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Jan 23, 2012 02:10 PM

Need a suggestion for a formal business dinner. Hopefully with an interesting menu.

Hi, I'm hosting a business dinner in Boston on a Monday night in February. It's going to be a pretty formal event, and we'll maybe even book a room (might by 6 people). Would appreciate if the Boston hounds could provide some suggestions that fit the formal requirement, but that also have some "interesting" menu options. Sorry if that's vague, but I'm trying to avoid places that are simply expensive and formal.


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  1. Maybe Sorellina? That might fit the bill.

    1. Hamersley's? I'm not exactly sure what you're looking for in "formal." The two drawbacks might be that the tables are a little close together, and that the open kitchen (and tight tables) make for a loud dining room. Here's a pretty good picture of the place:

      Hamersley's Bistro
      553 Tremont Street, Boston, MA 02116

      1 Reply
      1. re: emannths

        Sorry, by "formal", I mean people in suits talking business. Accordingly, budget is not really an issue.

      2. Can't beat Locke Ober for suits talking business. It has an interesting menu (for 1885). That being said, if the suits talking business want a place that is more with it but still really formal, I would go for L'Espailer or Menton. If they want someplace "cool" but still in Boston, I would go with O-ya (although hard to get 6 people), Clio (may still be closed for remodelling) or, at a somewhat lower price point, Mistral. Steak houses are always good for suits talking business, but not "interesting menus."

        1. For business entertaining, I find that fancy Italian chophouses are useful: upscale Italian and steaks on one menu, a bit more interesting that the typical luxury chain steakhouse, but not so interesting that they freak out the one or more boring eaters that every business crowd seems to have. Prezza and Davio's Back Bay are two that fit this category. Davio's also has private rooms to suit many sizes of parties.

          3 Replies
          1. re: MC Slim JB

            Second Prezza for whatever their chop special is that night (although they tend to run out).

            1. re: ScotchandSirloin

              I still love the food at L'Espalier and I believe they have a small private room as well. Perhaps not quite formal but upscale and interesting, would be Blue. I do like Prezza but find it noisy which might interfere with the "business" part of the dinner.

            2. re: MC Slim JB

              I couldn't agree more on the Davio's suggestion. It's the perfect business dinner spot.

            3. grgmt, if i read correctly, you are looking for 'interesting.'? If this means 'not your usual expensive Italian or expensive steak house', i would guide you to: erbaluce, deuxave, OYa, and Craigie on Main. All their menus are more adventurous and unique in foodstuffs, and are artisinal/owner-chef driven. But i do not know about availability of separate rooms (and I believe Craigie is not formal.)

              O Ya
              9 East Street, Boston, MA 02111

              Craigie on Main
              853 Main Street, Cambridge, MA 02139

              69 Church Street, Boston, MA 02116

              371 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02115

              1 Reply
              1. re: opinionatedchef

                I would second Craigie on Main. If you're looking to shake up the typical steakhouse business meeting this is a really cool spot. I would also agree with the Clio recos.