street
        280 Green St, Cambridge, MA 02139

        348 Congress St, Boston, MA 02210

        283 Summer St., Boston, MA 02110

        348 Congress Street, Boston, MA 02110

        3 Replies
        1. re: rlh

          Drink has made the itinerary for Friday.
          Teatro has two recs here already, so it's the leader for Saturday.

          1. re: dagmar

            Good call - on another note per your inquiry - the T is fine if you're on a tight budget and have lots of patience and very little luggage - but it is so NOT the Metro you are accustomed to - you will have to change lines or modes at once and there will be lots of waiting - you don't mention where you are staying, but I'd seriously consider a taxi from Logan to/from optimize your visit.

            1. re: rlh

              I think I've been on the Metro once in two years. LOL
              Thanks for the heads up... if it's not a direct shot on one line it's a cab for us!
              That, and the wife has been known to be "anti public transportation".
              We're staying in the Theater District, a block or two from Wang. I forget the hotel name.

        2. Another great place in the theatre district for pre- theatre dinner is Troquet.

          1 Reply
          1. re: emilief

            i second this recommendation. Great wine and food pairings. Its on the pricey side though, but French always is.

            For seafood, Neptune Oyster in the North End and B & G Oyster in the South End are chow favorites on this board.

            For good sushi I personally like Fugakyu in Coolidge Corner, but this may be a little far from where you are.

          2. Remember that Boston proper is a very small walkable (or T or cab) town - nothing will be more than ~15 minutes walking from your hotel.

            Rather than Teatro, I'd recommend Bina. I find Teatro very loud and the food competent while Bina is one of the best restaurants.

            Second (3rd? 4th?) the recommendations for Neptune and B&G - I find the former neighborhood chic casual and the later more urban feeling. Both have great seafood (not Italian) and comparable prices and have a unique Boston feel. Both are also in great walking neighborhoods (the bars near B&G in the SE tend to be a tad more mature).

            If you are attending the exhibit, lunch or snack options around the museums are scarce. The MFA has two restaurants that are decent and, across the Fens (1 block), the Isabelle Stuart Museum serves a nice menu. It's a very Boston museum and unlike most other collections - consider visiting.

            O Ya is a destination restaurant and would be a top choice given an unlimited budget.

            Avoid Quincy market. Instead, walk along some of the 'red line' the path marking historical sites in Boston. It will take you through the NE and the Common. Newbury is also a favorite street for visitors. There are numerous restaurants there as well - although most are good none (so far IMHO) are Chow.

            Welcome and happy eating!

            3 Replies
            1. re: alwayscooking

              I second the recommendation for Bina's. Teatro is good but the noise level is absurd. You could also try Ajourd'hui in the Four Seasons. It is closing at the end of June but is generally considered one of Boston's best. My two favorites in the North End are Prezza and Mama Maria's. Enjoy!

              1. re: chowmensch

                I might third Bina (it's Bina Osteria, btw, if you want to do a search.) It is not necessarily very Boston-y --in fact I feel like I'm in NYC or some other sleek metropolitan city when I am there, but the food is EXCELLENT, service is outstanding, and it is walkable from your hotel (It's Italian, definitely with more of a Northern slant.) I'd go there pre-theatre --that's Sat night, right? Just be sure to make a rez --you can do it online also. You can check out the menu/ambiance/pricing etc online. I used to be a huge fan of Teatro, esp their pastas and antipasto platter, but they have recently changed the menu a bit so I'm a little wary.
                For Fri night, I think the Neptune suggestion is a great one. However, unless you go early, be prepared to wait. If I were you, I'd try and get there by 7. You'll probably still have to wait, but hopefully it won't be unbearable. They will take your cell phone number and call you when your table is ready. This is great --you can then walk around the neigborhood and explore a bit, maybe even grab a drink. Enjoy!

                1. re: chowmensch

                  omg... if the webpage intro is any indication, Teatro is going to be very loud.
                  Anyone else turned off by the din and music on the homepage?