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Johnathans on Needham street

My friends want to get together for dinner and suggested Jonathans where the old Papa Gino's was. Is it good ? There will be six of us and some are on a budget but they like good food. Any thoughts?

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  1. It's pretty bad. I've given it many chances, and my advice is to stay away.

      1. They seem to want to try but they lack real execution skill. As for eating there, the bar is by far nicer than the dining room. The bar is a huge rectangle lined with seats. It feels lively. The dining room feels like a leftover space with no real sense of decor. So I would recommend sitting at the bar with modest expectations but that doesn't fit a 6.

        1. We went there once as it is in the neighborhood, but I would never go back again. There are many better budget choices. How about Sweet Basil?

          1. Thanks for the warning. My friends are not big drinkers just big eaters. We all like good food. Biltmore may seem to bar like then and if the bar at Johnathans is the best part we will skip that too.

            2 Replies
            1. re: cherrytomato

              You may want to look at the menu at the Center Cafe in Needham, reasonable prices, pretty good food and generally very good service from a very involved and concerned owner who is the host and his daughter-in-law is the head cook.

            2. Center Cafe is good. Also, Dunn Gahrin on Eliot St. around the corner from Biltmore.

              1. And, they seem to be closed now. Lost their lease.

                6 Replies
                1. re: trufflehound

                  Lost their lease? I thought his father owned the building?? How about The Biltmore or Blue on Highland?

                  1. re: bakerboyz

                    Both good. Biltmore had a few more "hipsters" in it last time I went (last summer), Blue has more locals.

                    1. re: bakerboyz

                      Lost their lease more often than not is just a euphemism for the food sucking so bad that no one would eat there.

                      1. re: Blumie

                        Except the food wasn't bad. And the bar was hopping. But the dining room wouldn't fill up.

                    2. re: trufflehound

                      family definitely owns the building. sounds like spin. too bad though; less than a year.

                      1. re: bostonfoodz

                        There's an explanation (FWIW) over in the April Opening/Closing thread.