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Looking for "French" in Boston/Cambridge for multi-stop anniversary might out...

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aregularjoe Oct 18, 2012 09:16 AM

Hi All!

Looking for suggestions for "French" restaurants that would be good for a multi restaurant anniversary night out. We'll be drooping into a few places for a single course each and wine by the glass. Anything from bistro to fine dining works. We love to eat at the bar. French requirement is loose, anything close will do.

Anything in the core of Boston and Cambridge is fine geographically.

Thanks for any suggestions.

A Regular Joe

  1. r
    RoyRon Oct 22, 2012 08:56 AM

    Bistro du Midi is our favorite when we are in the mood for French style food. Just had dinner there a week or so ago and it was excellent. When the restaurant is busy it can get noisey but other than I highly recommend it. They do have a small bar where you can dine and there is one table that overlooks the kitchen if you enjoy watching food being prepared. At the street level there is a larger bar and you can get the same food served there too.

    1 Reply
    1. re: RoyRon
      a
      aregularjoe Oct 22, 2012 08:57 AM

      Thanks for your input

    2. a
      aregularjoe Oct 20, 2012 09:46 AM

      Thanks to all who posted relevant and on topic comments. I'll let you know how I make out.

      1. c
        carneyvore Oct 18, 2012 07:32 PM

        Gaslight on Harrison Ave. in Boston.

        4 Replies
        1. re: carneyvore
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          Klunco Oct 18, 2012 08:19 PM

          The OP could do Gaslight, Aquitaine, and Hamersley's if you want to keep French.

          1. re: Klunco
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            aregularjoe Oct 20, 2012 07:00 AM

            Thanks for these suggestions, although in my opinion, Hamersley's is not exactly french.

            1. re: aregularjoe
              hotoynoodle Oct 20, 2012 09:08 AM

              your opinion, i guess, yet it is leaps and bounds better than the other two. it's one of those places that seems to fly under the radar here, but i have never had anything but an excellent evening there.

              1. re: hotoynoodle
                t
                teezeetoo Oct 20, 2012 09:34 AM

                also an odd response to me: the op said he meant "french" loosely I thought and Hamersley's, however you characterize the food, is leaps and bounds better quality than Gaslight or Aquitaine. Am not making any suggestions because I never eat at bars and I never do "restaurant hopping" so I have no idea what cycling through a variety of places in one evening would be like. My tendency would be to start with oysters and a good wine at Lineage or Sel de la Terre and move up the foodchain from there. But darned if I know what would work.

        2. g
          grant.cook Oct 18, 2012 12:47 PM

          Wouldn't Craigie on Main fit this bill as well?

          These are nice places - this going to be on a weekend? Getting a 2-top at 3-4 places in an evening, or even bar seats, that might be tough..

          5 Replies
          1. re: grant.cook
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            cambridgedoctpr Oct 18, 2012 01:38 PM

            i thought about craigie and rendevous, but i think of them as more new american than french.

            1. re: cambridgedoctpr
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              aregularjoe Oct 18, 2012 06:38 PM

              I have to agree about the cuisine. Plus, Craigie is over priced and overhyped, in my humble opinion.

              As to when, most likely a weeknight, and I am well versed in the difficulties involved.

              1. re: aregularjoe
                c
                cambridgedoctpr Oct 18, 2012 07:46 PM

                i think that the food is good; the servers are good; i just feel that the front office does not really think that they are in the hospitality business. there are high end restaurants that forget that aspect of their business.

                1. re: cambridgedoctpr
                  a
                  aregularjoe Oct 19, 2012 04:23 AM

                  Well Stated.

                  1. re: cambridgedoctpr
                    j
                    jajjguy Oct 20, 2012 12:13 PM

                    Yes, and this is tragic given the extraordinary dedication to service that Craigie has shown, particularly in its earlier years. Part of the problem seems to be they cannot keep people. But this has its benefits, as some of the best restaurant service folks I know are graduates of the Craigie boot camp.

            2. s
              ScotchandSirloin Oct 18, 2012 12:39 PM

              I would add the salon at L'Espailer (and maybe be so happy that you stay at the restaurant for the whole meal)

              7 Replies
              1. re: ScotchandSirloin
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                aregularjoe Oct 18, 2012 06:39 PM

                An excellent suggestion, and I'm glad you enjoy it, but after a very displeasing $400+ valentines day brunch there a couple of years ago, I will NEVER go back.

                1. re: aregularjoe
                  hotoynoodle Oct 20, 2012 09:05 AM

                  interesting perspective. as an industry lifer, i NEVER dine out on nights like new year's and valentine's. yet you are using those experiences as a yardstick to rule out what are very good restaurants.

                  as an aside, i am not a fan of sdlt -- especially that back bay location-- but was offering it as a proximity choice.

                  1. re: hotoynoodle
                    a
                    aregularjoe Oct 20, 2012 09:38 AM

                    The problem at L'espalier was actually with the wine pairings. Lets just say I know a bit about wine and the industry. ;-), and that they should be ashamed about what they severed as pairings that day. Compared to say Number 9 Park ( and frankly the other restaurants in the group) whose wine program is flawless thats to Kat S., for example.

                    Sel de la terre's food was so heinous, never mind the price, that those responsible should have thrown themselves on their swords. Letting food like that out of their kitchen was and is a disgrace on ANY night.

