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NJ Chowhound Needs Some Help

  • bgut1 Apr 29, 2010 01:42 PM
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My wife and a few friends will be in Boston for the Avon Walk coming up in a few weeks. They are looking for a nice but casual place to go for dinner that is in walking distance from the area of the Common. For the heck of me, I can't think of any place to send them. I know Troquet is close by but I am hesitant to send them as I think it might be too formal. Others that have come to mind are Eastern Standard (too far away) and Hamersley's. Any ideas? Thanks for the help.

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Eastern Standard
528 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02215

Troquet
140 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02116

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  1. Silvertone immediately comes to mind for casual in that vicinity. Also Chinatown for a gazillion options.

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    Silvertone
    69 Bromfield St, Boston, MA 02108

    1. Teatro has very good antipasti, good pastas and OK atmosphere (maybe a little too chic if you;re going after the Avon walk. Agree on the Chinatown suggestion for more casual.

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      Teatro
      177 Tremont Street, Boston, MA 02111

      2 Replies
      1. re: gourmaniac

        yum and gormaniac - Thanks for your help, I had considered Chinatown but the wife has an aversion to Chinese food due to an MSG allergy. If any others come to mind, I would appreciate the suggestions.

        gourmaniac - I think they will be going out before the walk. As far as Teatro, it may do the trick as I think that the pizzas and pastas might be what they are looking for (carb load before the walk). I also like the small plates and sharing aspect. I'll run it by the ladies and see what they think.

        1. re: bgut1

          Kay. Bummer about the MSG. You might look at Marliave too. That area is walking distance to so much, but if your pals are going to be pooped from the Avon walk, they might just like to limp over to some place really nearby. I'm sure others will have ideas in that area.

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          Marliave
          10 Bosworth Street, Boston, MA 02108

      2. There are loads of restaurants on charles street. And I'm sure they will find the street itself very quaint. Few that come to mind:
        75 Chestnut
        Lala Rokh
        Beacon Hill Bistro

        I've gone in casual at all three places and never felt underdressed

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        Beacon Hill Bistro
        25 Charles St, Boston, MA 02114

        75 Chestnut
        75 Chestnut Street, Boston, MA 02114

        Lala Rokh
        97 Mount Vernon Street, Boston, MA 02108

        1 Reply
        1. re: Snoop37

          Ill second 75 Chestnut. Its always reliable for good food, friendly staff and really quaint feel to it. One of my favorites in Boston

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          75 Chestnut
          75 Chestnut Street, Boston, MA 02114

        2. My suggestions are based on where in that vicinity they may find themselves, and also thinking that many options may be crowded.

          Best option is Silvertone, although unfortunately only for Sat; they're closed on Sundays. Around the corner from Silvertone however is Cafe Marliave. Good food, but it can be very rich. I was there a month ago and made mistake of having both escargot and rarebit, and suffered later for sin of gluttony. Their butterscotch pudding is to die for, however. That may've been part of the problem too, I don't think I can discount that as a sin....

          I was thinking Teatro too; sometimes it gets crowded but worth walking by to check it out. Continuing up Tremont St, maybe swing past Stoddard's on Temple St if in the mood for a burger but I don't know if the rest of their menu is active yet as they only just opened. Across from that is Ivy's which isn't that great but I do love their arancini, and their antipasto. And they have bottles of wine at one price, which was $26; don't know if that policy has changed. Further along is Max & Dylan's on West St. for decent pub fare.

          On the opposite side of the Common, on the Beacon Hill side near the gold-domed State House, Scolley Square is fine if you stick with basics; I like the tuna tartare with crispy wontons. I suggest it because they have outdoor tables, and sometimes you're more interested in that than in being stuck inside. Grotto is down the hill on Bowdoin St, intimate basement space with very good Italian. I especially love their parmesan-garlic soup. Same owner as aforementioned Marliave, so again the food is rich but tasty.

          Also down the street on Beacon Hill, along Charles St: Beacon Hill Bistro (NOT Beacon Hill Pub which is a dive bar at the top of Charles St!) is quite good, and if they can score one of the few seats at the bar I think they'd be very happy. 75 Chestnut is further up on Chestnut St, decent pub fare. Lala Rokh on Mount Vernon St would be my personal pick, again especially if they can get seats at the small bar. I especially love their small plates such as spinach with yogurt and walnuts, and chilled green beans with creamy dill and finely diced jalapeno peppers.

          One final suggestion is on the Public Garden side, on Boylston: if they're in the mood for Tex-Mex, the Rattlesnake ("Poe's") has creative food. I've had lobster sandwiches, soups, super spicy wings and the like. Sizes are kind of small but tasty in any case. The only thing I found a little disappointing was a BLT, it had nice descrip but was nothing special. If they get a range of stuff they'll like it. I know many who like the Parish Cafe across the street, known for its local chef-inspired sandwiches, although I think it's just okay.

