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Looking for a restaurant with a very nice "relish tray" and good shrimp dip, too.

So, my elderly Swank relatives are coming for a visit. Palates are tame -- VERY tame. A family favorite for many years was Newton's Pillar House, if any of you remember that spot. Another favorite has been Anthony's Pier 4. They'll be in town for a couple of days before heading down to New York. I'd like to treat them to a couple of nice meals out. I was considering Locke-Ober, but I think that might be too pricey/fussy for them. We basically want a good value and old-fashioned, hearty food. Bonus if the desserts are served and chosen from a tray and a salad or appetizer is included in entree price.
Northern or Western suburbs are OK.

3 Winter Place, Boston, MA 02108

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

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  1. I haven't ever been, but what about Mount Vernon Restaurant? It seems pretty old school but still nice.

    I am not sure you will find a relish tray anywhere, all the restaurants of my youth that had them have since had to stop the practice due to health codes. But I didn't grow up in Massachusetts, maybe the rules are different here.

    3 Replies
      1. re: Karl S

        Really? Not a good choice? Or is my comment moderator bait?

        1. re: hckybg

          No, I thought you might be thinking of the Saugus location, but I was wrong (2 of the MV's locations just closed, including the Saugus location).

    1. The Continental in Saugus is exactly the place that you are looking for.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Chris B.

        I thought the exact same thing. Passed apps and popovers: just the ticket.
        Edit: just realized how many others agreed, should've read down before replying.

      2. The first place that comes to mind that may fit the bill is the Continental on Route 1. That is my grandparents favorite :special occasion" meal, and the servers bring out various passed appetizers while you wait for youer meal (turnovers, chicken wings, fritters, etc) and I do recall some sort od cold bean dip, a giant wedge of cheese and crackers in the lounge area.

        1. Check the website for 75 Chestnut. I think it would appeal to all in your party.

          75 Chestnut
          75 Chestnut Street, Boston, MA 02114

          1. Check out Angelica's in Middleton

            1. Definitely, the Continental on Route 1 in Saugus. On Sundays, and perhaps other days of the week, "free" passed appetizers include chicken wings, spinach pie, corn fritters and popovers. You are also provided with a bean dip and cottage cheese along with crackers. Included with your meal are rolls and a salad. Entrees are very traditional. My favorites include baked stuffed lobster, stuffed shrimp and prime rib.

              1 Reply
              1. re: RichardinJP

                Cottage cheese and saltine crackers are the give away.
                Another idea is Brackett's in Rockport.

              2. Cafe Escadrille in Burlington could work.

                Cafe Escadrille
                26 Cambridge St, Burlington, MA 01803

                1. Check out the Winthrop Arms. I'm not sure about the relish tray, but the rest of it fits the bill.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Gabatta

                    I agree on The Continental. Angelica's in Middleton is owned by the same people.

                    1. re: edgewater

                      Yes, Galleymom waxes euphoric about the passed apps....

                  2. The Old Mill in Westminster, for the Prime Rib. They have cheese and crackers in the pub, don't remember but I think they have the relish tray.

                    1. This time of year a visit to The Wayside Inn might be enjoyable for atmosphere, grist mill, foliage, Martha Mary chapel, Little Red School House and although I haven't been in a few years the food is servicable, mediocre and perfect for tame palates. Sundays dinners include app, entree and dessert.


                      1. I don't believe that I've ever encountered Shrimp Dip. Is this a regional thing?