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Need a solid dinner recommendation, please

ttoommyy Oct 3, 2011 11:03 AM

We will be in Boston this coming weekend and need a recommendation for Sunday evening. We're looking for very good food and a pleasant ambience at mid to upper mid-level prices. We don't want to break the bank but we are also not afraid to spend a little money. We're having Italian on Saturday, so prefer not to go that way (unless you have a stellar recommendation). Anything other than Asian would be fine. I've done a lot of searching on this board for a week or so, but I've not really been able to come up with any outstanding recent recommendations. Thanks.

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  1. GretchenS RE: ttoommyy Oct 3, 2011 11:38 AM

    I have had two really very good and enjoyable meals at EVOO recently. See if their menu appeals to you -- although it changes a bit daily it is likely to be fairly similar at the end of the week. I am also a fan of Ten Tables Cambridge and sent a friend there recently who raved about it. I think both places have a pleasant ambience -- Ten Tables is a bit more laid-back. Neither is scene-y at all. I realize that both my recommendations are in Cambridge rather than Boston but hopefully you will get some recs for across the river as well. Please report back where you ended up and how you liked it, love reading those posts!

    EVOO Restaurant
    350 Third Street, Cambridge, MA 02143

    Ten Tables
    5 Craigie Circle, Cambridge, MA 02138

    1 Reply
    1. re: GretchenS
      ttoommyy RE: GretchenS Oct 3, 2011 12:09 PM

      Thanks GretchenS. Both of those recommendations are exactly what we are looking for and the menus look terrific. Cambridge is not a problem at all.

    2. rcastanon RE: ttoommyy Oct 3, 2011 12:10 PM

      Check out Davio's http://www.Davios.com, if you are staying in downtown boston it's walking distance from major hotels. It's a bit on the pricey side but not outrageously expensive, great drinks and wine selection. I think they're categorized as Italian although the menu is quite eclectic, I think it'll be different to hat you're doing Saturday night. Everything I've had there was delicious, the ambience is great. Service is a bit snobbish but ok.

      75 Arlington Street, Boston, MA 02116

      1. Matt H RE: ttoommyy Oct 3, 2011 12:13 PM

        Island Creek Oyster Bar in Kenmore. Great food, cocktails and service.

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

        1. viperlush RE: ttoommyy Oct 3, 2011 01:20 PM

          There is a current thread on Rendezvous in Cambridge (Central Square). They do a Prix Fixe Sunday night 3 courses for $38.



          2 Replies
          1. re: viperlush
            LeoLioness RE: viperlush Oct 3, 2011 01:21 PM

            I was just going to suggest this as well. The Sunday prix fixe is a good deal and it's easy to get here by T.

            1. re: LeoLioness
              teezeetoo RE: LeoLioness Oct 3, 2011 01:24 PM

              Second Island Creek or Rendezvous, but if you want to stay in Boston, I like La Voile, Coppa or Toro.

              1704 Washington St, Boston, MA 02118

              La Voile
              261 Newbury Street, Boston, MA 02116

              253 Shawmut Ave, Boston, MA 02118

          2. opinionatedchef RE: ttoommyy Oct 3, 2011 01:29 PM

            ttoom, at the top of my list for tremendous food would be Oleana in Cambridge or Neptune Oyster in the north end or Island creek oyster bar in kenmore sq., all consistent CH favs. Evoo and Ten tables are both very good but def not my top picks for a very memorable evening. if you do a search, there are many CH threads on all three of them.

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

            134 Hampshire St., Cambridge, MA 02139

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

            1. r
              robwat36 RE: ttoommyy Oct 3, 2011 01:31 PM

              Sunday might be a good night to try to get a reservation at Bondir. The available half-portions make that place a best buy in my book, considering the quality of the food.

              279 Broadway, Cambridge, MA 02139

              1. ttoommyy RE: ttoommyy Oct 3, 2011 02:12 PM

                So many more recommendations...thanks to all. And I have to say, the menus all look great. You people know your stuff.

                We may be leaning toward seafood. Of the two restaurants mentioned in this thread, Island Creek Oyster Bar and Neptune Oyster, which is better? I have to say the web site and menu for ICOB gave me a headache, but the food listed sounds great.

                16 Replies
                1. re: ttoommyy
                  viperlush RE: ttoommyy Oct 3, 2011 02:14 PM

                  I haven't been to Neptune (and based on some criticism on Chowhound don't plan to) so I don't know about the food, but I do know that ICOB is larger and takes reservations.

                  Not to try to sway your decision, but I have had great fish and shellfish dishes @ Rendezvous (as well as at ICOB)

                  1. re: viperlush
                    ttoommyy RE: viperlush Oct 3, 2011 02:20 PM

                    Rendezvous is definitely in the running. Lots of good things mentioned about it and their menus sounds tasty. Thanks viperlush.

                  2. re: ttoommyy
                    robwat36 RE: ttoommyy Oct 3, 2011 02:36 PM

                    I'm solidly ICOB > Neptune at this point.

