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SF chef in Boston one weekend- must go restaurants?

Hi Boston! I'm in town (staying in Back Bay) for Memorial Day weekend for a wedding and have one dinner and 3 lunch/brunches to hit some restaurants. Doesn't have to be fancy/fine dining, just really REALLY good food. I was looking at Craigie on Main or Hungry Mother. Any advice from Boston foodies?

Thanks.

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Hungry Mother
Cambridge, MA, Cambridge, MA

Craigie on Main
853 Main Street, Cambridge, MA 02139

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  1. Good choices. Also consider Erbaluce for dinner, slightly unusual take on Italtian.
    If the weather's good, perhaps Speed's cart for a fab hot dog. Lunch also at Neptune Oyster.

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

    Erbaluce
    69 Church Street, Boston, MA 02116

    1 Reply
    1. re: justbeingpolite

      I'd have to second Erbaluce. Some other favorites of mine include Ten Tables, L'Espalier, O Ya, No. 9 Park and T.W. Food.

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      L'Espalier
      774 Boylston St, Boston, MA 02199

      O Ya
      9 East Street, Boston, MA 02111

      T.W. Food
      377A Walden St, Cambridge, MA 02138

      Ten Tables
      5 Craigie Circle, Cambridge, MA 02138

      Erbaluce
      69 Church Street, Boston, MA 02116

    2. Our best Chinatown joints - Nest Little Restaurant and Peach Farm. Also, Oya for reinvented sushi.

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      Peach Farm
      4 Tyler St, Boston, MA 02111

      1 Reply
      1. re: ipsofatso

        Coming from SF, I didn't recommend Chinese. But O Ya is pretty incredible.

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        O Ya
        9 East Street, Boston, MA 02111

      2. If I had just one dinner in town, it would be at Craigie on Main or O Ya. O Ya is uber expensive, but great. Craigie is a bit less cash, and also phenomenal. I really enjoyed Erbaluce, but I'd still hit Craigie, if I were you.

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        O Ya
        9 East Street, Boston, MA 02111

        Craigie on Main
        853 Main Street, Cambridge, MA 02139

        Erbaluce
        69 Church Street, Boston, MA 02116

        1. Some great options on this thread already- Id add Coppa to the list as well at least for their house made Salumi.

          Otherwise Ill second Neptune Oyster and Erbaluce

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

          Erbaluce
          69 Church Street, Boston, MA 02116

          Coppa
          253 Shawmut Ave, Boston, MA 02118

          1. Have you considered Oleana? Our meal last night was outstanding!

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            Oleana
            134 Hampshire St., Cambridge, MA 02139

            1. Craigie, and Hungry Mother are good, I would also consider Toro, oleana, clio, or o ya.

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              Toro
              1704 Washington St, Boston, MA 02118

              Hungry Mother
              Cambridge, MA, Cambridge, MA

              1. all the recommendations are good and I'm a big fan of Erbaluce, but here are some things that you might not have in SF: Malaysian (Penang); Venezualan (Orinoco), oysters and lobster rolls (Neptune Seafood). For very good drinks and a local vibe, if no red sox games going on, Eastern Standard. Spanish tapas at Estragon. Portuguese in Cambridge (maybe Casa Portugal).

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                Eastern Standard
                528 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02215

                Casa Portugal
                1200 Cambridge St, Cambridge, MA 02139

                Erbaluce
                69 Church Street, Boston, MA 02116

                3 Replies
                1. re: teezeetoo

                  Just a late update:

                  First of all, thanks for all the information!!

                  We made it to Craigie on Main the first night. Opted for the 9 course tasting menu. Here are some of the plates I most remember: 1) a trio of chilled squid "noodles", mackerel escabeche and a hamachi crudo. The mackerel was a little out of place with its Spanish flavoring next to the other two Asian preparations but all three were well prepared and delicious. 2) a tagliatelle with pheasant and uni ragout (I never would have imagined those flavors together but they worked BEAUTIFULLY). 3) Lamb loin with lamb sausage with anise flavored fresh herb. All together a great meal, along with some interesting wine and beer options.

                  We made it in to Neptune Seafood the next day for lunch right around 1 p.m. (only a ten minute wait). My husband had a tasting of all the East Coast oysters and gave them all a thumbs up. We split the littleneck clams in white wine with garlic and the fried clams. Both portions were HUGE and the fried clams were perfectly cooked- possibly the most tender clams I've ever had. The only miss was the clam chowder which was watery and bland. The server said they do not use a roux in the chowder to "keep it light". We barely touched it and she took it off the bill without asking. Service in general was fantastic considering how crowded it got right after we were seated.

                  We hit Eastern Standard for brunch the following day. Meh. It was nice to sit on the patio but nothing really wowed us. I had a hash with duck confit and usually you could serve me anything with duck confit and I'll love it, but the hash was mostly potatoes and more of a wet stew than a hash. We left wishing we had gone to Neptune a second time.

                  All in all, though, a good trip. Looking forward to our next visit to Boston.

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                  Eastern Standard
                  528 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02215

                  Craigie on Main
                  853 Main Street, Cambridge, MA 02139

                  1. re: jbsirkin

                    Thanks for reporting back. Agree on both Neptune and Eastern Standard whose day has past IMHO. Craigie on Main sounds great but haven;t yet been. The Neptune Clam Chowder is a more traditional form with clear broth redolent of clam but is very different from the more familiar thick and creamy chowder. One of the best things I've had at Neptune is fried oysters with beef tongue, slaw and three sauces. Not sure it's still on the menu.

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                    Eastern Standard
                    528 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02215

                    Craigie on Main
                    853 Main Street, Cambridge, MA 02139

                    1. re: gourmaniac

                      Great trip report! Craigie is my favorite restaurant in town, and I feel the blind tastings are the way to get the best out of them. Not a lobster roll guy, so I've never been to Neptune. Eastern Standard is still great for sitting at the bar, having cocktails, and if you need food, getting either the steak tartare (still my favorite in town), or the house charcuterie plate. Other than that, the food is fair to middling at best (though it was once much better).

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                      Eastern Standard
                      528 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02215