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looking for South shore restaurant with a fun bar

Hi Folks,
Long time lurker first time poster, I am looking for a south shore restaurant with a fun bar for my birthday dinner with two girlfriends next Saturday night. Looking primarily for a place in Quincy, Brantree, Hingham, Weymouth, area. Two of us are coming from the North shore (our passports are ready!:) and the other lives in Quincy and works in Scituate (which is where she will be coming from Saturday evening). So she is coming from south to north, relatively speaking so we don't want to go further south than Hingham.

We like steak, seafood, Mexican, Italian. Good Martinis too but other cockals are fine. We want a place where we can hang out at a fun bar for a drink first, have dinner at a table and then maybe go back to the bar afterwards. Dining out is a big part of what we enjoy on a regular basis so we like "good" food.

I've been reading this board for quite awhile and culled my list from some of your more frequent recommendations, but don't know if any have a "fun bar".

My list includes:
El Serape Braintree
Spazio Braintree
Sintra Braintree
Tosca Hingham
Stars Hingham
Rustic Kitchen Hingham
Burton’s Grill Hingham
Scarlet Oak Tavern Hingham
Alma Nove Hingham
Abby Park Milton
Trattoria San Pietro Norwell
Orta Pembroke
Gennaro Quincy
Fat Cat Quincy
Tavern at Quarry Hills Quincy (Granite Links Golf Course)
Ecco Trattoria - Weymouth
Peppercornz Weymouth

Any input on the food and or bar area on these or any other suggestions in our preferred locations or thereabouts would be a great help.

Thanks so much!

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Fat Cat
24 Chestnut St, Quincy, MA 02169

Sintra
906 Washington St, Braintree, MA 02184

Trattoria San Pietro
376 Washington St., Norwell, MA 02061

Ecco Trattoria
1169 Main St, Weymouth, MA 02190

Rustic Kitchen
94 Derby St, Hingham, MA 02043

Scarlet Oak Tavern
1217 Main St, Hingham, MA 02043

Spazio
200 Quincy Ave, Braintree, MA 02184

Peppercornz
1037 Main St, Weymouth, MA 02190

Abby Park
550 Adams Street, Milton, MA 02186

Orta Restaurant
75 Washington St, Pembroke, MA 02359

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  1. Given your criteria, I would suggest:
    - Tosca (probably the best combination of food and bar, with prices to match); could consider Trattoria Alba across the street too
    - Burton's (it's a chain, but has good food and good bar)
    - Scarlet Oak
    - Add to list - Alba (Quincy)

    Other reactions:
    - Alma Nove probably fits the bill, but I haven't been - so I can't vouch for it.
    - El Serape Braintree (Good food w/ bar, but might not be a "special dinner" spot)
    - Fat Cat - bar is only good if you are sitting at it, and it's unlikely you can get seats at the bar both before and after dinner. Plus they don't do reservations.
    - Sintra is good, but a bit sleepy I'd say. Not a lively bar scene.
    - Gennaro's does not have a bar (I don't think) - it's a casual spot
    - I don't particularly care for Spazzio
    - Pembroke, Norwell and maybe even your weymouth options are further out of the way than Hingham, if you have someone coming from Scituate.

    1 Reply
    1. re: goose

      Cafe tosca is across the street from Tosca...not Trattoria Alba, which was in Quincy and no longer exists. my mistake.

    2. Gennaro does not have a bar. The Tavern at the Quarry, only good for a drink and the view.

      1. That's quite a list so let's see if we can narrow it down:
        Tavern at Quarry Hills is a nice spot for drinks & apps; food isn't anything special
        Fat Cat has great food (lobster mac & cheese; crabcakes; ribs) but it's very popular and there is most likely going to be a wait.
        Scarlet Oak Tavern; Love the bar in cold weather for drinks only; food IMHO is yuk
        Cafe Tosca across from Tosca; nice bar; small menu with good pizza; lobster mac & cheese; great bartending and more casual than tosca
        Abby Park has a nice bar; great bartending, favorites shrimp/calamari miso and oysters; this place seems to run hot and cold; not well loved on this board; but I've had good luck
        Albas in Quincy would be a good choice;
        DiNeros in Cohaset has a wonderful large, lively bar with good food
        Gennaros does not have a bar; food is good, but expect to be rushed, no lingering here.
        Snug in Hingham, good Irish pub; small bar but you can hang out at the tables
        Lastly, I absolutely love Port 305 at Marina Bay with it's ocean views; fried clams, lobster sliders, lobster mac & cheese ....

        -----
        Fat Cat
        24 Chestnut St, Quincy, MA 02169

        Scarlet Oak Tavern
        1217 Main St, Hingham, MA 02043

        Abby Park
        550 Adams Street, Milton, MA 02186

        Port 305
        305 Victory Rd, Quincy, MA 02171

        4 Replies
        1. re: Pegmeister

          Peg,

          I'm not sure if you've been to Scarlet Oak Tavern lately, but they have a new chef (Stephen Sherman, formerly of Union Bar & Grill) who has revamped the menu. Might be worth another shot.

          To answer the OP's question: From the list you provided, I would say that Scarlet Oak and Alma Nove would fit the bill best.

          -----
          Scarlet Oak Tavern
          1217 Main St, Hingham, MA 02043

          1. re: beb31

            Thank you for that update. It was last winter that I was there for food and once since then just for drinks. I would love to see that the food had improved so will give it another shot. I really wanted that scallop pizza to be good but the scallops were so huge that it just overpowered the whole pizza.

            1. re: beb31

              I haven't had too much luck there myself. Nothing terrible but nothing great either. I'd like to hear about some of the changes.

              That said, I would actually recommend The Oak to the OP based on it's proximity to rt.3 and the large, lively bar that you MAY be able to get seats at after dinner. If you consider it a steak house, lower end not G23/Capital/Mortens etc, then you probably won't be disappointed. Unless beb31 says they've changed from that concept a bit.

              1. re: T.Clark

                I was at Scarlet Oak last week. They are doing some things a little different but it's not a big change or one that you'd readily see.

                But I'm not 100% sure becuase I only ever get the Steak Frites. Those Rosemary Truffle fries are great. There were some new seafood offerings I don't remember seeing previously.

                The bar is always crowded when I'm there and there are typically groups of people conversing- it's a nice upscale tavern atmosphere. I think it's a good choice for the OP- seems to fit a lot of the criteria... large bar, lots of people, totally separate dinning room and decent food.

          2. For your situation I would highly recommend Alba in Quincy center. Very good bar, Very good food and interesting wine list. This bar works for before and after dinner.
            Enjoy,
            CocoDan

            1. One of my favorite places for a bite to eat then a drink is The Snug in Hingham (which was mentioned by Pegmeister). Good comfort food, cozy atmosphere, an attractive little bar area with decent bartenders, and sometimes they have live music.