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Help me Narrow the choices !

Okay, special occasion coming up and about 8 are heading out to celebrate. We all agree on wanting atmosphere lst and then good food. We normally go the great food route first and could care less on atmosphere, but this warrants a swap of preference. Here's the choices:
Oleana - my #1 because its great food and great atmosphere. Drawback: The menu may not fit everyone.
Next is Dante: Great atmostphere....sometimes good food. More of an "everyone" menu.
Post 390: I've not been...I hear cool atmosphere and I see ying/yang on food.
Gaslight: I've not been. Need your input. I have been to Union and others and love the food.
Flemings: Great steaks...I figured this may be too inoccuous.

I've tried to come up with some choices without going to far afield for the non-adventurous in our group. I'd LOVE your Input. Thanks.

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Oleana
134 Hampshire St., Cambridge, MA 02139

Post 390
406 Stuart Street, Boston, MA 02116

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  1. I would suggest Scampo in the Liberty Hotel. The restaurant has a lot of "buzz" and the food is excellent. Plus there should be something on the menu that will please everyone.

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    Scampo
    215 Charles Street, Boston, MA 02114

    3 Replies
    1. re: RoyRon

      Have to second the Sampo recommendation.

      1. re: Pegmeister

        Ha, funny, Scampo was on my list that I whittle down to 4. I've not been there, but the online menu looks fab to me, but maybe limiting for the meat and potatos of the crowd. How's the atmosphere. Peg, I usually steer toward anything you suggest as you and I are of the select group that love the potato pizza at Artu !

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        Scampo
        215 Charles Street, Boston, MA 02114

        1. re: Buddernut

          Well if you like Artu's potato pizza you will fall in love with Scampo's lobster pizza! I like the atmosphere, it's open and bright. I generally, sit at the bar where you can pretty much see everything that is going on. They also have bar like seating that faces the oven and it's fun to watch the pizzas and rolls being baked, along with the theatrics of staff keeping everything moving. I haven't dined on the outdoor patio, but it does look lovely.

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          Scampo
          215 Charles Street, Boston, MA 02114

    2. Dante's is great atmosphere (on patio but interior is very cool as well) and the menu format (3 course prix fixe) is conducive for groups. But I haven't been to Scampo so can't compare...

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      Scampo
      215 Charles Street, Boston, MA 02114

      1. I've been to Gaslight before and I didn't think it was that good. The appetizers are decent, but their main dishes are lacking and their fries aren't great.

        Post 390 I liked a lot and they definitely have a lot of different options. Good seafood appetizers and I got the fried chicken for dinner which was really yummy! Well, the chicken was a little dry, but the mashed potatoes were so good and it came with a biscuit- ha!

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        Post 390
        406 Stuart Street, Boston, MA 02116

        1. I've been in your exact shoes. Oleana will not take a reservation for 8. At least not a weekend-- not sure when you're going. I hate their reservation policy, although I love their food. We ended up at Dante-- I agree that the prix fixe menu is nice with a group, especially if one person is footing the bill, and I also agree that the food is good with something for everyone, but definitely not great or super-exciting. I would suggest looking at the menu at Bergamot and see what you think-- we were so happy with their service and atmosphere on a recent special occasion visit that it's definitely going to figure into our special dinner rotation. Maybe also consider Rendevous?

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          Oleana
          134 Hampshire St., Cambridge, MA 02139

          1. I would put Scampo well ahead of Post 390. Post gets quite loud, and I'm not a big fan of the food.

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            Scampo
            215 Charles Street, Boston, MA 02114

            Post 390
            406 Stuart Street, Boston, MA 02116

            1. Depends what kind of atmosphere you want! Scampo on a weekend is very bustling and full of buzz, fairly young, but not exclusively. The Liberty Hotel feels like a party scene, because basically the hotel turns into a nightclub on weekends. I like the food there, although I think there are places with better food at the same price point, but the atmosphere is unique and fun. Sorellina has a beautiful setting, and excellent food, but is more quiet and subdued, while still being trendy and hip. Locke-Ober also has wonderful and unique atmosphere, in a much more old-Boston-Brahmin way. Food is good, and sometimes terrific, with what's today is a unique menu. Market, in the W Hotel, also has nice atmosphere --- very minimalist and trendy without being too loud. Meritage is just about the only decent place with an harbor view I can think of.

              Above are all restaurants that have good food, if not always the very very best in their class. Some restaurants that have food I don't like, but atmosphere that might appeal to some include Cuchi Cuchi, Top of the Hub, and the Barking Crab.

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              The Barking Crab
              88 Sleeper Street, Boston, MA 02210

              Locke-Ober
              3 Winter Place, Boston, MA 02108

              Top of the Hub
              800 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02199

              Scampo
              215 Charles Street, Boston, MA 02114

              Meritage Restaurant
              70 Rowes Wharf, Boston, MA 02110

              Cuchi Cuchi
              Boston, MA, Boston, MA

              Sorellina
              1 Huntington Ave, Boston, MA 02116

              1. Post 390 's food is horrible (except desserts, which are crave-worthy) and the service is atrocious. The "atmosphere" is a loud, disorganized space ... well 2 loud disorganized spaces.

                Using it in the same sentence as Oleana is a misdemeanor in most states.

                Gaslight's atmosphere is nicer, but the food has been meh, the few times I've eaten there. Now we tend to park there and have a cocktail and walk to Union.

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                Oleana
                134 Hampshire St., Cambridge, MA 02139

                Post 390
                406 Stuart Street, Boston, MA 02116

                1. I don't love the food at Scampo, and although the walk to the restaurant through the hotel is fun, the noise level can be as unbearable as the gross pick-up scene at the bar.

                  I guess I'm in the minority here on Gaslight. I like the food (especially the fries!), attractive and festive atmosphere, and cocktails. And, of course, the free parking lot.

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                  Scampo
                  215 Charles Street, Boston, MA 02114

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: pollystyrene

                    My experience with Scampo's atmosphere has been much different, but that is probably because I'm an early diner. My preference is to dine out around 5:30 or 6:00. I find the atmosphere to be quite relaxing and unrushed at that time,. While I've been there lae in the evening, my impression from other reports was that it was Clink and the hotel bar that was attracking the younger pick-up set.

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                    Scampo
                    215 Charles Street, Boston, MA 02114

                    1. re: Pegmeister

                      I got the same impression, Pegmeister, based on a number of later-night visits. The crowd at Scampo had much less of the young, loud, pickup types than the rest of the hotel (clink, alibi). Not that the Scampo bar is super quiet and refined...just not in the same category...

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                      Scampo
                      215 Charles Street, Boston, MA 02114