From Montreal to Boston...
We are 2 foodies from Montreal that will be visiting Boston next august for 3 nights.... We are staying at XV Beacon and we need some ideas to discover Boston's dining scene.... Money is no object but it dosent have to be the priciest restaurants in the city .... We are looking for great food, great service and nice ambiance...
After we are heading to ogunquit for 5 days...
Do you have some preferences other than quality, such as particular cuisines you like or dislike, a particular dish you'd like to try, etc? That would help us help you by narrowing down the choices.
If you are open to just about anything that is good, you might get some ideas looking at various threads started by other visitors or threads that are about the "best" restaurants in a particular category...
Here are a few threads from previous requests that might help you. I hope you have a nice visit to Boston.
I'm sure you'll have a great time in Boston. My favorite patios around here all have an Italian slant to the food, but you should enjoy any one of them. dante's in Cambridge has the best view of the city from it's patio and it food and ambiance are worth the ride across the river. That's at the Royal Sonesta Hotel in Cambridge. Scampo is in another hotel, but this one is unique because it is located in a former jail. Scampo has a nice patio that would look over to Cambridge, if it could. Great food and service. The patio I enjoy the most is in the So. End at Rocca, which has a Ligurian take in it's Italian dishes, very fresh and lively. As for seafood, Oceanaire is a short walk from where you are staying, if you like to walk. It's part of a chain, but is probably the grandest of all the seafood places in Boston. I hope this is of some help.
Arguably the best Seafood restaurant in the city is Neptune Oyster in the North End. The only issue is that while small and "charming" I wouldn't call the ambiance anything special, I do believe though that it is worth visiting based solely on the quality of the food.
I would also include O Ya in the Leather District. High End Japanese cuisine, pricy but well worth it.
For Al Fresco check out the menus for Oleana (Middle Eastern-Inman Square) which has a beautiful outdoor patio in addition to excellent food and service; Dante in East Cambridge and Bina Osteria Downtown Crossing.
In addition if you are interested in cocktails a visit to Drink in Fort Point is always something I recommend for a visitor.
As a former Montrealer now living in Boston, I've got some bad news for you - the food scene here is nowhere near what we have in MTL. That said, there are a few places here that I would recommend to someone visiting on a foodie adventure, with the majority being within walking/metro distance of downtown. They are sorted by price:
1. Pizza at Regina's in the North End (only the one on Thatcher St.), followed by pastries and coffee at Mike's or Modern pastry shops.
2. Galleria Umberto (near Faneuil Hall) for arancini and pizza (sorry for all the pizza recs, but its pretty bad in MTL and good here!)
3. You've got to get the chowder at Legal Sea Foods, and the branch near the aquarium has a decent patio.
4. Sandwiches at the Parish Cafe, on Boylston. These are designed by Boston's top chefs and turn out quite well. A favorite spot, esp. because they have a great patio.
5. East Coast Grille, in Cambridge, has a great vibe and quality seafood. Great ice cream next door at Christina's too.
1. Neptune Oyster for a nice seafood meal in the North End.
2. Lucca's, which I found to be inventive Northern Italian fare in nice digs, also in the North End.
3. Blue Ginger (a bit of a trek out in Wellesley), with great imaginative east-west fusion.
4. Orinoco, for a really nice vibe and great South American food, in the South End.
5. Craigie on Main in Cambridge, probably the best resto in town at the moment with great local-centric food.
Some points to consider: Middle eastern food here is nowhere near Montreals quality or taste, nor is the French or Indian resto scene any match either. Seafood, Italian and "New American", however, are done very well here. Hope you have time to enjoy Boston's sights while here, and get some decent food too!
My wife and I love Montreal! Just a few points to add to Nader's post, which I thought was pretty spot on:
1. Alternatives for pizza include Picco Pizza (great American pizza) on Tremont St in the South End and Gran Gusto (pretty authentic Neapolitan style pizza) on Sherman St in Cambridge.
