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looking for a good/moderately priced restaurant near the MFA/huntington area

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  • tterb Jul 29, 2009 10:10 AM
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Going to the MFA and want to get a bite after. Any recommendations for the area. Particularly interested in tapas or bistro-type joint? Is Brasserie Jo still in business, any good?

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  1. If this is for dinner, go to Trattoria Toscana on Jersey St across the Back Bay Fens. Great Tuscan cuisine but only open for dinner and closed on Sundays. Avoid if a Red Sox home game.

    2 Replies
    1. re: BBHound

      Strong second for Trattorio Toscana.

      Simple atmosphere, good wine cheap by the caraffe and fantastic pasta served by (what at least seems to be) a family of good cheer.

      1. re: BBHound

        We went. We had main dishes and a bottle of water, desert, and cappuccino -- apparently it wasn't enough for the owner/server, as she kept asking whether we wanted wine; when we ordered only main courses and no appetizers, she clearly wasn't pleased. Finally, while we were still drinking our cappuccinos she presented us with the check and said that people were waiting for the table--which was true. At the same time, we don't go out for dinner to maximize the owner's profit; we go to have a good meal and a good time. We won't be going back. It's a pity, because the food is good--but it's not the only good Italian in town. Try Tavolo.

      2. brasserie jo is still open and i like it. you're not far from the intersection of beacon and st. mary's where you'll find taberno del haro for tapas.

        1 Reply
        1. re: hotoynoodle

          Taberno del Haro is quite a hike from the MFA but it's great. We ate there on Wednesday and had a great experience.

          Brasserie Jo is great, too.

          The Squealing Pig is right by the MFA and relatively unappreciated. Good pub grub.

        2. I went to Brasserie Jo a few months ago and had a really delicious meal. For appetizers, the crispy sweetbreads and squash with a brown sugar sauce and escargots en cocotte were both delicious. And their mussels reisling are my favorite white wine mussels in the city.

          1. In case you're looking for lunch or afternoon, I had a really good meal at the cafe at the Isabella Steward Gardner museum a couple of weeks ago. It's a lovely setting with outdoor tables in an enclosed garden patio. I had a seared polenta dish served on a bed of lemon cream with sauteed wild mushrooms. It was absolutely lick-your-plate good. The pricing is $13-14 per plate, but part of what you're paying for is the atmosphere. Also, you can get a pass for both the Gardner museum and the MFA at a discounted rate for the same day-- they're only 2 blocks apart.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Parsnipity

              I always enjoy my meal at Brasserie Jo and don't walk out feeling like my pockets were picked.

            2. Anyone have any other suggestions on this thread? We went to Brasserie Jo last winter, and were underwhelmed. While that might have been an atypical result, I think we'd just as soon look elsewhere.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Splendid Spatula

                I went to Brasserie Jo after the Titian show last week. I haven't been there for ages but enjoyed my steak frites and DC liked his Tarte Flambee. We had a similar hard time thinking of where to go, ended up punting, and enjoying the food and wine.

                1. re: Splendid Spatula

                  If you make it as far as Brasserie Jo, take a turn onto West Newton down to Columbus Ave and you're at Petit Bistro Robert, which has done well by me lately. Granted that it can be a hike from the MFA unless you catch the E Train to Prudential.

                2. I really have never understood why CHs don't talk about this place, but I think Betty's Wok and Noodle is 1) delicious 2)relaxed and fun and 3) friendly/welcoming. I have never had bad or mediocre food there. i ALWAYS order the Spicy Cucumber app., the curried onion rings, and the Shanghai noodles w/ Chicken and Orange Chipotle Dressing.For this entree,(there are myriad other noodle/meat/sauce choices) you put together your own bowl of veggies at the veggie buffet (LARGE number of choices)which the chef takes and stirfies with chicken and sauce, . It is served to you back at your table. Flan is v. good dessert. Staff is young/koooky/friendly/warm/fun. v. fast service. Corner of Mass Ave and Huntington; looking across to Symphony Hall; a 10 min. walk from MFA.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: opinionatedchef

                    For me the problem with Betty's is 4) Doesn't matter what combination you get, it all tastes exactly the same, and 5) Not good.

                    Allstonian and I had a perfectly nice dinner at Symphony Sushi before our last BSO show of last season, and will probably hit it a few times this coming year. I also recommend the Squealing Pig: the fish and chips aren't as good as the Druid's, but they're much better than most in town.

                    1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

                      barmy, i'm wicked surprised at your response! I guess we really differ on this one.

                  2. How about the Savant Project...it is in the other direction but seems to fit your requirements.