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Which restaurants are a the peak of their moment...right now?

I'm curious which restaurants other Hounds think are firing on all cylinders right now -- groundbreaking food, packed rooms, energetic service, buzz, the whole package. I'd throw Island Creek Oyster Bar into this category, plus Craigie on Main and Coppa. You?

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Craigie on Main
853 Main Street, Cambridge, MA 02139

Coppa
253 Shawmut Ave, Boston, MA 02118

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

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  1. Neptune Oyster, Bergamot, O Ya. I also agree with your three above.

    1. swank, watch out sometimes for the automatic CH info on Island Creek Oyster Bar and some other gaffs that can be in their system. See how -in your OP- CH has put the duxbury address of a different operation?

      I would add Gargoyles and Myers and Chang to that list of yours. Haven't yet had the pleasure, but it sounds like Bondir would be many people's choice to add.

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      Bondir
      279 Broadway, Cambridge, MA 02139

      2 Replies
      1. re: opinionatedchef

        Bondir and Cognac Bistro would be on my list.

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        Cognac Bistro
        455 Harvard St, Brookline, MA 02446

        Bondir
        279 Broadway, Cambridge, MA 02139

        1. re: opinionatedchef

          Just had dinner for the first time last night at Bondir, and I would definitely add it to this list. Great room, attentive service, and thoughtful, carefully crafted food. Also an excellently curated, if rather small, wine and beer list.

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          Bondir
          279 Broadway, Cambridge, MA 02139

        2. "Groundbreaking" might be pushing it, but I agree with Swank's choices and Bondir and would throw in Hungry Mother.

          1. I don't think the Barking Crab has ever been better than it is right now. They totally hit their peak the moment they sucked raw sewage into their fish tanks, and have preserved that level ever since.

            Wait, this is supposed to be about *good* places?

            http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

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            The Barking Crab
            88 Sleeper Street, Boston, MA 02210

            12 Replies
            1. re: MC Slim JB

              Sucking raw sewage into their fish tanks: certainly one way to define "groundbreaking." :)

              1. re: MC Slim JB

                While I doubt my school chums in the area would send me to this place I am glad to know of it just in case I was not going to mty standards and was venturing out. It sounds like something out of Hieronymus Bosch.

                1. re: hazelhurst

                  Despite inspiring general derision and horror on Chowhound, it has a loyal following, is busy most nights of the week. I think even the beer is rotten.

                  http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                  1. re: MC Slim JB

                    But it's seafood! In a big tent!! On the water!!!

                    1. re: robwat36

                      Might as well say Anthony's Pier Four...I actually had lunch there in 2007 or 2008 when I was killing time waiting for a friend in a nearby office building. It was exactly what I wanted it to be...1975 cast in amber....well, plastic anyway.

                      1. re: hazelhurst

                        I had one of the more depressing meals I've ever endured at Anthony's Pier 4 a few years ago. The waiters moved like underwater corpses, the air smelled stale, and the food resembled oversalted, soggy cardboard.

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                        Anthony's Pier 4 Restaurant
                        140 Northern Ave, Boston, MA 02210

                        1. re: Swankalicious

                          You know this place gets dumped on, but it is what it is . A non-Chowish white table restaurant that is passed its prime. A Sunset Boulevard kind of place but one that still has merits i recall an excellent meal of popovers and finnan haddie as recently as a few years ago. It's not a place to push the envelope.

                          1. re: gourmaniac

                            I _really_ like the Sunset Boulevard reference..that is perfect. Away back in the andeleuvian 1970's it was a hopping place but I liked the funeral aspect when I was last there. But I always liked Jimmy's better...it had a sense of place..and the old man's desk was a hoot.

                            1. re: hazelhurst

                              last time I was at Anthony's, about a dozen years ago, attending a banquet celebrating a christening, we had a choice of chicken or fish. I ordered one, my wife the other, but when they arrived we couldn't tell which was which.

                              1. re: GrillDawg

                                i have not been there for years, but i always thought that the prime rib was good at Anthony's and was knocked out by the wine list. I was always too timid to go beyond Prime Rib.

                                  1. re: cambridgedoctpr

                                    Prime rib was the last thing I ordered at Anthony's, and it was very good. Been a couple of years now since I was back. Everything else about the experience was kind of sad and tired.

                                    http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                2. I had a really good meal last night at ICOB. Everything was right: the oysters were fresh, perfectly shucked and well exlplained. The Maine shrimp appetizer (I guess cousin Mark is still getting them) was delicious, as were the razor clams. I think the ICOB burger may be better than their neighbors at Eastern Standard. The lobster roe pasta lived up to it's hype. The staff was pleasant and attentive, the decor and ambiance a great combination of Cape Cod beach and in town mod. While at 5 months old I don't know if that can count as a "peak", it was a great experience.

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                  Eastern Standard
                  528 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02215

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

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: justbeingpolite

                    hope you'll add that mini report to the ICOB thread so others can benefit from it! thx much.