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Anniversary dinner for a beerhound

o
OrangeSamurai Nov 4, 2009 06:34 AM

Can anyone recommend a restaurant worthy of a special occasion dinner that also has a really great beer list? My husband is beer obsessed (home brewer, partial to Belgium beers, spontaneously fermented stuff, funky/sour beers) and we both love great food. I love Oleana - creative food that's in season and locally sourced, with an unpretentious vibe - but we went there last year.

Any suggestions? Thanks so much!!

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Oleana
134 Hampshire St., Cambridge, MA 02139

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  1. franksnbeans Nov 4, 2009 07:14 AM

    Dunno if it's "worthy of a special occasion" -- but The Independent in Union Sq, Somerville has very good, unpretentious food, and an excellent, rotating list of draft beers. Often several Belgian choices and a few for the adventurous. Tasted Monk's Flemish Sour Ale last time I was there. Not my kind of beer, but your husband might dig it. In any case, it's my go-to for a great beer menu.

    1 Reply
    1. re: franksnbeans
      g
      ginafly Nov 16, 2009 08:25 AM

      Have you been to The Independent recently (like, in the past month)? It has been one of my favorites for a casual but yummy meal since it first opened, but something has gone horribly awry. We had a horrible dinner there with friends last Sunday and I just heard this morning from a friend that his meal last night was awful as well. I am pretty dismayed about it.

    2. noradeirdre Nov 4, 2009 07:49 AM

      Eastern Standard has a pretty extensive bottle list with plenty of Belgians, as I recall... Hungry Mother has a small but generally excellent selection on draught.

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      Eastern Standard
      528 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02215

      Hungry Mother
      Cambridge, MA, Cambridge, MA

      1. MaineRed Nov 4, 2009 08:09 AM

        Great question. Sadly, I think you'll have to choose food or beer--or maybe make the special occasion part not the part at the restaurant ;)

        I've found the Independent to be hit or miss lately w/the food but a great beer list.

        Highland Kitchen in Somerville has a pretty good list and great food: more of a gastropub atmosphere.

        Hungry Mother in Kendall has a limited selection of drafts, but great food.

        Gargoyle's in Davis has great food and a few good drafts

        If you can: go to Armsby Abbey in Worchester: amazing localvore food and fantastic beerlist (heavy on the Belgiums) -- really is worth the drive!

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        Highland Kitchen
        150 Highland Ave, Somerville, MA 02143

        Hungry Mother
        Cambridge, MA, Cambridge, MA

        Armsby Abbey
        144 Main Street, Worcester, MA

        1. c
          celeriac Nov 4, 2009 08:42 AM

          I would strongly concur with Hungry Mother as the best beer/food combo I've come across in town. The two times I've been there they have had a solid tap selection and a very nice bottle selection. That said, it leans a lot more heavily toward american craft brews than the super-obscure, funky belgiany types that you'd find at a top-notch beer bar. If you're really lucky, Lord Hobo will open by then (they're saying any day now), and it's very nearby, so you can follow up your meal with a walk over there from some crazy beers. (Lord Hobo has an ambitious menu too, but since it's not yet open it's clearly too soon to recommend that aspect).

          I've never had beer at Eastern Standard (the cocktails are too good) but if the beer list is good it seems like a solid second option.

          I would NOT recommend the Independent. Nice tap list, and passable food, but far from a special occasion meal.

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          Eastern Standard
          528 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02215

          Hungry Mother
          Cambridge, MA, Cambridge, MA

          1 Reply
          1. re: celeriac
            greenzebra Nov 4, 2009 09:31 AM

            Another thought: go to Hungry Mother for dinner and stop by Cambridge Brewing Company for beers either before or after. It is right down the street from Hungry Mother, and the sampler of their seasonal brews is definitely a beerhound-worthy experience. Currently they've got a lot of pumpkin in their seasonal beers: http://cambridgebrewing.com/beer/seas... If that isn't your thing maybe best to skip it, but I've always been very impressed by the CBC brews. Unfortunately, while the food is decent, it is definitely not special-occasion worthy IMO.

