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Tasting menu's No. 9 Park, Clio, and L'Espalier?

Iforgetmypsword Jan 4, 2013 10:37 AM

Thanks for reading. I am wondering where you would go for a tasting menu? I keep coming across No. 9 Park, Clio, and L'Espalier. This would be for an anniversary dinner. We like all kinds of food, just looking for a romantic place, good drinks and nice service. Which would you pick?

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  1. Bob Dobalina RE: Iforgetmypsword Jan 4, 2013 10:43 AM


    1. m
      mkfisher RE: Iforgetmypsword Jan 4, 2013 10:50 AM

      Well, you've got the obvious Boston options in No. 9, Clio, L'Espalier and Menton. Everyone most likley has their favorite. Clio, is probably my favorite of the bunch, though none of them get me particularly excited. Cambridge will bring you to Craigie, Bondir (as Bob mentioned) and West Bridge. I prefer all 3 to any of the Boston options. Also, I don't remember if Salts has a tasting menu, but it is a fabulous spot for an anniversary dinner.

      3 Replies
      1. re: mkfisher
        Bob Dobalina RE: mkfisher Jan 4, 2013 11:07 AM

        Sorry, I read too quickly and saw you are looking for a choice among the three you mentioned.

        1. re: Bob Dobalina
          CookieLee RE: Bob Dobalina Jan 4, 2013 11:12 AM

          I didn't take it as limited to those 3. I think the OP meant that their research brought up those 3 consistently. I want to try Bondir!

          1. re: CookieLee
            teezeetoo RE: CookieLee Jan 4, 2013 12:42 PM

            while i liked Bondir and was not particularly impressed with Menton or Clio, I remain a fan of L'Espalier though we will all miss the old space. I have not been to No.9 in several years so can't chime in there, though I certainly liked it in "the old days".

      2. Lmonach RE: Iforgetmypsword Jan 5, 2013 10:06 AM

        L'Espalier tasting menu is the finest meal I've ever had - I think (gasp) better than French Laundry. If you haven't been, go there first. Menton is also great, but the ambiance is nicer at L'Espalier.

        1. s
          ScotchandSirloin RE: Iforgetmypsword Jan 5, 2013 12:58 PM

          I've had the tasting menu at all 3 and was at Craigie last night. I think L'Espailer wins on 3 of 4 of your requirements (their drinks are well executed, but No.9 has the best bar). The food is the best executed and the service is by far the best in Boston, IMHO. Menton would be the best competitor on anniversary tasting menus but I don't love the ambiance.

          1. b
            BellaBoston RE: Iforgetmypsword Jan 5, 2013 01:27 PM

            I agree with Bondir being a great option, however, I have not been to West Bridge but I hear amazing things! I would check out their menu as well.

            Also, if you like Asian, I would also add O Ya, Oishii, and Uni to the list.

            1 Reply
            1. re: BellaBoston
              mkfisher RE: BellaBoston Jan 7, 2013 12:36 PM

              West Bridge is fantastic, but probably not right for this event. It's got that Kendall industrial vibe going on - lots of glass and concrete. Just doesn't hit the romantic note.

            2. i
              Iforgetmypsword RE: Iforgetmypsword Jan 7, 2013 12:25 PM

              thank you everyone so much for responding! I decided on no. 9 Park for dinner and we think we will do lunch at L'Espalier. I will certainly come back and tell you about our experiences.

              6 Replies
              1. re: Iforgetmypsword
                opinionatedchef RE: Iforgetmypsword Jan 15, 2013 01:24 AM

                so glad you are not doing Clio. Loud boring room, attitudey service, appallingly meh food.

                1. re: opinionatedchef
                  MC Slim JB RE: opinionatedchef Jan 15, 2013 07:53 AM

                  I haven't been a gigantic fan of Clio, and I didn't do its tasting menu, but I had a pretty spectacular dinner there not too long ago. Were I to complain, it's because I found an appetizer and an entree difficult to finish: portion sizes weren't the tiny things I remember from prior visits over the years.

                  I don't think much of the physical makeover: it's kind of hotel-dining-room bland now, and we had a hard time finding a spot where a steady, cold breeze from the HVAC (on a cold night) wasn't blowing on us. But the Todd Maul bar program is a huge upgrade, and the service was really first-rate.


                  1. re: opinionatedchef
                    Lmonach RE: opinionatedchef Jan 19, 2013 09:49 AM

                    I have to disagree - I had a terrific meal there about a month ago - best roast chicken I've ever had (sounds boring, but it was outstanding). And I've always found the service friendly if not as polished as some of the other choices. The room does suck tho

                    1. re: Lmonach
                      cambridgedoctpr RE: Lmonach Jan 20, 2013 12:38 PM

                      as Julia Child said, a great roast chicken is a good test of a kitchen. It requires attention.

                      That said, i prefer Uni Bar, a place that i take visitors to "our fair city."

                      I think that sitting at the bar at Uni is fine.

                      1. re: cambridgedoctpr
                        kimfair1 RE: cambridgedoctpr Jan 21, 2013 07:46 AM

                        Our friends invited us to dine with them at Clio on Saturday (they had a gift certificate), and I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. The wife had a Parmesan veloute for an app, and had the turnip ravioli for her main. I had the Yellowtail and Yellowfin tuna followed by the balck bass, both excellent. Our friends had the oysters and Cassolette of Lobster and sea urchin for apps, the ravioli, and squab for mains, and proclaimed it one of the best meals they've had in a while (and they travel quite a bit). The table next to us got the tasting, and everything that came out looked interesting at least. I'd have no issues recommending it to out of towners. Great cocktails.

                        1. re: kimfair1
                          MC Slim JB RE: kimfair1 Jan 21, 2013 08:06 AM

                          I had that cassolette last time at Clio: an astonishing app.


                2. y
                  YoChief23 RE: Iforgetmypsword Jan 14, 2013 04:04 PM

                  Enjoy, just had a great first experience at No 9. Park over the Holidays. If you enjoy cocktails make sure to ask for the extra cocktail list that has the more intricate offerings on it. As mentioned there's a great bar so don't be afraid to show up a bit early.

                  1. s
                    springbokette RE: Iforgetmypsword Jan 15, 2013 10:22 AM

                    I'd recommend L'Espalier wholeheartedly - had the tasting a while back and was dazzled. It's not a super romantic space, and more formal and traditional than Clio, but I really enjoyed the meal and service.If your want romance, I'd look into Salts in Cambridge. It's a smaller, more intimate space, also with exquisite food. I believe you have to reserve a tasting menu in advance. Have fun!

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: springbokette
                      cambridgedoctpr RE: springbokette Jan 20, 2013 12:38 PM

                      perhaps a little stuffy for the OP?

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