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Looking for Boston restaurant that has great food, small plates and vibrant scene.

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My wife and I will be in Boston next week for a long weekend. We really enjoy taking our time ordering lots of small plates and taking in the scene. We particularly love sitting at bars in front of open kitchens.

As of now, the plan is O Ya on Thursday night and Toro on Friday night. I'm looking for a recommendation for Saturday as well as any criticism of my current choices.

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O Ya
9 East Street, Boston, MA 02111

Toro
1704 Washington St, Boston, MA 02118

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  1. Coppa
    Taberna de Haro

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    Coppa
    253 Shawmut Ave, Boston, MA 02118

    1 Reply
    1. re: drewames03

      i'd add estragon and bistro du midi

    2. Toro for everything except kitchen bar...

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      Toro
      1704 Washington St, Boston, MA 02118

      1. O Ya is a great choice.

        How about the bar at Craigie on Main?

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        O Ya
        9 East Street, Boston, MA 02111

        Craigie on Main
        853 Main Street, Cambridge, MA 02139

        1. Coppa looks great though I'm not sure if we will be up for another no reservation restaurant after Toro. It's menu reminds me of our current San Francisco favorite, A16.

          After Toro on Friday, we will probably not want to do more Spanish food on Saturday- Estragon or Taberna de Haro.

          Bistor du Midi's menu looks very good. After big meals Thursday and Saturday night, not to mention lunches, bistro food might make sense.

          Eating at the bar at Craigie on Main could also present a long wait. The bar menu is a bit limited. Can you get dining room food in the bar?

          Any have opinions about Meritage? The food looks very interesting. I cook a lot so I'm always interested in eating food that I either can't cook or don't cook because of the work involved. O Ya fits this perfectly, as did Clio during our last visit in 2006.

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          O Ya
          9 East Street, Boston, MA 02111

          Toro
          1704 Washington St, Boston, MA 02118

          Meritage Restaurant
          70 Rowes Wharf, Boston, MA 02110

          Craigie on Main
          853 Main Street, Cambridge, MA 02139

          Coppa
          253 Shawmut Ave, Boston, MA 02118

          2 Replies
          1. re: T.bone

            You can order off either menu in the bar at Craigie. Just beware that the bar is small and fills up immediately - best if you can get there early or late, I've found.

            As for Meritage, I've never been but various friends who have were underwhelmed. By the food, at least - I've heard service and views are great.

            Another place to consider is Scampo in Beacon Hill. Food's not as interesting as O Ya or Toro but still very good, definitely a vibrant scene, a cuisine that doesn't overlap with what you've got, and they take reservations. Or if you would consider another no-reservations place you might hit Neptune Oyster, which is small but spectacular. Though I guess neither of these really fulfill your food you can't/don't cook requirement. Maybe the tasting menu at Menton?

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            O Ya
            9 East Street, Boston, MA 02111

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

            Toro
            1704 Washington St, Boston, MA 02118

            Scampo
            215 Charles Street, Boston, MA 02114

            Meritage Restaurant
            70 Rowes Wharf, Boston, MA 02110

            Menton
            354 Congress St, Boston, MA 02210

            1. re: T.bone

              If you don't feel like waiting for a spot at the bar itself, you can make reservations for the tables in the bar area at Craigie, where you can order off either the bar menu or the regular menu.