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suggestions for dinner in south end

hey foodies!
i'll be in the Tremont St. area Thursday night after 7:00 and I'm in need of a place to have dinner. last time in was in town I went to Aquitaine and had a great meal/experience and loved the atmosphere...very Oh La la, but it was a little pricey. Trusting fellow chowhounds on the Board, can anyone suggest a place that would be just as good (if not better) but a little more moderately priced and seeing as how I did the French noshing last time I'd be open to any other regional/international fare in that area! thx :)

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  1. If you want to try your luck, swing by Coppa and see how long the wait is. If its too long and you don't want to wait, head on over to Gaslight. Gaslight is owned by same restaurant group as Aquitaine. Same idea, lower prices.

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    Coppa
    253 Shawmut Ave, Boston, MA 02118

    1. Some fine dining places I like that are nearby, not explicitly French, and a little less costly than Aquitaine:

      Stella -- crowd-pleasing, chic-looking Italian, always a scene on weekends.

      28 Degrees -- clubby, lively, filled with non-neighborhood types on weekends, with much improved food (emphasis on sharing plates) in the past year.

      Masa -- another loud fun place doing a Yankee take on Southwestern cuisine; good tequila bar, too.

      Tremont 647 -- electic, casual New American with emphasis on wood grilling; had a fine dinner here recently.

      Stephi's on Tremont -- upscale comfort food in a slick setting, another crowd-pleaser.

      Metropolis -- intimate American/Mediterranean with a great fall menu.

      Pops -- upscale comfort food with a more original and creative chef than most in this category. I don't like it as much since they shoehorned a bar into the front, but it has been good for business.

      Myers + Chang -- hip, upscale pan-Asian, fun and interesting menu, many small dishes to share, good beer and sake.

      Addis Red Sea -- romantic, nice-priced Ethiopian, fairly fancy for places of this type, still a good deal by South End standards.

      South End Buttery -- a good small eclectic restaurant, much nicer atmosphere in the basement dining room than the upstairs bar/cafe.

      Ginger Park -- upscale pan-Asian in a room with a breathtaking design. Decent bar up front.

      Estragon -- a bit more of a walk, but excellent Spanish restaurant, tapas and big plates, good wine list, romantic room.

      Reservations are a really good idea in the South End on Friday nights. Places like Coppa, The Gallows, Orinoco, The Butcher Shop, Teranga, The Franklin Cafe, Toro, and others that do not take reservations will be very tough tables to land without a significant wait.

      http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

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      28 Degrees
      1 Appleton St., Boston, MA 02116

      Toro
      1704 Washington St, Boston, MA 02118

      Tremont 647
      647 Tremont Street, Boston, MA 02118

      South End Buttery
      314 Shawmut Avenue, Boston, MA 02118

      Masa
      439 Tremont Street, Boston, MA 02116

      Teranga
      1746 Washington Street, Boston, MA

      Red Sea Cafe
      1127 Harrison Ave, Roxbury, MA 02119

      Tremont Cafe
      418 Tremont St, Boston, MA 02116

      Coppa
      253 Shawmut Ave, Boston, MA 02118

      3 Replies
      1. re: MC Slim JB

        looking over these suggestions they all sound great and i've seen several positive reviews for coppa and torro, that could be interesting italian small plates vs. spanish... what about this South End Buttery??? sounds more like comfort food based on the menu, which could be nice given the time of year...does the dinner menu change w/ the season?? Any other reviews out there for South End Buttery as a dinner destination??

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        South End Buttery
        314 Shawmut Avenue, Boston, MA 02118

        1. re: northshoregrl

          You've got a long wait ahead of you on a Friday night for Coppa and Toro, though I like them both tremendously: they're just too packed to be much fun on weekend nights. Hour wait is not unusual.

          I actually haven't been back to South End Buttery since a recent chef change, though I think it's good and a good value. I like C. Hamster's suggestions below, but a) Gaslight is French; and b) the rest are more expensive than Aquitaine.

          http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

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          Toro
          1704 Washington St, Boston, MA 02118

          South End Buttery
          314 Shawmut Avenue, Boston, MA 02118

          Coppa
          253 Shawmut Ave, Boston, MA 02118

          1. re: northshoregrl

            Some great recs here, though i do feel that South End Buttery is more comfort food than eclectic. I had limited interest in dining here just 'cause there are so many other interesting spots in the south end...but then one sat night I was with a group of people and we couldn't get in anywhere. South End Buttery had a table for us, and we ended up having a really nice meal. It's a cozy spot with good food and service. I was pleasantly surprised. Though I still think there are other places in the 'hood I'd choose first (Coppa, Myers & Chang, Toro come to mind..)

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            Toro
            1704 Washington St, Boston, MA 02118

            South End Buttery
            314 Shawmut Avenue, Boston, MA 02118

            Myers + Chang
            1145 Washington St, Boston, MA 02118

        2. Rocca

          Union

          Gaslight

          Sibling Rivalry

          B and G Oyster

          Hamersley's

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          Sibling Rivalry
          525 Tremont St., Boston, MA 02116

          5 Replies
          1. re: C. Hamster

            Although several of these suggestions are sound dining, how many are less expensive than Aquitaine?

            tb

            1. re: trueblu

              South End buttery doesn't seem too bad price wise...but is it worth it, i've been reading mixed reviews from other foodie site?? i might be leaning more towards there...lesser expensive maybe Picco from what i've seen? but not sure i'd be in the mood for pizza...

              1. re: northshoregrl

                That's always a tough question: whose recommendations do you trust online? Buttery is good, but I think it's only really enjoyable if you get seated in that basement dining room with the fireplace. That's very cozy and charming; the ground-floor bar and its uncomfortable table seating, far less so.

                Picco is one of the very best pizza joints in the city, I think, wonderful thin-crust wood-oven pies, and its ice cream is also excellent and unique, soft of halfway between ice cream and gelato. But it's another South End place that is very popular and doesn't take reservations: long waits are inevitable on Fridays.

                You have to decide if cooling your heels for an hour or so in a place with no proper bar or an intensely packed bar is what you want to deal with on a Friday night. That's weekend dining in the South End if you don't have a reservation or intend to dine at places that don't take reservations.

                Sunday to Thursday? Not such a problem. Fri-Sat is a very different story. Rainy or snowy weather can be your friend here, but it looks like Friday night is going to be cold and clear, not much help.

                http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                1. re: MC Slim JB

                  I would be going tomorrow night (Thursday) so I am hoping to maybe avoid the weekend crowd and would mostly be looking to sit and relax during dinner...which is why i was thinking South End Buttery (if i can get downstairs seating) the menu looks pretty good, but have seen mixed reviews on the service...

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                  South End Buttery
                  314 Shawmut Avenue, Boston, MA 02118

                  1. re: northshoregrl

                    Not sure how many are in your party, but you shouldn't have a problem getting into S E Buttery on a Thursday night, and sitting downstairs. I agree with MC that the atmosphere is much nicer downstairs. Very cozy.
                    Enjoy!