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Boss in town - Where should we take him?

improperbostonian Mar 22, 2011 04:27 PM

Hi all,

My boss will be in town from NYC on Thursday for meetings, and is looking forward to dinner in Boston. We've set the bar high on previous visits, so he can't wait to see where we choose to take him.... I am buckling under the pressure! Please help :)

Here are the parameters:
- Upscale, contemporary atmosphere (modern but warm); appearance definitely counts.
- Must have salmon on the menu. It doesn't matter where we take him, that's what he'll order.
- Have gone to Neptune Oyster, Prezza, Pigalle, Sibling Rivalry, & Meritage in the past.
- Mid-range price wise. Should have options on both the low end and high end scale. It will be expensed, but we can't take advantage.
- 6 total in the party, with tastes ranging from adventurous to a preference for chain restaurants.
- Biggest hits have been Houston's/Hillstone/whatever you'd like to call it these days (it's his favorite lunch spot in Boston), and Scampo, which was the hands down winner for both atmosphere & menu. He still raves about it.

Currently considering:
- Eastern Standard
- Met Back Bay
- Market

Would love to hear votes among the three on my list, or other recommendations!

Thanks in advance for the help!

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    evoolover RE: improperbostonian Mar 22, 2011 06:10 PM

    Must have salmon on the menu sort of kills the options....

    Ever considered crossing the river to Cambridge? Hungry Mother and Oleana are world class places....

    Hungry Mother
    Cambridge, MA, Cambridge, MA

    134 Hampshire St., Cambridge, MA 02139

    4 Replies
    1. re: evoolover
      improperbostonian RE: evoolover Mar 22, 2011 06:20 PM

      Good point. It's definitely more of a preference than a requirement. He avoids red meat, but would probably do just fine with other options. Salmon seems to be the go-to entree.

      Haven't made it across the river yet, and it's a great idea (we love to show off the city of Boston in addition to the food). Thanks so much for the suggestions.... looking them both up now!

      1. re: improperbostonian
        evoolover RE: improperbostonian Mar 22, 2011 06:23 PM

        Oleana is a genuine and rare dining experience....it is a very cozy and warm place, and the menu, wine list, ingredients, etc., are all very unique and of the highest quality. I've been dining here since Ana opened over 10 years ago, and have seen her rise to super chef stardom...

        It isn't "chichi" per se, like a downtown L'Espalier type place, but it is still high-end looking...

        774 Boylston St, Boston, MA 02199

        134 Hampshire St., Cambridge, MA 02139

        1. re: evoolover
          Madrid RE: evoolover Mar 23, 2011 06:29 AM

          Oleana is a very, very special place if those ingredients and that kind of food appeals to you. Ana Sortun is the opposite of a flashy famous star chef; she is deeply serious and her food is deeply nuanced and complex. I would go there once a week if I could afford it and could get child care. The mezze menu is full of healthy, intriguing choices and while she offers red meat, lamb in particular, it is very far from dominant.

          134 Hampshire St., Cambridge, MA 02139

          1. re: Madrid
            scotty27 RE: Madrid Mar 23, 2011 06:33 AM

            Oleana is one of those restaurants I respect rather than enjoy. I love the idea of what they are doing, and the uniqueness, but the flavors are not deep and the prices, especially for dessert at $11-14, absurd.


            134 Hampshire St., Cambridge, MA 02139

    2. s
      scotty27 RE: improperbostonian Mar 23, 2011 05:55 AM

      How about Bistro du Midi?

      Bistro du Midi
      272 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02116

      2 Replies
      1. re: scotty27
        CocoDan RE: scotty27 Mar 23, 2011 06:50 AM

        Really good choice for entertaining business associates. That would be my pick.

        1. re: scotty27
          ilovedessert RE: scotty27 Mar 23, 2011 11:22 AM

          Agreed. Particularly fitting since your boss is looking for non-red meat options. I don't think they'll have salmon on the menu, but they specialize and excel with fish.

        2. MC Slim JB RE: improperbostonian Mar 23, 2011 07:05 AM

          Davio's is another place I recommend for safe business entertaining. I just wrote up its virtues in the current Stuff Magazine. And it has two salmon entrees.


          75 Arlington St Ste Lbby, Boston, MA 02116

          1. ecwashere7 RE: improperbostonian Mar 23, 2011 07:15 AM

            I think Island Creek Oyster Bar would fit the bill. It has a comfortable vibe but still feels upscale. There are some great options on the menu, but no guarantee of salmon since the menu changes pretty regularly.

            My other suggestion would be Via Matta. The only knock on it, in my book, is that the room can be a little loud. It has a similar vibe to ICOB (comfortable and upscale) with very tasty Italian.

            One of my go-to itineraries for friends in town is to make a stop at Eastern Standard for pre-dinner cocktails and then head over to Island Creek for dinner.

            Eastern Standard
            528 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02215

            Via Matta
            79 Park Plaza, Boston, MA 02116

            Island Creek Oysters
            296 Parks St, Duxbury, MA 02332

            2 Replies
            1. re: ecwashere7
              Area Man RE: ecwashere7 Mar 24, 2011 09:50 AM

              For clarity, this is the correct link to Island Creek Oyster Bar, Kenmore Square:

              Chowhound automatically points to the Duxbury restaurant for some reason.

              ICOB is modern and comfortable, but I would not call it particularly warm. If he liked Neptune Oyster but thought it was too cramped, this would be a good choice.

              1. re: Area Man
                jajjguy RE: Area Man Mar 26, 2011 08:20 AM

                Another vote for Island Creek.

                Craigie on Main would also be a great choice; caveat about changing menu applies here as well, but they seem always to have some excellent salmon dish (remember that arctic char and sea trout are salmon).

            2. p
              pemma RE: improperbostonian Mar 23, 2011 10:49 AM

              Possibly Market at the W Hotel?Contemporary atmosphere, mid-range prices. They have salmon last I checked.

              2 Replies
              1. re: pemma
                scotty27 RE: pemma Mar 23, 2011 01:31 PM

                Great suggestion. The salmon is delicious. It's in one of JG's cookbooks, too.

                1. re: scotty27
                  Jolyon Helterman RE: scotty27 Mar 23, 2011 02:05 PM

                  Gaslight's salmon is really good: a high-quality piece of fish, with just simple braised garlicky escarole and—the kicker—a really bright lemon confit.

                  May be a miss in terms of "warm" ambience, but def modern and hip and pretty.

              2. s
                shaebones RE: improperbostonian Mar 23, 2011 11:17 PM

                Had one of the best salmon dishes I EVER had a Mistral a few weeks ago.

                1. b
                  bostondiner RE: improperbostonian Mar 25, 2011 06:09 AM

                  The best salmon I ever had was at a cooking class/demonstration at Radius. I attended with my mom, sister and SIL and we still talk about the salmon three years later. In fact, my SIL did not eat fish before the class and now eats it because the salmon was that good. The only drawback is that it might be on the high end of the price range. Michael Schlow (the exec chef at Radius) also is the exec chef at Radius and at Tico so those are probably also worth checking out.
                  Bistro du Midi is a beautiful space/atmosphere... I'd second that for consideration.
                  I like Met Back Bay and think the space is beautiful but I wouldn't put the menu in the same category as Scampo. Although if Houston's was also a hit, I'd definitely consider it.

                  215 Charles Street, Boston, MA 02114

                  Bistro du Midi
                  272 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02116

                  222 Berkeley St, Boston, MA 02116

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