Boston Restaurants - suggestions please

Jun 9th, 2015, 07:31 PM
  #1  
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Boston Restaurants - suggestions please

DH and I are going to Boston in July for a conference at the convention center. We're staying at the Nine Zero Hotel. I enjoy walking to restaurants because it gives me a chance to get outside and enjoy the evening so suggestions for restaurants close to the hotel would be great. We'd like to do at least one high end meal but would rather not do a full tasting menu since we'll be in presentations the following day. We like fish but we're heading out to the Cape for a few days the following week and will most likely eat a lot of fish there. Farm to table, bistro, ethnic, small neighborhood spots, we like to try anything. (Most importantly, will I be able to find grits??)

I know there are quite a few Boston Fodorites that appreciate good food so I'd love to hear your suggestions. Thank you.
Birdie is offline  
Jun 9th, 2015, 08:07 PM
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I like sitting outside at Le Voile on Newbury Street for their Salad Nicoise. Legal seafood for fresh fish and oysters. Too many others to mention not knowing your tastes
and no grits that I know of but maybe some one else does
I hope you enjoy my beautiful city
cigalechanta is offline  
Jun 10th, 2015, 06:35 AM
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I've had five wonderful meals at Bar Boulud in the Mandarin Oriental on Boylston near the Prudential Center in the last few months. I can't get enough of his food! And they've opened the front windows for the warmer nights. (As well as sidewalk seating, but I'd never sit out on Boylston!)
amyb is offline  
Jun 10th, 2015, 11:19 AM
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Grits are mostly found in restaurants specializing in soul food (southern cuisine), most in neighborhoods that tourists aren't likely to get to, but in which those with southern roots live.
Tupelo in Cambridge features food from the various areas in the southern US and does have such menu items as shrimp and grits.
SambaChula is offline  
Jun 10th, 2015, 11:33 AM
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Don't look for grits in Boston--I feel I must be missing something here, because I can't imagine why anyone would! You'd have to seek out southern fare, which would be good, I'm sure, but not what the city is known for. IMO, just don't!

We were just in Boston for the first time last month and enjoyed Neptune Oyster in the North End and Sportello--outstanding Italian food in a hip, casual setting. We also loved Flour for breakfast.
NewbE is offline  
Jun 10th, 2015, 11:42 AM
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why would you want to find grits in Boston? just curious...no, it won't be common.

The best farm-to-table places are in Cambridge these days. Not walking distance for you, sadly, but not bad by cab or t. Puritan & Company, Bondir are two of my favorites. Craigie on Main for high end, and somewhat farm-to-table type of food.

The closest place to your hotel that I really lke for upscale dining would be Trouquet. They are particularly good for wine. The cuisine is French, and they will do wine pairings by the glass for most anything on the menu. Try to get a table by the window so you can look out on the public garden.

Erbaluce is probably walking distance as well. I don't like to recommend places I haven't been, but I've read so many raves about this place, I think its worth putting on the list, so you can at least check it out. It's Italian, but a bit different than your traditional...lighter, more vegetable oriented, I guess more contemporary.

Of course, you are very close to Chinatown which opens up lots of ethnic food possibilities. I'll leave it to someone with more expertise to suggest specific places...but fresh seafood in Chinatown would definitely be a good thing to do.
china_cat is offline  
Jun 10th, 2015, 01:02 PM
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I enjoy walking to restaurants because it gives me a chance to get outside and enjoy the evening so suggestions for restaurants close to the hotel would be great.

How far do you enjoy walking? In the immediate area there isn't that much that excites me, but within a mile or so there are some contenders:
- Chinatown is an option - Taiwan Cafe or Gourmet Dumpling House for Chinese; Shojo for modern Asian; Shabu Zen for Shabu Shabu; Pho Pasteur for Vietnamese (though I prefer other options); Genki Ya for solid sushi
- Legal Crossing - a bit less traditional than other Legal outlets
- Legal Seafood @ Park Square - traditional menu
- Townsman - this will hit your farm-to-table check box
- JM Curley - more bar than restaurant (and it gets crowded), but I like the food
- Erbaluce - what I (and many others) consider the best Italian in the city and light years better than the North End

Farm to table

Townsman & Puritan & Co would be my first thoughts.

bistro

Craigie on Main. I still really like Brasserie Jo, even if it is completely unimaginative.

