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Coming to Boston for the Marathon. A little help, please...

cobpdx Mar 24, 2013 11:51 AM

Two PDX Hounds coming to Boston for the marathon (only one of us is running). Have researched the Board and made two (out of 4) dinner reservations. Interested in feedback and recommendations on the other 2 nights, please.

Friday 4/11: O Ya (booked; will do omakase)
Saturday 4/12: L'Espalier (Chef's Table, booked)

Interested in recs for Sunday and Monday. We are staying at Copley Place.

Sunday is the night before the marathon, so we're not interested in a tasting menu. Bonus Points for close by (either walking distance or easy transportation). We enjoy casual eating at the bar, even at nicer restaurants, especially if the entire menu is accessible. Only one of us is likely to be drinking. Excellent cocktails are appreciated. Would No 9 Park fit the bill here? Other options? More casual ethnic food would also be OK.

Monday night is open for another possible fine dining option. Can't decide between Menton, No 9 Park (if not done on Sunday), Salts. Any clear cut winners here or anything else we might be missing?

  1. Berheenia Mar 24, 2013 01:48 PM

    You might like Sorellina's Sunday. Good Italian and a great view from the bar of the Copley area. Pasta is supposed to be eaten the night before the race. You could walk to Hamersley's Bistro Monday. A true classic in the South End.

    1. t
      teezeetoo Mar 24, 2013 03:00 PM

      Walkable from your hotel and with good bar: Sorrelina, Bistro du Midi, Lucca on Huntington. I prefer No 9 Park to Menton and Salts is delightful but if I wanted to do fancy in Cambridge I'd do Craigie on Main or Rialto.

      3 Replies
      1. re: teezeetoo
        TechieTechie Mar 24, 2013 09:14 PM

        Yes, but trying to cross the river Monday can be nuts. And then you've got the whole green line to red line debacle if you're avoiding cabs. Plenty of great eats in Back Bay and South End...

        1. re: TechieTechie
          Gabatta Mar 25, 2013 04:21 AM

          If one of them is running the race, getting around later in the day is much easier. Crossing the river will not be a problem whatsoever.

          1. re: TechieTechie
            teezeetoo Mar 25, 2013 11:00 AM

            I wouldn't have suggested Cambridge but the OP had listed Salts so it appeared they were ready to cross the river! I don't recommend erbaluce unless I know the eater (it's one of my personal favorites but it doesn't seem to work for a lot of people). If I were going to Cambridge I'd prefer less upscale choices (Rendezvous and Catalyst for example) but the OP seems to want "4 star".

        2. j
          jajjguy Mar 24, 2013 09:10 PM

          Erbaluce is also close and walkable. Would be great for Sunday night.

          1. t
            TechieTechie Mar 24, 2013 09:24 PM

            No 9 Park can be a lengthy dinner, would suggest keeping it to Monday. Plus, half the fun there is Cat Silirie's wine list, best to wait until you can both celebrate your accomplishment.

            And I agree, Hammersley's is a true Boston classic within walking distance. And probably a bit divorced (well, a little bit) from the Back Bay marathon madness. I also like Tremont 647/Sister Sorel, too. But check the menu, sometimes folks find it a bit too 'out there'. Finally, if you want Pasta and a local vibe, Coppa might be a good choice (it's a few blocks farther than Hammersley's but it's gorgeous on a nice night).

            Good luck!

            1. c
              cobpdx Mar 25, 2013 07:49 AM

              Thanks for the help. I will check these out and report back after our trip!

              1 Reply
              1. re: cobpdx
                chrisdapos Mar 26, 2013 07:30 AM

                I would not suggest Sorrelina the night before the marathon. The pasta portions at Sorrelina are far from those that you would need to come close to filling your liver with the glycogen stores it needs for Monday morning. Also, the sauces are quite rich, which could be bad the night before the marathon. Although not really the ambiance you are looking for, I might suggest somewhere in the North End (Al Dente comes to mind) where you can get a salad and a simple dish of pasta with some protein. As a fellow runner, I would put the Boston dining scene aside for one night and give your stomach a rest after the extravagant dinners you will have at O Ya and L'Espalier. Replenish your glycogen stores; you will be happy you did at the top of heartbreak hill.

              2. h
                Hatch Mar 25, 2013 06:52 PM

                Hi there,
                We've been to no 9 park and thoroughly enjoyed it (prune stuffed gnocci with foie gras=great)
                although I'd probably do something a little less rich and something familiar to the stomach the night before the marathon.

                I would recommend Clio Monday night after the marathon over no 9 park. They have a more casual bar that serves part of the menu. (not sure exactly as we've never eaten at the bar)

                The cassolette (lobster, sea urchin in parsnip milk) is my favorite and the saltiness is especially enjoyable after 26.2!

                my wife has run the past 4 years- have a good race!

                1. g
                  grant.cook Mar 26, 2013 10:23 AM

                  Scampo in the Liberty hotel might be a nice way to get that carb fix (they do nice breads as well as pasta)..

                  1. c
                    cobpdx Mar 26, 2013 10:37 AM

                    Thanks, everyone, for the great recommendations. I have checked them all out and honestly, they all have their merits.

                    In the end, I left the decision for Sunday night up to the marathon runner, of course, and she chose Lucca.

                    For Monday night, I think we will probably do No 9 Park but just sit at the bar and order a la carte from the bar menu. Does anyone know if you can order a la carte off the regular dinner menu in addition to the bar menu? The prune stuffed gnocchi DOES look good!

                    Also, we ended up booking Coppa for brunch on Sunday. Any thoughts on that - could we do better? Or other breakfast/brunch recommendations for Saturday morning?


                    3 Replies
                    1. re: cobpdx
                      chrisdapos Mar 26, 2013 01:14 PM

                      Another idea re: Sunday night is to use KitchenSurfing (a new website to us here in Boston) to see if any chefs would be willing to deliver a carb filled meal to your hotel (or have you to a private kitchen to prepare). Contact me by email (its in my profile) if you would like some more information!

                      I've enjoyed Coppa for brunch on Sunday a few times, so I'd say that is a good bet.

                      1. re: cobpdx
                        CportJ Apr 9, 2013 12:22 PM

                        Sat. brunch is less universal - for sit down maybe Salty Pig, Aquitaine or Beehive in S. End?

                        For something quicker but excellent, Flour (on Clarendon in Back Bay or in S. End) or S. End Buttery.

                        Max Brenner if you like chocolate.

                        1. re: CportJ
                          cobpdx Apr 9, 2013 01:21 PM

                          Thanks, I'll check into these.

                      2. c
                        cobpdx Jun 4, 2013 01:35 PM

                        A bit belated, but here is my trip report:


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