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Back Bay/Fenway Bar & Steakhouse Recommendations

r
RiotActTK Sep 5, 2011 02:38 PM

I'm taking my father to Fenway for his 60th birthday in about a week and, as I've never been before, I was looking for some recommendations. We'll be staying in the Kenmore Square/Commonwealth Ave. area.

First, can anyone recommend a) a good place for a casual beer before a ballgame, b) a nice upscale place that serves a good martini (dress code info appreciated) and finally, c) are there any places with a rooftop bar?

Secondly, are there any good steakhouses in the area that any of you Hounds would recommend? Also, I'm a big "meat and cheese" kind of guy, so if there's any other places you can think of that you think I'd like that aren't actually steakhouses, feel free to share.

Thanks for any help.

  1. b
    Bellachefa Sep 5, 2011 04:28 PM

    Ok let's see. On your way to the game stop in at Lower Depths 476 Comm Ave for a beer and $1 fenway frank. It' a classic. There is also the BleacherBar that has a view of the park, but I prefer the Lower Depths. For a bizzare beer you could head to Boston Beer Works for a blueberry ale with extra blueberries. Many a tough guy likes the nibble of tiny Maine blues in their hops.

    Don't ignore Eastern Standard or Island Creek as food destinations steps away.

    For a martini, I would go old school and head to the Oak Bar - business casual for a pricey but really expceptional and classic experience. Then I'd head over to Abe and Louis which has better steak or Capitol Grille which has better sides.

    Rooftop bar? maybe the Colonnade Hotel rooftop pool bar. Not sure of the hours - it's been awhile but worth looking into.

    Cheese, if you happen to be there on sunday , head to the southend to SOWA market to get a gourmet grilled cheese at one of the two trucks - google Roxy's. There is also another truck there doing grilled cheese. Then take a stroll over to Formaggios Kitchen that sources many cheese courses in boston restaurants.

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    Boston Beer Works
    61 Brookline Ave Ste 2, Boston, MA 02215

    Lower Depths
    476 Commonwealth Ave Ste 1, Boston, MA 02215

    2 Replies
    1. re: Bellachefa
      t
      teezeetoo Sep 7, 2011 06:35 AM

      eastern standard right next door has a fine bar and is relatively informal. a darn good menu also. for rooftop informal, try The Rattlesnake on Boylston. Good food, good bar, reasonable prices, nice rooftop,. Try La Verdad for informal: great tacos, near you. I'm not a steak person but my husband likes Grill 23 best of the steakhouses.

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      Grill 23 & Bar
      161 Berkeley Street, Boston, MA 02116

      La Verdad
      1 Lansdowne St, Boston, MA 02215

      1. re: teezeetoo
        r
        RiotActTK Sep 7, 2011 12:27 PM

        Yeah, I'm staying at the Commonwealth, so I imagine I'll be having at least one meal Eastern Standard and will likely check out Island Creek as well.

        I'll check out The Rattlesnake, although I heard it gets crowded early. La Verdad's menu looks delicious. Seems like a good place to go pre or post-game.

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        Eastern Standard
        528 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02215

        La Verdad
        1 Lansdowne St, Boston, MA 02215

    2. C. Hamster Sep 6, 2011 09:12 AM

      There are several steakhouses in the area.

      I think the best is Abe and Louie's. I didn't always think so but have eaten there more and more lately and it's been consistantly great. You can get a martini at their bar, too.

      Grill 23, Morton's, The Palm, Smith and Wollensky are also close. Personally I'd def. skip the last two and Moron's is in a basement. Grill 23 is very good.

      There is always a huge line at the Beerworks before games.

      -----
      Grill 23 & Bar
      161 Berkeley Street, Boston, MA 02116

      10 Replies
      1. re: C. Hamster
        r
        RiotActTK Sep 6, 2011 01:34 PM

        Thanks for the suggestions. I'll be marking them on my phone's map. :)

        The Oak Bar is at the Copley, correct? Don't they also have a steakhouse there? Any word on that?

        1. re: RiotActTK
          C. Hamster Sep 6, 2011 01:37 PM

          I'm not a fan but it gets some love here. I think it's a bit stuffy and outdated.

          IMO both meat and seafood is better at A and L or G23.

          1. re: C. Hamster
            CocoDan Sep 6, 2011 01:54 PM

            I'm with the Hamster on this one. Both have really good food and really good drinks.
            Enjoy,
            CocoDan

            1. re: CocoDan
              b
              Bellachefa Sep 6, 2011 02:43 PM

              There is a reason I suggested Oak Bar for a Martini and other places for dinner. It is truly a wonderful place for a great cocktail. I'd stick to Grill23, Abe and Louis or Capital Grille which serves up amazing and fattening au grautin potatoes. and a lovely string bean.

              1. re: Bellachefa
                CocoDan Sep 7, 2011 05:54 AM

                Yes indeed, the "amazing and fattening au grautin potatoes" are just that. Had some this past Monday, and they are A1. The martini at the bar was perfect, and the decor enhanced the whole experience. Not bad for a chain operatiion.
                Enjoy,
                CocoDan

                1. re: Bellachefa
                  C. Hamster Sep 7, 2011 07:52 AM

                  Did Capital Grill move?

                  1. re: C. Hamster
                    CocoDan Sep 7, 2011 10:51 AM

                    They are now at 900 Boylston St., right across from the firehouse, on the corner of Dalton St. Very nice.
                    Enjoy,
                    CocoDan

                    1. re: CocoDan
                      r
                      RiotActTK Sep 7, 2011 01:18 PM

                      Thanks again for the suggestions. All three (A&L, G23 and CG) are chains, correct?

                      Those potatoes sound amazing. I usually try and eat fairly clean with the exception of dairy products, but I may have to cheat for those potatoes.

                      By the way, I don't suppose anyone knows a good place for Shawarma in the area?

                      1. re: RiotActTK
                        justbeingpolite Sep 7, 2011 01:22 PM

                        Head out Beacon from Fenway to Coolidge corner. Shawarma King or Rami's. For Shawarma, I prefer SK. There's a new Egyptian (I think) place in the area, as well.

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                        Shawarma King
                        Brookline, MA, Brookline, MA

                        1. re: RiotActTK
                          C. Hamster Sep 7, 2011 01:30 PM

                          There is only one Abe and Louies in Boston (there is one in Boca). Its the crown jewel of the back bay Restaurant Group which owns a bunch of other mediocre franchises. AandL is very good, for sure. Both food and service. The same cannot be said for it's cousins.

                          Grill 23 is not a chain that I know of.

                          Capital Grill is a chain. Im not a big fan.

                          Regarding Schwarma, in Back Bay, Caffe Jaffa isn't bad, though it could use some better ventilation.

                          -----
                          Grill 23 & Bar
                          161 Berkeley Street, Boston, MA 02116

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