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Anniversary dinner in early July

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small fry Jun 20, 2010 12:22 PM

Hi everyone! I would really appreciate your help in finding a great restaurant to celebrate our anniversary. My husband and I will be in town on a Tuesday night in early July. We're staying at the Nine Zero hotel on Tremont street. I've been searching this board and have a few options but would like your expertise.

We are in our early thirties and we usually enjoy Italian and seasonal new American food. We do have a few restrictions, however. I'm pescetarian but have been leaning more toward vegetarian choices lately. I also am allergic to nuts, capers & poppy seeds. My husband tends to like pretty basic food and loves meat and seafood. I would say he's more into rustic cooking than refined. He has a big appetite but he will eat more restrained portion sizes for our celebratory meals. We don't tend to fare very well at restaurants that specialize in tasting menus because of the aforementioned restrictions.

My mother in law recommended Mistral, and I like the menus at No.9 Park and Sorellina. Any other recommendations? We don't mind taking a cab and cost isn't much of an issue for this meal, although it would be nice to keep it around $200 with a few drinks.

If you're at all familiar with the DC dining scene, places we have enjoyed in the past are Zola, Vermilion, The Oval Room, PassionFish and Volt. We loved Branzino and Meritage in Philadelphia.

Also, any recommendations for a place where we can walk to grab a drink and a snack after we check in at the hotel?

I would really appreciate any suggestions you can provide!

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Sorellina
1 Huntington Ave, Boston, MA 02116

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  1. Beachowolfe RE: small fry Jun 20, 2010 02:56 PM

    I'd choose Prezza, they have a wood grilled entrees section for your husband and everything is excellent. After dinner you can do dessert from modern, coffee at Paradiso, drinks on the roof at Fiore, or just wander around the north end.

    Also check out Erbaluce, possibly too refined for your husband but very good. For example, they may serve the rack of wild boar with a sort of "grape reduction", tasty but different.

    KO Prime, in your hotel, is also very good for meat and fish but I think you'd be better off at No.9 if you choose to stay in that area.

    For post check-in drinks in the immediate vicinity of your hotel there is Stoddard's or Marliave, and if you choose not to eat there, very good cocktails at No.9. For a concentration on wine, Troquet is a five minute walk. You can also try Kingston Station just past downtown xing.

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    Prezza
    24 Fleet St., Boston, MA 02113

    KO Prime
    90 Tremont Street, Boston, MA 02108

    Troquet
    140 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02116

    Marliave
    10 Bosworth Street, Boston, MA 02108

    Kingston Station
    25 Kingston St, Boston, MA 02111

    Erbaluce
    69 Church Street, Boston, MA 02116

    1 Reply
    1. re: Beachowolfe
      t
      teezeetoo RE: Beachowolfe Jun 20, 2010 04:41 PM

      Erbaluce is wonderful, usually a very good fish or two on the menu, plus they are very responsive to allergies. Bistro du Midi is another choice, with a happening bar as well as a good restaurant. Via Matta is still good to very good up-scale Italian.

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      Via Matta
      79 Park Plaza, Boston, MA 02116

      Erbaluce
      69 Church Street, Boston, MA 02116

      Bistro du Midi
      272 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02116

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      pollystyrene RE: small fry Jun 20, 2010 10:08 PM

      As another vegetarian who's allergic to nuts (what are the odds?), I'd stay away from No. 9 for dinner. Their selections aren't well suited to members of the Vegetarian No Nuts Club. It is, though, my first choice for sitting at the bar for craft cocktails and a cheese plate.

      I agree with the Prezza rec. I prefer their food over Erbaluce's, and the menu is larger, so more likely to appeal to your and your husband's differing tastes. Don't miss whatever risotto and/or polenta dish they're cooking up. Pass on dessert and get cannoli elsewhere in the North End. I prefer Mike's, or sitting at Cafe Vittoria for coffee and dessert. If you do go to Erbaluce, don't miss their sublime panna cotta; it was my favorite part of my one meal there.

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      Prezza
      24 Fleet St., Boston, MA 02113

      Erbaluce
      69 Church Street, Boston, MA 02116

      2 Replies
      1. re: pollystyrene
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        small fry RE: pollystyrene Jun 21, 2010 09:12 AM

        Wow, what are the odds? Good to know about No.9. That was my husband's least favorite of the options I've been looking at anyway so I"ll cross it off the list for dinner. Am I missing something on Erbaluce's website or do they not have a sample menu online?

        The menu at Prezza does look great and it would probably be my husband's first choice. The thing is (and it's selfish, I know) that we will be spending the following night at Foxwoods so he can play poker and we'll most likely be eating at one of the Italian restaurants there per his request, so I'm leaning toward making our dinner in Boston lean more toward my preferences. Not to mention we'll be spending the previous three nights at my mother-in-law's house where you would think the food groups are meat, potatoes, butter and sour cream, but I digress...

