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Feb 5, 2014 11:15 AM

Dinner near the Financial District: Trade or Shojo?

Meeting a friend from SF who is staying at the Langham tonight, and I think we'll brave the snow to walk to dinner. We both love all kinds of food, and would rather go somewhere fun and good than staid, but don't quite have the budget for O-Ya. Would you suggest Trade or Shojo these days? Or is there something else nearby-ish that I am overlooking? Many thanks in advance.

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  1. If you're willing to walk past Trade and cross the bridge on Congress Street, consider Sportello or the newly opened Row 34. Stop by Drink for an after-dinner (or pre-dinner) cocktail. Also in that general area: Blue Dragon (Ming Tsai's new place).

    1. If cocktails are important, I think Shojo's are far better, and the food is very nice. I had a good dining experience at Trade recently, all small plates. Trade has better wines, and is famously loud; Shojo is better for conversation.

      Others that are an easy walk that I like: Tavern Road, Sportello, Row 43, Sam's at Louis Boston, Nebo (for smelts), the usual Chinatown suspects.

      5 Replies
      1. re: MC Slim JB

        I think Nebo's got more to offer than just smelts. Haven't been to the new location, is it much different?

        1. re: Beachowolfe

          Yes, plenty else on the menu: lots of small plates, pizza, pasta, salads, entrees (and spuckies at lunch). I just hadn't been by the old one in years, and when the recent smelts discussion here reminded me that Nebo does them, I made a special trip to the new one.

          It looks not unlike other nearby restaurants on the ground floor of old commercial buildings (like Trade): kind of raw industrial bones, tall ceilings and windows to match, a nice view of the Greenway. I liked the fact that is has lots of bar seating.

          Smelts were lovely.

          1. re: MC Slim JB

            Thanks for the smelt tip. My wife especially likes them. Need to get to their new location anyway, so this would be a good time to have smelts.

            Smelts and eggs makes a great Summer breakfast after fishing for them during a midnight full moon.

        2. re: MC Slim JB

          Thank you, MC Slim JB, and everyone else. It turned out that my Californian friend had neither boots nor any interest in trudging through the falling snow, so we ended up at Bond. Feh. Looking forward to trying your wonderful recommendations some other time soon.

          1. re: Liz B

            Ah, too bad. I have done the same thing many time -- researched suggestions for interesting places, ended up somewhere dull for expediency's sake. There's always tomorrow!


        3. Is your friend single and in her thirties? Then Trade is perfect! Otherwise....

          1. Just a guess, but if having a crowd is part of the fun, you may not have a lot of options tonight. Row 34 may still be packed, as it has been every other weeknight I've stopped by, but not much else. Row 34 is also beer and wine only, FYI.

            I really like both Trade and Shojo. I suppose Shojo is more unusual for Boston but maybe less impressive for someone from SF. I think Trade is more New England-y, like the food, very nice space, probably be a nice spot to look at the snow out their big windows.

            I like Sportello's food but don't love the room/diner-style layout for dinner and wouldn't rec over the other two tonight.

            I like Tavern Road's drinks and tonight may be a night where their heavier food works well. But I'm not sure I'd cross Ft. Pt. Channel in freezing rain for it.

            I have gotten mixed reviews on Blue Dragon and had some downright dreadful takeout from there.