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Parker House versus Top of the Hub

Swankalicious Dec 18, 2012 04:15 PM

I know, I know. Neither are Houndish choices. However, Auntie Swank is up from Westchester next week and wants to dine someplace "classic" (read: boring) and "stately" (read: either Parker House or Top of the Hub).
Which would you choose, and why? And if you can think of another proper restaurant where an old broad might feel at home, by all means, let me know. Sad that Locke-Ober is not an option any longer.

  1. b
    BellaBoston Dec 26, 2012 05:25 AM

    I have to agree with neither! What about the new Oak Room?

    1. Niblet Dec 21, 2012 08:14 AM

      Is Grotto too casual? It's cosy, but maybe not stately enough. (if you do go, she'll want to be careful of the stairs on the way down!)

      3 Replies
      1. re: Niblet
        mkfisher Dec 21, 2012 01:19 PM

        I love Grotto, but is there anything stately about it other than being on Beacon Hill?

        1. re: mkfisher
          C. Hamster Dec 21, 2012 01:44 PM

          I agree that Grotto is not my idea of stately. I'd describe it as rustic.

          1. re: C. Hamster
            hotoynoodle Dec 23, 2012 07:37 AM

            the tables are squished together and the ceiling is low. i feel claustrophobic in that room. it has other issues not germane to this thread, but yeah, not at all stately.

      2. b
        Bellachefa Dec 20, 2012 01:17 PM

        Bristol Lounge
        Grille 23
        Mama Maria's

        1. C. Hamster Dec 20, 2012 12:09 PM

          The last time I ate at the parker House it smelled of fish ... not in a good way.

          I had the schrod. It was fine.

          Top of the Hub is not "stately" in my eyes. Too bad the oak room is gone. And Walter's in Brookline.

          2 Replies
          1. re: C. Hamster
            chowmensch Dec 20, 2012 01:15 PM

            If she's a fan of the Kennedys, when you call the Parker House for a reservation, ask for the Kennedy table. It's where JFK proposed to Jackie. If she's a Republican, go to Top of the Hub...

            1. re: chowmensch
              Bellachefa Dec 20, 2012 02:46 PM

              very funny!

          2. k
            KevinJF Dec 19, 2012 07:27 PM

            Hamersleys. Based upon my visits, there are many older patrons who like it as much as I do.

            The Top of the Hub is neither classic nor stately--it is just abysmal.

            I think of the Parker House as a better place for a drink than for serious dining. If you do go, be sure to have some rolls and Boston cream pie.

            1. m
              mikeinboston Dec 18, 2012 10:19 PM

              how about the Cafe at the Taj? we enjoyed ourselves recently.


              1 Reply
              1. re: mikeinboston
                libertywharf Dec 19, 2012 03:02 AM

                I used to a fan of old ritz cafe. Even before the hotel changed over to the taj, the cafe lost its appeal or ability to produce good food.
                Go with the the Parker House and make your aunt happy

              2. hotoynoodle Dec 18, 2012 09:40 PM

                the parker house serves food? jeebus. toth has a classic view, but isn't a fancy-schmancy kinda room. maybe bring auntie for a tipple there to see the skyline?

                grill 23 really swanks itself up for the holiday season with beaucoup lights and greenery.

                ruth's chris (while hardly excellent or exotic) is in an utterly gorgeous space.

                as for no 9, mentioned below, that space has always left me just cold.

                1 Reply
                1. re: hotoynoodle
                  Uncle Yabai Dec 18, 2012 11:25 PM

                  It did when I stayed there a while back. That when I had a danish pastry (or maybe it was a cinnamon roll) for the first time in my life. This was in 1973, for reference.

                2. m
                  marais Dec 18, 2012 05:51 PM

                  I would say neither place, unless she is totally undiscriminating about food. Take her to No. 9 Park instead. I think she would be charmed with the ambiance, the service and the good classy grub. And it's been around for so long that it could be considered "classic". Think of it as Locke-Öber style but tasty.

                  1. Pia Dec 18, 2012 05:45 PM

                    Parker House. You can hardly get more classic now that Locke-Ober is gone. I think the feel at Top of the Hub is less "stately" -- it feels more casual to me, and the food is secondary to the view. What about L'Espalier?

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Pia
                      enhF94 Dec 19, 2012 05:26 AM

                      I'm with Parker House too. Dark wood, a large quiet room (the better to hear you with, my dear) with space in between in case Auntie Swank is a loud talker due to hearing loss, quietly obsequious staff accustomed to Aunties, and a couple of famous dishes (the rolls and the pie) invented there, which should provide conversation fodder if necessary.

                      For you: If it's lunch, I've had the turkey club and french onion soup a couple of times and they were OK.

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