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Jul 8, 2009 02:31 PM

Boston for one night...help me pick

Ok, we are childless for one night (thank you Grammy & Papa) and are going to stay overnight in Boston (we live in the burbs in NH). We don't get many chances to dine in Boston, so I am looking to make the best decision!!

Want find dining, great food........American, Italian or French....here is what I am looking at, tell me your thoughts, or recommend something if you think I'm missing something. For ideas, one of my favorite places is Via Matta, but I want to try something new.


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  1. Those places all have their virtues.

    Banq has stunning atmosphere, but the food is inconsistent enough that I would be hesitant to recommend it for a rare night out. The food at La Voile is lovely, authentic Southern French, and it has a great patio, but the rather brusque, French-style service is off-putting to some. Scampo has a great patio, a fine bar, good service, and food that is mostly amazing, but you have to pick your spots on that menu, and the quality seems to vary depending on whether Shire is in the house.

    Gaslight is lively, loud, fun -- cool brasserie atmosphere and pretty good drinks -- but the food is merely solid, casual-French-bistro fare, rarely transporting. Mooo.... is probably the prettiest, most romantic of the luxury steakhouses in town, but I can't work up much excitement for fancy steak joints, and I don't think it's worth the really high prices (wine gouging is flagrant here). Erbaluce has amazing food, a unique and creative take on Northern Italian, and really interesting wines, but the room is on the plain side, not quite up to the level of the food.

    For an occasion meal, I'd lean toward the Italian places, myself.


    3 Replies
    1. re: MC Slim JB

      MC....thanks for your reply. So, I want a cool fun atmoshpere and Great food, is there a place you would recommend that is not on my list (and I am not a big fan of steak houses either...that was DH request)????

      Where would you go for just one night out?

      1. re: juliemaeboyle

        This is an old problem, akin to the waterfront-restaurant problem: places with great atmosphere tend to fall down a bit on the food, and the crowd doesn't much care. Examples of this are endless, but The Beehive seems like the poster child for the idea: even my friends who love the place for the music, the atmosphere, and the bartending admit that the food is sub-par.

        It's pricey, but I think Sorellina would be a good choice for a rare romantic night out: sleek, lively room, a trendy crowd, and slightly creative Italian food. Its more budget-priced kid sibling, Teatro, has a pretty room, a lively crowd (it's loud there), and solid, more casual Italian fare, but I haven't been back in a long while.

        I think Toro has some of that lively vibe, albeit in a much more casual setting, and the food under the current exec chef is terrific, but it's a pain on weekends (and most weeknights, for that matter): no reservations and long waits. Rocca has a beautiful patio and downstairs bar, and hopping atmosphere on weekends, plus the food includes some little-seen Ligurian dishes and seems much improved lately -- but I hate the upstairs dining room. Stella has some of that hotspot vibe, too: I just wish its Italian food were a little more exciting. Maybe a good middle ground would be Prezza: it's one of the nicer-looking modern dining rooms in the North End, always buzzing, and the Northern Italian food is terrific, plus your boy can order wood-grilled steaks there if he wants. Hope that gives you a few more ideas!


        1. re: MC Slim JB

          Another vote for Sorellina. I think it is definitely a special night out kinda place.

    2. Regarding Gaslight, I think the food is not that good. The onion soup is awful.

      Not as overtly "cool" but much better food = Union, a block away. We park in the free Gaslight lot and walk over.

      Lavoile is lovely.

      Mooo is very good, but really overpriced, IMO.

      2 Replies
      1. re: C. Hamster

        Hmmm thats funny-while I enjoyed my meal at Gaslight-Ive always been disappointed in Union.....maybe I should try it again...

      2. A yes for Scarmpo. It's definitely the best out of your list I think (albeit i haven't tried half the restaurants on your list).

        3 Replies
        1. re: Snoop37

          Scampo is extremely loud, though, and the food at Prezza is much better, I think. I haven't been to Sorellina yet, but it does sound like it meets your criteria.

          1. re: pollystyrene

            I'm definitely doing Sorellina....thanks everyone for the suggestions. I will report back!

            1. re: juliemaeboyle

              Thank you so much for the suggestion to go to Sorrelina! It was an amazing experience and exactly what we were looking for. Restaurant was absolutely gorgeous and the food was awesome! I had the clam pasta (perfectly cooked, great taste, it was like I was in Positano!), my husband had the Kobe beef meatballs, delish!! We absolutely loved it, thanks again!