        Thank you for all of the recommendations so far!

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        Prezza
        24 Fleet St., Boston, MA 02113

        Erbaluce
        69 Church Street, Boston, MA 02116

        1. re: small fry
          p
          pollystyrene RE: small fry Jun 22, 2010 01:24 AM

          Erbaluce changes its menu daily, but here is a sample menu to give you an idea:

          http://www.zagat.com/Verticals/Menu.a...

          They bent over backwards to accommodate my food allergy, but I wouldn't consider it special enough for an anniversary. If you're nixing Prezza, then I guess I'll join the Sorellina camp even though I've never been. Can I do that?

      2. v
        veggielover RE: small fry Jun 21, 2010 11:44 AM

        Our anniversary is in August and we have often gone to Oleana's in Cambridge to celebrate. I love having dinner on Oleana's patio on a beautiful summer evening, though their food is great in the main restaurant as well.

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        Oleana
        134 Hampshire St., Cambridge, MA 02139

        2 Replies
        1. re: veggielover
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          Cork RE: veggielover Jun 21, 2010 12:11 PM

          We did our anniversary dinner at Oleana only 2 weeks ago. Unfortunately it was raining, so no patio option. But they do have a very nice veggie tasting menu (really just a selection of mezze) but IMHO, the mezze are the best part of the meal. Lots of fish choices too, since you are a pescetarian.

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          Oleana
          134 Hampshire St., Cambridge, MA 02139

          1. re: veggielover
            b
            blink617 RE: veggielover Jun 23, 2010 06:05 PM

            We had our anniversary dinner at Oleana this year. Got the last table on the patio, which was great even though it was a bit of a high-traffic spot. We split five mezze (carrot puree, cheese, falafel, crudite and whipped feta) plus dessert and our only issue was that they tried to bring all the mezze at once and there was no room on the table. Other than that, the service was absolutely lovely (my wife mentioned that it was our anniversary, so dessert came out with little candles), the food was fantastic, and it was about as peaceful and pleasant as you can get without leaving the city.

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            Oleana
            134 Hampshire St., Cambridge, MA 02139

          2. e
            emilief RE: small fry Jun 21, 2010 12:16 PM

            Sorellina is a great choice. Excellent food and service. The room is beautiful and great for a celebration. Prezza and others recommended are good but in terms of a celebration and romantic I would choose Sorellina. Sorellina and Mistral are owner by same people. Happy Anniversary.

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            Prezza
            24 Fleet St., Boston, MA 02113

            Sorellina
            1 Huntington Ave, Boston, MA 02116

            1. s
              small fry RE: small fry Jun 25, 2010 05:58 PM

              Thanks to everyone for your suggestions! I made a reservation at Sorellina and hopefully it will be a stellar experience. Otherwise, I'm with my husband in Boston for our anniversary meal---how can it be a bad experience? :)

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              Sorellina
              1 Huntington Ave, Boston, MA 02116

              1. s
                small fry RE: small fry Jul 7, 2010 04:06 PM

                So we actually ended up at Mistral and had a lovely meal. I made a note on our reservation to let them know about my allergies and that we were celebrating our anniversary. Service was attentive but not obtrusive. I really appreciated that our server mentioned that she was aware of my allergies. I started with a chilled summer corn soup and he started with the ricotta gnocchi. I almost had to stop myself from licking the bowl. The hint of chili oil really helped to heighten the sweetness of the corn.

                My husband had the pan roasted halibut with lobster and asparagus risotto. I tried a bite and the fish was perfectly cooked. I had the grilled salmon with chanterelles and sweet corn succotash. My fish was also cooked perfectly but I didn't really like the amount of butter in the succotash. It kind of overwhelmed the flavors of the vegetables and made the dish a little too rich for me to fully enjoy, but my husband loved it and thought it was more flavorful than his dish.

                I was too full for dessert so we asked for the check and our server brought a serving of sorbet with "Happy Anniversary" written on the plate after the check was paid which we thought was very kind and thoughtful. It turned out that I still had a little room for the refreshing strawberry/rhubarb, pineapple & lemon sorbet. The manager (?) took the time to come to our table and wish us well on our anniversary. While I was in the restroom he was chatting with my husband and offered for their car service to drop us at our hotel. The back of a Cadillac sedan definitely beat the back of a cab :)

                All in all, it was a wonderful experience and I really commend Mistral on their level of service and ability to make a special meal for us feel even more special. Thanks to everyone who contributed ideas. We look forward to trying more of your suggestions on our next trip!

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