fun hip restaurants in boston

Old Sep 27th, 2009, 01:45 PM
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fun hip restaurants in boston

dh and i going for parent's weekend to boston and would love some recommendations for fun hip restaurants to take our dd to.
we are from s.f. and love dining out.
dd has a pretty sophisticated palate as well and she is so sick of campus food.

the last time, elephant walk had been recommended for eclectic food and we were sadly disappointed.
we loved the red house at harvard square but have already been there on 2 visits. we also enjoyed the blue water grill at quincy but don't really want to go to such a touristy area

i have read good things about these restaurants and wondered if any one had personal experience.

dali
oleana
helmand
evoo
blue room
salts
rendezvous
bar lola (on sunday for flamenco)
avila

i'm hoping to make our 3 dinners fun and fabulous

thanks
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Old Sep 27th, 2009, 02:31 PM
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HI abranz---I hope you have a wonderful parents' wknd!!

Re: the restaurant request, we have eaten at Dali and while it was very good, it seems to me to be just a standard, albeit, very good Indian restaurant. Not sure how wonderfully "fun and fabulous" it would be.....my son---who went to Tufts--liked it a lot but again, not sure about the fabulous part.

Helmand is quite interesting. Always busy and noisy, with good food, but b/c they are so busy, they rush you, IMO. (We have gone quite a few times and always the same rushing). Also, they take reservations that they cannot truly accommodate, and so there is usually standing around and waiting involved in a trip there, and since there is no bar or lounge area, it is no fun to have to do that.

Those are the only 2 that I can address directly. I have heard good things about some of the others on your list.
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Old Sep 27th, 2009, 02:40 PM
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Oh, I feel like Emily Littella!!! Never mind. I meant *Diva* in my comment above. Not Dali!! Dali does not---or at least did not---accept reservations and the waits were outrageous.
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Old Sep 27th, 2009, 03:48 PM
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Have been to all on your list except Bar Lola. Most are varying degrees of upscale in price (Dali is a tapas place and likely less expensive depending on how hungry you are). Hard to know what "hip" means in this context, though am thinking all but Salts might in some way be seen in this way (Salts is a little more staid than the rest in ambiance, though the food is top-notch). I'm a little less taken with the food at Avila than at the rest of your list, but all are indeed very good.
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Old Sep 27th, 2009, 03:50 PM
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Looks like you have Cambridge pretty well covered.

I really like Eastern Standard in Kenmore Square, very lively, pretty space with great food and cocktails.

You might also enjoy Sonsie in the Back Bay, very scene-y but the food is good too.

Scampo on the Liberty Hotel could be a great option. Very good food and you may be able to spot a celebrity or two.

If you want the North End, I'd suggest Prezza, Lucca or Tresca. Sorrellina in the Back Bay might also work.
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Old Sep 27th, 2009, 05:39 PM
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Lucca is definitely in the "hip" category, altho you did not ask about North End places. I think both you and DD would like the energy of the place.
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Old Sep 27th, 2009, 08:00 PM
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oooh some great new ideas.
thanks a lot.
i will check into them.
i'm not very familiar with distances in boston.

bachslunch,
when i say hip, i am thinking along the lines of some of s.f and n.y. restaurants.
cool vibe, great food, 'in' crowd and generally hard on the ears for any one over 40.

socialworker, like your son, dd is at tufts. so the last time we were there, we stayed in cambridge and i focused on that area knowing it was not too far.

wyatttt,
scene-y is good. my teen is totally into it.

thanks sooo much. she is desperate for some action - food action that is.
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Old Sep 28th, 2009, 01:09 AM
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Not necessarily "hip" but fun - my daughter and her friends like Fire and Ice (2 locations - Boston and Cambridge). They have a huge raw ingredient bar where you pick protein, veggies, carb, sauce and then stand in front of a gigantic flat grill where usually attractive young men cook it for you. Everyone gets to choose what they want to eat and go back for unlimited amount of food.

Do not know when Parent's Weekend is at Tufts, but city will be crowded in October - especially Columbus Day weekend and then, the following weekend, for Head of the Charles Regatta
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Old Sep 28th, 2009, 06:40 AM
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Tufts parents wknd and the Regatta are the same wknd. Not *so* much of an issue unless driving in Cambridge, anywhere in the vicinity of the river during the day, ( i.e. don't!!) but a real concern re: restaurant reservations.

Just be sure to reserve ahead for dinners.

