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I can't believe I'm posting this, but...a good restaurant to take one's mistress?

I feel almost filthy posting this query, but you Hounds ought to have some good tips (though hopefully not firsthand ones). If one were to look for a quiet restaurant at which to break up with a woman whom one has been seeing for a while, and one is married, where might one go? Yes, yes, bad, bad. Back Bay preferred, as is someplace VERY private, quiet, out of the way, yet public enough in case things get "messy." And no, this is not me, nor Mr. Swank!

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  1. L'Espalier used to be the place, but that was in the old location. I've seen a few go down at Casa Romero as well. Something about that building I guess.

    1. I would choose a quiet bar, not a restaurant, so I could do the deed and then escape fast, without the need to wait for food.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Kat

        I think Kat is on the mark with this one. If I were on the receiving end of such a conversation, I would not want to be lingering around waiting for food with the person who just dumped me. Nor would I be happy about eating a meal first, and then getting dumped, as I would probably get sick. A very quiet (but not so quiet that everyone can hear you) bar, with a quick drink to accompany the difficult conversation, and ample opportunity for either party to quickly exit if deemed necessary. The public place is actually a good idea, as it decreases the possibility of a physical encounter that could reverse (or delay!) the decision.

      2. This has to be one of the most unusual posts I've ever seen. Having said that, I....well, I have no idea. Preferably a place on the first floor that has plasticware, food with no sharp bones, at least some carpeting, and is near both a T stop and a police station just in case. Perhaps Caffe Bella Vita on Charles Street?

        1. Mistral. If you're gonna go, go out in style.

          1. I had to have a difficult conversation (regarding elderly relatives) but everyone thought I wanted to break up with someone. My requirements were similar to your friend. Many posts were helpful, some where not-buy a bottle and do it in the car.


            1 Reply
            1. re: foodieX2

              My 1st thought was the Taj bar, as others have suggested.

            2. I think the answer is....Chinatown.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Bob Dobalina

                Bob, imagine getting hit in the face with a soup dumpling? We'll have to agree to disagree on this one.

              2. I would go to an Asian restaurant because there aren't any knives on the table.

                3 Replies
                1. re: redfish62

                  A poke in the eye with a chopstick could be bad news....

                  1. re: Science Chick

                    It takes so much more skill to poke someone in the eye with a chopstick than to just random slash a person with a knife.

                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                      Still -- best not to take chances. Ethiopian?

                2. Great post title!

                  I would head to Lucky's Lounge..


                  1. Uh, I wouldn't go to a restaurant. If I did, it would be one in a neighborhood/suburban town where I'd be unlikely to return and where my friends and (ahem) beloved spouse don't go.

                    1. A place that you would be okay never returning to: Atlantic Fish, Charley's on Newbury, Sonsie would be my first choices.

                      1. She should take her to Doyles. Good breakup spot. Big booths are private enough, it's loud enough to drown out everyone else and it is convenient to T/cab and a parking lot. Plus, good beer and scotch.

                        1. I guess it's a question of personal style, but if the relationship has gone on for more than a few weeks, anything short of an in-person breakup strikes me as ungentlemanly at best, cowardly at worst. Take your medicine like a grownup.

                          Other considerations:

                          1) A place where you are unlikely to run into mutual friends, colleagues, customers, press, etc. The fewer witnesses who actually know you or your unfortunate paramour, the better.

                          2) A place that if you never go there again, it will not be a big deal.

                          Obviously, the influence of these factors will vary considerably by individual.

                          For myself, I might choose the bar at Fleming's. But almost any of those godawful national steakhouse chain outlets would do.


                          6 Replies
                          1. re: MC Slim JB

                            Lest anyone wonder, my response here was facetious. As I've written elsewhere, I get to witness this kind of thing at least once or twice a year, and it's a horrible imposition on the restaurant's staff as well as your fellow patrons. Keep your dirty laundry out of public view, please.


                              1. re: MC Slim JB

                                You know, Slim, I have to respectfully disagree with you. Of course people shouldn't engage in unseemly behavior (screaming, cursing, crying loudly) anywhere in public, whether it's a restaurant or a theater or a public park. However, you never know how a scenario might unfold. It could be completely civil. Telling people that they can't break up at a restaurant or bar because it's an "imposition" is a slippery slope. What's next: You can't bring a child to a restaurant because they might cry or whimper, or you can't bring Angry Granny to a restaurant because she might harangue the waitstaff? Each person knows his or her situation best, and hopefully *most* people can use good judgment -- if not when it comes to romance, at least when it comes to public decorum.

