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Italian dining near the Park Plaza Hotel or, if really great, anywhere else?

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Coming to Boston for a conference and a friend and I are looking for a dinner idea. He wants to do Italian. We're staying in the Back Bay at the Park Plaza Hotel so something great nearby would be perfect. But if there is something really great elsewhere that wouldn't be too long a taxi ride, we'd consider that, too.

Thanks!

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  1. if you like northern Italian I would highly recommend Erbaluce, near your hotel. If you want more conventional Italian, Da Vinci is also nearby and is good. Very upscale Italian with an elegant room and good bar is Lucca on Huntington, perhaps a 1/2 mile walk.

    1. I'll add Via Matta and Teatro to the list. Check out sample menus of all recommendations online.

      1. Davio's is right across the street as well, It is marketed as a Northern Italian Steakhouse, and definitely worth a try

        1. You can also check out Ristorante Toscano on Charles Street beacon hill.

          1. of all those mentioned so far, i would most recommend Erbaluce, which is always on top lists.

            http://erbaluce-boston.com/

            i think via matta and davio's are both very disappointing, especially given the others' excellence.

            3 Replies
            1. re: opinionatedchef

              another vote for erbaluce. i don't know that it can be neatly categorized as "northern italian". it's far more modern, with a wondrous attention to detail. one of my favorite places, with a thoughtful wine list.

              1. re: hotoynoodle

                Erbaluce, as noted above, is one of my favorite restaurants. however, I have had the experience of recommending it to people who have been disappointed because it isn't "italian" enough for their expectations or, perhaps, because they simply didn't like the particular form of cooking that I do. So i recommend it with a caution: it is a subtle, individualistic and chef-driven restaurant. If you're longing for more "recognizable" italian, Prezza or Lucca would be my choice. Others like Via Matta, which I have generally found ordinary.

                1. re: teezeetoo

                  i have had great experiences at via matta when schlow is actually in-house. other times been sorely disappointed and feeling ripped off because it's spendy.

                  honestly, i haven't been in since he broke up with christopher meyers and esti parsons, who were his FOH whizzes. other places i feel are more of a sure thing.