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Need some suggestions for Boston dining

  • JunieB Apr 16, 2011 08:25 AM
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My husband and I will be spending 2 nights in Boston April 22-24 and we're hoping you Boston hounds can point us in the direction of some good grub! We're staying at the Liberty Hotel (to give you an idea of our location) but we're will to branch out from there. I have gotten one suggestion so far, from a western Mass. hound who suggested Abe and Louie's for a good steak. WOULD YOU AGREE?? We don't mind fancy eating one night, but we like dives and diners too, and just about any ethnic food you can name. If you only had 2 nights in Boston, where might you dine? Some breakfast/lunch and dinner place suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

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  1. Here's a good thread to read:

    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/776070

    1 Reply
    1. re: mcel215

      Excellent! Thank you.

    2. Scampo at your hotel is great, nice pasta dishes, bread/rolls are incredible but I can't pass up the lobster pizza even though I keep wanting to try the shrimp scampi version. You are within walking distance of the North End and there are plenty of posts on that area. You may also enjoy the Charles St area. I'm a fan of Abe & Louies, great steaks but their desserts really calln out to me.

      -----
      Scampo
      215 Charles Street, Boston, MA 02114

      Abe & Louie's
      793 Boylston St, Boston, MA 02116

      1 Reply
      1. re: Pegmeister

        Thank you Pegmeister, that's good to know. I was hoping to have at least one meal in the hotel. I looked through the thread mentioned above and unless I missed something, there are only 6 or 7 restaurants recommended. The Afghan restaurant looked interesting, and maybe Tamarind, but I'm sure Boston has more to offer than that! I'm not necessarily looking for the current "it" restaurant, I'm looking for variety and just really solid good food. Maybe a good pho joint, bistro, BBQ, Thai, or even an outstanding burger! I'm allergic to shellfish so heavy on the seafood places don't appeal to me very much. I'll keep digging on the Boston Board and hopefully something will turn up. Thanks for the Scampo rec.!

        -----
        Scampo
        215 Charles Street, Boston, MA 02114

      2. Legal Seafood has a number of locations and has its fans and detractors (I am a fan). This week they opened a new location on Northern Ave called Legal Harborside. Have not eaten there yet but stopped by to see what the facility looks like and was very impressed. It has a large open kitchen and nice looking bar area, but the most impressive aspect is the wall of windows looking out over the harbor. Would suggest you at least try a lunch there.

        It is also an interesting area to walk. If you take a cab your could after lunch walk back toward central Boston on the Harbor Walk which would be about a mile. Along the way you would pass the Fish Pier, World Tade Center, Instiute of Contemporary Art and have more terrific views of the harbor.

        -----
        Fish Pier Restaurant
        667 E Broadway, Boston, MA 02127

        1. junie, happy to help but it's a big city with many options!

          you need to help us help you. do you have and want to use a car?or the T? do you care if the great food is in an uglier part of town? do you have daytime plans that you'd like your foods to be in the same general area? the recent visitor threads have been for more high- end dining, as is the one referenced above. here is one with advice for a newcomer looking for good food in the same area where you are staying. in the meantime, you might want to search under certain areas of the city and or particular ethnic foods or 'best'.

          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/778015

          17 Replies
          1. re: opinionatedchef

            Thanks! I will follow your leads and see what I find! We will have a car but would prefer to use public transportation or cabs. I am somewhat familiar w/Cambridge but know very little of Boston, except the Aquarium - so I would like to explore Boston proper. I will be busy Friday afternoon but would like to freshen up at the hotel and then go somewhere for a nice dinner. I rarely eat steak but Abe & Louie's has been highly recommended. What do you think? Otherwise, maybe a bistro. I like high end food but I like an elegant but casual atmosphere! I don't like fussy places that are pretentious or make you feel uncomfortable.

            On Saturday we would like to head out mid morning, do a little sightseeing and find a nice brunch or lunch spot that would also offer a nice tour of some particular area of the city - maybe a walk through some quaint residential area or a walk near the harbor. We love bookstores, record stores, eclectic shops and museums. Back to the hotel late afternoon and then perhaps some really good ethnic food for dinner. The Afghan restaurant might suit that bill, or Tamarind in Cambridge.

            A Sunday morning stroll in a different neighborhood would be nice with a stop for brunch/lunch. Unfortunately that is Easter Sunday so it might be tough to just walk in and plop yourself down somewhere, so maybe we need to plan ahead and try to get a reservation.

            Maybe someone can tell me about the area where we're staying. Is it a good area for walking around? Are there shops, etc.?

            Thanks, I will now go off and do some more reading.

            -----
            Abe & Louie's
            793 Boylston St, Boston, MA 02116

            1. re: JunieB

              You might want to wander across the Boston Common and stroll through Chinatown on Easter. We like to do that when holiday crowds and limited menus make us avoid most restaurants. You could do dim sum!

              Penny
              http://www.bostonzest.com/

              1. re: BostonZest

                I love that idea. I don't know where Boston Common is, but I'm sure I can find it! Dim sum sounds like a terrific idea!! We just moved to western Mass. by way of NYC, Philadelphia and San Francisco - and there are no really good Chinese restaurants here, so we could do with a good Chinese fix. Any particular place you would recommend for dim sum?

                1. re: JunieB

                  Do you like carts? Or would you prefer to order off a menu for dim sum?

                  1. re: JunieB

                    Hei La Moon is IMHO the tastiest dim sum place in Boston :)

                    A & L does have really good steak, but be prepared to wade through the epic cruise near the Prudential center that weekend o get there!

                    -----
                    Hei La Moon
                    88 Beach St, Boston, MA 02111

                2. re: JunieB

                  Charles St is a very pleasant walk, old Boston feel, antique stores and a sprinkling of restaurants. Beacon Hill Bisto is a pleasant place to stop and have a drink at the bar; LalaRokh is good for an ethnic meal; 75 Chestnut (off of Charles) for more of a neighborhood feel. From there you can stroll through Boston Garden and on to Chinatown.

                  -----
                  75 Chestnut
                  75 Chestnut St, Boston, MA 02108

                  1. re: Pegmeister

                    Thank you Pegmeister! Exactly the kind of information I was looking for. I'm glad to hear we will be in a good area for walking and I like the "old-Boston" description. I saw other references to LalaRokh so I will check out their menu as well as 75 Chestnut. Feeling better about our visit already. I know we won't be able to do everything in 2 short days, but this will get us started and we will have a basis for our next visit! Thanks again!

                    -----
                    75 Chestnut
                    75 Chestnut St, Boston, MA 02108

                    1. re: Pegmeister

                      If it is a nice sunny day, a walk on Charles Street (and a meal in that area) could be supplemented by a walk through Beacon Hill (maybe even a tour!). It is quintessential 18th and 19th century Boston at a very pretty time of year. Also, in addition to the Common being near Chinatown, so is the Public Garden (which may seem like an extension of the Common). To me, April is the prettiest time of year to walk there. Don't miss the swan boats for an only-in-Boston experience.

                      1. re: PinchOfSalt

                        Thank you. That sounds lovely. Can you tell me how far the walk is from the Liberty to Beacon Hill? Or the Liberty to the Boston Common? I guess I need to start by learning the neighborhoods. I thought the hotel was in/on Beacon Hill!! As to carts or menu for dim sum, I don't really care as long as the food is good!

                        1. re: JunieB

                          I'm not good with directions so hopefully someone else will chime in. The Charles is just a brief walk, minutes, from the Liberty, and a straight walk to the common probably takes about 10 minutes, of course you will linger on Charles even if it's just to window shop. For an old time bar you may want to stop in at the Seven. They also make a good clam chowder

                          1. re: Pegmeister

                            That sounds reasonable. I was trying to get a sense of whether or not the Boston Common and Beacon Hill were within walking distance or if we would have to take cabs. Sounds like easy walking distances. I was just saying to my husband, maybe we should try to find some good clam chowder! Great, thanks!

                            1. re: Pegmeister

                              Where is the Seven? I can't find it on Google maps or the web.

                              1. re: JunieB

                                Seven is right on Charles. It's not the type of place that you would be apt to find a web site for, but people are friendly. Clam chowder is the thicker creamy style, served in a white ceramic mug.

                                1. re: JunieB

                                  Sevens is on Charles Street, between Mount Vernon and Pinckney. It's one of the few bars with an authentic patina in Boston, I think, and just about the polar opposite of the scene you'll discover at the Liberty on Saturday night.
                                  Charles Street is beautiful, a lovely stroll, and I'd recommend exploring the flat of the hill (the area between Charles Street and the river, not the store of the same name) and walking up Mount Vernon to Louisburg Square and the State House. Come back down on Chestnut Street and you'll have seen some of the city's most beautiful streets.
                                  On Sunday, you might try brunch at Beacon Hill Hotel at the end of Charles Street -- it's a very pleasant room and the brunch is quite good, and being a small hotel they'll be open on Easter.
                                  Other favorites from when we lived off Charles Street are Paramount for breakfast/lunch and Cafe Vanilla for surprisingly fabulous croissants. I don't think 75 Chestnut is anything special, and definitely not worth one of your two dinners in town.
                                  In the South End, another lovely neighborhood: Franklin Cafe or Coppa, both on Shawmut, or Hammersly's for dinner. You might have a few oysters at B&G followed by dinner at any of the three. Metropolis is a favorite for brunch, and definitely the most low-key on Tremont Street.
                                  Finally about Abe and Louie's: there is only one place I'll consider eating on that side of Boylston Street and it's Parish Cafe, down by the Garden. If you love steak, get the steak frites at Franklin Cafe.

