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Most like Sage?

The late and much-lamented Sage was by far my father's favorite restaurant. Where can we go now that is most like it? I thought maybe Bina Osteria or Erbaluce? Would love your thoughts as I rarely venture downtown anymore.

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Bina Osteria
581 Washington Street, Boston, MA 02111

Erbaluce
69 Church Street, Boston, MA 02116

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  1. Last I looked, Tony Susi was cooking at Teatro, so he might have put some of his stamp on that menu.

    Erbaluce is terrific, but I suspect it won't remind you much of Sage: Draghi's cooking is one-of-a-kind.

    Coppa does small plates that are reminiscent of what Sage was doing on its bar "stuzzi" menu. This same Italian-tapas thing is also done at Damiano's in the North End and on part of the menu at La Morra in Brookline.

    Maybe you'd get some of that refined-rustic flavor at Dante in Cambridge or Il Casale in Belmont.

    http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

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    Teatro
    177 Tremont Street, Boston, MA 02111

    La Morra
    48 Boylston Street, Brookline, MA 02445

    Erbaluce
    69 Church Street, Boston, MA 02116

    Coppa
    253 Shawmut Ave, Boston, MA 02118

    2 Replies
    1. re: MC Slim JB

      I didn't realize that Tony Susi was at Teatro -- their menu looks perfect, thanks so much! I'll give him the choice between that and Erbaluce, since he did like Marcuccio's a lot back in the day. Bet he chooses Teatro though....

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      Teatro
      177 Tremont Street, Boston, MA 02111

      Erbaluce
      69 Church Street, Boston, MA 02116

      1. re: GretchenS

        Teatro is a good choice as they don't particularly do small plates, but they do half orders of a lot of menu items. They also have the best fried calimari that I've had in Boston. I swear it's so light and greaseless that it almost floats of the plate.
        Enjoy,
        CocoDan

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        Teatro
        177 Tremont Street, Boston, MA 02111

    2. I would say Coppa is most like Sage but even better! It is located in the South End on Shawmut. Be sure to know that they do not take reservations and it is wait list only.

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      Coppa
      253 Shawmut Ave, Boston, MA 02118

      1. I'd put Sage in a "refined, modern Italian" bucket, of which the closest place that I also love is Prezza. Similar approach--plus a wood-grilled Italian bent to boot. I in fact enjoy Prezza more than I did Sage, and it is a nice space--your father should enjoy it. Prezza recently rolled out a fall menu that is very good.

        I'll also throw out a recommendation for Rocca, which serves up modern and very creative Italian with a seafood and a farmers' market bent. Highly recommended, although I (and many others) are not crazy about their main dining room--sterile and boring. I much prefer their bar, bar area, and patio, so Rocca might not be your best bet for an occasion.

        Erbaluce isn't much like Sage, except in that it is very good (even better than Sage) Italian. As JB wrote, Erbaluce is one-of-a-kind.

        Others have mentioned Coppa, but I don't see much comparison. Again, Coppa is excellent, but it isn't refined or modern in the manner of Sage. I've been hitting Coppa up a lot recently and love it, but it is hard to suggest it for a special meal with your father given the cramped space, loud room, and lack of reservations.

        I haven't been to Bina Osteria since Chef Brian Konefal left last summer. I think it was a good comparison then, although a bit higher end. I don't know what it is like now, but I heard they took the concept down market.

        Teatro is a good bet in the similarity department--it is a similar concept to begin with, and Tony Susi is now the chef--but it I'd recommend Erbauce or Prezza over it for an occasion.

        Wherever you go, good luck!

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        Prezza
        24 Fleet St., Boston, MA 02113

        Teatro
        177 Tremont Street, Boston, MA 02111

        Bina Osteria
        581 Washington Street, Boston, MA 02111

        Erbaluce
        69 Church Street, Boston, MA 02116

        Coppa
        253 Shawmut Ave, Boston, MA 02118

        1 Reply
        1. re: rlove

          Coppa's menu and Sage's stuzzi menu at the bar had a fair amount of overlap: meatballs, salumi, a red pepper salad, various crostini and bruschette, little plates of pasta, crudi. Tony even did a pizza once in a while. That ended up being my favorite way to eat at Sage: the dining room was ugly, and its menu was kind of expensive for a weeknight.

          http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

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          Coppa
          253 Shawmut Ave, Boston, MA 02118

        2. I'll throw out Marco as a similar restaurant. Both are/were Italian with a modern twist in an intimate setting. Handmade pastas are fantastic.

          3 Replies
          1. re: cannedmilkandfruitypebbles

            FYI: Tony Susi is the Executive Chef at Olives at the W Hotel New York.

            1. re: cannedmilkandfruitypebbles

              Thanks for the update, Noitall! Glad to hear he landed what sounds like a good gig.

              http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

              1. re: cannedmilkandfruitypebbles

                I don't share the opinion that Marco is a modern twist on Italian--pretty standard Roman trattoria, to me--but I do share the recommendation. Very good, with a lovely space.