Deviating from the strict bistro (e.g. French) theme: The Butcher Shop, B&G Oyster, Coppa, West Bridge, Bondir, Catalyst, Row 34, Blue Dragon, Toro

We'd like to do at least one high end meal but would rather not do a full tasting menu since we'll be in presentations the following day.

What is the concern? Time? Amount of food?

Thinking traditional "high end meal", I have two go-tos:
- Clio - this place has been great for years and continues to shine. A la carte or tasting. The bar menu is fun too.
- Asta - my favorite restaurant in Boston. 3, 5, or 8 course tasting menus.

For places I don't recommend: No 9 Park (past its prime), Menton (kind of a joke, IMO), L'Espalier (past its prime and too stuffy)

Knowing that you don't want a tasting menu, I won't recommend Journeyman.

O Ya is another option if you consider sushi high-end. Certainly the pricing will be, and it is excellent.

ethnic

See Chinatown.

Most importantly, will I be able to find grits?

Maybe at Tupelo. Unfortunately, Hungry Mother is closing before you come. In general, Boston doesn't do Southern cuisine.
travelgourmet is offline  
Jun 10th, 2015, 01:13 PM
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Casa Razdora for pizza, and Mulligan's Deli for sandwiches.

Broad Street Riot for shrimp & cheddar grits.
clarkgriswold is offline  
Jun 10th, 2015, 01:39 PM
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lots of people still like #9 Park St and it is very close to you--$$$$

traditional boston--Durgin Park at Faneuil Hall

lots of cafes along newbury st

parish café and bar, 361 Boylston st, near arlington st--informal, outside seating, young

grill 23 for steaks on Berkeley st
rhkkmk is offline  
Jun 11th, 2015, 01:09 AM
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Actually, I just remembered... there were grits on the menu at Russell House Tavern in Harvard square. My dining companion ordered them and they were very good.
china_cat is offline  
Jun 12th, 2015, 08:34 AM
  #11  
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These are great suggestions! Thank you. I promise to report back. (I was halfway joking about the grits but am always happy when I can find them while traveling. So you don't think I'm stuck in my Southern ways, I'm also hoping to find red flannel hash on a menu somewhere during our trip.)
Birdie is offline  
Jun 12th, 2015, 08:56 AM
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You'll find your red flannel hash at the Hangar B eatery in Chatham on Cape Cod.

hangarbcapecod.com
clarkgriswold is offline  
Jun 12th, 2015, 10:41 AM
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Thanks, clark. I was pretty disappointed when they stopped serving it at Grumpy's in East Dennis.
Birdie is offline  
Jul 14th, 2015, 03:44 PM
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Places we ended up at:

Beacon Hill Bistro for breakfast. Very good. Tried to get into The Paramount but it was packed.

Central Bistro dinner - it was empty which worried us but we had good meals. It was a bit heavy for a summer menu but the food was very well prepared.

Legal Test Kitchen lunch - good food but the menu was not as inventive as I was led to believe. (Not by anyone here.)

erbaluce - our cab driver insisted it wasn't on that street and that it was in the North End but we insisted on getting out of the cab and finding it ourselves. Wonderful food. Good wines but only beer and wine if anyone cares.

Summer Shack - good food, fun atmosphere, easy access on the T, wonderful dinner companions.

Sauceity lunch - what you'd expect in a high volume hotel restaurant next to a convention center.

Thanks again for the recommendations. Boston is a great town.
Birdie is offline  
Jul 17th, 2015, 08:34 PM
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We had 10 people at Brasserie Jo end of May. French bistro/brasserie food. We enjoyed it very much h and very reasonable menu & wine.

We also had Legal Seafood near Prudential center. Just exactly what you expect - good seafood, good service, good w/ large group.
LBloom is offline  
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