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Boston travels over New Years... two questions

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My boyfriend and I are going to be in the Boston are over Christmas and New Years; my parents just moved there so we'll be visiting them. My parents are pretty big foodies, so I'm expecting them to keep us informed of good eats, but I do have two specific questions:

First, my boyfriend loves, loves to try new / novel burgers. He loves a good greasy spoon or dive burger, but also enjoys the "is that truffel oil and brie in my burger?" experience. Since I don't plan on eating multiple burgers over our time there (he would be game), what is the ONE Boston burger we cannot miss?

Second, we're going to be in town for New Years, and I want to try to be young and avoid staying in with the folks, we don't really appreciate an overzealous NYE dining out experience. Good food, slightly more relaxed / casual setting would be our thing. A decent restaurant/bar where you can sit enjoy apps and drinks without feeling the stress of NYE crowds would be perfect. Probably a lot to ask on New Years Eve, but any ideas? We do have some friends in the area, so we wouldn't spend the entire night in one place alone; just want a nice meal to start us off.

Thanks - Sarah

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  1. I had EXACTLY the NYE meal experience you describe at EVOO a couple of years ago - normal, busy, lively with tasty food and no hoopla, special menu, overpriced undersized portions, etc. - warm and competent service, reasonable wine/champagne markups.

    There are tons of postings on burgers - my favs overall are the Roni burger (chopped jalepenos in patty, fresh-baked bun, served with home fry potatoes) at Miracle of Science and the bacon double cheeseburger (two tasty thin patties with fixins and house made chips) at Green Street - both are in Cambridge.

    I intend to try the Druid burger and the Neptune Oyster burger if I can ever go there and not order the lobster roll...NOT a fan of the touted, pricey Radius, Craigie on Main, and Eastern Standard burgers - would go with the Bristol Lounge version if I want fancy and am willing pay upwards of $20 for it.

    1. I'd suggest the very good burger topped with fried oysters at Neptune Oyster.

      1. Rlh may not be a fan, but I think if you are just going to eat one burger in Boston, it should be at Craigie on Main. Expensive? At $18 you bet. But, it's three cuts of grass fed beef, plus marrow, suet, and miso for an umami component. My favorite burger in Boston. Only available at the bar or at the bar tables.

        1. It certainly has its detractors, but I love the Radius burger. The crispy shallots are amazing. The Craigie burger is also incredible. Both are very expensive burgers, but worth every penny.

          As for NYE, there are lots of great options. I would love spending mine at Via Matta in the Enoteca. You can order off the bar menu or the regular menu and the food is fantastic. Can't go wrong with Craigie's bar either.

          1 Reply
          1. re: ecwashere7

            I'm inspired by this thread, have been wanting to try Radius and Craigie burgers for some time.

            Did Radius last week. Restaurant is a little long in the tooth, seems to be getting by on expense accounts and inertia. But: the. burger. is. awesome. And a passable martini as well. And a very pleasant bar waitstaff.

            You let me sit at the bar on 0 mins notice, provide a good martini, burger, and pleasant bartender and I am a happy man.

            The horseradish mayo, very simple but changed me. I need to be putting horseradish mayo on everything.

            Craigie tomorrow night, will report out.

          2. Probably Toro, Gargoyles, or Craigie:

            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/561483

            1. Check out Mr. Bartley's Burger Cottage and then the scene at Harvard Square.