                                  -----
                                  Beacon Hill Bistro
                                  25 Charles St, Boston, MA 02114

                                  Franklin Cafe
                                  278 Shawmut Ave, Boston, MA 02118

                                  Paramount
                                  44 Charles St, Boston, MA 02114

                                  Coppa
                                  253 Shawmut Ave, Boston, MA 02118

                              2. re: JunieB

                                The Liberty is very very close (practically across the street) from the Beacon Hill neighborhood. There is a very big traffic interchange just south of your hotel. Cambridge Street goes roughly east from the interchange and Charles Street goes roughly south from that interchange. Cambridge Street is the northern edge of Beacon Hill. Charles Street goes through Beacon Hill (though most of the neighborhood is to the east of Charles Street). If you walk down Charles until you reach some parks, you will have found the Common (to the east of Charles) and the Public Garden (to the west). Turn left when you get to the other side of the parkland and go a few more blocks - you will be in Chinatown, where there is a very nice variety of dim sum restaurants to choose among. This should be a very pleasant walk on a nice day. If you do wander through Beacon Hill I hope you will find it as charming as I do; the two parks are at their prettiest in April and May. Enjoy!

                                (Go to maps.google.com and search for Liberty Hotel Boston. You will see exactly the map you need to visualize this walk from your hotel to dim sum through Beacon Hill and along where the Common and Public Garden meet.)

                                As for which dim sum restaurant to choose, there are several that have fierce supporters. I like Winsor Cafe for menu ordering and China Pearl or Chau Chau City for cart-style. Some other folks would put Hei La Moon on top of their lists. (I have eaten there and been happy, too.) There has been a lot of discussion of dim sum on this board in the past. Perhaps you might want to check for old threads on the topic and ask for current opinions of the places that seem most interesting to you.

                                -----
                                Hei La Moon
                                88 Beach St, Boston, MA 02111

                                China Pearl Restaurant
                                9 Tyler St, Boston, MA 02111

                                1. re: PinchOfSalt

                                  Ha! Thank you. Maybe I shouldn't admit this, but I DID look at the map. However, I'm pretty bad at reading them and I couldn't tell if Chinatown was a 15 minute walk or a 60 minute walk! Thanks for the Chinese food recs. I almost have a plan now!

                                  1. re: JunieB

                                    If you make it to Chinatown there are also a couple of nice hot pot type places. I tend to favor Shabu Zen on Tyler St, or if you prefer Malaysian, Penang is a good stop. It's on Washington. The only caution on Penang though is it's apt to be mobbed with families on the weekend.

                                    -----
                                    Shabu Zen
                                    16 Tyler St, Boston, MA 02111

                      2. here is a very long intro to boston that i wrote awhile ago. hope it helps.p.s. remember that CH now has a map that shows up to the right side of the pg, showing locations of restnts mentioned. you can zero in to street names too.

                        I have lived here 40 years and really like to steer few-day visitors who are food-oriented>> towards great dining in attractive and historic walking areas- so they can have the best of both worlds. Below the dotted line is a detailed piece i put together for visitors. DO avoid eating at Faneuil Hall.

                        The most consistently raved-about lobster rolls for CHs seem to be from Neptune Oyster in the North End- a 7 minute walk from Faneuil Hall, and also B and G Oysters (tiny place) in the South End . Island Creek Oyster Bar is a new restnt that has rcvd a great deal of kudos on CH and your taxi there would allow you to ask to be driven down Commonwealth Ave., a grand Victorian boulevard designed after the Champs Elysees, and one of the handsomest features of Boston.

                        http://www.islandcreekoysterbar.com/

                        http://neptuneoyster.com/

                        http://www.bandgoysters.com/#bgo_home

                        I would strongly recommend that you have lunch at Pizzeria Regina in the North End; certainly one of our most iconic food spots with a totally unique atmosphere and authentic Italian pizza that is for many people, the best in New England.(see my comments further down

                        )

                        For very amazing creative and expensive food, CHs consistently recommend Oya (Japanese and Japanese fusion) and Clio (very International in influences with many unusual cutting-edge ingredients and preparations; lots of Japanese infuence.) Clio is right off Commonwealth Ave and near Island Creek Oyster.

                        while i was hunting for some of the links above, i ran across this report from a recent NYC visitor, mentioning a few of the places that interest you:
                        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/741449
                        -------------------------------------------------

                        For the most attractive and historic parts of our city i would direct you to the area around the Public Garden, CommonwealthAve and Newbury Streets, the SouthEnd, Charles Street, all lovely historic areas that show off the best of our city. This is long!:

                        North End/ Waterfront/ Aquarium/ Faneuil Hall-Quincy Market
                        If at all possible. one must go to the original Pizzeria Regina in the North End.(note- closed Sun.) This is many aficionados' fav pizza place, period. It is the original(and ONLY worthwhile) location of what is now a chain, and most importantly, its pizzas taste like no others , partly because of the WWII oven they use, which is more than 'seasoned' by now. This pizza tastes like it does in Rome. It is also a tiny CROWDED, loud, FUNKY space; unique; not decor-changed since the 50's maybe. If you haven’t been there, don't go on a wkend ,and go for lunch or earlier dinner to avoid lines.

                        Regina’s is located on the outer edge of the compact North End, so after pizza, walk over to the Hanover St. (main drag) area and feel the history of this unique neighborhood. Its oldest extant buildings are from the early 19th c.; through the centuries it has been peopled successively, by : rich Bostonians, blacks , Jews, Italians. It has been Italian since the early 20th c. While harbor-dwelling yuppies have been encroaching of late, it still has lots of sidewalk life, Italian being spoken, bocce being played. There are some wonderful gelato/cafes on Hanover St. I particularly like the gelato at. Café Sport, and Modern Pastry is across the street, with wonderful quaresimali
                        ( a version of almond biscotti )and sfogliadel, a very unusual 3 cornered hat of layered/crunchy pastry filled with a farmer's cheese/candied fruit mixture. (While some may steer you to Mike’s Pastry, I won't.)The North End is also home to the 18th c. Old North Church and 19th c. Seamen's Home etc etc. If you like to discover-by-walking, the end of Hanover St away from downtown Boston- leads onto the waterfront area. This is also architecturally and historically fascinating because it is very intact with its 19th c. warehouses/wharves (now water view condos). With all I've described, you might find it worth your while to go to Regina's and the North End for lunch and the afternoon. You could incorporate the nearby Aquarium, and Sel de la Terre for dinner (excellent ,modern French style.)You could also go the local seafood route and try Neptune Oyster in the North End.

                        http://www.pizzeriaregina.com/

                        Quincy market is the old historic marketplace from 18th and 19th c. Boston. It was the prototype for most of the other U.S. 'Commercial Historic Restoration/Tourist Attractions'. It has endless vendor carts and shops and restaurants but i do not see them ever get CH recs.

                        The South End
                        The South End is Boston’s amazing well-preserved and very large Victorian district, chock-a-block w/ handsome brick and brownstone rowhouses grouped around pocket parks in the middle of all the side street cul-de-sacs. There is a large gay population and young yuppie couples with strollers. Lots of super restaurants(mostly bistro style). Union Bar and Grill and Aquitaine and Erbaluce are my own favs. Union is handsome, dark, comfy with amer.regional food(delish. cornbread in a skillet brought to you when you sit down).Aquitaine is an authentic French bistro with great Steak Frites and simple traditional roasted or grilled food (also a delic. brunch- duck confit sandwich w/ melted gruyere anyone?!)in a very handsome atmosphere and beautiful historic neighborhood. 4 blocks away is Tremont 647 and their famous fun Pajama Brunch, where all their servers, chefs etc. wear their pjs . Tremont is also known for its national-competition winning BBQ and grilled meat and seafood along with Asian and Mexican influenced foods; laid back and fun atmosphere. On the far edge of the South End is Toro, a very loud crowded Spanish tapas place owned by one of our most famous innovative chefs, Ken Oringer, whose Clio is one of 2 of Boston’s most innovative(Asian influenced) restaurant (and very expensive).

                        http://www.aquitaineboston.com/

                        Back Bay
                        Make sure to experience one of Boston's most beautiful features: Comm(onwealth) Ave between Mass(achusetts) Ave and Arlington St.(next to the Public Garden, the oldest arboretum/public park in the U.S. ) This part of Comm. Ave was designed after the Champs Elysees in Paris and is a 9 block long strip of tree, bench and statue- lined park with handsome 19th c. mansions lining both sides. It is parallel to and one block away from Newbury Street, Boston’s center of couture and art galleries , with many restaurants. Right around the corner from the Public Garden end of Newbury Street is Parish Cafe on Boylston St. with great sandwiches designed by different Boston chefs

                        Beacon Hill and Charles St.
                        Across the Public Garden, away from Comm Ave, is Beacon Hill, Boston’s well preserved elite neighborhood of 18th and 19th c. brick town and rowhouses.Also the spot for our famous gold domed State House. Historic Charles Street, full of restaurants and shops, runs along the base of Beacon Hill. In that neighborhood, Figs has good simple Italian pizzas, pastas etc. For dinner, Grotto has excellent well priced less-tomato-saucey Northern Italian food and seafood. Lala Rokh has delicious Mediterranean-Persian food with grilled and stewed lamb and eggplant taking the spotlight. It is a very quiet comfortable resting spot after a long day of walking.

