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Dinner near-ish to the Lenox

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Hi folks,

I am surprising my wife with a night at the Lenox on the Friday before Christmas...our first night away together since our nearly 4-year old son was born. I know, pathetic! :) So of course I want to go somewhere awesome for dinner. We live in the 'burbs and don't get out to eat as much as we used to. She is pescatarian, I am an omnivore. I am looking for recs...I do read Chowhound but still feel kind of out of the loop on what is delicious. Doesn't really have to be in walking distance...S End would be fine, Back Bay, Fenway, whatever. Probably not Cambridge/Somerville, but otherwise pretty open. Also a lunch rec would be nice. We are pretty adventurous but not wildly so. :) Needs to have good veggie/seafood options. And not SUPER fancy, we don't like to get TOO gussied up. Paying a fair amount for hotel room so can't spring for anything crazy like No 9/Clio/L'Espalier tasting menu.

Thanks in advance!

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  1. I think you have lots of nice options not far from the Lenox: for a fancy but not break the bank dinner I'd consider Island Creek or Eastern Standard Kitchen, La Voile which is within a block or two of your hotel, Da Vinci for Italian, DeuxAve which is only a few block walk, or Bistro Du Midi. For lunch, relaxed and good include Parish Cafe, Sel de la Terre, and for very informal but a reason to walk through the lovely Boston Library next door to your hotel, Courtyard Cafe in the library building.

    5 Replies
    1. re: teezeetoo

      having just returned from NYC where i had dinner at J-G and Bernadin, I really like ethnic food and would recommend that you hit Chinatown or Sichuan Gourmet , Toro or Coppa. Leave the high end stuff to your trips to Manhattan, Chi-town, SF, Paris.

      1. re: cambridgedoctpr

        "having just returned from NYC where i had dinner at J-G and Bernadin..."

        Is there a relationship between the beginning of your post and what the OP asked (particularly since the OP wasn't planning on spending anything comparable in Boston in the first place)? You seem to mention those restaurants in NY a lot for someone writing on the Boston board.

        As for the question, lunch will eliminate a lot of the better options as many of the good places and places mentioned are closed for lunch. Toro and Coppa are open for lunch (Coppa all day) and they might be a good option for you.

        I'm not sure what your price-point is but the best places in Back Bay are generally very pricy unlike in Cambridge to an extent where you could more easily have a more interesting special meal at more reasonable prices so you may want to rethink that geographical limitation.

        Of the less extravagant dinner places in the area (assuming you go to Coppa or Toro for lunch) I agree that Island Creek would probably fit the bill better than most

        Good luck !

        1. re: retrofabulousity

          Yes, I wondered about that, too. :) Not getting to Paris a ton with a preschooler.

          Thanks for your advice. I tried ICOB with no luck. Then I remembered that I had been wanting to check out The Gallows, being big fans of the old Biltmore...I know it's not an upscale kind of place, really, but I think it will work well for us, so that is my new plan. May hit Toro for lunch if it's not too out of the way from wherever we find ourselves on Saturday.

          1. re: kt1969

            You're very welcome :)

            The Gallows is really cute, nice service and some interesting plates. I very much like it in that vein but I don't know that it would be a real once in 4 years dinner place. That said, if you go with that in mind, it could be fun (or perhaps would be nice to combine with a visit to Coppa as well which isn't so far away).

      2. re: teezeetoo

        Ditto on Bistro Du Midi!

      3. For lunch, I would choose Sel de la Terre. Parish Cafe has good sandwiches, but I have always found it to be very loud and it doesn't have a special feel to it. For dinner, I also really like the Atlantic Fish Co right on Boylston St a block down from the Lenox. I've never had a bad meal there.

        1. Teezeetoo, I love the ICOB idea. Unfortunately, Open Table only shows 5:30 and 10pm openings. I called just in case, but it's true! They do have 7pm and 9pm at some kind of bar seating...anyone know if that is nice? Doesn't seem like quite the thing for a special night out, but am willing to be convinced otherwise. :)

          1 Reply
          1. re: kt1969

            Personally, I like having dinner at the bar in restaurants. I think it makes even the most mundane place a more intimate and special.

          2. Oak Room, Sorellina, Mistral and Hamersley's if you want to get a little fancy. Petit Robert Bistro, Kitchen, Aquitaine and Da Vinci a step down. All those are in walking distance. The room at the restaurant in the Lenox is nice, food is all right.