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Boston Help!

I am going to Boston for a long weekend. I have never been and I need suggestions for some great dining experiences. It will be four of us. Two couples. We are staying in the North End. Looking for great restaurants. An suggestions for a few memorable meals?? Thanks hounds

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  1. if you gave a bit more detail as to price and kind of food that you are seeking, it will be easier to give you advice.

    1. I love all kinds of food, but French bistro food is a favorite. I love veal, lamb, seafood...basically anything goes for me.

      1. IF you all like cannoli might I suggest getting the classic fresh filled ricotta from Mike's, Modern and Maria to do a taste test back at your lodging.

        5 Replies
        1. re: Bellachefa

          Don't waste your time/calories on Mike's - they're pre-filled just like you'd find at any Italian restaurant anywhere. Instead, focus on Modern and Maria's, and in addition to the cannoli try one of the less-common pastries, like the sfogliatelle.

          1. re: TimTamGirl

            Although never my first choice, Mikes most certainly does fresh filled ricotta. However most tourists don't know that and look at what is in the pastry case.

            1. re: TimTamGirl

              They've always freshly filled them when I've bought them there. Delicious!

              1. re: TimTamGirl

                This might surprise you as it did me (not a Mike's fan) but a 'very discerning' gourmand that i know- said the cannoli at Mike's were better than they are at Modern.

                1. re: opinionatedchef

                  I agree. I also prefer Mikes over Modern for many things. I find the counter help at Mikes to be much friendlier than at Modern. I usually get several things when I stop into one of these shops and their attitude at Modern seems to be "not something else" whenever I say the next item I want. It's like they can't wait to be done with the customer. I never felt that attitude at Mikes.

            2. Neptune Oyster in the N. End.

              1. In the North End, definitely Neptune Oyster for seafood, but plan to get there early for lunch or dinner and be willing to wait. (11:30 for lunch, 5:30 for dinner.) Pizzeria Regina is always great. My two favorite places for great Italian-American food are L'Osteria and Massimino's. (I lived in the North End for 20 years.)

                French Bistro food, you'll do a lot better trolling the boards.

                1 Reply
                1. re: pasuga

                  Actually Neptune opens at 11:30am and never closes until closing time, so one might consider a midday meal between 3 and 5 to try to beat the crowds on weekdays.

                2. Neptune's is definitely on m list, it is close to the B&B we are staying in. What about Aria, anyone been there? AN rec's for a good chop house, where we could get good steaks and chops???

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: kittykatkid

                    We have the large chain steakhouses like most cities. More local options are Grill 23 and Moo. They're all a waste of money IMO. For something a little more unique, maybe try Bogie's Place. There is a recent thread on it if you search.

                    Can honestly say I've never heard of Aria (is this the old Marco?)

                    1. re: kittykatkid

                      I love Boston Chops - Chris Coombs' newish place in the South End. I have had three delicious meals there, and it is a tad comfier and dare I say classier than some of the chain steakhouses in Boston.


                        1. re: C. Hamster

                          Boston Chops and Bogie's are the two best and most unique steakhouses in Boston. Don't forget Gallaria Umberto in the North End for lunch. Kitty corner across the street from Mike's, it's counter service lunch only 11:30 until they run out of food (usually by 2) closed Sunday. Excellent food, and you can get one of every item on the menu for under $30. Try the orange sized arancini, fried rice balls with a center of peas, cheese, meat, and sauce.

                        2. re: kittykatkid

                          I really like Aria. The room is nice and cozy and the staff couldn't be friendlier. The food is pretty solid.

                        3. Massamino's in the North End on Endicott St you will not be dissapointed. Its like eating with your family.

                          1. If money is no object- O Ya
                            If money is the determining factor- Ashmont Grill on Dorchester (take the red line to Ashmont Station)
                            Seafood- agree with all Neptune Oyster
                            Other favs...Via Matta, Metropolis and Sorellina

                            1. k3, welcome in advance. you're getting lots of good advice. here's some more info:

                              Guide to Boston by Areas and Restaurants:



                              Dinner Spots that I would highly recommend :
                              If Creative, unique one-of-a-kind food experiences are a priority for you, I would hop to Oleana and Ribelle in a heartbeat. And Asta and OYa for much higher tickets.

                              Oleana- predominantly Turkish, w/ a lot of creative riffs. One of the 3 or 4 Boston restnts where you will have truly unique food that you will not have elsewhere. Spices and grains. beans and greens, a world to discover and savor. Many feel the mezze are the strong point, but entrees can be unforgetable as well. As the menu is always changing, the only way to do it right-- is to go back often. If I were a visiting foodie who had 'been there, eaten that', I would happily alot 2 nights to Oleana during my Boston stay Blazing winter hearth , and charming patio in season. Cambridge

                              Erbaluce- unusual inventive No.Italian Piedmontese. South End

                              Craigie on Main- famous for offal but also seafood. Cambridge

                              OYa- v.v.expensive Japanese American inventive. South Station

                              Neptune Oyster- crowded tiny, always a line, top quality raw bar; inventive seafood along w/ trad.Leave your name(they'll call your cell) and stroll the fascinating North End. (no resvtns-NR) (Stop at Modern Bakery and pick up Sfogliodel and Tortoni for later. Bread and Butter Cafe for beautiful French pastries and chocolates- all made in house.
                              Island Creek Oyster Bar- the BEST service, large room yet intimate, more trad but some inventive.

                              Toro- possibly the loudest room in Boston, full-out Tapas (the inventive often more successful than the trad) yet their Paella is unbeatably unctuous. South End .NR

                              Aquitaine- THE spot in the So. End when you're exhausted and you want to be taken care of. Classic French Bistro food beautifully done in a beautiful room, w/ gracious top notch service. South End.
                              Strip T's (in a 'suburb', 10 min cab from Harvard Square) Casual small treasure for serious foodies; Momofuku chef; great inventive Asian- inspired, but also exc.fried chicken and unusual terrific burger. Watertown.

                              Ribelle- new outpost for Strip T's owner/chef. A very broad menu of small and large plates w/ two or three times more components than you would likely see on other menus. With dishes this inventive and full of surprises, the food is the focus for the night, and the starches, veggies and condiments are as exciting as the meats and seafood. Brookline

                              Sycamore- 30 min car or train ride West to affluent Newton Centre and this welcoming veteran run spot with many unique twists on Mediterranean ideas.(see the Daily Duck, Lamb or Pork board- with four mini entree ,starch and veg.medleys !)

                              Alden and Harlow- new and crazy popular; innovative, rich, satisfying small plates. Harvard Sq,Cambridge

                              For Brunch:
                              Myers and Chang- Asian, both trad and innovative. This place is always hoppin' and the food,service and very creative bar are super. The air is full of happy campers having fun. Edge of So. End

                              Ribelle- as with all things Ribelle, don't let the minimal menu descriptions fool you. Cerebral, unexpected, luscious. WOW's abound. Brookline

                              For more refined brunch, Aquitaine and Mistral ($French elegant), Beacon Hill Bistro . South End.; Beacon Hill