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Johnathans on Needham street

cherrytomato Jan 26, 2013 12:56 PM

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. Prav Jan 26, 2013 01:01 PM

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

    1. Prav Jan 26, 2013 01:03 PM

      A better bet, nearby, is The Biltmore: http://www.thebiltmoregrill.com/

      1. l
        lergnom Jan 26, 2013 03:35 PM

        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. v
          veggielover Jan 26, 2013 06:16 PM

          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. c
            cherrytomato Jan 27, 2013 08:49 AM

            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
              bakerboyz Jan 27, 2013 02:22 PM

              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.

              1. re: bakerboyz
                cherrytomato Jan 27, 2013 02:47 PM

                It looks great! Perfect. Thank you.

            2. c
              carneyvore Jan 28, 2013 08:00 AM

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

              1. trufflehound Apr 11, 2013 09:43 AM

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

                6 Replies
                1. re: trufflehound
                  bakerboyz Apr 11, 2013 10:41 AM

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

                  1. re: bakerboyz
                    L2k Apr 12, 2013 07:16 AM

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

                    1. re: bakerboyz
                      Blumie Apr 12, 2013 11:11 AM

                      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
                        L2k Apr 12, 2013 12:28 PM

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

                    2. re: trufflehound
                      bostonfoodz Apr 12, 2013 12:21 AM

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

                      1. re: bostonfoodz
                        NE_Wombat Apr 12, 2013 09:18 AM

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

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