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            Hungry Mother
            Cambridge, MA, Cambridge, MA

          2. l
            LStaff Nov 4, 2009 08:49 AM

            Your husband may be partial to Belgium beers, but I love a good America beer, and sometimes can enjoy a good Germany beer or a nice England ale. ;-)

            2 Replies
            1. re: LStaff
              invinotheresverde Nov 4, 2009 09:03 AM

              I thought I was the only one...

              I second Armsby Abbey in Worcester, even though it's a haul.

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              Armsby Abbey
              144 Main Street, Worcester, MA

              1. re: LStaff
                chickendhansak Nov 4, 2009 05:48 PM

                Bravo.

              2. e
                elcaminogirl Nov 4, 2009 09:12 AM

                Check out Beer Advocate's calendar page (you can narrow it by location) for special beer dinners around the anniversary date.
                http://beeradvocate.com/events/calend...

                1. b
                  bella_sarda Nov 4, 2009 09:37 AM

                  What about Ten Tables? A beer-hound friend of mine claims they care just as much about their beer list as their wine list, and offer pairing suggestions. Locations in JP and Cambridge.

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                  Ten Tables
                  5 Craigie Circle, Cambridge, MA 02138

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: bella_sarda
                    t
                    tallullah Nov 4, 2009 09:53 AM

                    Unless they have more than what they show online, it's not very impressive for a Belgium lover. Chimay, Ommegang and Brooklyn are pretty standard.

                    I'd hit up Publick House for a few before dinner especially if he's into sours.

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                    Publick House
                    1648 Beacon St, Brookline, MA

                    Ten Tables
                    5 Craigie Circle, Cambridge, MA 02138

                  2. okra Nov 4, 2009 09:51 AM

                    Publick House. He can find at least 4 beers he's never tried, and the food is serviceable...

                    1. g
                      gimlis1mum Nov 4, 2009 04:20 PM

                      Brasserie Jo has a lot of Belgian beers on the menu (which you would never know, looking at their website - why is the beer menu not online???). My hubby is also a homebrewer and I took him there for his birthday. I've enjoyed their food very much, though I don't know if it's special-occasion enough for what you have in mind...

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                      Brasserie Jo
                      120 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02116

                      7 Replies
                      1. re: gimlis1mum
                        o
                        OrangeSamurai Nov 4, 2009 06:17 PM

                        Thanks for all the suggestions everyone! Yeah yeah, I meant BelGIAN, thanks for pointing that out.

                        A friend of mine just suggested Vee Vee, which I've never tried.

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                        Vee Vee
                        763 Centre St, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130

                        1. re: OrangeSamurai
                          b
                          bella_sarda Nov 5, 2009 07:40 AM

                          Oh yeah---my confusion---THAT's the place (Vee Vee) my beerhound friend raved about. We were talking about Ten Tables and Vee Vee in the same convo, so I got them confused. Never been there myself though, so can't talk about the food.

                          -----
                          Vee Vee
                          763 Centre St, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130

                          Ten Tables
                          5 Craigie Circle, Cambridge, MA 02138

                          1. re: bella_sarda
                            o
                            OrangeSamurai Nov 5, 2009 07:53 PM

                            I think we're going to go with Vee Vee! And with that beer list, I now have to figure out how the best way to trek from Union Square to Centre Street sans car...

                            -----
                            Vee Vee
                            763 Centre St, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130

                            1. re: OrangeSamurai
                              b
                              bear Nov 6, 2009 05:05 AM

                              You might want to check out mbta.com and use the trip planner. Have a great time, and please report back about your night!

                              1. re: OrangeSamurai
                                greenzebra Nov 6, 2009 06:10 AM

                                It's not a bad walk from the Orange line (maybe 10 minutes from the Green St. stop).

                                1. re: greenzebra
                                  b
                                  bella_sarda Nov 6, 2009 09:08 AM

                                  Take the 86 or 91 bus from Union Square to Sullivan Square to reach the Orange Line, ride to Green St., then walk (see above post).

                                2. re: OrangeSamurai
                                  Joanie Nov 6, 2009 11:30 AM

                                  I bet you it's 5 min less than driving, ha ha. That's not a favorite drive for me.
                                  You can also take the E line to the 39 bus which would be any place from Copley Sq. to Heath St. It would drop you about 5 doors down from Vee Vee.

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                                  Vee Vee
                                  763 Centre St, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130

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