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Recs near the Omni Parker (60 School Street)

Maibock Jan 15, 2014 06:30 AM

My friends and I are visiting Boston at the end of February for one night. We're staying at the Omni Parker and I'm doing my research for restaurants in Boston that have been highly recommended in the past on this list. Since I am unfamiliar with the area, I thought I would ask for some recs that might be within walking distance (maybe 1/2 mile) from the hotel should we decide not to drive to dinner. My husband is a meat and potatoes kind of guy but also enjoys Italian. I'm not a steak lover, so Ruth's Chris or Mooo wouldn't be ideal, even though they have seafood options. Since we will be with two other couples and I'm not sure how much they want to spend, a mid price point would be ideal. Any help would be appreciated!

  1. l
    lc02139 Jan 15, 2014 07:06 AM

    Here is a good post about boston neighborhoods, where are you coming from? what do you consider a mid price point? $?/person before tip, tax and drinks? Are you visiting any sites in Boston that dinner can be on the way back from? I know you said what your husband likes, but what about you and your friends? This information helps hounders give you better recommendations. Looking at the post your hotel is between most of the areas described but should be able to walk or take a short cab or T ride will get you to back bay, northend, china town.


    5 Replies
    1. re: lc02139
      Maibock Jan 15, 2014 07:40 AM

      We're coming from Western MA. Mid-price point . . . I would say $25 - $35 entrees. My husband and I will be coming up from the Cape and meeting the other two couples at the hotel. Other than my husband, the rest of us like just about anything, so we yield to his likes and dislikes. Would like to find someplace that has some interesting dishes for the rest of us, but some "plain" food for him. I am looking at the various recommendations on the list that can be reached via cab or the T, but would like a "backup" in case the group choose to stay "close to home" (Omni). I was finding it very time consuming to read about a rec, then look up the location in relation to the Omni. Thought some of the local chowhounds might have some that come immediately to mind. I will check out the post you noted. Thanks!

      1. re: Maibock
        lc02139 Jan 15, 2014 08:40 AM

        Thanks for the additional information, Boston distance wise is pretty compact, the T will be $2.50 subway ($2.00 bus only) per person per ride so a cab for 4 will most likely be cheaper, unless you get stuck in traffic so I wouldn't worry too much about how close it is to "home" and just figure out where you want to go.

        1. re: Maibock
          libertywharf Jan 15, 2014 11:55 AM

          Kenmore square is at least a 40 minute walk. The North End is doable in about 15 minutes. Check out Mama Maria's. If you're coming in over a weekend, look at the Boston common garage to save on parking.

          1. re: libertywharf
            Blumie Jan 23, 2014 08:33 AM

            1.8 miles to be precise. So probably more like a half hour walk.

            1. re: Blumie
              catsmeow Jan 23, 2014 12:19 PM

              I know it would take me a lot longer than that.

      2. m
        mkfisher Jan 15, 2014 08:37 AM

        My go-to for appeasing adventurous and picky is Eastern Standard. It's walkable from the Omni in that I've walked that route before. However, it's way outside your 1/2 mile radius. It is a super easy ride on the green line (Govt. Center to Kenmore).

        1. hotoynoodle Jan 15, 2014 08:47 AM

          jm curley is an easy walk, so is teatro.

          11 Replies
          1. re: hotoynoodle
            ebone Jan 15, 2014 08:52 AM

            I'd 2nd JM Curley, that is my favorite spot within walking distance of OPH.

            1. re: ebone
              Beachowolfe Jan 15, 2014 09:09 AM

              Overpriced beers, limited menu that isn't all that exciting, overflowing with hipsters, mediocre food except the burger which is often overly salty.

              Skip JM Curley.

              Marliave would probably be a better choice. What kind of atmosphere are you looking for? Grotto in BH is walking distance, Kingston Station has an amazing steak frites but may be a little far. No. 9 if you're willing to stretch that budget a bit.

