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Dinner Date Dilemma

The BF and I, well ok mostly me, want to go out for a nice dinner. Something different than our usually very casual, mostly counter service restaurants or diners. We live in Medfield but are willing to drive or take the train into Boston. Pricing must be moderate/inexpensive entrees $30 or less. I keep looking at the CH reviews and looking at restaurant menus but the BF is a very picky eater (no mushrooms, no onions, no celery, no cheese, no fish, no cream sauces, not heavily spiced, etc etc) and he’s not a foodie. I am looking for a place where I can get a nice meal and he can get a burger or something along those lines.
I had really liked the looks of the Neptune Oyster menu but it didn’t look like they had anything for him on the menu.
Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Neptune Oyster
63 Salem St Ste 1, Boston, MA 02113

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  1. Perhaps the bar menu at Craigie on Main? They have a great burger, but also many more unorthodox choices for you, including the famous crispy pig tails. Though it is the "bar" menu, it is actually a nice space with real tables and you can make a reservation. Prices are definitely in line with your budget.

    Craigie on Main
    853 Main Street, Cambridge, MA 02139

    1. How about Highland Kitchen in Somerville?

      Highland Kitchen
      150 Highland Ave, Somerville, MA 02143

      4 Replies
      1. re: Prav

        Re-wrote this entry three times - I like Highland Kitchen, but it's kind of a drag to get there from SW of Boston (Medfield). I feel like you want a place that is going to encourage the boyfriend to do this again, and while I love HK, I don't know if it's so impressive to merit an hour's drive from the deep 'burbs.

        If you are referencing Neptune Oyster in terms of location, vibe and chow, what about the Gallows in the South End? Or the Biltmore in Newton? Kouzina (nice Greek place) in Newton (Waban)? What about East Coast Grill? He can get BBQ while you can get a nice piece of fish or something spicy...

        My inner chowhound says, "Dump the BF!" :)

        1. re: Bob Dobalina

          Second the Gallows.

          You could also go to Ten Tables JP on Monday nights when they have their burger and beer special, and you could order off the regular menu. They might have their burger on other nights, too, I can't remember. Super-romantic but with food he could eat.

          1. re: Bob Dobalina

            I agree with everything that BD says above.

          2. Marliave could work for you. They have an excellent burger as well as more adventurous menu items. Good food and good cocktails. And they're right near the Park St T station so you could take the train.

            A somewhat more upscale place that also does a decent burger - and superb cocktails - is Eastern Standard, also right near a T stop (Kenmore Sq).

            Eastern Standard
            528 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02215

            10 Bosworth Street, Boston, MA 02108

            1. Wow I am stumped. What does this guy eat? So many American and European dishes have at least some onions. It is possible to avoid celery and dairy and mushrooms and stick to mild flavors, but no onions?!!?? In any amount?

              I know you suggested a burger for him, but with an eye to future meals, will he eat Chinese food? A nice Cantonese menu (for example) will present gentle flavors. It is easy to avoid the dishes that will have the items on his list. (Assuming this is not a matter of allergies, scallion shreds don't look like onion and can be eaten around if need be.)

              Is the problem very extreme avoidance of flavor (no not being sarcastic) or a fear of trying anything that deviates too much from his limited and bland childhood menu? If it is the latter, perhaps he can be trained!

              1. there is a burger at Neptune...it comes with fried oysters, but I sure BF could get it plain...

                1 Reply
                1. re: Madrid

                  I should have also added, the fries at Neptune are outstanding.

                2. A lot of good suggestions here. I would probably lean towards Marliave, or possibly Grotto (same owners) as they have beef tenderloin on the menu, and it's a nice comfortable somewhat romantic spot. Another option might be Silvertones, their menu gravitates towards comfort foods, think mac & cheese, steak tips, but it has more of a lively vibe to it.

                  69 Bromfield St, Boston, MA 02108

                  10 Bosworth Street, Boston, MA 02108

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Pegmeister

                    I would add Tupelo (lots of southern comfort food he might like including bbq chicken and pork but interesting food for you as well and the price is comfortable) and Eastern Standard Kitchen where the burger is good and the drinks are great.

                    Eastern Standard
                    528 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02215

                  2. What about one of the 3 Sel de la Terre locations? I am a burger guy and they have a solid burger for your boyfriend. And if you are used to very casual counter service style places you will certainly enjoy the rest of the menu and be well within your stated budget. And you can make a reservation on Open Table.

                    1. I'd suggest Radius, Gargoyle's bar area, or Foundry on Elm.

                      1. If you're heading into Boston anyway, I'd make an evening of it and check out Downtown Crossing. The lights are up and soon the skating will start up again on Frog Pond; very romantic.

                        In addition to above suggestions, you might consider Petit Robert (Central) on Summer St in Dwntn Xing. Last Fri night they had an awesome venison dish; don't know if that's too adventurous but hard to imagine if he's a meat & potatoes guy he wouldn't like it. Or they have steak frite which I'm sure he'd love. btw I think the fries taste like McD's, which isn't always such a bad thing in my book.

                        1. Please post back to let us know what you chose and how you liked it!