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Coming to Boston 9/3

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My hubby and I are coming to Boston for a small family wedding during Labor Day weekend. The last time we were here was October 2003 and we hounded our way around with abandon- Excelsior, Abe & Louis, some insanely good Italian place in North end, etc. In 2003 we stayed at the Nine Zero (and ate there, and had cocktails in their uber-trendy bar) but that was nearly 6 years ago! How time flies!
Our financial lives have changed, but we still want to hound around Boston. I'm looking for your recommendations for our upcoming trip. We are adventurous diners, but with smaller wallets now. The wedding is in Copley, but I am familiar with the T and ok with cabs. (Despite being a BU grad, the concept of driving in Boston still scares me to this day!) What other new and moderately priced hotels have opened in Boston which have acceptable dining establishments within them? Is the Nine Zero past its peak now?
All recs appreciated!

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  1. Moderately priced,new, hotel, and Boston....hard to use those words in a sentence, unless it's one stating that there's no such thing. You might enjoy taking a look at the Liberty Hotel - which is the renovated Charles Street Jail and maintains brick walls and some actual cells. Local icon-chef Lydia Shire has a restaurant there called Scampo. Another, Clink, and the bar, Alibi (in what was once the drunk tank), retain the jail theme. They do have package deals but I've no idea of the rates.
    http://libertyhotel.com/food_and_drin...

    1. Sel de la terre in copley square (at the mandarin oriental) is ok priced and service southern french food. Oh, you meant hotels? LOL. Moderately priced hotel in any big city is an oxymoron :-)
      Try Giacomo's if you're staying in copley square as well...cash only though. And Toro if you don't mind a 20min walk into the south end but it's a bit pricey for tapas (though best in the city).

      1. I assumed you meant eating at the Nine Zero, the bar's still fun, dining room is okay. On Columbus Ave., you could try Coda for well priced good food. Eastern Standard in Kenmore Sq. is new since 03 and a fun place, gets pretty good reviews usually. Also Petit Robert Bistro in Kenmore and another on Columbus is good w/ entrees <$20. Audobon just past Kenmore was probably around then and still a good casual place. Lots of ethnic places in Allston.

        There's an inn on St. Botolph St. that's got decent prices (they send you a key, no front desk) and I've seen the Park Plaza and Lenox go for about $145 online. There's a newish Marriott in Coolidge Corner that I think is okay priced. I'd give priceline a shot.

        1. Formerly the Jury's Hotel (now I think called the Back Bay Hotel) is usually quite reasonably priced and very nice. My family usually stays there when they come into town. I'm not sure about the hotel's dining situation but it is right on the edge of the South End where there are plenty of places you could have a good meal.

          A couple months ago I had a really good meal at Stella in the South End and it was quite reasonably priced. The half orders of pasta are still big and I think they were around $10. It's probably not new since your last visit but it also has a bustling bar. I second the Eastern Standard rec though I don't sit in the dining room. I prefer to sit at the bar where the bartenders can recommend and whip up some fabulous cocktails. There have been some lukewarm reviews on this place recently but I haven't given up on it yet.

          1. It sounds like you haven't explored the South End much, which is understandable since the last time your were in Boston it was barely developed! You can easily walk there from Back Bay and there are so many great dining and cocktail spots to choose from. My fave is Stella.

            www.GastroSpeakBoston.com

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            Stella Restaurant
            1525 Washington St., Boston, MA 02118