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A Final Celebratory Meal in Boston - with Caveats...Help

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Alright, Hounds: After 3 years of wonderful eating (thanks, in large part, to you all), I will be moving out of this terrific eating town and have one celebratory (birthday) meal left. You all have been remarkably good to me, and I'm asking that you advise me at this critical juncture. This is my last night-out meal in Boston, but it comes with caveats:

1) Not Too Expensive - I just closed on my first home, so I can't quite afford the L'Espalier, Abe and Louie's, No. 9 Park action - I can do the "entree-in-the-low 20's" range though.
2) Ambience Matters - My dear ma will be in town from LA and she really digs a good ambience - I'm not necessarily saying it has to be kitschy or wild, but it's gotta have some vibrancy (doesn't have to be cuchi cuchi or beehive or anything, just not that minimalist, stuffy, I-feel-like-I'm-in-2001-Space Odyssey kind of vibe). Even a mellow French Bistro vibe would do it..
3) I Need Good Meat - It is, after all, my birthday, so there needs to be a viable steak option OR a good fancy burger on the menu. I will have gone to Neptune's the night before, so my seafood itch will have been scratched.

I know this ain't easy (conjuring up a series of age-old debates on this Board such as vibe vs. food). Honestly, I think 10 Tables or Rendezvous would totally work if I didn't go so often and need this to be a bit more special...

If you ever end up in St. Louis, I promise to return the favor!! Even if you don't respond, thanks to you all for making my time here way better than it would have otherwise been...

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  1. Maybe the Sel de la Terre near the Aquarium, or possibly Oleana?

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    Oleana
    134 Hampshire St., Cambridge, MA 02139

    3 Replies
    1. re: Eatin in Woostah

      I like the way you think - we do Oleana too often for this meal. That SDLT may be a bit too pricey - I've never been though. Is it worth it for a final meal?

      1. re: cheesenose

        SDLT is pretty reasonable, and the burger is truly excellent (as are the frites.) I particularly like the atmosphere at the one near the Aquarium. It's feels a bit less formal than the one at the Mandarin, probably due to its location and views.

        Another thought - we went to Helmand tonight. So unique, and utterly delicious.

        1. re: Eatin in Woostah

          I was thinking of Helmand, too, and would add Eastern Standard and Gaslight to the pile. Scampo is pricey (and not worth it in my opinion).

    2. Maybe Petit Robert Bistro? I like the Kenmore one.

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      Petit Robert Bistro
      468 Commonwealth Ave., Boston, MA 02215

      1. Sel deLa Terre would definitely work but Scampo may be a nice option as well.

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        Scampo
        215 Charles Street, Boston, MA 02114

        1. I am a big fan of Sel de la Terre, but would also suggest Pierrot for the mellow French bistro vibe. Price points are about right , nice ambiance and excellent meat selections. Service is good as well, and they have a decent wine list with some affordable selections. Depending on the table it can get a little cramped, but if you make reservations on the early side you should be able to avoid that.

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          Pierrot
          272 Cambridge St, Boston, MA 02114

          Sel de la Terre
          1245 Worcester Street, Natick, MA 01760

          1 Reply
          1. re: StevieC

            Hi Everyone! I am a newbie..I like Pierrot over Petit Robert (Kenmore). I frequent them both, but I would highly recommend Pierrot Bistro for the food, ambiance and price.

          2. Some suggestions at the top of my head are Hamersley's Bistro, Erbaluce, or Petit Robert?

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            Hamersley's Bistro
            553 Tremont Street, Boston, MA 02116

            Erbaluce
            69 Church Street, Boston, MA 02116