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ONE night in Boston - where to eat?

I'll be staying overnight in Boston next Monday and have one dinner opportunity. I'll be staying right by Boston Medical Center. I'm not familiar with Boston at all so I don't know what the area is like - the hotel is near the intersection of Massachusetts Ave. and Melnea Cass Blvd. I would rather not travel too far from the hotel and will have to rely on public transportation.

So is there anything good around the area? Preferably under $50/person (not including alcohol, I don't drink) love all kinds of cuisine, maybe something I can't find in NYC? Somewhere that's open late-ish would be nice especially, since I won't be checking in till around 8 p.m. Would really appreciate some suggestions!

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  1. OK, I think there was a thread with an identical title very very recently, so a search might be helpful.

    Having said that, and to get you started. You are actually in a great location, since you can easily walk to the South End. Many options there, e.g. Hammersly's is a great bistrot, but you can probably find better in NYC, but for something a bit different from the norm, I recommend Toro: sort of tapas with a twist. Excellent food, if you can stand the wait to get in.

    tb

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    Toro
    1704 Washington St, Boston, MA 02118

    3 Replies
    1. re: trueblu

      Under $50/pp at Toro would be hard :-P

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      Toro
      1704 Washington St, Boston, MA 02118

      1. re: Spike

        what are you ordering there?!!
        I've eaten there for less than (not much less than) $50pp including tax easily, and my wife and I both have big appetites.

        tb

        1. re: trueblu

          Last time we hit it, we had just eaten across the street (the sushi place) because the wait was too long...hit Toro because we checked if our name was called yet on the way back and spent $85 (got the garlicky shrimp appetizer and I forget what else, but probably 5-6 plates). If we only went there, we could probably have gone over $100 to be full...I have a fairly big appetite for a stick :-P

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          Toro
          1704 Washington St, Boston, MA 02118

    2. You're close to Harrison Avenue and Washington Street, which both have some good options (Rocca, Gaslight on the former, Ginger Park, Oishii, Seiyo, Stella, Teranga, Myers + Chang on the latter).

      1. Suprisingly, you can eat at Jean-George's Market at the W hotel for less than 50, or have the five course tasting menu for $58 pp. If you're not drinking, you're good.

        14 Replies
        1. re: justbeingpolite

          OK, this is something that gets my goat, so apologies for the rant. But it seems that the marketing trick in the US of stating prices (e.g. in restaurants) before tax and tip work a treat. Given the high % given to tips (typically 15-25%), after tax and tip, a "$50 meal" will cost $65.

          I presume when the OP says that they want to "spend $50", they didn't mean, I want to spend $65, but let's call it fifty!

          Apologies for the rant, but as a Brit living here, I'm still amazed how often locals recount the sticker price, as if that is the real, total cost.

          tb

          1. re: trueblu

            I was at Market last night. Didn't have the tasting menu. Two people, without wine after tip, 2 apps, 2mains, shared desert would have been about $100

            1. re: justbeingpolite

              much as i like von gerichten's restaurants, i hardly think that a new yorker needs to go another out post when he can go to jean george, the flagship, where Mr. Vongerichten frequently hangs out.

              i would reommend going further afield and trying Tamarind Bay - an indian restaurant with an atypical menu, Helmand - an Afgan restaurant - or even paying more and going to Craigie on Main - or Neptune or get a dog at Speeds. These restaurants, in my opinion, are unique to Boston.

              I admit that they are not within walking distance of BMC.

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              Tamarind Bay
              75 Winthrop St, Cambridge, MA 02138

              Craigie on Main
              853 Main Street, Cambridge, MA 02139

              1. re: cambridgedoctpr

                Good point. Didn't read the OP thoroughly enough.
                How about Coppa then. You could definitely meet your budget, and Jamie's food is fairly unique.

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                Coppa
                253 Shawmut Ave, Boston, MA 02118

                1. re: justbeingpolite

                  i have not been to coppa; is it different from Mario Batali's restaurants in NYC?
                  In any case, I should try it.

              2. re: justbeingpolite

                Fair point with regards to being able to eat there for under $50/pp. My main point was with regards to the implication that the tasting menu (at $55) actually costs approx $50, whereas total cost comes in at closer to $70.

                tb

              3. re: trueblu

                Thank you for all the recommendations!

                trueblu has a good point - I would like to stay under $50 all-in, tips and tax included. Sorry that it's not clear from the post.

                We have many Jean Georges restaurants here in NYC so that's probably out. Ideally I would like to walk, but being a New Yorker I can walk a mile or two without a problem so walking distance doesn't mean immediate vicinity.

                Toro sounds good. I could probably get out of there under $50/person (don't have a huge appetite.) Coppa sounds good too - is it a Batali-related place? (not a bad thing in my book, I frequent Otto in NYC.)

                hiddenboston, what's your favorite among your recs?

                Craigie on Main sounds really good, but I don't think I can go there on this trip. I'll have to remember it for the next time when I come back with my S.O.

                Thank you again! I'm really looking forward to having a great, affordable meal in Boston.

                1. re: uwsister

                  I'd go with Toro.

                  Coppa is owned by the same chef that runs Toro, Ken Oringer. He has a full plate in Boston: besides Toro and Coppa, he's also involved at Clio, Uni, KO Prime, and La Verdad.

                  Craigie on Main has a great and relatively affordable bar menu, but you'd have to trek out to Cambridge.

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                  Toro
                  1704 Washington St, Boston, MA 02118

                  KO Prime
                  90 Tremont Street, Boston, MA 02108

                  La Verdad
                  1 Lansdowne St, Boston, MA 02215

                  Craigie on Main
                  853 Main Street, Cambridge, MA 02139

                  Coppa
                  253 Shawmut Ave, Boston, MA 02118

                  1. re: hcbk0702

                    Hi hcbk! Fancy seeing you on this board :)

                    I think I will indeed be going to Toro! A mere mile away, the menu looks delicious, definitely a "Boston" chef. Somebody mentioned a long wait - how much wait do you think there would be on Monday night around 8:30 p.m. for a single diner? I don't mind bar dining, obviously.

                    Yes, Craigie on Main is too far for this time, but I will save it for next trip. I'll be back in Boston for a week with my S.O in a couple months.

                    1. re: uwsister

                      It shouldn't be bad on a Monday. But both Toro and Coppa get absolutely slammed on the weekends.

                      In fact, I'm thinking of heading to Toro sometime soon as well. The food at school is pretty miserable!

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                      Toro
                      1704 Washington St, Boston, MA 02118

                      Coppa
                      253 Shawmut Ave, Boston, MA 02118

                      1. re: hcbk0702

                        You should come out on Monday! I don't like dining alone! Hahaha.

                        Kelly - I'll remember it for the next trip. Thanks!

                        1. re: uwsister

                          Sure, I'd be up for that!

                          Just shoot me an email at hcbk0702@filzmail.com (24h temp address).

                          1. re: hcbk0702

                            I tried to e-mail you at the address, but it says delivery failed :(

                            E-mail me at kateminnyc at gmail dot com or give me another e-mail address to try?

                  2. re: uwsister

                    uwsister, I like Myers + Change a lot. Also, not too far from M+C is Metropolis Cafe (on Tremont), which is outstanding, IMO, and a bit more of a local spot than a touristy place.

              4. Something you won't find in NYC: Oleana in Cambridge.

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                Oleana
                134 Hampshire St., Cambridge, MA 02139