                        Fenway Park
                        Next to our beloved old baseball park is a terrific Mexican taco place, La Verdad. Their tacos of carne asada(grilled beef), pescado(fish),are the best i have ever had, and be sure to also get their refried beans .Open for lunch and dinner (but not on sundays in winter)and a 5 minute drive from our amazing Museum of Fine Arts, world famous for its substantial collections of French Impressionism, American paintings and decorative arts, and Japanese art. (our new Art of the Americas wing has just opened in 2011.

                        Sel de la Terre
                        Boylston St., Boston, MA 02199 Remove

                        La Verdad
                        Lansdowne St, Boston, MA 02215 Remove

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

                        Toro
                        Washington St, Boston, MA 02118 Remove

                        Lala Rokh
                        Mount Vernon Street, Boston, MA 02108 Remove

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

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

                        Toro
                        1704 Washington St, Boston, MA 02118

                        Tremont 647
                        647 Tremont Street, Boston, MA 02118

                        Clio
                        370-A Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02215

                        Parish Cafe
                        361 Boylston St, Boston, MA 02116

                        Modern Pastry
                        257 Hanover St, Boston, MA

                        La Verdad
                        1 Lansdowne St, Boston, MA 02215

                        Sel de la Terre
                        774 Boylston St., Boston, MA 02199

                        Lala Rokh
                        97 Mount Vernon Street, Boston, MA 02108

                        Erbaluce
                        69 Church Street, Boston, MA 02116

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

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: opinionatedchef

                          I updated and revamped the above post; plse trash it. I hope this helps (it is Looooooooong!)

                          I have lived here 40 years and really like to steer few-day visitors who are food-oriented>> towards great dining in attractive and historic walking areas- so they can have the best of both worlds. Below is a detailed piece i put together for visitors.

                          For the most attractive and historic parts of our city i would direct you to the area around the Public Garden, Commonwealth Ave and Newbury Streets, the South End, Charles Street/Beacon Hill, all lovely historic areas that show off the best of our city.

                          *North End/ Waterfront/ Aquarium/ Faneuil Hall-Quincy Market*

                          If at all possible. one must go to the original Pizzeria Regina in the North End.(note- closed Sun.) This is many aficionados' fav pizza place, period. It is the original(and ONLY worthwhile) location of what is now a chain, and most importantly, its pizzas taste like no others , partly because of the WWII oven they use, which is more than 'seasoned' by now. This pizza tastes like it does in Rome. It is also a tiny CROWDED, loud, FUNKY space; unique; not decor-changed since the 50's maybe. If you haven’t been there, don't go on a wkend ,and go for lunch or earlier dinner to avoid lines.

                          Regina’s is located on the outer edge of the compact North End, so after pizza, walk over to the Hanover St. (main drag) area and feel the history of this unique neighborhood. Its oldest extant buildings are from the early 19th c.; through the centuries it has been peopled successively, by : rich Bostonians, blacks , Jews, Italians. It has been Italian since the early 20th c. While harbor-dwelling yuppies have been encroaching of late, it still has lots of sidewalk life, Italian being spoken, bocce being played. For a filling snack, Galeria Umberto Rosticeria is unique for its large arancini, calzone and Sicilian pizza by the slice. There are some wonderful gelato/cafes on Hanover St. I particularly like the gelato at. Café Sport. Modern Pastry is across the street, with wonderful almond biscotti ,torrone, and sfogliadel, a very unusual 3 cornered hat of layered/crunchy pastry filled with a farmer's cheese/candied fruit mixture. (While a few may steer you to Mike’s Pastry, I won't.) For very upscale Italian dining, Prezza is highly touted. And the tiny jam packed no-reservations Neptune Oyster is the temple of the freshest seafood, impeccably prepared for traditionalists and foodies alike and always in the Top 5 lists.The North End is also home to the 18th c. Old North Church and 19th c. Seamen's Home etc etc. If you like to discover-by-walking, the end of Hanover St away from downtown Boston- leads onto the waterfront area. This is also architecturally and historically fascinating because it is very intact with its 19th c. warehouses/wharves (now waterview condos). With all I've described, you might find it worth your while to go to Regina's and the North End for lunch and the afternoon and maybe dinner. You could incorporate the nearby Aquarium, and dinner at Neptune Oyster or Sel de la Terre (excellent ,modern French style.) Street parking is near impossible in the North End.

                          http://www.pizzeriaregina.com/

                          Quincy market is the old historic marketplace from 18th and 19th c. Boston. It was the prototype for most of the other U.S. 'Commercial Historic Restoration/Tourist Attractions'. It has endless vendor carts and shops and restaurants. Good place to sample some finger food or ice cream but not more. Nearby are CH lunch favs- Sultan's Kitchen , and I have lived here 40 years and really like to steer few-day visitors who are food-oriented>> towards great dining in attractive and historic walking areas- so they can have the best of both worlds. Below is a detailed piece i put together for visitors.

                          For the most attractive and historic parts of our city i would direct you to the area around the Public Garden, Commonwealth Ave and Newbury Streets, the South End, Charles Street/Beacon Hill, all lovely historic areas that show off the best of our city.

                          *North End/ Waterfront/ Aquarium/ Faneuil Hall-Quincy Market*
                          If at all possible. one must go to the original Pizzeria Regina in the North End.(note- closed Sun.) This is many aficionados' fav pizza place, period. It is the original(and ONLY worthwhile) location of what is now a chain, and most importantly, its pizzas taste like no others , partly because of the WWII oven they use, which is more than 'seasoned' by now. This pizza tastes like it does in Rome. It is also a tiny CROWDED, loud, FUNKY space; unique; not decor-changed since the 50's maybe. If you haven’t been there, don't go on a wkend ,and go for lunch or earlier dinner to avoid lines.

                          Regina’s is located on the outer edge of the compact North End, so after pizza, walk over to the Hanover St. (main drag) area and feel the history of this unique neighborhood. Its oldest extant buildings are from the early 19th c.; through the centuries it has been peopled successively, by : rich Bostonians, blacks , Jews, Italians. It has been Italian since the early 20th c. While harbor-dwelling yuppies have been encroaching of late, it still has lots of sidewalk life, Italian being spoken, bocce being played. For a filling snack, Galeria Umberto Rosticeria is unique for its large arancini, calzone and Sicilian pizza by the slice. There are some wonderful gelato/cafes on Hanover St. I particularly like the gelato at. Café Sport. Modern Pastry is across the street, with wonderful almond biscotti ,torrone, and sfogliadel, a very unusual 3 cornered hat of layered/crunchy pastry filled with a farmer's cheese/candied fruit mixture. (While a few may steer you to Mike’s Pastry, I won't.) For very upscale Italian dining, Prezza is highly touted. And the tiny jam packed no-reservations Neptune Oyster is the temple of the freshest seafood, impeccably prepared for traditionalists and foodies alike and always in the Top 5 lists.The North End is also home to the 18th c. Old North Church and 19th c. Seamen's Home etc etc. If you like to discover-by-walking, the end of Hanover St away from downtown Boston- leads onto the waterfront area. This is also architecturally and historically fascinating because it is very intact with its 19th c. warehouses/wharves (now waterview condos). With all I've described, you might find it worth your while to go to Regina's and the North End for lunch and the afternoon and maybe dinner. You could incorporate the nearby Aquarium, and dinner at Neptune Oyster or Sel de la Terre (excellent ,modern French style.) Street parking is near impossible in the North End.

                          http://www.pizzeriaregina.com/

                          Quincy market is the old historic marketplace from 18th and 19th c. Boston. It was the prototype for most of the other U.S. 'Commercial Historic Restoration/Tourist Attractions'. It has endless vendor carts and shops and restaurants. Good place to sample some finger food or ice cream but not more. Nearby are CH lunch favs- Sultan's Kitchen , and Sam La Grassa's for huge sandwiches.

                          *The South End*
                          The South End is Boston’s amazing well-preserved and very large Victorian district, chock-a-block w/ handsome brick and brownstone rowhouses grouped around pocket parks in the middle of all the side street cul-de-sacs. There is a large gay population and young stylish couples with strollers. Lots of super restaurants(mostly bistro style) and an active sidewalk culture. Union Bar and Grill and Aquitaine and Erbaluce are my own favs. Union is handsome, dark, comfy with Amer.regional food(delish. cornbread in a skillet brought to you when you sit down).Aquitaine is an authentic French bistro with great Steak Frites and simple traditional roasted or grilled food (also a delic. brunch- duck confit sandwich w/ melted gruyere anyone?!)in a very handsome atmosphere and beautiful historic neighborhood. 4 blocks away is Tremont 647 and their famous fun Pajama Brunch, where all their servers, chefs etc. wear their pjs . Tremont is also known for its national-competition winning BBQ and grilled meat and seafood along with Asian and Mexican influenced foods; laid back and fun atmosphere. The Gallows and Coppa are two recent bistro menus with many fans.

                          On a far edge of the South End is Toro, a very loud crowded Spanish tapas place owned by one of our most famous innovative chefs, Ken Oringer, whose Clio is one of Boston’s 2 most innovative and expensive (Asian influenced) restaurants . On a different edge of the South End is Myers+Chang, a casual hip 'new Chinese' menu ,and great drinks and weekend dim sum. On another edge of the South End is Mistral, a dramatic bustling elegant space with Northern Italian foods, popular with the expense account set, and Masa, a comfy Southwestern bistro.