                                1. re: Swankalicious

                                  I'm not saying, "Decorum demands that you never do X in a public setting." I'm not being prescriptive here. But if there's a reasonable expectation of a possible scene, and you have good manners, that ought to factor into the choice of venue.

                                  Seems to me that the probability in this case is pretty high. Ask some front-of-house staffer, or a friend who's had to dine next to this kind of high drama, how rude they think that is.


                                  1. re: Swankalicious

                                    I think what he's getting at is that often people say to do this thing in a public space as they feel like there's less likelihood of a blowup - the public aspect would pressure the person being let go to take it quietly ... and that that's all well and good until, well, it doesn't work.

                                    1. re: jgg13

                                      Yes, this is clearly the rationale behind the lad-mag advice: "Dump her in a restaurant, she'll be less likely to cause a scene, and you'll be more likely to scoot without breaking a sweat."

                                      This strikes me as an exercise in shifting the potential risk of embarrassment and awkwardness from the dumper, where it belongs, onto innocent strangers in a restaurant (staff and customers). That's just bad manners, in my book.

                                      If you're dining out in public, it's your social responsibility to recognize when a scene is likely, and take steps to keep your private drama from intruding into the evening of strangers who just want to have a good time and wouldn't dream of screwing up yours.

                                      Put the shoe on the other foot: how would you feel if your big night out (hot third date, tenth anniversary, Mom's 60th birthday, etc.) were uncomfortably disrupted because some schmuck at the next table thought he'd spare himself some trouble by ditching his mistress in a restaurant and guessed wrong?

                                      Swank's friend is going into this with some forethought, or she's trying to provide some. Having witnessed enough of these scenes in restaurants, I'll say firmly: I didn't volunteer to be anybody's social-shame backstop, and I'll wager those other folks in the dining room aren't interested in the job, either. Since Swank asked, I'm saying, "Please, have him find somewhere else to do it."


                              2. Dinner at a restaurant is a bad idea - however you break it up, people are going to be all around, and she'll might be feeling pretty bad. And then, what do you do? Is the breakup an app or main course event? Wait for the dessert menu to show up? Course 8 on the Clio tasting menu?

                                I'd recommend just doing it at her place. First, you can leave when its appropriate, second, its a safe environment for her to feel pretty crappy in. Sure, you could pick a bar - but if I was in a bar and had to listen to a couple have a traumatic breakup, I wouldn't enjoy it as a patron. Public messy is not good. If you think she's capable of something that would need nearby "witnesses" to prevent, then you have a bigger problem than a restaurant choice.

                                But for a bar recommendation? 3pm, Joe Sent Me, North Cambridge..

                                1. First, I would probably do this in an area where I'm not known.
                                  Second, I'm in a business where I make it a point not to discuss my clients with anyone. With that, I've made it a point to avoid the four seasons and spend time at the taj. The four seasons will greet you with: nice to see you again or how was your last visit. The taj from the time it was the ritz, will keep your visit on the hush hush. If things go bad you can put your friend in a cab and blend into the Newbury street crowd.

                                  1. By the way, this post just made Universal Hub, so your friend is now famous in a dubious sort of way. :-b

                                    1. Maybe the philanderer could consider some of the places mentioned in the Need a good place for a difficult conversation thread: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/879313

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: prima

                                        I already linked that up thread. Our conversation went well, BTW. I know she appreciated the thought I put into it.

                                        1. re: foodieX2

                                          Sorry, I missed that you'd added the link above. I thought I'd scanned the whole thread. Glad the conversation went well re: the elderly relatives.

                                          I thought the idea from misscucina, to avoid having the conversation at a restaurant the dumpee might want to return to in the future, was a good one. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8793...

                                      2. I would think the first rule would be to go to a remote neighborhood where you're unlikely to see anyone you know. Or would it not be better to have this conversation in some place more private than a restaurant? People might cry. People might yell.

                                        1. This is a pretty sad scenario. That said, I don't think dinner is a good idea. Maybe some place like Cafe Paradiso where you can have an expresso and a pastry. When the conversation is over it would be easy to blend in with the crowds in the North End and just drift away.

                                          1. Sorry to say...no good will come of this in a "public spot" or anyplace, truthfully. I would suggest that the "dinner host" think of someplace very un-public and prepare himself for the worst. Or, consider that sadly, hotels and hotel restaurants/bars are often accustom to seeing this kind of thing go down and so it wouldn't be so "messy" after all.

                                            1. How about Legs and Eggs at the Foxy Lady in Providence?

                                              1. I'm still trying to figure out why the "mistress" part is important to the story, unless you also provide where this guy's wife and her close friends likes to dine.

                                                1. the Hungry Eye on Charles Street