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Charthouse Experiences?

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Hi all,

Trying to plan a graduation dinner at a reasonably priced "Bostony place" with seafood. We've considered Skipjacks, McCormick and Schmicks, Legal, etc, and are wondering if anybody has enjoyed the Charthouse, out near the aquarium. The reviews on citysearch and yelp are a bit worrisome, but it seems like the kind of place that the relatives are looking for. Any thoughts, good or bad?

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  1. Haven't been in years but, was never impressed with this mediocre chain. I'd opt for Neptune Oyster over all the places you mentioned. Of the place you did mention, Skipjack's is probably the better of the bunch.

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

    5 Replies
    1. re: treb

      ditto mediocre-ness. If you want to be out by the aquarium, I'd look for another alternative...maybe meritage but it's more expensive and smaller dishes. Neptune is a bit small for a decent sized graduation party. Maybe Daily Catch by the waterfront?

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      Daily Catch
      2 Northern Ave, Boston, MA 02210

      1. re: treb

        Although Neptue Oyster is great is is small and cramped and they don't take reservations. Not a good choice for a graduation dinner.

        How about Atlantic Fish? It sounds like you're looking for seafood.

        I'm having my daughter's graduation dinner at Mamma Maria. Out of towners might like the North End area and they have valet parking, so if there are any elderly in the group that can be a plus.

        Whatever you do, book asap. Graduation time is restaurant madness.

        I have not been to Chart House in many, many, years. Not necessarily because of a bad experience, but because I forget it's even there.

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        Mamma Maria Restaurant
        3 North Sq, Boston, MA 02113

        1. re: pemma

          Second Atlantic Fish. Of the places in the Back Bay area, they do the best job overall on seafood.

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          Atlantic Fish Co
          761 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02116

          1. re: pemma

            Love Mamma Maria, but it's far from what I would call moderately-priced, unfortunately. Considered Atlantic Fish, but we were hoping for something in a spot with more sight-seeing potential than inside Copley.

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            Mamma Maria Restaurant
            3 North Sq, Boston, MA 02113

            1. re: BlueTrain84

              Do you mean inside Copley Place? Atlantic is a stand-alone restautrant on Boylston.

        2. Not one of the places on your list is particularly "Bostony". They are all chains. True, the Chart House does have a cool space in an historic building.

          Remember that in Boston, pretty much everyone has seafood on the menu. You do not have to go to a place with "seafood" in the name. My most memorable seafood dishes (outside of Neptune Oyster) have been at "regular" restaurants. Legal, McCormick, etc, I'm OK with, but have had much better seafood items elsewhere.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Alcachofa

            Oh, I completely understand, but the people who are coming into town want are hoping for a certain kind of Bostony atmosphere that is hard to find in conjunction with great food, otherwise Neptune Oyster would have been my first choice. Should have mentioned this in my original post, lest people think I don't know these are chains.

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

          2. I should note that the specifics on the dinner, i.e. "Bostony," seafood, and moderately priced were suggested by others coming into town, not us. The North End and Italian food were also not a big interest, so we are just trying to come up with something that would be nice for our guests, otherwise we were thinking antico forno or fiorella's. I am fully aware that Neptune Oyster, Daily Catch, and many other lovely restaurants would make for a great dinner, but these are the qualities for which we are looking for this meal.

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

            Daily Catch
            2 Northern Ave, Boston, MA 02210

            1. Maybe I'm not trying hard enough to find the answer, but the question that always leaves me blanked is the one you ask. There really is no go-to Boston Seafood spot, at least not that I've found.

              I love Neptune as much as anyone (save the prices and the occasionally chilly service). Atlantic Fish can put together a decent plate, too. I've given up on Legal's, Skipjacks, et al. I've never had a memorable meal at any of 'em.

              Which is not to say I don't eat good seafood here. Good, diverse selections of oysters are available at many places. There are at least a couple of great sushi spots, and a bunch of really good ones. Chinatown is definitely the place to go for exciting, super fresh seafood. And French places like La Voile also rate very highly for me.

              But a "Bostony place" with seafood? I'm at a loss.

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              La Voile
              261 Newbury Street, Boston, MA 02116

              1. I had one of the worst meals ever with my dad at the Chart House a couple of years ago. They used to be a client of his so he wanted to check it out. The shrimp was clearly just reheated frozen tiny things and the steak was overcooked and jsut bad quality. Stay as far away as you can. The prices were also quite high.

                1. How about Durgin Park?
                  Definitely "Boston-y"

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                  Durgin Park
                  1 Faneuil Hall Sq, Boston, MA 02109

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: PrincessBakesALot

                    Durgin Park looks fabulous for "New England" chow. I'll be in town for several days and will try this. Do you any other similar 'local" recs? (staying in BB).

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                    Durgin Park
                    1 Faneuil Hall Sq, Boston, MA 02109

                  2. Ever been to Oceannaire Seafood Room on Court Street? It's located in an old bank and the interior is impressive. Oceannare is a chain but I've never had a bad meal there. Great raw bar, comprehenive selection of fish, side dishes plentiful. They can accomodate large parties. Professional and friendly staff. We've taken guests often and everyone has always raved.

                    1. McCormick & Schmicks in Fanueil Hall may be your best bet for the atmosphere you seem to be going for. If you can get a table set up in the green house style bar area you get a view of all that is going on at Fanueil Hall. I've had some great seafood dishes there. From there you have plenty of walking options, the shops in Quincy Market, a stop at Bell & Hand (one of the oldest bars) and a stroll through the North End for something sweet.

                      1. Upstairs at Kingfish Hall in FHM.

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                        Kingfish Hall
                        188 South Market Building, Boston, MA 02109

                        1. I've had Union Oyster House recommended to me as a Bostony seafood restaurant which I'm going to try along with some other recs.

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                          Union Oyster House
                          41 Union Street, Boston, MA 02108

                          1. I'm going to swim against the tide here and say Charthouse isn't bad if you order right.

                            Ms. 9 managed a small hotel/marina complex nearby and we stayed over Christmas Eve/Night. weekend. We had a mini traditionon goin gto Charthouse XMas Eve, largely because most places were closed and we needed to be near the waterfront..and couldn't leave that area.

                            Prime rib was always good. I never ordered 1 but I doubt they can screw up a lobster and their broiled scrod (cod/haddock) was on a par with any other decent restaurant in town.

                            Surprisingly good and reasonable wine list.

                            Don't try to get too fancy and you're fine there.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: 9lives

                              I have to agree. While I hadn't been to the Chart House in years, last summer i found myself in a position that friends wanted to go and I was hesitant. Surprisingly, service was quite good, and the shrimp done 3 ways was excellent. I would prefer it as a lunch spot but it is rarely open for lunch. I also thoroughly enjoy the Oceana outside terrace when It's open. It's quiet, easy to linger and the food can really be good. At one time they offered a trio with clam chowder, mini caesar salad and lobster slider that I loved. Unfortunaely, you never know whether or not the outside terrace will be open or not and the menu changes.

                            2. I've been several times. The food isn't bad, but I will admit for the prices you'll expect better. My fiance had the stuffed shrimp one time and there was more filler than lump crabmeat. I had a lobster tail there just a few nights ago and thought it was good. Again, it's worth going if you think it's something your guests will enjoy. The atmosphere in the restaurant is pretty nice, too.