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wine bar recommendation?

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I'll be spending 10/29 - 10/31 in Boston and would like to find a wine bar. I've done a fair amount of googling and just can't seem to find a restaurant that focuses on the wine yet offers a satisfying menu as well. For food I'd be happy with cheese boards, bruschettas, tapas, etc. but would also consider a place with a decent pairing menu.

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  1. Troquet is great. Bin 26 is semi-okay. Les Zygomates is sort-of-semi-okay. Actually, I should say that I haven't been to Zygomates since 2003, so it presumably could have changed since then.

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    Troquet
    140 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02116

    1. My rec is to grab a train to Manhattan. Boston has restaurants with decent to very good wine lists, but no worthwhile wine bars. At least not that I've found. I'd love to learn that I'm wrong.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Ricardo Malocchio

        I am impressed by Troquet; the owner, Chris, and I both vie for purchasing cellar; his prices are very reasonable. I think that this place would be very good in Manhattan.

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        Troquet
        140 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02116

      2. I checked out the menu for Troquet and I think I'll check it out. Thanks for the feedback. I agree that the Boston selection is lacking. I live in Hartford and believe it or not we have a couple places that do a very good job in the wine bar arena.

        1. This is a beer 'n cocktails town, and that's how some of us like it!

          No recommendations for The Butcher Shop, though?

          7 Replies
          1. re: robwat36

            The Butcher Shop is great but I don't think of it as a wine bar. I think they might have 10 or so wines by the glass, correct? They are typically great wines. I don't know what I consider to be a wine bar, but something like 20+ wines by the glass would be a start, or multiple representations for each varietal on the menu (old world, new world, new new world). But as one is only likely to have 6 or 8 "tastes" tops, the Butcher Shop could work, I just doubt they have four different pinotages or Chenin Blancs on the menu by the glass.

            1. re: redelephant

              since most pinotage is nearly undrinkable, its absence on a wine list doesn't trouble me.

              the economics and politics of liquor licensing here makes having a true wine bar culture nearly impossible. for example, the beacon hill neighborhood association was able to force bin 26 to force all guests to order "some" food with their wine. in other words, in order to have a glass of wine you MUST order food.

              troquet is a fine dining restaurant with a serious wine program. as much as i love it, it may not be what the op has in mind.

              if you just want small plates and good wine, toro, coppa, taberna del haro, bistro du midi, dante, eastern standard, island creek oyster bar, neptune oyster, even scampo might work.

              1. re: hotoynoodle

                No offense intended, but have you already been to Island Creek Oyster Bar or are you assuming a decent wine selection based on the management? It is very new.

                For good wine at good prices (though not a wine bar by any stretch of the imagination), I would recommend Silvertone.

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                Silvertone
                69 Bromfield St, Boston, MA 02108

                Island Creek Oysters
                296 Parks St, Duxbury, MA 02332

                1. re: Canadian Tuxedo

                  saw the icob wine list pre-opening.

                  i've been enjoying the joly coulee de serant at silvertone the last couple weeks and yes, his wine prices are awesome, but it's totally a "bar", NOT a wine bar, lol.

                  1. re: hotoynoodle

                    I hope they follow in the footsteps of Eastern Standard and consistently present a Coturri by the glass as it is one of my favorite producers. It's always such a treat.

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                    Eastern Standard
                    528 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02215

                    1. re: redelephant

                      Count me in the Coturri fan club. I'll add to the Troquet recs. I've never done a snack type meal but had a # of tasting menus...If you give them a budget for wine ( I think we went for 30% more than the menu suggestion), you'll likely walk out very happy. If you llike pork, and who doesn't?..:) request a pork dish in your tasting.

                      Try to reserve a seat in the window.

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                      Troquet
                      140 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02116

                2. re: hotoynoodle

                  Hey! There's no need to bash on pinotage!