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Feb 3, 2010 12:54 PM

Young NYC Professionals wanting Special Occasion Eats and Fun bars

My boyfriend and I are heading to Boston (my first trip) from NYC over Valentines Day Weekend. We are staying at the Liberty Hotel, but I think we are going to drive so not handcuffed to the location.

We would love recommendations for some fun, upscale/trendy type bars and lounges for Friday night. If there is a nice wine bar with an actual decent wine list, that would be great.

In search of a a recommendation for a great local restaurant on Saturday. Lively atmosphere, great food, maybe nice views.

For Valentines Day, of course, something romantic (not too stuffy or dated) and price not really an issue. I enjoy modern, straight forward cuisine. Think balanced tastes, fresh fish, limited sauces. No french! Of course would enjoy going to the "must see" restaurant in Boston.

Thanks in advance for your ideas.

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  1. My own philosophy is that you take your life (and your experience) in your hands going out to eat on Valentine's Day, but one safer route (at one of Boston's most "must see" and most interesting restaurants) would be Craigie on Main's Valentine's Day dinner. I have no clue if you can still get a table, but they do have a prix fixe that you can read about here:

    As for drinks, Drink is one of the best bars in the city; Green Street, Trina's Starlite Lounge, and Silvertone are also great for cocktails. You will find lots of other suggestions by searching the boards.

    Maybe for Saturday you could try Neptune Oyster, a local favorite and also supposedly a great scene (I haven't been but people love it). Orinoco and Franklin Cafe are two other unique local places (both in the South End).

    1. Because you are staying at the Liberty Hotel I would suggest a dinner at Scampo which is right in the hotel. It is one of Boston's trendiest restaurants and has a very nice vibe and great food.

      1 Reply
      1. re: RoyRon

        I second the suggestion to hang at the hotel Friday night. You have Scampo for dinner followed by either upstairs at Clink or downstairs at Alibi (darker, music, lounge). Great scene either way.

        My favorite place for Sat nite is Mistral. Great atmoshphere, great service and great food. Make sure to get the tenderloin/mashed potato pizza and the tuna tartare!

      2. Bin 26 Enoteca on Charles St, quite close to the Liberty. Great, unusual wine list. Treat it as a wine bar or a restaurant.

        Craigie is great. Scampo is quite nice too. Save Alibi&Clink for an impromptu nightcap, nothing to plan around.

        Dante is lovely, and just on the Cambridge side of the river from the Liberty. You could take a nice-views walk there if it's not too terribly cold. The Charles is pretty at night.

        1. Scampo in your hotel might work for Friday night. I wasn't wowed by the food or cocktails there, and we had to scream to hear each other talk, but if you want a scene, you might like it. For Saturday, I'd recommend Coppa or Toro in the South End, or Prezza in the North End. (The first two don't take reservations and the waits can be more than an hour long.) Views are surprisingly tough to come by in Boston.

          For V-Day, I think O Ya is what you're describing.

          As for some of the other recs so far, I think Silvertone and Frankiin are darker and rougher around the edges than what you're asking for. I like Green Street, but it's small and casual, and Trina's hasn't been getting good reviews. The reviews for Dante have been mixed, too. I haven't been, but Neptune Oyster is universally loved. It's small, popular, and doesn't take reservations.

          3 Replies
          1. re: pollystyrene

            Neptune is small and popular, but it's not universally loved. A board search shows some reasonable contrarian views (like mine :)).

            The food at Neptune can be very, very good. It's not a good value, the service can be aloof, menu is not well balanced (e.g. no bread, I shutter when people characterize Neptune as 'Italian') and the setting (bar plus few tables) can be an uncomfortable ordeal.

            I've been many times, I suppose the challenges are part of its mystique, and the mystique drives the popularity, but go much less frequently now. To many other options without the 'tude.

            1. re: pollystyrene

              I would second the recommendation for O Ya for Valentine's Day - if any reservations are still open. I'd try to sit at the Chef's Counter, if possible.

              1. re: pollystyrene

                Have you been to Trina's? Just curious, and if so I certainly respect your opinion. But I have been several times and found that the drinks were great, as were the bartenders on both sides. The food is good, not fantastic, but it is primarily a drinks place. I have seen largely positive reviews of the drinks on the boards and some who like the food a lot and some who don't. Likewise, by and large most posts on here really praise Dante. I just point this out because I do think people reading these boards for the first time should not come away with the impression that some very nice places get poor or mixed reviews when that isn't actually the case.


              2. Given that you will be in Boston on a weekend and Valentine's weekend to boot, I would recommend dinner options where you can make reservations. Solid options would be Scampo in your hotel (Clink, also in your hotel "not so much") for Friday. For Saturday, Mistral as noted is also very good. Sorellina in the Back Bay is also a very solid option.

                The newest/must see places are Market at the W Hotel, Bistro du Midi (next to the Four Seasons Hotel), Coppa (they do not take reservations, so if you go, plan on getting there at 5:15 and eating early or the wait can be very long).