recs please for downtown stay 3 nights
I am a south Florida Chowhounder visiting Boston for the first time this coming weekend March 28. We are staying at the Colonnade near the public library and Fenway. I am interested in good food and the atmosphere can be almost any type. 3 nights are needed with some breakfast and lunch spots as well. Any cuisine will do and we have plenty of fresh seafood here (although not counting it out completely). Casual dress is preferred with nothing where we'd have to get too dressed up. A walk or short taxi ride is preferred. Thanks!
Welcome to the 'hood. I live a couple of blocks from your hotel. Some logistical questions: Will you be traveling around for sight seeing? Will you have a car? Are you OK with public transit?
Your hotel is across Huntington Ave. from the Prudential Center, a large office/hotel/retail/apartment complex. There is one worthwhile place in the complex on the other side on Boylston St: L'Espalier. Worth going to although expensive. Reservations necessary.
The rest of the places in the immediate vicinity are mostly not fabulous. I would recommend Sorrelina on Huntington Ave. near Dartmouth St. Also, the restaurant in your hotel, Brasserie Jo, is good.
For breakfast, to avoid the cost of hotel breakfasts, go next door to Thornton's. It's one-half block west on Huntington Ave.
For something different for lunch, try the Salty Pig on Dartmouth St. across from Back Bay Station. Excellent charcuterie. About two blocks from your hotel.
I had a wonderful lunch on Saturday at Pho Basil on Massachusetts Avenue right across the Christian Science Center from your hotel.
There are food trucks scheduled for the space near the fountain across from the Colonnade. Three at at time as a rule. There will be a new schedule out on April 1st that you can check at the city's link.
This spot is listed as Back Bay-Prudential, on Belvidere Street.
You can walk to most of the South End restaurants. I would include Hamersley's Bistro as one of your evenings. It has been a long time favorite with many Boston food fans.
Coppa is a wonderful lunch or dinner option in the South End. I love to spend an afternoon sharing small plates of wonderful food there. And, a great cheese shop, Formaggio South End is across the street.
You are not far from a local favorite, Eastern Standard, and its immediate neighbor, Island Creek Oyster Bar. They are both in Kenmore Square, part of the Hotel Commonwealth complex. A nice walk for you if the weather is nice.
You can also walk in the other direction and you'll get to Chinatown, which has a wide range of places to try. Everyone has opinions on their favorites, which you can learn more about on this board. It's right near the Rose Kennedy Greenway which has the food trucks, and they are especially welcoming when the sun is shining.
It has been very cold and dreary here, but hopefully spring weather will come up with you from South Florida. If so, do walk through the Public Garden which is a treasure in the spring, and then head down Charles Street towards Mass. General where there are several good restaurants, bakeries and shops to explore.
We have enjoyed the Colonnade. The French restaurant there, Brasserie Joe, is well respected, so if it is pouring rain or you just don't feel like going far, don't discount it. Have fun!
Sandwiches - Parish Cafe
I do think it's worth trying some New England seafood while you're up here, since it's so different from what you get in South Florida. You might really enjoy a place like Island Creek Oyster Bar that mvi mentioned.
L'Espalier, which BBHound suggested sounds like what you don't want to be honest. It's one of the more formal rooms in Boston (with the caveat that Boston is a very casual city). If you want a nicer meal without some of the formality, I'd suggest going to Asta.
I'll add a +1 for Chinatown. You might enjoy a place like Q or Shojo. Both are very comfortable (read: clean and modern) for Chinatown.
Any interest in cocktails? Craft beer?