I hope that your daughter ends loving Tufts as much as my son did! It is a wonderful school. What an odd coincidence, your daughter in Boston when you live in CA and mine living in CA---(w/his parents here in Boston) ever since he graduated from Tufts. Mine is an "only" too.
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Old Sep 28th, 2009, 06:57 AM
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I love the food at Oleana, but I'm not sure if it fits your description of "hip", it is not loud and its more romantic than trendy. But the food is interesting and unusual.

While I've never been to evoo, I know many who have, they love it.
Eastern Standard in Kenmore square is a great recommendation, I love the food there.
East Coast Grill in Cambridge is another one you might consider.
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Old Sep 28th, 2009, 07:10 AM
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Something to consider....the more I think about it, the more it seems that--for one of your evenings-- Lucca in the North End fits the bill for what you want, and it also allows you all to stroll around the area if you have not yet gone to that part of Boston. Have espresso and cannolis at Mike's or Modern Pastry both on Hanover Street (the debate over the two of them continues!) after you have wandered the narrow streets of the neighborhood following your dinner.
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Old Sep 28th, 2009, 07:30 AM
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EVOO struck me as more pretentious than hip.
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Old Sep 28th, 2009, 08:24 AM
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having the regatta the same weekend as the parent's one at tufts made finding a hotel pretty difficult as well.
the prices had jumped 3 times what we paid during move in weekend.
so, i can imagine the crowds and the scramble for restaurant reservations.

dd's new bff is from brookline (dh's hometown) so one night we will all have dinner together.

i'll send this list off to dd for her approval.

thanks so much. sounds like this weekend is going to be quite gluttonous.
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Old Sep 28th, 2009, 09:59 AM
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That is so great to be able to meet some of the "locals". When my son was at Tufts starting sophomore year parents' wknd, we had dinner out w/some of his friends' parents and *of course* the kids. For junior and senior year we hosted the out of town parents and the kids for Saturday night dinner at our home. It is one of our fond memories of his college years!

I hope you have a wonderful time!
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Old Sep 28th, 2009, 10:17 AM
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socialworker,
dd has really lucked out with her new bff.
we met the parents on move in day and again last week.
they were visting s.f. and we took them out to dinner during which we were invited to stay with them anytime we came to visit dd.
the invitation has been re-issued twice since then.
how nice is that?
dh says, it is the typical new england hospitality.
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Old Sep 28th, 2009, 11:28 AM
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How lovely for you to be able to forge a local connection so early in her college years! I hope that is helping in making you not feel the distance so acutely.

Another thought about restaurants, if not now for future reference, is a tapas place that is full of atmosphere altho not sure I would call it hip, exactly, but it is really evocative of being in a little hideaway in Spain. Tasca on Commonwealth Ave. in Brighton right on the Brookine line. I am sure that your Brookline friends will know it. The rstrnt does not typically take reservations, altho I believe that they will for a party of 6 or more. A big plus is that they do valet parking, kind of rare around here! (BTW Lucca does too!)
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Old Sep 28th, 2009, 11:50 AM
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Just wanted to note that Donnie Wahlberg was just at Sonsie (Big Papi of the Red Sox goes there a lot too). And I believe Jon Hamm and Cameron Diaz are both staying at the Liberty Hotel while they film here, so they're both at the hotel bars and restaurants a lot.
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Old Sep 28th, 2009, 01:20 PM
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wyatt,
thanks for the celebrity tips. we may just have to stake out tables at sonsie and scampo.

socialworker,
thanks for the tip on valet parking. it definitely makes a difference in choosing a restaurant.
the menu at tasca is righ up my alley.
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Old Sep 28th, 2009, 01:23 PM
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http://www.eastcoastgrill.net/
East Coast Grill has always been our favorite....especially on "Hell Night".
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Old Sep 28th, 2009, 01:37 PM
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abranz, thanks for clarifying. I'm actually hard pressed to think of anyplace that easily fits your "hip" restaurant description here in Boston. A few places might come close: Enormous Room (Cambridge), Pho Republique (South End), Sanctuary (near Faneuil Hall), and 28 Degrees (also South End). I've found them too painfully trendy for words, dishing up food that ranges from uninspired to utterly godawful, and can provide a dose of unpleasant service staff attitude with your eats and drinks. Don't say I didn't warn you.

I'm also not a fan of Fire and Ice, though teens and college students seem not to mind eating there.
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