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I don't want my bday dinner to be a bust. I've eaten almost everywhere...Need new ideas.

Save me from divorce! The problem: My husband and I share a birthday. He wants to go to Craigie on Main. I love it there, but I've been a few times and want to try someplace new. (Hey, it's my birthday too!) He wants "New American" and has suggested spots like Radius or No 9 Park. I want something more obscure, ethnic, startling. I want North End. He won't park there. Sigh...

To give you some idea of places I've enjoyed in the past, I'll list:
Island Creek Oyster Bar
Eastern Standard
Coppa
Toro
MET Back Bay
Helmond (Afghan - amazing)
La la Rokh
Trina's Starlite (though I wouldn't want to dine there for a special evening out)
the aforementioned Craigie
Clio/Uni
Estragon
Gaslight
East by Northeast
Petit Robert
Bistro du Midi
Grille 23
Oleana
Hungry Mother
TW Food
Tu Y Yo

I'm kind of "eh" on Journeyman and Deuxave, though the latter might work.
At this point, I'd be willing to go to Tasty Burger.

I want offal. I want brains. I want spice. I want exotic. Help.

We cannot afford O Ya or Menton.

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O Ya
9 East Street, Boston, MA 02111

No 9 Park
9 Park Street, Boston, MA 02108

Eastern Standard
528 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02215

Toro
1704 Washington St, Boston, MA 02118

Petit Robert Bistro
468 Commonwealth Ave., Boston, MA 02215

Craigie on Main
853 Main Street, Cambridge, MA 02139

Island Creek Oysters
296 Parks St, Duxbury, MA 02332

Coppa
253 Shawmut Ave, Boston, MA 02118

East by Northeast
1128 Cambridge Street, Cambridge, MA 02139

Menton
354 Congress St, Boston, MA 02210

Tasty Burger
1301 Boylston St, Boston, MA 02116

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  1. Oleana? Ethnic, yet not so exotic as to turn off someone craving new American.

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    Oleana
    134 Hampshire St., Cambridge, MA 02139

    1. Have you considered Bergamot? Special enough to feel bday wo rthy. He can get pretty standard fare and you can jazz it up with a dish of the day.

      1. Did you consider the new Bondir, on Broadway between Central and Inman Squares? Jason Bond was very good at the Beacon Hill Bistro. There are a number of unusual ingredients on the menu. It definitely classifies as New American and people say it is quite cozy, with a fireplace. I haven't been but am excited to try it.

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        Bondir
        279 Broadway, Cambridge, MA 02139

        1. Take a drive down to Providence.. hit Gracies.. or head over to Eastie and try some food from our southern latitudes. I had several tasty meals on the other end of the Sumner/Callahan tunnels.

          Green Street in Central is always fun, maybe not a big "birthday special dinner" place but a good menu..and that French/Japanese place out in Lincoln got some decent press for a while, though I never tried it.

          There is always the ultimate in foodie experiences: Wrights Chicken Farm in Harrisville, RI. No brains, but lots of chicken..

          Or screw the birthday dinner.. do birthday breakfast, so you can sample the other end of the dining chronology..

          1. Taberno del Haro in Brookline....Spanish
            not exotic but north end: Neptune Oyster (there is a lot nearby)

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

            2 Replies
            1. re: Madrid

              striper guy has an amazing list of ethnic restaurants. You could go to NYC for your birthday; further than Providence but the choices are amazing.

              1. re: cambridgedoctpr

                Jet Blue to JFK, cab to Flushing, plenty of spice, offal, exotic....