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Feb 17, 2010 05:46 AM

Aquitane still good?

Someone strongly recommended Aquitane to me a few years ago, but I wasn't able to get there. In May my wife and I are going to stay in town, around graduation time, and I want to lock in a reservation somewhere now. Is it still as good as it used to be?
Thanks in advance.

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  1. Serviceable Bistro, but with all of the other excellent places in town not really notable in my book. I am sure if you describe a bit more what you are looking for you will get several good recommendations.

    4 Replies
    1. re: StriperGuy

      Looking for French, bistro, good food, friendly atmosphere, informal dress, non bank breaking prices, decent wine list.
      Will give up table reservations if the bar is inviting and seats are available.
      We are staying in the South End.
      Alternate suggestions accepted and appreciated.

      1. re: Fahzz

        French Bistro per se in the SE does limit things a might. There are some real favs in the SE but not French. Franklin Cafe (casual bar with good to amazing food) Estragon, and Toro (both Tapas). Hammersley's is a good one and meets your criteria.

        Gaslight is decent Bistro fair, but not head and shoulders better then Aquitaine. There is also Brasserie Jo which has it's fans.

        Reasonable prices in the SE are hard to come by. Probably my favorite food in the hood, recently confirmed by a superb meal, is Franklin Cafe, but it is small, get's very crowded on Fri-Sat and does not take reserv.

        There is no place that does real bistro fair in Boston right now that calls to me. Craigie on Main is excellent but it is pricey and not really a Bistro.

        Eastern Standard is might fit the bill and the cocktails are awesome.

        Hope this helps.

        1. re: StriperGuy

          I've had two meals at Franklin Cafe. For a not very cheap place, I would have expected more consistency. The first meal was amazing, adventurous and well made. The second one I had there was poorly made, sub standard quality and sloppy cooking. For an affordable bistro, I'd just head out to petit robert. Others are much more pricey...

          1. re: bafonso

            Do you recall which dishes you had at the Franklin? Were they both at the South End location?


    2. I think if you remember it fondly from some years ago, it will still meet your expectations. While I think the food isn't quite as traditional as some French bistros in town, and they've dropped some specials I used to like, it's still noteworthy for having very warm, attractive atmopshere and generally excellent service. If they could keep an excellent bartender on for more than a couple of months in a row, I'd like it even better.

      1. They brought in a new chef back in November- Matthew Gaudet- who worked under Jean George Vongerichten. I had my first experience at Aquitaine right after he was brought on board and was very impressed with several of his dishes-the mussels, a scallop dish they were featuring, but my DC had their Steak Frites and the steak was almost inedible it was so tough. So Highs and Lows -but overall it was a pretty solid experience.

        7 Replies
          1. re: cannedmilkandfruitypebbles

            this is so disturbing to hear as they have always been my favorite for steak frites - oh that truffle sauce. .. . you didn't by chance order it medwell? that would make that cut of beef tough under any circumstance.

            1. re: gyppielou

              I'm a medium rare- rare guy that thoroughly enjoys a good steak tar tar

                1. re: StriperGuy

                  If not for "well-done" steak eaters, the line would just have to throw out the oldest, most gristly, sorriest-looking steaks in the walk-in.


              1. re: gyppielou

                I believe that my dc ordered it medium- for some reason he always does.

          2. I went there in November last time and had a pretty solid time; good service, good food. I also love going to Petit Robert Bistro that is located on Columbus Ave (they also have one in Kenmore Square, but never been). It has really reasonable prices, some unusual items on the menu, creative cocktails and reasonably-priced wines.


            I frequent the SE quite often and my favs are Stella, Union, Franklin, Aquitaine and Petit Robert. I also like getting the 1/2 antipasti plate at the Butcher Block along with a nice glass of wine. Brasserie Jo I find seems to attract a lot of tourists because of its proximity to the Pru.

            1 Reply
            1. re: bostongallovesfood

              I'll second Petit Robert, both Boston locations. Just what a bistro is supposed to be: not fancy, not expensive, very tasty, relaxed atmosphere, good wines by the glass.

              (The Needham location does not earn the same recommendation. Avoid.)

            2. It's certainly pretty good. Nice room, good service, good food. This town is completely Francophile in its restaurants, however, and you can find better places. The best at the moment is Bistro du Midi.