                    I agree about not eating out on "holiday's" and its been years since I have, lesson learned. Frankly I try to only go on Tuesday-Thursday now. I'm sure you know why.

                    True the events that turned me of to these places were years ago. But i believe that, in a capitalist economy, the only real power a consumer has in their wallet, so I don't go back. There are plenty of other options, with some going and more coming every day!

                    1. re: aregularjoe
                      hotoynoodle Oct 20, 2012 10:04 AM

                      Compared to say Number 9 Park ( and frankly the other restaurants in the group) whose wine program is flawless

                      ~~~~~

                      the wine mark-ups at all of lynch's venues are so stratospheric i refuse to go anymore. add inconsistent execution, and one of my worst server experiences EVER (@ b&g), i don't recommend nor frequent any of their joints. ymmv.

                      l'espalier and sldt used to have the same wine director. i was not a fan of his either, and felt both places were over-hyped. i kept trying the waterfront sdlt, and wanting to like it, lol, but always was disappointed.

                      if you are actually serious about wine, i am quite surprised you won't consider troquet.

                      1. re: hotoynoodle
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                        aregularjoe Oct 20, 2012 10:42 AM

                        Actually, if you look back at my response to 9lives suggestion, I said, regarding troquet, "An excellent suggestion. Been on my list for a while."

                        1. re: hotoynoodle
                          c
                          cambridgedoctpr Oct 22, 2012 06:29 PM

                          troquet is THE answer if the dinmer is wine oriented unless you go BYOB.

                          1. re: cambridgedoctpr
                            hotoynoodle Oct 23, 2012 12:33 PM

                            byob is illegal in cambridge and boston.

                2. 9
                  9lives Oct 18, 2012 11:23 AM

                  I'll add Troquet

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: 9lives
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                    aregularjoe Oct 18, 2012 06:40 PM

                    An excellent suggestion. Been on my list for a while.

                    1. re: aregularjoe
                      C. Hamster Oct 19, 2012 05:47 AM

                      To my knowledge Troquet's bar is on the first floor and not in the restaurant. It's fine for a cocktail before dinner but not much ambiance. Troquet's cheese program is good, if a bit snooty.

                      1. re: C. Hamster
                        r
                        Ricardo Malocchio Oct 23, 2012 12:52 PM

                        Leave Troquet to us winos. Seriously. Read the reviews. Not a chow place. Purely for drinking. If you don't know the difference between a Chambolle Musigny and a Morey St. Denis, this is not the place for you. Especially in late July and August.

                        So stay away or be insulted by the haughty cheese-service.

                        1. re: Ricardo Malocchio
                          c
                          cambridgedoctpr Oct 23, 2012 02:57 PM

                          hey, servers are generally nice everywhere; it is a question of the management.

                          That said; this is a place where you can learn a whole lot about wine. It is one place where i am ready to spend money for something interesting.

                          The food is very good, but this is not a destination for people who are not interested in wine.

                          1. re: Ricardo Malocchio
                            hotoynoodle Oct 23, 2012 08:11 PM

                            i have NEVER been on the receiving end of attitude at troquet.

                            chris, the owner, is often there and happy to help guests with the wine list and is understandably proud of his cheese selection.

                            what do july and august have to do with anything?

                            1. re: hotoynoodle
                              r
                              Ricardo Malocchio Oct 24, 2012 08:08 AM

                              Just to be clear, I was trying to be funny with the whole "haughty cheese service" thing! Troquet is the most casual, easy-going, first-name-basis, totally friendly vibe place around. Chris is one of the nicest guys you'll meet - always on the premises, always the one to greet you and take you to your table, always the one to personally open and decant the bottles - the very epitome of perfection in a restaurant owner and everything that celebrity retauranteur jerkwads like [you-know-who] are not. Just to be absolutely clear.

                              That said, I'm not recommending this place to any of you except those of you who know who you are. Did I say something about late July and August? Clearly I misspoke.

                    2. C. Hamster Oct 18, 2012 10:01 AM

                      You can easily walk between Bistro duMidi, Brasserie Jo and LaVoile and eat at their bars.

                      7 Replies
                      1. re: C. Hamster
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                        aregularjoe Oct 18, 2012 10:07 AM

                        Thanks for the speedy input!

                        1. re: aregularjoe
                          C. Hamster Oct 18, 2012 11:05 AM

                          No prob!

                          1. re: aregularjoe
                            hotoynoodle Oct 18, 2012 02:22 PM

                            sel de la terre is in this zone too.

                            1. re: hotoynoodle
                              a
                              aregularjoe Oct 18, 2012 06:44 PM

                              Thanks for the suggestion. Several years ago we had a HORRIBLE new years eve meal here, and won't go back.

                          2. re: C. Hamster
                            justbeingpolite Oct 18, 2012 11:20 AM

                            Pigalle is in the area, too:)

                            1. re: justbeingpolite
                              t
                              Taralli Oct 18, 2012 12:31 PM

                              I thought of Pigalle too until I looked at the internat'l selection of items on the bar menu, altho' they do look tasty: http://www.pigalleboston.com/menus/ba...

                              1. re: Taralli
                                a
                                aregularjoe Oct 18, 2012 06:44 PM

                                I looked at the dinner menu as well. Maybe?

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