                    1. re: ttoommyy
                      chefematician RE: ttoommyy Oct 3, 2011 02:46 PM

                      Island Creek is a better overall experience than Neptune Oyster. Food is great at both, but Island Creek will have better service, great wine and cocktails and a beautiful setting. Their similar in price point too, so there's really no reason to go to Neptune unless you happen to be in the North End instead of Kenmore. The menu for Island Creek changes daily so that's probably why it gave you a headache. I've been there a few times and the menu always tempted me with more dishes than I could possibly order. You really can't go wrong at Island Creek, and if you sit at the bar and talk to the bartenders they will have good suggestions for what to order.

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

                      1. re: chefematician
                        ttoommyy RE: chefematician Oct 9, 2011 12:57 PM

                        So chef. We made reservations for icon for tonight on your recommendation. Just walked by to see what its like. You mentioned "beautiful setting." The place looks like a sports bar. I'd be interested in what you think is "beautiful" about the place. Thanks.

                        1. re: ttoommyy
                          capeanne RE: ttoommyy Oct 9, 2011 01:35 PM

                          Wow so not a sports bar. Let us know what you think when you get inside as that post for a walk by was harsh. Welcome to Boston.

                          1. re: capeanne
                            ttoommyy RE: capeanne Oct 9, 2011 02:20 PM

                            Sorry, but all I saw was a busy bar area with huge tvs playing football games. Is there more than one ICOB?

                            1. re: ttoommyy
                              capeanne RE: ttoommyy Oct 9, 2011 02:34 PM

                              No but there is more space than the front bar area. None of it is elegant in the intimate or ornate sense. But it is a bustling , comfortable , large and interesting and very well done space in my opinion. Enjoy the food.

                            2. re: capeanne
                              ttoommyy RE: capeanne Oct 9, 2011 07:46 PM

                              Mea culpa, new culpa, mea culpa. The food was great and the space was wonderful. More when we get home tomorrow. I hate using my Droid for writing.

                              1. re: ttoommyy
                                chefematician RE: ttoommyy Oct 10, 2011 06:53 AM

                                I'm glad you enjoyed ICOB. I look forward to hearing about your meal.

                                1. re: chefematician
                                  ttoommyy RE: chefematician Oct 12, 2011 12:11 PM

                                  So, where to begin. I know, I'll apologize once again for thinking ICOB looked like a sports bar. Jeez. I leaned a lesson: never judge a restaurant just from peering into the front window when you are cranky from walking around in the heat for a good 3 or 4 hours. You really don't get a good sense of what the place is really like. Go figure. :)

                                  So, we went back to our hotel, napped a bit and took showers. We left the hotel at 8pm for dinner at 8:30 pm. Unfortunately, there was a fire in the Kenmore station and instead of taking the T all the way, we had to get out at Copley and walk. Luckily it had cooled off a bit and I was well rested. On our way there we called to say we'd be a little late due to having to walk; they were very appreciative for our call. Finally got there and had to wait a short bit for our table so we had a cocktail at the bar. Great drinks and great bar service. A very good start.

                                  After about 10 minutes or so we were seated and proceeded to have a nice 2-hour dinner. The service was excellent and the food matched. We had steamed little necks to start, followed by chowder for me and a wedge salad for my partner. For entrees, I had lobster roe noodles and he had the brown butter roasted lobster. We had a lovely bottle of white wine with our meal but I can't for the life of me recall what it was. For dessert we shared apple cider donuts. Fresh, hot and delicious! The waitress brought us each a glass of house made Irish Cream to top off the night. Loved it.

                                  Thanks to all for the terrific recommendation and once again, I apologize for my earlier comment.

                                  1. re: ttoommyy
                                    capeanne RE: ttoommyy Oct 12, 2011 07:09 PM

                                    Thanks for reporting back and very glad you enjoyed ICOB. I love the lobster roe noodles and last night they had a lobster risotto that was really really good.

                                    1. re: ttoommyy
                                      teezeetoo RE: ttoommyy Oct 13, 2011 07:29 AM

                                      thanks so much for letting us know the outcome. it is a lot more fun to share chow info when you get feedback on whether it worked or it didn't. I love ICOB and am glad it satisfied you.

                              2. re: ttoommyy
                                robwat36 RE: ttoommyy Oct 9, 2011 05:53 PM

                                Here's a blog post by the artist who was commissioned to make the photo mural in the dining room. It gives you an idea of the beauty of the space.


                                It certainly isn't a quiet space, and it certainly has a casual energy, but I don't get sports bar at all. I don't think I've ever seen that TV on, in fact.

                                1. re: robwat36
                                  capeanne RE: robwat36 Oct 9, 2011 07:02 PM

                                  I have seen the TV on alot but never with sound...us Bostonians love our Sox, Celtics and Bruins...but our food just as much !

                                  1. re: robwat36
                                    opinionatedchef RE: robwat36 Oct 11, 2011 09:57 PM

                                    rob, this link is so cool; thnx much!

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