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Help! Need a NICE Seafood Restaurant to take important business clients

I'm visiting Boston in about 6 weeks for a conference and don't know the place at all. As the Title says, I need to take out important clients (10-15 people total) somewhere nice, seafood, classy.

We will all be staying in or around downtown Boston, so prefer options there.

Any suggestions Boston Hounds?

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  1. please tell us where you will be staying "downtown." would you like walking distance or to take a cab or the "t"? what is your price point?

    you will also be smack in the middle of graduation season here which means you should make reservastions immediately.

    6 Replies
    1. re: hotoynoodle

      I'll also be in the middle of an 8000 person conference at your convention centre.

      I don't know Boston very well, but somewhere central would be good.

      Price point: I looked at Oceanaire and it looked fine, but isn't this a chain? It would be OK if it was local. What about Kingfish? Can't get at the menu, but it looks OK vis-a-vis atmosphere. Does that give your some guidance?

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      Oceanaire
      40 Court Street, Boston, MA 02108

      1. re: bluedog

        Oceanaire is a chain, but they know their seafood. Simply grilled fish is generally my choice. Kingfish gets a fair amount of criticism here, but I've had good luck. Nice raw bar, good lobster roll, along with some more creative items. You may want to look at Atlantic Fish in the Back Bay if you're looking for seafood, or Abe & Louies for steaks. Another option in the Fanueil Hall area is North 26 at the Millenium Hotel. Can't understand why they don't get more attention. The food is well executed and they make some wonderful cocktails like Rasberry Lime Rickeys with fresh pureed rasberries. Atmosphere would be good for business meals.

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        Oceanaire
        40 Court Street, Boston, MA 02108

        Abe & Louie's
        793 Boylston St, Boston, MA 02116

        North 26 Restaurant & Bar
        26 North Street, Boston, MA 02109

        1. re: bluedog

          If you decide on Kingfish Hall, be sure to ask to be seated upstairs. Street level is very noisy & will feel cramped.

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          Kingfish Hall
          188 South Market Building, Boston, MA 02109

        2. re: hotoynoodle

          How about either Rowe's or Anthony's Pier 4?

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          Anthony's Pier 4 Restaurant
          140 Northern Ave, Boston, MA 02210

          1. re: bluedog

            Unless you want to emerge from a time warp in 1964 don't consider Anthony's Pier 4.

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            Anthony's Pier 4 Restaurant
            140 Northern Ave, Boston, MA 02210

            1. re: chuck s

              Thanks. ITs already of my list. What about Rowe's Wharf Sea Grille?

        3. B&G Oysters seems like your best bet. I prefer Neptune Oyster, but they don't take reservations.

          EDIT: Didn't see the requirement for 10-15 people. Both of the places I mentioned won't accommodate large parties well. But besides O Ya and maybe Clio/Uni, Neptune Oyster has the best seafood in Boston.

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          Neptune Oyster
          63 Salem St Ste 1, Boston, MA 02113

          1. you might consider a private room at Locke Ober. Both seafood and non-seafood options and with some formality for the occasion. I think places like B&G and Neptune are more set up for casual dining for small groups (2-4 people) which is probably not exactly what you are looking for. Kingfish is also more on the casual/touristy side.

            2 Replies
            1. re: barleywino

              I agree that Locke Ober is one good choice, and would suggest Meritage or the Oak Room, both of which have good fish, though not exclusively seafood, and both of which are elegant and can handle large parties. And yes, Legals if you want oysters, lobster, and a good bar. I believe there might be a few Legals that have private rooms.

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              Meritage Restaurant
              70 Rowes Wharf, Boston, MA 02110

              Oak Room
              138 St. James Avenue, Boston, MA 02116

              1. re: barleywino

                Second Locke-Ober. Perfect for entertaining clients and a good assortment of seafood.

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                Locke-Ober
                3 Winter Place, Boston, MA 02108

              2. Take a look at McCormick & Schmick's. People on the boards tend to diss it, because it's a chain, but I think their food is very good and consistent (and I'm a bit of a seafood snob) and they have very attentive service and the right atmosphere for entertaining clients, quiet, clean and classy. Celebration lunch destination when I worked in the neighborhood.

                I particularly like their fried calamari appetizer with three different dipping sauces. They have a basic menu which you'll see online, but have a new one every day depending on what that have in fresh.

                http://www.mccormickandschmicks.com/

                If you have the time while you're here and are prepared to wait in line, definitely head over to Neptune Oyster with two or three friends and prepare yourself for one of the best seafood meals you'll ever eat.

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                Neptune Oyster
                63 Salem St Ste 1, Boston, MA 02113

                4 Replies
                1. re: pasuga

                  McCormick & Schmick at the Park Plaza has the curtained-off private rooms that make all the difference. I think they could hold a group of 8-10, but 15 might be way too tight.

                  1. re: nightsky

                    The curtained-off private booths at M&S (i.e. "snugs) used to be crowded with six of us... but I'd be very surprised to hear they didn't have a private room for a bigger crowd.

                  2. re: pasuga

                    Neptune Oyster is great, but it is not the place for the OP. It is small, cramped and doesn't take reservations, not the place for a business dinner. Bluedog -- is your conference at the big convention center in the Seaport District or at the Hynes in the Back Bay?

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                    Neptune Oyster
                    63 Salem St Ste 1, Boston, MA 02113

                    1. re: pasuga

                      I have been entertained at business dinners in the 15-20 ppl range at McCormick & Schmick's and I really thought they did an outstanding job, not an easy thing to do with seafood and a large group.

                    2. Grill 23, altho' billed as a steak house, has many seafood items on their menu and the option of nice private rooms upstairs: http://www.grill23.com/

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                      Grill 23 & Bar
                      161 Berkeley Street, Boston, MA 02116

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: Taralli

                        I do several business meetings a year at Oceanaire.

                        Yes it is a chain but it has better local seafood than most local independent seafood restaurants.

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                        Oceanaire
                        40 Court Street, Boston, MA 02108

                        1. re: typhoonfish

                          I strongly agree with this everything above. Oceanaire is head and shoulders above McCormick & Schmick's, Kingfish Hall, Grill 23 (for seafood), and most others in this list. In addition to serving excellent seafood, they do a great job with groups.

                          -----
                          Kingfish Hall
                          188 South Market Building, Boston, MA 02109

                          Grill 23 & Bar
                          161 Berkeley Street, Boston, MA 02116

                          Oceanaire
                          40 Court Street, Boston, MA 02108

                          1. re: Gabatta

                            Thanks, I've never been to Oceanaire and will put it on the must-visit list.

                            -----
                            Oceanaire
                            40 Court Street, Boston, MA 02108