                          http://www.aquitaineboston.com/

                          *Back Bay *
                          Make sure to experience one of Boston's most beautiful features: Comm(onwealth) Ave between Mass(achusetts) Ave and Arlington St.(next to the Public Garden, the oldest arboretum/public park in the U.S. ) This part of Comm. Ave was designed after the Champs Elysees in Paris and is a 9 block long strip of tree, bench and statue- lined park with handsome 19th c. mansions lining both sides. It is parallel to and one block away from Newbury Street, Boston’s center of couture and art galleries , with many restaurants. Right around the corner from the Public Garden end of Newbury Street is Parish Cafe on Boylston St. with great sandwiches designed by different Boston chefs . At the other end of Newbury St. is Sonsie, a handsome swank spot with a broad menu and loud bar, which is popular with the Euro crowd. Also near that end of Newbury St, are Clio, Deuxave and Island Creek Oyster Bar, the first two known for innovative high end dining and the latter for abundant fresh seafood.

                          *Beacon Hill and Charles St.*
                          Across the Public Garden, away from Comm Ave, is Beacon Hill, Boston’s well preserved elite neighborhood of 18th and 19th c. brick town and rowhouses.Also the spot for our famous gold domed State House. Historic Charles Street, full of restaurants and shops, runs along the base of Beacon Hill. In that neighborhood, Figs has good simple Italian pizzas, pastas etc. For dinner, the intimate Grotto has excellent well priced Northern Italian influenced food . Lala Rokh has delicious Mediterranean-Persian food with grilled and stewed lamb and eggplant taking the spotlight. It is a very quiet comfortable resting spot after a long day of walking. It's sister restaurant on Charles St. is Bin 26, for Northern Italian.

                          Boston has many ethnic cuisines represented here. Our most established immigrant groups are Italian, Irish, Chinese, Portuguese, and Armenian. In recent years communities from Russia, Cambodia, Brazil and Central America have grown substantially. Unfortunately, most great ethnic eats are located in the less attractive parts of Boston and its close towns. Some are easier to access than others via the T , but street parking is usually available.

                          For reference, here are some neighborhoods w/ CH fav spots:

                          *Chinatown*:

                          Dimsum carts or dim sum menu ordering: Winsor Cafe for the latter. Hei la Moon and Chau Chau City and Great Taste for the former. Peach Farm for meals.

                          Bakeries with many savories as well as sweets:

                          Mei Sum, Eldo Cake House, 101 Bakery, Ho Yuen

                          *Fenway Park*
                          Next to our beloved old baseball park is a terrific Mexican taco place, La Verdad. Their tacos of carne asada(grilled beef), pescado(fish),are the real deal and the best i have had here, and be sure to also get their refried beans . A 5 minute drive away is our amazing Museum of Fine Arts, world famous for its substantial collections of French Impressionism, American paintings and decorative arts, and Japanese art. (our new Art of the Americas wing has just opened in 2011.

                          Hope you have a great time ! for huge sandwiches.

                          *The South End*

                          The South End is Boston’s amazing well-preserved and very large Victorian district, chock-a-block w/ handsome brick and brownstone rowhouses grouped around pocket parks in the middle of all the side street cul-de-sacs. There is a large gay population and young stylish couples with strollers. Lots of super restaurants(mostly bistro style) and an active sidewalk culture. Union Bar and Grill and Aquitaine and Erbaluce are my own favs. Union is handsome, dark, comfy with Amer.regional food(delish. cornbread in a skillet brought to you when you sit down).Aquitaine is an authentic French bistro with great Steak Frites and simple traditional roasted or grilled food (also a delic. brunch- duck confit sandwich w/ melted gruyere anyone?!)in a very handsome atmosphere and beautiful historic neighborhood. 4 blocks away is Tremont 647 and their famous fun Pajama Brunch, where all their servers, chefs etc. wear their pjs . Tremont is also known for its national-competition winning BBQ and grilled meat and seafood along with Asian and Mexican influenced foods; laid back and fun atmosphere. The Gallows and Coppa are two recent bistro menus with many fans.

                          On a far edge of the South End is Toro, a very loud crowded Spanish tapas place owned by one of our most famous innovative chefs, Ken Oringer, whose Clio is one of Boston’s 2 most innovative and expensive (Asian influenced) restaurants . On a different edge of the South End is Myers+Chang, a casual hip 'new Chinese' menu ,and great drinks and weekend dim sum. On another edge of the South End is Mistral, a dramatic bustling elegant space with Northern Italian foods, popular with the expense account set, and Masa, a comfy Southwestern bistro.

                          http://www.aquitaineboston.com/

                          *Back Bay *

                          Make sure to experience one of Boston's most beautiful features: Comm(onwealth) Ave between Mass(achusetts) Ave and Arlington St.(next to the Public Garden, the oldest arboretum/public park in the U.S. ) This part of Comm. Ave was designed after the Champs Elysees in Paris and is a 9 block long strip of tree, bench and statue- lined park with handsome 19th c. mansions lining both sides. It is parallel to and one block away from Newbury Street, Boston’s center of couture and art galleries , with many restaurants. Right around the corner from the Public Garden end of Newbury Street is Parish Cafe on Boylston St. with great sandwiches designed by different Boston chefs . At the other end of Newbury St. is Sonsie, a handsome swank spot with a broad menu and loud bar, which is popular with the Euro crowd. Also near that end of Newbury St, are Clio, Deuxave and Island Creek Oyster Bar, the first two known for innovative high end dining and the latter for abundant fresh seafood.

                          *Beacon Hill and Charles St.*

                          Across the Public Garden, away from Comm Ave, is Beacon Hill, Boston’s well preserved elite neighborhood of 18th and 19th c. brick town and rowhouses.Also the spot for our famous gold domed State House. Historic Charles Street, full of restaurants and shops, runs along the base of Beacon Hill. In that neighborhood, Figs has good simple Italian pizzas, pastas etc. For dinner, the intimate Grotto has excellent well priced Northern Italian influenced food . Lala Rokh has delicious Mediterranean-Persian food with grilled and stewed lamb and eggplant taking the spotlight. It is a very quiet comfortable resting spot after a long day of walking. It's sister restaurant on Charles St. is Bin 26, for Northern Italian.

                          Boston has many ethnic cuisines represented here. Our most established immigrant groups are Italian, Irish, Chinese, Portuguese, and Armenian. In recent years communities from Russia, Cambodia, Brazil and Central America have grown substantially. Unfortunately, most great ethnic eats are located in the less attractive parts of Boston and its close towns. Some are easier to access than others via the T , but street parking is usually available.

                          For reference, here are some neighborhoods w/ CH fav spots:

                          *Chinatown*:

                          Dimsum carts or dim sum menu ordering: Winsor Cafe for the latter. Hei la Moon and Chau Chau City and Great Taste for the former. Peach Farm for meals.

                          Bakeries with many savories as well as sweets:

                          Mei Sum, Eldo Cake House, 101 Bakery, Ho Yuen

                          *Fenway Park*

                          Next to our beloved old baseball park is a terrific Mexican taco place, La Verdad. Their tacos of carne asada(grilled beef), pescado(fish),are the real deal and the best i have had here, and be sure to also get their refried beans . A 5 minute drive away is our amazing Museum of Fine Arts, world famous for its substantial collections of French Impressionism, American paintings and decorative arts, and Japanese art. (our new Art of the Americas wing has just opened in 2011.

                          Hope you have a great time !

                          -----
                          Peach Farm
                          4 Tyler St, Boston, MA 02111

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

                          Sultan's Kitchen
                          116 State St, Boston, MA 02109

                          Prezza
                          24 Fleet St., Boston, MA 02113

                          Sam Lagrassa's
                          44 Province St, Boston, MA 02108

                          Toro
                          1704 Washington St, Boston, MA 02118

                          Tremont 647
                          647 Tremont Street, Boston, MA 02118

                          Modern Pastry
                          257 Hanover St, Boston, MA

                          La Verdad
                          1 Lansdowne St, Boston, MA 02215

                          Masa
                          439 Tremont Street, Boston, MA 02116

                          Sel de la Terre
                          774 Boylston St., Boston, MA 02199

                          Eldo Cake House
                          36 Harrison Ave, Boston, MA

                          Lala Rokh
                          97 Mount Vernon Street, Boston, MA 02108

                          Erbaluce
                          69 Church Street, Boston, MA 02116

                          Tremont Cafe
                          418 Tremont St, Boston, MA 02116

                          Coppa
                          253 Shawmut Ave, Boston, MA 02118

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

                          1. re: opinionatedchef

                            one small note. Regina Pizza in the North End is open on Sundays. That's the day I usually manage to get there!

                            Penny
                            http://www.bostonzest.com/

                            -----
                            Regina Pizza
                            44 Station Landing, Medford, MA 02155

                            1. re: BostonZest

                              you're kidding!!! that must be recent because i used to call/check the website to make sure. zest, you are a WONderful person.

                            2. re: opinionatedchef

                              Fenway Park blurb goes on for three lines about La Verdad and three lines for the MFA. There is no mention of Citizen, ICOB, ESK, Tasty Burger, Audubon Circle or any of the great places to have a beer- Bleacher Bar, Baseball Tavern, An Tua Nua, Remy's, Lower Depths.

                          2. Hey Junie,

                            If you want burgers, try Uburger (next to Boston Univ)..

                            For me, it's the best burger joint in Boston. It's a non-chain fast food that uses fresh ingredients.. I don't care, most restaurant burgers, no matter how gourmet -ish they are, cannot compare to Uburger's.

