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Fun/glam place for a drink downtown + al fresco dining

I get to go out in the city with an old friend who's visiting from out of town on Friday night. Looking for recommendations for a grown-up/glamorous places to go for a drink, and then somewhere for dinner. I would like outdoor seating or a nice view. Thanks!

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  1. Start with cafe section at Sonsie on Newbury St for cocktails. Not quite al fresco, but they open the walls to the street. Glamorous with a Parisian feel.

    Then perhaps Taberna de Haro on Beacon St in Brookline. Not glamorous in the $ sense, but authentic Madrid--tapas, paella and larger portions served on the sidewalk.

    1. You could go to Drink then on the deck at Sam's or Legal. Or a drink in the bar at the Boston Harbor Hotel or their little alley bar then dinner at Rowes Wharf Sea Grill. Or in Meritage with a window view. Aragosta at the Fairmount Battery Wharf has a beautiful deck. Hamersley's has a nice patio as do several others in the south end.

      1. How about a drink at the Bristol Lounge at the Four Seasons and dinner at Bistro du Midi overlooking the Public Garden?

        Elegant, grown up, pampering and fun!


        1 Reply
        1. re: BostonZest

          You took the words right out of my mouth. That is a great evening out!!!

        2. I don't mean to be ever the curmudgeon, is it just me, or is the combination of the word Glam and Boston somehow only a preposterous oxymoron to me?

          Seriously I love Boston, but for a quasi-major city it is quite possibly the least Glam place on earth...

          4 Replies
          1. re: StriperGuy

            Some people find grown women teetering around chain restaurants in the Seaport District on Louboutins "glam". Apparently.

            1. re: LeoLioness

              Chain restaurants ≠ Glam pretty much by definition.

              1. re: StriperGuy

                Doesn't the Cheesecake Factory have a whole section on their menu of "Glam Burgers"? Case proven? LOL.

                1. re: Gordough

                  I blame the "tini" trend of the late 90s.

          2. Thank you for all the recommendations. I used to love Sonsie, but haven't been for a long time. Thanks for reminding me.

            1. Most all the places recommended will be packed on Friday night.

              1. I tend to think of glam as a function of the customers, not the setting. The most exquisite setting doesn't feel very glamorous to me if the customers are all in shorts, tees, and sandals.

                Problem is, almost nobody bothers to dress up anywhere in Boston. Your best bet for a drink might be the lobby bars of the swankier hotels: Four Seasons, Ritz, Taj, Boston Harbor, etc., where well-heeled foreign tourists don't dress down to local standards.

                Among the restaurants where people tend to dress up (a little, mostly on weekends), I think of Sorellina, Mistral, L'Espalier, Menton, Clio, Clink (on certain fashion industry oriented nights), O Ya, and maybe the luxury steakhouses.

                But even the big-occasion splurge dinner doesn't prompt a lot of Bostonians to put on the dog. It's common to see women putting in some effort to dress well, and men looking awful. ("Ray Donovan" touched on this in the most recent episode, the title character's wife noting how that back in their native Boston, it's considered wrong for men to care about clothes, whereas in L.A., a tough guy has no problem wearing smart suits everywhere.)