2. An alternative to Neptune would be B&G Oysters also on Tremont St in the South End for quality New England-style fare at surprisingly expensive prices (the OP did say that money was no object)
3. Montreal does have a Chinatown, but I don't know if they have Taiwanese. There's Taiwan Cafe on Oxford St in Chinatown, and I like the dim sum at Shangri-La on Belmont St in...Belmont...and Rancatore's ice cream down the street beats the pants of Christina's
4. East Coast Grill would be the closest thing to Au Pied de Cochon, minus the fois gras and wine list, translated into New England seafood...
5. Toro on Washington St in the South End for really decent Spanish and tapas
Nice additions. However, being big fans of both, I wouldn't compare East Coast Grill to Au Pied de Cochon and wouldn't want the OP to be disappointed going there with those expectations. That said, ECG is a funky place to sit at the bar, enjoy oysters and some tuna tacos and a strong margarita. APdC is another experience entirely.
Well, I guess I meant that of all the restaurants in Boston, ECG would be the closest for me, though that's certainly not the same thing as saying that they're interchangeable. Both have a boisterous kitchen front and center, with tattooed cooks who can be seen hard at work, as well as a seemingly egalitarian ethos among the waitstaff (whoever is available will bring you your food or drink). I thought the foie gras and wine list epitomized the glorious spirit of excess and haute cuisine elements that help make APdC so special, and I hoped that the "translated into New England seafood" phrase would remove any expectations of the Quebecois character of the APdC menu. I do find something similar about the spirit of the places, though they are, of course, very different in almost every detail, kind of like the way Willensky's reminds me a little of the long defunct Elsie's. Anyway, maybe it's just me.
This should get you started. I’ve been compiling a restaurant list for some time and these are the recent standouts. Best wishes in your travels and culinary experiences!
*Locke-Ober – www.lockeober.com, 3 Winterplace Ave. (617-542-1340)
*Craigie on Main – www.craigieonmain.com, Cambridge, 853 Main (617-497-5511)
Lumiére – www.lumiererestaurant.com, 1293 Washington Street, Boston (617-224-9199)
Mistral –www.mistralbistro.com/#start, 223 Columbus Avenue, Boston (617-867-9300)
*Hamersley’s Bistro – www.hamersleysbistro.com, South End, 553 Tremont (617-423-2700)
*Eastern Standard – www.easternstandardboston.com, 528 Commonwealth Ave, Kenmore Square, Boston (617-532-9100)
*L’Espalier – www.lespalier.com/index.shtml, 774 Boylston Street, Boston (617-262-3023)
*Clío – www.cliorestaurant.com, 370 Commonwealth Ave, Boston (617-536-7200)
*Salts – www.saltsrestaurant.com, 798 Main Street, Cambridge (617-876-8444)
*No. 9 Park – www.no9park.com, Beacon Hill, 9 Park St. (617-742-9991)
French/Japanese – Sushi
*O Ya – www.oyarestaurantboston.com, Near South Station, 9 East St. (617-654-9909)
Sonsie – http://sonsieboston.com/flash/, 327 Newbury Street, Boston (617-351-2500)
*BiNA osteria – www.binaboston.com/o-about.html, 581 Washington Street, Boston (617-956-0888)
*Rialto at the Charles Hotel – www.rialto-restaurant.com, 1 Bennett St., Cambridge (617-661-5050)
*Sorellina – www.sorellinaboston.com, Copely Square, 1 Hunnington Ave. (617-412-4600)
*Oleana – oleanarestaurant.com, Cambridge, 134 Hampshire St., open after 3:00 PM, (617-661-0505)
Grill 23 – www.grill23.com, 161 Berkeley Street, Boston (617-542-2255)
Abe & Louie’s – www.abeandlouies.com, 793 Boylston Street, Boston (617-536-6300)
Oak Room – http://theoakroom.com, 138 St. James Avenue, Boston (617-267-5300)
Since you say you like seafood a lot, I'd say try Neptune oyster for excellent oysters and crudo at the bar -- daily specials too. It's small and can be pricey but my guests are never disappointed there. You can't make a reservation so go early ot go late. Also: fried clams and lobster rolls if you are worried about getting enough of those up in Maine.
Otherwise I'd say get over to Craigie on Main in Cambridge. You'll drop some dough, but will surely enjoy this especially in contrast to your other picks.