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First date on Friday night?

I'm new to the area and met a lovely young woman the other night, we ended up sharing some French food at a very non pretentious, yet delicious place over by Fenway with her firend, unfortunately I have forgotten the name so any info there would be good too. We planned on going out again this Friday, I am looking for suggestions on where to go, in case she makes me decide. Shared plates are great, and Scotch/Bourbon/Whiskey at the bar is even better (we are both fans). Not looking to spend a fortune (Say between 60-100 for the night give or take a few Andrew Jacksons if need be). I am not picky, but I love a good authentic ethnic place. I live in Newburyport and can drive (depending on pre/post dinner drinking plans), train (depending on when I'm off work), or Bus in. Any details on valet, parking (pay or free), nearby T stops, taxi stands, etc. would be helpful too. Thanks in advance for any advice!

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  1. Was the French place Petit Robert?

    This recent thread has a lot of suggestions: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/757390

    How old are the participants by the way? That goes a long way toward an appropriate suggestion.
    Also, personal style - I might send a hipster to Trina's, a grad student type to River Gods, a young working person to Green Street.

    But french food and whiskey....maybe, the bar at Craigie on Main...though that's more of a third date place and it's not "ethnic" -

    I am kind of stumped actually....ethnic small plates with a good bar and good parking....

    I think you should definitely drive - you don't want to get tied to the crappy train schedule. How about Taberna de Haro in Brookline for tapas, followed by drinks across the street at the Beacon Street Tavern? Or substitute Elephant Walk (french/cambodian) for the tapas? There are a lot of meters in that section of Beacon Street and you are also near the Fenway so it is familiar territory.

    1. If you want to go back to the Kenmore Sq/Fenway area I would suggest Eastern Standard or Island Creek Oyster Bar. Both are in Kenmore Sq on either side of the Commonwealth Bay Hotel. Both have great food and a very good bar scene with some of the most professional mixoligists in Boston. Eastern Standard also has one of the widest selections of bourbons and rye whiskeys in the city. The raw bar at Island Creek is excellent with oysters from around the country and very good seafood entrees too.

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      Eastern Standard
      528 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02215

      Island Creek Oyster Bar
      500 Commonwealth Ave, Boston, MA 02215

      4 Replies
      1. re: RoyRon

        Friggin a - Of course - Eastern Standard is the answer to every question and I totally forgot. :(

        1. re: RoyRon

          I second both Island Creek and ESK. I also have to add Toro. It doesn't take reservations, but the food is worth it IMO.

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          Toro
          1704 Washington St, Boston, MA 02118

          1. re: ecwashere7

            Taberno de Haro, just up from Kenmore, on Beacon and St. Marys. You can usually find parking on the street. Great tapas, fabulous spanish wines and sherries.

          2. re: RoyRon

            Those sound like just what the Dr. ordered. Ages are 29 and 31, both working, have an appreciation for good food and drink, and I have a strong Culinary/Hospitality Background. I'm assuming as a hotel there is Valet service which is even better. Thanks to everyone for the advice!

          3. "Scotch/Bourbon/Whiskey at the bar" made me think of Hungry Mother in Cambridge. They always have interesting brown-liquor drinks on their cocktail menu. I ate there last week and it felt really cozy but with a good vibrant buzz, nice for a first date. 10 minute walk from the Kendall Sq T, Parking one block down next to Kendall Sq Cinema.

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            Hungry Mother
            Cambridge, MA, Cambridge, MA

            1 Reply
            1. re: sflory

              Second Hungry Mother. If you are into good food, interesting cocktails and exceptional service, this is a great spot. Plus I think it gives off a nice casual vibe, special enough for a first or second date but not too precious/fancy/over the top. Go there and report back :)

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              Hungry Mother
              Cambridge, MA, Cambridge, MA

            2. Lets get one thing clear in dating. because it served me well with my wife - she won't MAKE you decide - you WILL decide.. take her cues, any hints about her tastes, but have a plan in mind..show you've thought about it, but be decisive about the restaurant you have picked..

              3 Replies
              1. re: grant.cook

                ...unless she doesn't like that restaurant....

                1. re: pollystyrene

                  Yes, have a alternate if case she reveals something like "I can't eat Tapas.. a Tapas chef shot my dad." but don't come off with "hmm.. well, I'm not sure.. where do YOU want to go.. "

                2. re: grant.cook

                  i usually take someone for coffee at first so that a quick exit can be made if necessary.

                  I feel a little uncomfortable with an expensive place; it is a sign of trying too hard.

                3. Eastern Standard is a great idea and you won't find better drinks. I also thought of Russell House Tavern in Harvard Square, which has a nice bourbon and whiskey selection. The bartenders are fine but can be a little smug, but you know more than they do about whiskey so you'd have no problem :). You might keep Trina's in Inman Square in mind for another time. They also have a very nice whiskey selection and the bartenders are great there. It is loud, especially in the front room, but a nice crowd in your age range.

                  Have fun and good luck!

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                  Eastern Standard
                  528 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02215

                  Russell House Tavern
                  14 JFK Street, Cambridge, MA 02138