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bestia or lucques for birthday dinner?

taking the GF out for a birthday dinner in a few weeks on saturday night and have reservations at both. she'll be coming from an event from downtown, so bestia is more convenient (i've never been), although i have no problems making the drive to melrose.

i've been to lucques once before and loved their food and outdoor patio, but was wondering if anybody had strong opinions one way or the other. i'm holding seats at the charcuterie counter at bestia if that makes any difference.

lucques is a shade more than i want to spend, but i realize that bestia may come out to the same amount. one bonus is that the GF doesn't drink...

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    1. I like Lucques and have not been to Bestia, but from everything I have heard, Bestia would be the call.

      1. Bestia.

        BUT ... if you're looking for an outdoor patio a al Lucques, then just go to Lucques.

          1. Lucques. Fine food and service. Lucques is not a trendy restaurant. It delivers consistently great food. Bestia is a loud, noisy and ├╝ber scene for foodies downtown. Your choice

            3 Replies
            1. re: ipsedixit

              Well said!
              However, ymmv.
              Definitely head for Melrose.

                1. re: maudies5

                  Lucques is good, never great, pretty pricey.

                  Don't like the downtown scenester scene but willing to suck it up for the pasta at Bestia. That good.

                  Your choice :-)

                  1. given that it is *her* birthday, why not ask the GF and let her choose? point out that hounds recommend the food at bestia over lucques, but bestia is also fairly loud while lucques is still a good restaurant but the atmosphere is more subdued/relaxed/(potentially romantic?). kinda like making a choice for a day trip between driving a high powered 2 seat convertible over twisty roads and say a 4 door mercedes sedan with a sunroof taking a relaxed route through some scenic countryside. in this instance, it's ultimately about celebrating her birthday.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: barryc

                      thanks for all the recommendations!

                      it's actually going to be a surprise, so i don't want to tip my hand! she does prefer places with more hustle and bustle, so i think i'm leaning towards trying out bestia.

                      will report back!

                      1. re: barryc

                        <hounds recommend the food at bestia over lucques>

                        Not quite accurate. On this thread, from what I've read, the opinions are evenly split....

                      2. Lucques...unless you like noise, sharing dishes, hipsters. Lucques is consistently great food. When we ate at Bestia there was no rhyme or reason to order of dishes. I felt that if you'd wanted to each order independently the kitchen would have had a difficult time producing multiple dishes at once. Or a paced meal. That might not be fair but to me the experience and food was more hype than substance.

                        1. I found Bestia to be underwelming (food-wise), loud, cramped, and uncomfortable (hard, small, metal chairs)... so, my vote goes to Lucques (since you loved their food and patio).

                          For reference, where's a few places your GF has been that she's loved? Are you up to adding other options to your list?

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: The Oracle

                            thanks. a few of her favorite places are chego, lukshon, gjelina, and tar & roses. would be up to adding options but might have a problem getting a reservation - let me know your thoughts!

                            1. re: mikkel obe

                              i believe bestia is a much harder reservation to get than lucques.
                              if you think she'll enjoy bestia, i think you should take advantage of your reservation.
                              you can always go to lucques another time.

                              1. re: linus

                                Agree, and sounds like she likes more cutting edge style, which Lucques definitely is not.

                            2. re: The Oracle

                              One tip for those who find or fear Bestia is noisy and crowded - get one of the outdoor tables. We had a party of eight there last month and it was so pleasant - almost like a stage set with the soaring corrugated atrium - hard to describe it, but much happier there than inside.

                            3. Bestia made no sense to me. Food was not outstanding, place was loud, rude, busy, Not a place I would go back to, much less for a Birthday.

                              1. Bestia is very modern, lots of activity, very busy feeling. The food is fantastic, fresh great salads, pizzas are devine. Luques is so different. It was white table cloths, quiet, romantic. Luques you have a bottle of wine and small portions. They both are so good, but very different. Bestia is cocktails, casual, super lively. Can't go wrong.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: robinjoy

                                  Lucques has delicious cocktails, the freshest salads from the Farmer's Market and I find the portions to be quite substantial, certainly not small. The food is creative, satisfying and the service has always been outstanding. I also like the comfortable seating and the ability to have a conversation without screaming at each other.

                                2. We went to Bestia for my husband's birthday dinner. We really enjoyed all the delicious pasta dishes we had and sat at the charcuterie counter. It was fun and we had a great time.