                            If you want a very nice looking restaurant with great ambience and lighting, try Vlora on Boylston St. It's Mediterranean and the ingredients are very fresh. Service is fast and attentive but not overbearing.

                            If you want Chinese, try Asian Garden in Chinatown.

                            They have the best fried squid/calamari and peapod stems. The flounder is good too. Good, fast service, not like Chow chow city.

                            If you like Thai, go to Rock Sugar in the Financial District.

                            A lot of people will suggest Brown Sugar near Boston University (which is a good choice), but Rock Sugar serves the best Thai food in town. It's not elegant as Brown Sugar, but hey it's just a Thai joint. It's about the food.

                            If you like oysters and seafood, try the Island Creek Oyster Bar (it's actually right in front of Uburger haha).

                            The place has really good service and a good selection of oysters. The Lobster noodles was great. And you don't have to deal with the huge crowds at Neptune's.

                            If you want a more hearty seafood place, try The No Name Restaurant in the Waterfront area.

                            Huge portions for the price and you don't have to fight for a table. Standard stuff like fish and chips, but they're great quality. Get the swordfish.

                            If you want a cozy modern American restaurant with a NICE view, try the Blu Restaurant & Bar near Downtown Crossing.

                            It's on a third or fourth floor of a hotel, and has large expansive windows. Food is decent.

                            If you even remotely like Chicken and Rice, GO TO Susan's Deli next South Station.

                            The best Chicken Kabob plate known to man. Susan's is only for lunch (closes at 5 PM). Again, the best chicken Kabob plate known to man. Nice chunks of quality-textured chicken with well seasoned rice pilaf and a side of well-dressed salad. Looks and tastes fresh.

                            On the topic of Chicken, you also must go to Bon Chon, and get their...

                            Korean-styled fried chicken wings. Just get the wings, as the thighs and drumsticks are too meaty for the sauce to mesh well. They come in regular and spicy. Both great. This place is actually a pretty trendy venue with a bar and low-light ambiance. They also serve korean dishes and sushi.

                            -----
                            Brown Sugar Cafe
                            129 Jersey St, Boston, MA

                            Vlora
                            545 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02116

                            Asian Garden Restaurant
                            28 Harrison Ave Ste 1, Boston, MA 02111

                            Uburger
                            636 Beacon St, Boston, MA 02215

                            No Name Restaurant
                            151-2 Fish Pier, Boston, MA 02210

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

                            8 Replies
                            1. re: MasterRYu

                              With all due respect, I would have to disagree with a number of these suggestions.

                              - Given all the wonderful Chinese restaurants in Chinatown, Asian Garden is hardly the first that comes to mind. Taiwan Cafe, Great Taste, Gourmet Dumpling House, and so many others would be higher on my list. (None of these specialize in dim sum, fwiw.)

                              - I would NEVER send anyone to No Name for seafood. It was great when I was a student, but that was many many many years ago. Since then by all reports it has gone down hill. Or maybe it was something about living on a student budget or having student tastes. (Before moving to Boston to go to school I had never tasted decently-prepared fish.) And, having recently dined at Island Creek, I would never mention the two as alternatives. Different planets, entirely.

                              Instead of seeking out Thai food, which is available in many areas, as a visitor I might be interested in ethnic food that is more particular to Boston, such as the Portuguese options in Cambridge.

                              Bon Chon or UBurger might be choices for lunch, but still, with all the great chow in the Boston area, if I had only two days here I don't think they would be my choices. If I wanted an informal or street- or finger-food meal, I might go for a Speed's dog, but even then, with such limited time, the location (not near my hotel, not near other points of interest) might rule that out.

                              -----
                              Gourmet Dumpling House
                              52 Beach St, Boston, MA 02111

                              Asian Garden Restaurant
                              28 Harrison Ave Ste 1, Boston, MA 02111

                              No Name Restaurant
                              151-2 Fish Pier, Boston, MA 02210

                              Great Taste
                              201 Main St, Milford, MA 01757

                              1. re: PinchOfSalt

                                hmmm....the op did mention that they wanted a good burger and I really don't think you can get any better than uburger in boston. Restaurants can't do burgers. Yeah its lunch but uh....but I assume they would want to eat lunch too.

                                I can agree that no name is not pretty. And it may return lots of people off but the food is good. College Students or business folks.

                                I've Tried thee other restaurants in china town, including taiwan cafe, but I still prefer asian garden. They make much fried squid lol and the place isn't packed like thee places.

                                Either way to each his own. They don't have dozens of flavors of ice cream for nothing. I was just giving the op suggestions if they are looking for certain things.

                                1. re: MasterRYu

                                  while i am not had it yet, both Radius and Craigie are known for their burgers. Craigie runs out early; i will have to give both of them a try.

                                  1. re: MasterRYu

                                    When a restaurant is busy that is probably a good thing!

                                2. re: MasterRYu

                                  UBURGER is not destination dining IMO. If you want a burger that is, try Back Bay Social Club. Topped with reduced-down onions and made with ground prime rib/short rib. It's expensive, but simple and bursting with beefy goodness. Some other highly rated burgers would be Cragie or Radius.

                                  Also +1 for lunch at Parish Cafe on Boylston.

                                  -----
                                  Back Bay Social Club
                                  867 Boylston St, Boston, MA 02116

                                  1. re: Beachowolfe

                                    Thanks for all the great suggestions! I now feel like I am armed and ready to make concrete plans for our weekend trip! Never again will I let anyone talk me into a mediocre burrito joint just because it's convenient! Everything sounds so good. Right now we're leaning toward Lala Rokh for Friday dinner. Then we will have to pick our other dinner and lunch spots. My husband is smitten with the Myers & Chang menu so we will probably work that in. Others high on our list are Parish Cafe and Aquitaine. I will also look into all the burger recommendations because we do love a good burger. We will be coming to Boston a few times a year, and now with all your help I think we will enjoy it a lot more. You can waste a lot of time and money trying to figure things out on you own. And a big thank you to 'opinionatedchef' for the run down and lowdown on all the neighborhoods. I feel a lot more grounded now when I look at the Boston map and can identify the neighborhoods! Thanks everyone!

                                    -----
                                    Lala Rokh
                                    97 Mount Vernon Street, Boston, MA 02108

                                    1. re: JunieB

                                      yay junie! we all really enjoy it when someone asks advice who is serious about it. Chowhounds care!

                                      1. re: opinionatedchef

                                        I will strive to be as good of a hound as you guys have been!! We just don't get as many people asking about western. Mass.!

                                3. The Paramount on Charles St is a neighborhood favorite. By day it has a diner like feel, and at night they put candles on the tables and have waiters. The food is great. It is a ten minute walk from your hotel.

                                  http://www.paramountboston.com/

                                  My two favorite restaurants are Hungry Mother and Neptune Oyster. Hungry Mother is usually booked but I have got a table last minute a couple of times by calling. Also, try Opentable.com or ask the concierge at the hotel. Right now it looks like a few early and late tables are available at Opentable.com. It is probably a ten minute cab ride from your hotel.

                                  Neptune Oyster is in the North End. Usually a wait for a table but they will take your cell phone number and you can go wander around the North End or sit at a bar down the street until they call you. Often labeled the "best seafood in the city".

                                  Enjoy your time in Boston!

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

                                  Hungry Mother
                                  Cambridge, MA, Cambridge, MA

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: debby29b

                                    Thanks debby, I know we are going to have a great time! I have seen a lot written about Hungry Mother. I kinda like that southern/soul thing. Maybe we will try to go there, if not this time, then next time. Thanks for the Paramount rec. My husband loves comfy diner-like places.

                                    -----
                                    Hungry Mother
                                    Cambridge, MA, Cambridge, MA

                                  2. My husband and I had a wonderful weekend in Boston, thanks to all you hounds and your amazing response to my post. One thing you forgot to warn me about was the walk signals telling us to "wait". Where we live, if you don't push the walk buttons you don't get a walk signal! It would drive me crazy to have to hear "wait" every time I have to push the button. Oh well, minor detail :) The meals we had were awesome! I was a bit concerned that Lala Rokh was not packed on a Friday night, but the food was great. When we try a new restaurant we always do the 4-course thing so we ordered the Kotlet-e Gusht to share - I ordered a salad of romaine, beets, walnuts and feta w/walnut dressing and my husband ordered the salad of cucumber, red onions and tomato w/lime vinaigrette. Every dish was perfect, except they brought everything to us at one time! But once I asked the server to slow everything down, there was no problem. For entrees I had the chicken kebob (I know, boring, but it's what I like) and my husband had the special, which was a swordfish kebob. Everything was nicely presented and cooked to perfection. We shard saffron vanilla ice cream for dessert and it was outstanding. If I lived in Boston, I would go here often and just order two or three things to share. On Saturday night we dined at Hungry Mother. To start we had pimento cheese (I had to see if it was as good as MY mother's!), boiled peanuts, and the artisan board (a little more adventurous!). The pimento cheese was not as good as my mother's, but I have to give them a break there. My husband had the pork tenderloin for his entree and I had the roasted chicken. The gnocchi w/hon-shimeji (sp?) mushrooms was wonderful. But the star for me was the cornbread! A lot of people try to "remake" cornbread, and theirs was the best remake I have ever had! Baked in a hot cast iron skillet w/sorghum butter on top. I thought I had died and gone to heaven! We also had one of the best waiters I have ever had. He knew EVERYTHING about the food, how it was prepared and every other detail you can imagine. For dessert, my husband had the pralines and I had the carrot cake w/cream cheese icing and something like dulce de leche sauce w/tarragon vanilla ice cream. The carrot cake was heavenly. It took tremendous willpower not to eat the whole thing. For Easter brunch we went to Myers & Chang. If we absolutely had to pick a favorite meal, this might have been it! We had crispy spring rolls, sweet potato fritters, sesame snap peas, bok choy, noodles w/peanut sauce and pork-stuffed bao. Awesome!!

