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Jan 17, 2012 02:08 PM

Where should I go for my birthday dinner in Boston?

My husband would like to take me into Boston to celebrate my birthday. We are in our mid 50's. We eat all types of food. Looking for something nice but not stuffy. Even something fun with great food would be great. Looking to spend up to $40 per entree.

I would even like to do something like Toro but they do not take reservations.

My friend suggested Sorrelina but not sure if it is too expensive and I have read mixed reviews.

Thank you in advance.

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  1. Someplace in the North End could be fun. Stop for dinner then move on to another spot for drinks or grab a pastry at Marias. My choice would be the bar at Prezza. It's not rushed, the food is great and the bar is friendly. From there I would probably stop at Paradiso for an expresso martini.

    1. At up to $40 an entree, nearly the whole of Boston's restaurant scene is open to you. If I were you I'd try one of these.
      Island Creek Oyster Bar
      Eastern Standard
      Craigie On Main (Central Sq Cambridge)
      Rendezvous (also Central Sq)
      Bergamot (Somerville)
      Bondir (Cambridge)

      Have a great birthday dinner no matter where you end up!

      1. Carmen in the North End was lovely but definitely make a reservation. It is a tiny place but delicious food with a nice atmosphere.

        1. At $40/entree you might even check out the venerable Locke-Ober -- most of their entrees are around that price.

          1. Tried to make a reservation in the dining room for Island Creek Oyster but they are all booked for prime seating until the middle of March on Saturday nights.

            What do you think of Sorrelina?

            14 Replies
            1. re: Janiekins

              did you actually call Island Creek (vs. booking online?) They might be able to accomodate you, especially if you tell them you are coming in from out of town for a b'day celebration. If it is still a no-go, you could do Sorrelina, but honestly I think there are better choices. How about Bondir (in Cambridge, not Boston, but supposed to be great) Or...Towne? Scampo? Both Lydia Shire spots and both have excellent food with a celebratory atmosphere. Scampo is in the old Charles Street Jail (obviously it's been renovated, now the Liberty Hotel) and it's a very fun spot.
              Craigie on Main is in Cambridge and is excellent as well (tho' I suspect you'd have a tough time getting in there on a Sat night as well) Another place I LOVE is Hungry Mother, in Cambridge. Really delicious food, but again, a hot ticket on a Saturday night. Those are a few of my favorites. My top choice would definitely be Island Creek Oyster Bar though....keep us posted! I can come up with lots more ideas if necessary.

              1. re: twentyoystahs

                Called island Creek but I could not get a reservation.

                I love Italian food so I have narrowed down my choices to Prezza, Sorrelina's and Scampo. Which would you recommend or do you have any other suggestions for a nice Italian restaurant?

                Thanks so much!

                1. re: Janiekins

                  they all have their merits. sorrelina feels more like a dressed-up kind of place, because the room is so refined. portions a bit smaller and probably the priciest of the 3. wine mark-ups in the stratosphere.

                  scampo is lively and fun, but the food can be hit or miss if lydia is not in-house.

                  every time i eat at prezza i am blown away. i only dine at the bar and the service is great.

                  1. re: Janiekins

                    I'm a broken record on this one, but +1 for Scampo - I haven't had the hit-or-miss issue that hotoynoodle mentions and I think it's a fun room that's upscale enough to feel special, but down-to-earth enough to feel like an occasion-worthy spot. I have never been disappointed in a meal there. Sorrelina is lovely, but feels stuffy to me. Prezza is delicious, but I'm not a huge fan of the North End in the winter. Once you finish dinner at Scampo, you can camp out at one of the bars and watch the young & beautiful converge.


                    1. re: gansu girl

                      I have decided that it will be Scampo for dinner and before dinner drinks at Alibi. Looking forward to a great evening!

                      1. re: Janiekins

                        If you like pork, try the kurobuta pork chop at Scampo (probably best pork chop i've ever had) or (if on Friday) the suckling pig special

                        1. re: Janiekins

                          have fun and report back! happy birthday!

                          1. re: Janiekins

                            Oh goodie! Have a great time and let us know what you think. Hope you have a GREAT b-day dinner.


                        2. re: Janiekins

                          We had a fantastic meal at Erbaluce recently. Fits your romantic, birthday-worthy and Italian wants. It's in a cute, mostly undiscovered nook in Boston called Bay Village (Theatre District). Plenty of garaged parking and pre / post bars closeby.

                        3. re: twentyoystahs

                          towne is just a mess. not worth the gamble.

                          1. re: hotoynoodle

                            I would second or third the recs for Scampo. The entire Liberty Hotel is a great venue, Scampo has a nicce upscale "buzz" on most nights and the food is great. For apps I would suggest sharing the Elephant Ear Walking and/or the signature Lobster Pizza. For mains the Kurobuta Pork Chop is excellent.

                            1. re: RoyRon

                              Thanks so much everyone! Have a great weekend!

                              1. re: Janiekins

                                some CHs on another thread recently raved about Scampo's pasta w/ clams.

                                1. re: opinionatedchef

                                  I will definitely check out Erbaluce some other time. Thanks for the recommendation!