              1. re: Beachowolfe
                ebone Jan 23, 2014 08:03 AM

                Obviously this is a matter of opinion, but I would dispute that JM Curley's menu is not exciting, especially if you factor in the rotating specials on the chalk board. I have eaten many dishes from that board and an overwhelming majority have been hits. I just checked and they are currently running ramen lasagna with braised pork shoulder and a confit duck heart salad. Maybe that isn't all that exciting to some, but it certainly piques my interest.

                The beer is definitely on the pricier side, but the solid variety and appearances of some rare beers keep me satisfied.

                And FWIW I am not a hipster.

                1. re: ebone
                  addiez Jan 23, 2014 08:25 AM

                  Ditto ebone - I also enjoy a lot of the food at JMC. Be forewarned, OP, that it's often very crowded and loud. Depending on the group you're with, it may be useful to keep that in mind.

                  1. re: ebone
                    joth68 Jan 23, 2014 11:29 AM

                    Are the blackboard specials available at lunch?

                    1. re: joth68
                      ebone Jan 23, 2014 12:27 PM

                      No, the blackboard is only available during dinner service (note: they also have a limited late night menu, with the burger being the main attraction).

                  2. re: Beachowolfe
                    hotoynoodle Jan 23, 2014 01:05 PM

                    have had nothing but lazy service and incompetent bartending at marliave. even worse at off-peak times. i have wanted to like it, but have had to stop going since there are much better options within a stone's throw.

                    1. re: hotoynoodle
                      C. Hamster Jan 23, 2014 01:32 PM

                      I cant comment on the bartending but both the food and service at Marliave have sucked most times I have been.

                      I also tried to like it but gave up.

                      1. re: C. Hamster
                        ebone Jan 23, 2014 01:39 PM

                        It's been a little while for me, but in the past I have liked food there (mainly the sandwich section: reuben, pastrami, steak and cheese or croque madam).

                      2. re: hotoynoodle
                        celestialmundane Jan 23, 2014 04:26 PM

                        I agree about the Marliave. I won't be going there again.

                    2. re: ebone
                      rlh Jan 23, 2014 12:13 PM

                      Also non-hipster here - tried JM Curley this week - top notch bartending (including plaid, beards, and tatts...)/ solid hospitality and really delicious food at very fair prices for downtown- brie bites and the mussels I ordered were both awesome. The ramen lasagna next to us was really, really appealing as was the burger.

                      The tiny speakeasy steakhouse within the place (Bogey's) looked really inviting from a meat and potatoes perspective - do not know what non-steak options they have.

                      It was full and lively, but conversation was not hard to conduct at the bar, and there was no one standing crowded behind the bar -- I bet there could be at peak weekend times.

                      I like Grotto as well.

                      FWIW, Eastern Standard is only walkable in nice weather, not late February, even for most New Englanders - and I don't think their food is special at all.

                  3. a
                    addiez Jan 15, 2014 08:55 AM

                    Petit Robert Central is a very nearby French restaurant with great steak but other options as well.

                    1. k
                      knclouse Jan 15, 2014 09:31 AM

                      Agree with the suggestions of Grotto, Marliave, or JM Curley.

                      Grotto does a nice fondue, and offers a very reasonable 3 course prix fixe every day.

                      JM Curley is more casual, but good burgers and cocktails.

                      Marliave has a fun raw bar and also excellent cocktails.

                      Tip Tap Room is also fun. Great beer list, and tips made from not-your-usual meats.

                      1. m
                        Maibock Jan 15, 2014 10:15 AM

                        Thank you, everyone for the recs. I had looked at Eastern Standard for Thanksgiving Day when we were there but couldn't get a reservation. I also took a look at Grotto based on the discussion link from lc02139 and it looks like a good fit. I'll check out the other recs and then put it to a vote with the "gang". CHs are the best and I rely heavily on the boards whenever I travel.

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