                                    The only downer meal we had was at Panificio. We tried to go to Paramount for brunch on Saturday but it was raining and the line was down the block and I couldn't talk my husband into standing in the rain, so we ended up at Panificio and everything we had was lousy. My husband got eggs benedict and they were hardboiled, I kid you not! I got the poorest excuse for a frittata I have ever seen. It consisted of a couple of beaten eggs thrown in a pan with some broccoli and cheese scattered on top. It was overcooked and rubbery. And the cantaloupe was tasteless. Blueberries, pineapple or even strawberries would have been a better choice. Cantaloupe has to be in season to taste good. We will go back and try Paramount some day.

                                    Thank you for all the tips. We loved the Public Gardens and spent a lot of time there. Also walked around Beacon Hill and admired the beautiful homes, beautiful window boxes and the brick streets. Spent some time on Newbury Street and we always have to go to the Harvard Bookstore. I now feel like I have a better sense of the Boston neighborhoods and I can't wait to go back and learn some more! One thing I must say is that I found everyone we came into contact with to be very congenial and most helpful! There was a lady entering her mansion around Louisburg Square and I asked her about the magnolias and she was so gracious. That's not always the case in wealthy neighborhoods! I had a preconceived notion that given the way Bostonians drive they must be very uptight and stressed. If that's the case, it certainly didn't show. I came away feeling that Bostonians are very friendly people!!

                                    -----
                                    Panificio
                                    144 Charles St, Boston, MA

                                    Hungry Mother
                                    Cambridge, MA, Cambridge, MA

                                    Lala Rokh
                                    97 Mount Vernon Street, Boston, MA 02108

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: JunieB

                                      junie, thanks greatly for your detailed report; so useful towards our helping others too!Most importantly, so glad your CH advice was good for you and that youall really enjoyed yourselves!.

                                      1. re: JunieB

                                        Love when people report back with their experiences. Glad you enjoyed yours, and yes we have a very bad reputation for driving!

                                      2. Hey Boston Hounds! Maybe I should have started a new thread, but I thought it might be better to tag onto this one. You guys did such a great job suggesting places for my husband and me to eat last year, and now we are coming back for more! We will definitely go back to Meyers & Chang, and maybe some of the other places we went before, but what I really need this time is a suggestion for an anniversary dinner. Something on the romantic side, with fresh flowers on the table. A small intimate place would be nice. And awesome food is a must!! We're pretty casual, and we (especially my husband) don't like fancy or uptight places. We're staying at The Charles Hotel in Cambridge, so Boston or Cambridge would work. We'll also have a car. Can't wait to hear your suggestions after the amazing time we had last time.

                                        45 Replies
                                        1. re: JunieB

                                          Both in Harvard Square: Upstairs on the Square, or Sandrine's Bistro. The latter is French and Alsatian food. Both have upscale food but are not stuffy in terms of attire.

                                          1. re: greygarious

                                            greygarious, have you been to Sandrine's recently? The last yr's worth of reviews have not been favorable.

                                          2. re: JunieB

                                            junie, i know you enjoyed Beacon Hill last time>> maybe this visit you could fit in a walk up Brattle St.(leading out of Harv Sq.) Beautiful single family mansions; split between 18th c. clapboard federal style and 19th c. Victorian, Queen Anne, Colonial Revival. After you have turned around on Brattle and started to walk back towards the Square, the closer you get to the Longfellow House (National Historic Park and House museum) ,it's also worthwhile to turn right and explore the cross streets between Brattle and Mt Auburn. Also, in Boston, the South End is a great intact late 19th c. area filled with brick rowhouses and bowfronts and small pocket parks.

                                            For restaurants: Bondir in East Cambridge- is very small, intimate, romantic, chef -owned, not stiff stuffy. People either love it or don't. The food is very 'pure'; jus and not wine based sauces; not spicy-adventurous. I love the space but the food is too plain for me; check out the menu and see what you think. If it were me, I'd go to Clio or Erbaluce or Oleana; all quite different and all highly regarded. Deuxave might also fit your bill; very well reviewed. Also for small intimate bistro in Cambridge, TWFood has many CH fans. Craigie on Main is consistently raved; also in Cambridge. Upstairs on the Square has Romantic unique fun decor and a well regarded chef, but rarely are they mentioned on CH or in the press. Pull up all their menus and see what wows you!

                                            This Boston magazine special issue has all the website and phone numbers etc of Boston's 'best.' Boston Magazine 11/11 issue: 50 Best Boston Restnts.:

                                            http://www.bostonmagazine.com/scripts...

                                            Lastly, do try to get to the East Coast Grill for Sunday brunch. Such fun and great food, a longtime fav melting pot of locals. P.S. Welcome Back! When are you to be here?

                                            -----
                                            Oleana
                                            134 Hampshire St., Cambridge, MA 02139

                                            Bondir
                                            279 Broadway, Cambridge, MA 02139

                                            1. re: opinionatedchef

                                              If you are here between March 14 - 28 I think it's restaurant week so there might be some booking issues. I like Russell House Tavern and Red House right in the square, Upstairs at the Pudding - these are all walkable - East Coast Grill is great for Sunday brunch but henrietta's table in the Charles does a mean brunch as well. Bergamot over the border in Somerville and Bondir are delightful and, as you liked Hungry Mother last time, you might enjoy another take on southern food at Tupelo. East by Northeast is interesting and innovative and, while not the hip vibe of Myers and Chang, has extremely novel Asian food. have fun.

                                              1. re: teezeetoo

                                                Upstairs at the Pudding closed years ago, and reopened in a different location, as Upstairs on the Square. OP says in the first line of the post that they will be here in April.

                                                @CookieLee - No, I haven't been to Sandrine's in over 5 years.

                                                1. re: teezeetoo

                                                  RW is March 18 - 30, not including Saturday.

                                                2. re: opinionatedchef

                                                  I am a huge fan of Ana Sortun and I love Oleana. I recommend it to everyone and anyone all the time. However, it's not intimate...but do look at the menu; it might fit for one of your other meals if you really want a quiet place for the big dinner. The mezze are amazing and it's great to build a meal with them and the veg tasting menu is an incredible deal. Happy anniversary! You might also want to check out formaggio kitchen in Cambridge for some items to take home...a really unique store with high prices for high quality stuff.

                                                  1. re: Madrid

                                                    Thanks, I was kinda thinking that about Oleana but I love the menu. We will be looking for 4 or 5 main dinners though, so we will definitely work it in somewhere. Thanks for the cheese shop rec. That's really good to know! The best cheese shop we have in the Valley is WF. Having lived in great places with great food and shopping, I find it's a bit of a wasteland here, although I love the farm fresh produce and the laid back lifestyle, and the absence of traffic.

                                                3. re: JunieB

                                                  Thank you all very much! Yesterday afternoon I was reading through some old threads and had already put some of these restaurants on a list, but many of the ones you mention are new to me. This weekend I will sit down with my husband and go through the menus. Just glancing through them briefly, I can see there are some amazing choices. I think the Boston board has some of the greatest contributors of any of the boards!

                                                  Opinionated, thanks for the touring advice as well. Our last trip was greatly enhanced by your detailed suggestions. BTW - we will arrive Boston on April 13 and stay through Monday. We were married on April 15, 2000 because we thought it would be easy to remember, in terms of day as well as year - since neither of us is good at remembering dates. It's worked out very well so far. We've never forgotten an anniversary!

                                                  1. re: JunieB

                                                    Does anyone have any comments about Salts? I saw it mentioned briefly in an old thread, but noticed no one in this thread mentioned it. It looks kind of intimate, with a pretty interesting menu, so I was just wondering....

                                                    1. re: JunieB

                                                      Really intimate. Great spot for a romantic dinner. Definitely priced at the higher end. It's also more or less across the street from Craigie on Main.

                                                      1. re: mkfisher

                                                        Thanks. I like the menu and what I could see from the pictures, it looks very intimate and kind of elegant. Unless I hear some negative comments I think this will be the place for our anniversary dinner! Thanks again. Funny that it doesn't get talked about very much.

                                                      2. re: JunieB

                                                        I was thinking of mentioning Salts but didn't, since i've never been there. It does get mentioned now and then on this board, usually with a comment, why isn't Salts mentioned more. I hope those who have actually experienced it will chime in!

                                                        1. re: JunieB

                                                          We went to Salts a few years ago based on suggestions here and did have the oft-discussed duck for two, and I have to say our meal on the whole was disappointing. The service was okay and the food was okay but absolutely nothing wowed. And my father-in-law was substituted a completely different type of fish for his entree without being told. With Craigie right across the street I would never consider going back to Salts.

                                                          JunieB, make sure you hit Oleana. In probably 10 visits there, not one thing I've eaten has ever been less than stellar. We also like Bergamot quite a lot.

                                                          1. re: Parsnipity

                                                            I really liked the duck at Salts when I ate there, and I remember eating some very nicely done scallops, too. So I think you would like it - it's definitely a great restaurant. However, it probably wouldn't be the first place I would recommend to visitors.