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          Teatro
          177 Tremont Street, Boston, MA 02111

          Silvertone
          69 Bromfield St, Boston, MA 02108

          Marliave
          10 Bosworth Street, Boston, MA 02108

          Lala Rokh
          97 Mount Vernon Street, Boston, MA 02108

          75 Chestnut
          75 Chestnut St, Boston, MA 02108

          Max & Dylan's
          15 West St, Boston, MA 02111

          Tremont Cafe
          418 Tremont St, Boston, MA 02116

          4 Replies
          1. re: Niblet

            Niblet - Thanks for the suggestions. In actuality, the ladies will be closer to the Public Garden so I appreciate the Boylston restaurants. That said, I'm not sure that either Tex Mex or sandwiches are what they are looking for. I've noticed that a restaurant called Bistro du Midi is nearby. Have any of you heard anything good about that place? Otherwise, I think I'm going to send them to Teatro. Again, I want to thank all you Boston Hounds for the help. Much appreciated.

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            Teatro
            177 Tremont Street, Boston, MA 02111

            Bistro du Midi
            272 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02116

            1. re: bgut1

              Yes! That is a great idea. They'll love it. Gawd, all my yapping and I totally missed that one.

              1. re: bgut1

                We had a lovely lunch at Bistro du Midi last week. And, I think the staff there would make them welcome.

                Penny
                http://www.bostonzest.com/

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                Bistro du Midi
                272 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02116

                1. re: bgut1

                  My family celebrated my mother's birthday at Bistro du Midi last weekend and had a great time, but the upstairs dining room may be a bit too formal for your group. Perhaps try the more casual bar area downstairs? Either way, food and service are impeccable, and the view of the Public Garden makes its extra special.

                  To go along with the other Beacon Hill recommendations, I'd also throw in Grotto. Hearty Italian in a subterranean setting and a great value, whether you order a la carte or prix fixe. It's owned by the same folks as Marliave, but I think Grotto is the better of the two.

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                  Marliave
                  10 Bosworth Street, Boston, MA 02108

                  Bistro du Midi
                  272 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02116

              2. Not sure if it helps or not, but I stopped into Troquet one summer day, dressed in denim capris and a T-shirt. I sat at the downstairs bar by the window and had incredible service. I will say that I knew the hostess and I was hesitant but she assured me that they were not pretentious at all. I wouldn't hesitate to go back.

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                Troquet
                140 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02116

                1. One more option in that area is Via Matta, an Italian "Enoteca" by Park Plaza; they have exceptional pasta.

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                  Via Matta
                  79 Park Plaza, Boston, MA 02116

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: Niblet

                    Niblet - Thanks for the recommendation of Via Matta. My wife received the same recommendation from a friend who is a "local".

                    While all the suggestions sound great, due mostly in part to the proximity to their hotel, I will give them the choice of Teatro, Bistro du Midi and Via Matta. I'll show her and her friends the menus and let them make the choice.

                    Thanks again everyone for your help. If I can ever return the favor for the NY/NJ Metro area, please don't hesitate to ask.

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                    Teatro
                    177 Tremont Street, Boston, MA 02111

                    Via Matta
                    79 Park Plaza, Boston, MA 02116

                    Bistro du Midi
                    272 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02116

                    1. re: bgut1

                      all three are great choices. Via Matta has some outdoor seating and teatro has always been a fave for me.

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                      Via Matta
                      79 Park Plaza, Boston, MA 02116

                    2. re: Niblet

                      I emphatically second Via Matta. If the weather is nice, their patio is awesome.

                      Just on the other side of the Park Plaza, there is Erbaluce. It is another great place for northern Italian food.

                      Via Matta is closed on Sunday, if that matters.

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                      Via Matta
                      79 Park Plaza, Boston, MA 02116

                      Erbaluce
                      69 Church Street, Boston, MA 02116

                    3. Marliave was the first thing to come to mind for me, also Silvertone but I'd go for Marliave:

                      http://www.marliave.com/home/

                      Another choice might be Bouchee, which would involve a nice short walk through Back Bay:

                      http://www.boucheebrasserie.com/

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                      Silvertone
                      69 Bromfield St, Boston, MA 02108

                      Marliave
                      10 Bosworth Street, Boston, MA 02108

                      1. if they love wine, then troquet is the place for them. the food is good but the wine selection is super, one of the best in the country.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: cambridgedoctpr

                          True, but Troquet hardly fits the "nice but casual" requirement. I'll add my vote to Marliave - it's very close by (a block or so from Park St.) with well above-average food.

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                          Marliave
                          10 Bosworth Street, Boston, MA 02108

                          1. re: BobB

                            Thanks all for the added suggestions.