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Jun 7, 2009 05:31 AM

Weekend visit

My husband and I lived in Cambridge when we were first married, somewhat more than 40 years ago. We're going to be back in town over the July 4 weekend, which happens to include our July 3 anniversary. We'd appreciate any recommendations for an anniversary dinner restaurant. For sentimental reasons, we thought of Locke Ober; after 40 years, it could be fun to sit downstairs. (When we were first married, we used to order the chicken, one of the cheapest entrees on the menu.) However, sentiment doesn't trump great food in our current list of priorities. Is there any other place that is anniversary-worthy?

We'd also like a recommendation for Sunday brunch destination. Please feel free to include dim sum recommendations. (We have to make a 3:00 flight.)


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  1. We need some additional info to help. Where are you staying? Will you have a car? Taking the T? What kinds of food do you like/want? What's the budget?

    3 Replies
    1. re: BBHound

      I'm looking for a 44th anniversary dinner recommendation, and, to me, that signals high-end and the best of its category.

      My husband and I are equal opportunity food enthusiasts. We live in a major metropolitan area so there's no particular cuisine unavailable at home that would drive us to "fill in the blank." (In DC, the high-end places skew Asian-fusion, French, Greek, and contemporary American.) Please feel free to recommend any restaurant where we can be assured of excellent food and attentive service. I have a marked preference for restaurants where I can have a conversation in a normal voice rather than having to shout. In general, this describes white tablecloth restaurants; however, I have no fixed requirements about the decor.

      Any place in Boston proper or Cambridge will work for us either via the T or taxi.


      1. re: Indy 67

        After the near unanimity about Craigie on Main for Sunday brunch, I'm devastated to learn that the restaurant will be closed both July 4 and 5. Any back-up recommendations?


        1. re: Indy 67

          Go to the Neighborhood in Union Sq., Somerville - very casual, more of a diner, nice seating outside on picnic benches under grape vines. A nice contrast perhaps to the "fine dining" experiences.

    2. For such a special homecoming, Locke Ober is still a good place, although its not at the top of most hounds' list these days.

      For contemporary top-notch anniversary destinations, I would consider No 9 Park and L'Espalier, just off Beacon Hill and in Back Bay, respectively. Salts in Cambridge is also a small, romantic spot with excellent food.

      Between the three, I personally would pick No 9 Park and get the tasting menu.

      But, I'm a sentimental guy, and if I were you, I might just prefer to return to Locke Ober even if I knew I'd enjoy the food more at the other places.

      For brunch, the best bet is Craigie on Main, now that they offer brunch. It is delicious. (I would have recommended Craigie on Main for your dinner, even, but its not the most romantic of spaces--a little louder and trendier). Cragie on Main is in Cambridge, right outside of Central Sq, on Main St.

      For dim sum, I'd suggest searching the boards. It is a frequent topic with lots of opinions.

      Whatever you do, enjoy--and congratulations.

      4 Replies
      1. re: rlove

        Rlove's suggestions are good. I would add some additional spots to the list. Sorrelina in Back Bay is a celerbration kind of place with Italian leanings. Mistral, also in Back Bay and the same ownership, is similar but leans more French. Hammerslys in the South End has terrific food and would be celebritory as well; ironically, it is famous for its chicken. In the North End, Prezza is a favorite on this board. Try a board search for any of these places for a breadth of opinion.

        I would not give up on Locke-Ober. A few years ago, new owners led by Lydia Shire took over and revitalized the place and greatly improved the food. It's not the best in Boston but the atmosphere can overcome some of the other shortcomings. They do fish quite well.

        Brunch will really depend on logistics. I assume you will be getting a cab to get to Logan by around 2:00 for a 3:00 flight. There are not many memorable brunches in downtown Boston. Sel de la Terre on Long Wharf might work. In Cambridge, both the Blue Room and Henrietta's Table do buffets which are good. I was not awaree that Craigie on Manin now serves brunch so can't comment.

        Enjoy our city.

        1. re: BBHound

          Sorry, I was very disappointed w/Sel de la Terre on Long Wharf - had a Cheesecake Factory feel in terms of atmosphere and service - although one of our dishes was 'comped from bill we won't return to this place. We actually left after salads/apps.

          1. re: BBHound

            hammersley's has one of the nicest patios in the city too.

          2. re: rlove

            I second rlove's suggestions, especially brunch at Craigie on Main which my DCs and I thought was everything that brunch should be and usually fails to be. Happy anniversary and enjoy your visit!

          3. There are lots of places besides Locke Over that are anniversary-worthy.
            Some options:

            -No.9 Park
            -Troquet (especially if you love wine, but even if you don't)
            -O Ya (not a white tablecloth atmosphere, but absolutely delicious food)

            Agree with Craigie for brunch.

            2 Replies
            1. re: edamame

              Consider Oleana for a different Cantabrigian feel than existed 40 years ago. Attempt to get a table in the outdoor garden - not white linens, but a place that is unique among the competition. Also in this category is Hungry Mother.
              Would agree to send you to Prezza in the North End as well.

              1. re: edamame

                i am never 100% happy with no. 9, and at that price point, i have completely given up on the place. agree about troquet and would add clio for the tasting menu.

                while i like hungry mother, it skews pretty casual to me.

              2. Lala Rokh on Mt. Vernon Street. Persian cuisine. Lovely atmosphere.