                                                            JunieB, not sure where you're visiting from (didn't have time to scan this entire thread), but it seems like good restaurants like Salts exist in many cities, at least in terms of the types/style of food.

                                                            Oleana, on the other hand, is unlike any restaurant I've been to in the US (closest vibe I guess might be Aziza in San Francisco, but food is different there). The meal I had at Oleana last summer was the best meal I had while living in Boston.

                                                            I haven't been to Craigie, or to many other places in this price range, so I don't know how those compare.

                                                            Ultimately, I don't think you can go wrong with any of these. But I'm curious to hear an argument *for* Salts as the best place for an April anniversary dinner. I remain unconvinced.

                                                            1. re: Dave MP

                                                              Thanks Dave MP. Nice comment about Oleana. My husband has been leaning toward Helmand for one of our non-anniversary dinners. I think I need to convince him to try Oleana instead. We currently live in Western MA. Moved here from San Francisco.

                                                              I have one last question for you guys. Can you recommend a good casual lunch spot in Cambridge? I have lots of Boston options, but don't know many places in Cambridge. Burgers, a good deli, or a falafel place would be good. We've been to Mr. Bartley's (I think that's the name), but would like to try something else. Thanks.

                                                              1. re: JunieB

                                                                oh Oleana, so far above Helmand!

                                                              2. re: Dave MP

                                                                i'm with you, dave. and i hated the room; too teeny and awkward.

                                                                junie, THIS is the place ya gotta go!:
                                                                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/795745

                                                                1. re: opinionatedchef

                                                                  Thanks, OC, looks like a winner. Good burgers too. How do you get to Watertown from Cambridge? Would we need to drive, and is there anything else to do there?

                                                                  1. re: JunieB

                                                                    Junie, you should go to Strip T's, but for dinner, not lunch. Lunch has some good options, but Dinner is when the magic happens. You should drive to Watertown.

                                                                    For lunch in Cambridge, there's Rod Dee, Crema Cafe, Hi-Rise, Flat Patties, All Star Sandwich Bar, and Sofra, to name a few.

                                                                    1. re: VintageMolly

                                                                      Thanks! That should give us enough options for lunch. As I read more about Strip T's I realized it was a better dinner place - no burgers for lunch.

                                                                      1. re: VintageMolly

                                                                        I just took a tour of those menus and that's exactly what I was hoping for! They all look great. Thanks again.

                                                                      2. re: JunieB

                                                                        if i were driving you around for a tour, i would take you around the brattle st area for the architecture and Formaggio Kitchen (prob our best cheese and imported food store; packed to the gills w/ goodies) then to the Mt Auburn Cemetery (7 minutes from Harv Sq and 7 min. from Strip T's) which was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted and was the first landscaped cemetery in the u.s. Beautiful trees(and labeled) and woody plants everywhere; 300 acres; birders' paradise. (aside from loads of famous buried people). There are tour maps
                                                                        and a few wonderful buildings too.You can drive it or walk. Sofra is just 2 blocks away.

                                                                        Sofra would be a real experience for you, food-wise. VERY unique. Ana Sortun (Oleana) owns it. I find it expensive and don't care for the sweets, but many of the salads, and the roll up sandwiches- are v. good and very unique.yep, i said that. In Harv Sq, Casablanca is a real institution. i think they do lunch ,or at least go in to see the casablanca mural in the dining rm. I would also urge you to try Stone Hearth Pizza in Belmont (10-15 min drive from Harv Sq) It's our fav pizza along with Regina's North End. All locally sourced, wh wht crust option. terrific sauce etc.

                                                                        1. re: opinionatedchef

                                                                          There is now a Stone Hearth Pizza in Allston (medium walk from Harv Sq)

                                                                          http://www.stonehearthpizza.com/ifram...

                                                                          1. re: APBAPB

                                                                            Also near Porter Square, short walk from Harvard.

                                                                          2. re: opinionatedchef

                                                                            Had an unexpected trip to Boston today. After appointment tried to have lunch at Paramount but there was a queue and once again my husband wasn't willing to wait. I guess we will never get to eat there:) He wanted to go to the MIT bookstores so we headed over to Cambridge and just grabbed a sandwich at Flat Patties, which someone had recommended. The space is very college-like (fancy that!) and not very relaxing. The music was terrible (there's a time and place for soul) and loud (there was a speaker right over our heads), but the pulled pork sandwich I had was the best I have had in a long time and my husband has been raving all afternoon about his fish sandwich.

                                                                            I asked a newsstand guy about Formaggio Kitchen and he said it moved to Huron St. "a really long time ago." He said it was a bus ride to get there, so we decided to skip it this time. I do want to go there though. Someone else had mentioned it and it was already on my list.

                                                                            Thanks for the Mt. Auburn Cemetery tip. That sounds like fun.

                                                                            I will also add Casablanca and Stone Hearth pizza to the list.

                                                                            OC, I kind of feel like you are our guide. We took your suggestions when we were in Boston last year and our visit was a huge success! We went with a detailed plan and we stuck to it, and everything went off without a hitch. I am going to try and do the same thing for the Cambridge trip in April.

                                                                            Thanks so much to you and everyone else who has been kind enough to take the time to make all of these wonderful recommendations.

                                                                            1. re: JunieB

                                                                              You can walk to Formaggio from Harvard, it's only about a mile (and a really pretty walk at that). Definitely worth the trip!

                                                                              1. re: JunieB

                                                                                Well, another successful eating, drinking, and browsing excursion to Boston this past weekend, this time to celebrate our wedding anniversary. Something came up and we had to cut our trip short but we had 3 days and 2 nights and we had a wonderful time. On Friday night we went to Oleana. It was everything that people say it is. I wish I had taken the advice of "Madrid" and ordered the 5-Meze; instead we ordered 3 small plates that we shared and then we each ordered an entree. We had the Nicoise Olives which were great; good ones can be hard to find no matter where you live. The oil and sumac that they were in reminded me of the pita dipping oil we enjoy at a local Lebanese restaurant. We had the Hummus and a Fatoush Salad. Both were excellent. I probably would have preferred the Hummus without the Dried Beef because it had a wonderful flavor on its own and I didn't think the Beef added anything, but it was okay. I had the Lemon Chicken with Za’atar & Turkish Cheese Pancake for my entree and my husband had Azzuluna Pork with Moorish Spices, Green Almonds, Figs & Saffron Rice. He loved his, I didn't love mine so much. Not sure what I was expecting but the combination of flavors didn't suit me that well. A little too sour. I can see how some people would like it though, so I'm not complaining. I would just order differently next time. We shared the Baked Alaska for dessert and it was perfect!

                                                                                On Saturday we had a sandwich at Flat Patties, partly because my husband thinks they have the best Fish Sandwich he has ever had, and partly because it was the least crowded place at the time. I enjoyed the Caesar Salad with Chicken, and we came to know the name of Mike, one of the local "characters." It was nice running into him at various places and actually knowing his name. I gather he is a staple in that part of Cambridge.

                                                                                We visited all of our favorite bookstores and we were happy to see that Bob Slate was back - in the original space of all things! It was a beautiful weekend so we strolled along Brattle Street. Very beautiful homes and a very peaceful walk, away from the crowds. We went to Mt. Auburn Cemetery and visited the graves of Fanny Farmer and Buckminster Fuller. Then we walked around the grounds and sat and read for a while. My husband climbed the tower but I did not!

                                                                                On Saturday night we had our anniversary dinner at Bondir. It was very small and intimate - just what we were looking for. When we celebrate our anniversary here in Western Mass. we eat at a small bistro called Gypsy Apple, which also has only 7 or 8 tables. The chef makes every dish to order. At Bondir we opted for 3 small plates each, and dessert. I had Green Garlic Soup w/Toasted Hazelnuts, Brebis Azkorria, and Smoked Mangalitsa Lardo which was out of this world, a White Asparagus Salad with Watercress and Lemon-Chili V-i-n-a-g-a-r-e-t-e (interesting spelling!), equally delicious, and Spring Fricassée w/Ramps, Fava Beans, Green Garlic, and Baby Artichokes. Everything was wonderful. My husband had the Poached Beet Salad w/Greens, Blood Orange, Kañiwa, and Pistachio Vinaigrette. He said it was delicious. He also had the White Asparagus Salad, but instead of the Spring Fricassée, he had Salmon w/Russian Kale, Verpa Morels, Hen of the Woods, Georgia Sweet Peas, Pickled Garlic Scapes, and Sage Froth! He said it was awesome. For dessert I had Tangerine Dream (possibly because of my psychedelic days!) and it was fantastic! The Genoise was perfectly prepared and the flavors of Vermouth-Infused Tangerine, Thyme-Buttermilk Ice Cream, and Meringue were outstanding! My husband had the Blood Orange-Chili Sorbet and they comped us Goat’s Milk Cajeta Ice Cream. We liked everything about this place from the intimate setting and the cute decor to the presentation of the food, and most importantly, the food itself. We thought it was very interesting and creative. We left completely satisfied and comfortably full, not stuffed.

                                                                                On Sunday we went back to Meyers & Chang because we liked it so much from our last visit. Some things had changed in the presentation, but the food seemed comparable to what we had the last time we were there. Instead of the cute little Chines take-out containers that some of the dishes were served in before, this time everything was in a bowl or on a plate. Some of our favorites were the Bok Choy, the Braised Short RIb stuffed Bao and the runny Fried Egg Banh Mi w/Soy Glazed Bacon. Maybe some day we will tear ourselves away from this place and try East by Northeast that "teezeetoo" recommended.

                                                                                On Sunday before our return home we found our way to Frommagio Kitchen. I picked up some Ascutney Mountain Cheese from Vermont and Brie de Normanville - both excellent cheeses. My husband was soooo happy to find Turkish Pistachios because they are nearly impossible to find in Western Mass. I bought a loaf of Ciabatta because we have not been able to find decent Ciabatta since moving to MA, but that was a big disappointment. It's not Zabar's but it's a great little cheese shop and it's good to know it's there.

                                                                                Alas, my last review of the all the delightful people we met in Boston has been tainted by a couple of bad apples. Not once, but TWICE, as I put my signal on and pulled up beside a car to parallel park in the space behind it, drivers nosed right into the space!! I was shocked and really pissed. The first guy got away with it because I was so startled I didn't know how to react, but I was prepared the second time and I got my space. I have lived all over the country and have parked in every major city I can think of, and this had never happened to me before. It almost ruined my day, but instead of going back and keying the guy's car or letting the air out of his tire, I decided to take the high road; but I have to admit I still get my bristles up when I think about it! But I will not be deterred. I will just be more prepared next time!

                                                                                I'm attaching photos of the Baked Alaska from Oleana, the Spring Fricassée from Bondir, and the Banh Mi from Meyers & Chang.

                                                                                 
                                                                                 
                                                                                 
                                                                                1. re: JunieB

                                                                                  Sorry about misspelling Formaggio and any other typos or spelling errors.

                                                                                  1. re: JunieB

                                                                                    No problem about the typos, looks like you did some good eatin'.

                                                                                    P.S. For cheese, Formaggio is better than Zabar's. ;-)

                                                                                    1. re: Alcachofa

                                                                                      I liked the cheese selection and the guys behind the cheese counter were very helpful and accommodating at Formaggio, but the space is very cramped and they have the olive oils right behind the line for cheese and it just makes it awkward if you want to browse. For the overall experience and sheer number of varieties I choose Zabar's. They have amazing bread and carrot cake too!! Maybe Formaggio will expand into a larger space someday, and expand their repertoire while they're at it. As it stands, it is a 90 minute drive for us to come to Boston. I would drive 90 minutes just to go to Zabar's. I probably would not drive 90 minutes just to go to Formaggio.

                                                                                    2. re: JunieB

                                                                                      Thanks for the great review. Not yet been to Bondir but on my list. I agree on the Baked Alaska at Oleana. If Boston is to be judged on our driving and parking, we are doomed... doomed I tells ya.

                                                                                      1. re: gourmaniac

                                                                                        I understand the way Bostonians drive and park, and I'm not too bothered by it. I can drive aggressively. It's the rudeness that got me this time. That, I had never experienced before. BUT, like I said, I won't let a couple of bad apples keep me away:)

                                                                                    3. re: JunieB

                                                                                      Wonder if it was actually out-of-towners who showed bad parking etiquette, given the marathoning masses. In any case, a true Bostonian knows that you have every right to get out of your car and yell at the person until he leaves your spot. Did this happen in Cambridge or Boston proper? Just curious.

                                                                                      In any case, looks like the chow completely made up for these bad apples.

                                                                                      The Oleana thing is funny - I have been half a dozen times (?) and invariably, the entrees are never that great, but the apps/meze are tremendous. We only ever order the 5-course veg and an additional app or two at most. Did you happen to notice if the patio open over the weekend?

                                                                                      The Bondir stuff sounds amazing.

                                                                                      1. re: Bob Dobalina

                                                                                        Good point, although the first rude dude I ran into was in Boston, on Berkeley St. near the intersection of Washington and Berkeley. We were trying to park for Meyers + Chang. I did stick my head out the window and yell a few choice words at the driver and I couldn't believe some guy walking on the sidewalk said "hey, now" to me! I felt like I was being ganged up on! I was only exercising my right to yell at someone being rude and some passerby didn't like my choice of words. The second rude dude was right in front of Formaggio's in Cambridge.

                                                                                        As to Oleana, I will definitely go for a meze only order next time. No, the patio wasn't open yet.

                                                                                        1. re: JunieB

                                                                                          well, JunieB you are way ahead of me. I was in college in Cambridge and then came back after grad school in 1988...and I still can't drive here. The rudeness and aggression is off the charts and possibly I have PTSD from being in a head on car accident at age 5 when my dad was driving me home from kindergarten....I was in the front seat with no seat belt as was customary way back then. The rudeness in Boston still feels like assault to me. There would be many more traffic fatalities here if the cruising speed were higher!

                                                                                          We had an incident in a protected underground parking lot at Whole Foods in Cambridge. My DH pulled in to a spot (front parking, not parallel) that a woman in a minivan thought she had a claim on....it wasn't even close! And there were plenty of empty accessible spaces right there. Woman yelled at us (seeing our 7 year old adopted son)...what are you teaching your children? At which point, I yelled back, what are you teaching yours?

                                                                                          I know what you mean about how crowded Formaggio is, but it is full of wonderful, unique things. The bread selection tends to vary daily and also by what gets sold out fastest. In general, it's a great selection, but the volume is nothing like Zabar's. If you do come back, I hope you'll try it again.

                                                                                          1. re: Madrid

                                                                                            I personally wish there was no need for cars - in any city! Cities should be totally accessible on foot or by public transportation. Unfortunately for me, I am limited in my walking, so having to walk a mile or even a half mile to or from a subway stop is not doable, and I always find it hard to figure out bus transportation. Boston certainly has its own driving style, and it doesn't help that you need to know exactly which lane you need to be in at all times. That gets me honked at more than anything! They don't like it when you look like you don't know what you're doing! In Western Mass where I currently live, no one ever blows their horn. People always stop to let pedestrians cross or to let cars into a line of traffic, or to let cars make left turns. I was shocked when I first moved here because the niceness is so blatant! If anyone ever does blow their horn, the locals say "must be from NY." Maybe you should move to Western Mass - and become a farmer:)

                                                                                            I will definitely visit Formaggio when I am in Boston. I didn't hate it, I just wasn't bowled over.

                                                                                        2. re: Bob Dobalina

                                                                                          They opened the patio Saturday night. I called Saturday afternoon to ask if it would be open since it was so nice out, and they said it was open, but they only were using about half of the tables since they're not fully up to summer staffing levels yet. I imagine they're playing it by ear based on the weather, and I'd call before assuming it's open for the next few weeks.

                                                                                        3. re: JunieB

                                                                                          junie, thx for all the details. i'm partic glad that bondir was so good for your special evening. menu sounds so interesting- a few things i'll have to look up, even!

                                                                                          the one specific i wanted to mention- re ciabatta>> does Iggy's not ship to any of your W Ma. stores? we are soooo lucky to have them here.

                                                                                          p.s. i hope you'll try Strip Ts next visit. I think it's just right for you. thx again for all the details. i hope other visitors will follow your leads.

                                                                                          1. re: opinionatedchef

                                                                                            I also had to look up some of the foods on the menu at Bondir. I know you found their food to be plain, but Rob and I both thought it was interestingly prepared and very flavorful - even the garlic scape on top of the spring fricassee had amazing flavor. I like the menu at Strip T's, so the next time we come to Boston I think we will go there, and maybe downgrade a bit and try one of your favorite pizza joints, look for a great burger - and I have yet to have a good bowl of clam chowder since moving to MA!! So far the best clam chowder I have ever had was in a suburb of St. Louis, and that's not right.

                                                                                            Table & Vine (part of the Big Y) carried Iggy's bread when we first moved here - baguettes, not ciabatta - and then all of a sudden they stopped. We have 2 or 3 pretty good artisan bread bakers here, but everything they make has sourdough in it, and none of them make ciabatta. I just bought Jim Lahey's cookbook, My Bread, and made my first plain loaf. It was fantastic. I might try his ciabatta recipe and see what it's like.

                                                                                          2. re: JunieB

                                                                                            don't know where you leave in western ma but there's a decent cheese shop in Great Barrington on Main Street, and the best bagels in the Northeast at Marvin's Bagel shop in Great Barrington. Also not far to excellent sheep cheese at Old Chatham in the Chatham NY side of the border. Also a sweet little Polish store in Great Barrington near the new fire station (Maria's) with good sausages, jams, smoked fish, and herrings. Next time you come in go to Watertown on Mt. Auburn, to Arax, and stock up on great pistachios, nuts, middle eastern products of all kinds, with very nice people to boot.

                                                                                            1. re: teezeetoo

                                                                                              Thanks, I'll keep all that in mind, but we're about as far away from Great Barrington as we are Boston. We're in the Pioneer Valley, better known as the Happy Valley. Farm country! Arax sounds like fun. Will definitely keep that in mind. I like having this continuous thread because I only have to look one place for all the places people have recommended. Thanks!

                                                                                  2. re: Dave MP

                                                                                    dave, i so agree with you about the aziza comparison. (i bet ana and he would really enjoy meeting each other.)And you're out there now, aren't you? so you can indulge at Aziza often!

                                                                              2. re: JunieB

                                                                                One place that I loved a few years ago (shared a lovely meal with ex-Boston hound tatamagouche, who expertly navigated the menu) was Pulcinella. Romantic-ish but not overtly so that two friends could enjoy a meal together and not feel out of place. In fact, most of the other diners seemed like well-heeled folks from the neighborhood. I have not seen any recent reports at all. Is it still good?

                                                                                1. re: digga

                                                                                  Thanks, I'll add it to my list and do some more research. Just a quick look and reviews were mixed.