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Old 04-29-2009, 06:45 AM
 
Location: Oxford, England
13,036 posts, read 21,519,881 times
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I am getting married in New England in October and as part of our month long honeymoon we will spend 2 weeks in and around Boston and I was wondering whether people could recommend the best restaurants in and around the city.

I am looking for both "special occasion " restaurants ( ie gastronomic , upper end of the market) and also "normal" places. We particularly love French and Japanese food as well as real regional Italian, Thai and Mexican.

I have read a lot of excellent reviews of "L'Espalier" ( is it as good since it changed location) and "Oh Ya" . Can anyone recommend either or both ?

What are your favourite places to eat ?

Thank you.
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Old 04-29-2009, 07:59 AM
 
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I would also add Aujourd'hui, Salts (Cambridge) and Radius to the special occasion list. My very favorite restaurant is Ten Tables in Jamaica Plain (easily accessible from downtown via the Orange Line or 39 bus). It's slightly more affordable than the others, but very small (really, only ten tables). From any table you can watch the chefs cook the meals and the focus is on seasonal foods. I recommend calling a month to three weeks in advance to be sure you get a table at your desired time.

Hammersly's in the South End is great, but a little stuffy in my opinion. I'd rather go for the gastro-pub food down the street at Tremont 647/Sister Sorel. Also in the S. End I like Pho Republique (fancy Thai/Vietnamese) and Toro (tapas - get the grilled corn!). Delux in the South End is a small, casual, funky bar (Cartoon network on the small tv, perpetual christmas tree, Elvis shrine) with great food.

For an fancy pre-dinner drink, I recommend the lobby of the Liberty Hotel (extravagently renovated former Charles St Jail).

I also wanted to add a mention of this foodie adventure, cooking classes with one of Boston's most well-known executive chefs: www.stirboston.com
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Old 04-29-2009, 09:10 AM
 
Location: Boston, MA & Istanbul, Turkey
793 posts, read 1,142,074 times
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For High End:

L'Esplaier: The location is not as charming as when it was in the Back Bay brownstone, but the new space is still very classy (In the Mandarin Oriental) The food is excellent though, ingredient driven and delicious.
L'ESPALIER :: 774 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02199 : 617 262 3023

NO.9 Park: Excellent Wine list, high end French-Italian menu, charming Beacon Hill location and one of the best bars and cocktail craft in the city.
No. 9 Park

Clio: Probably our only true high end molecular gastronomy restaurant in the city. Very cutting edge and interesting menu. Chef Oringer actually just hosted Chef Ferran Adria (From El Bulli-Spain) and he said he was very impressed by the tasting menu at Clio.
Clio Restaurant | Uni Sashimi Bar | Chef Kenneth Oringer

O Ya: This place lives up to all the hype. If you are fans of refined Japanese cooking then this should definitely be on your list. Named #1 New Restaurant in the US by Frank Bruni in the NY Times (Who admits himself that he is VERY biased towards NYC restaurants) and Top 50 restaurants in the country by Gayot.
o ya restaurant boston

Italian:

As you may already know we have a very large and impressive Little Italy named the North End, there are a ton of great restaurants in the area, but these are my favorite two:

Expensive: Prezza: Top notch wine list, excellent food, pricy but probably the best Italian in the city.
Prezza - Fine Dining

Affordable: Antico Forno: Affordable menu, brick oven cooked pasta's and Pizza. One of my favorite places to get a nice Italian comfort food meal.
Antico Forno Pizza Restaurant, North End, Boston, MA

Outside of the North End another really impressive Italian Restaurant is BINA in Downtown Crossing, which is currently one of my favorite places to eat in the city: BINA

French: NO.9 Park and L'Esplaier would fit the bill for high end. If you want something more affordable though you can look at:

Petit Robert Bistro: Petit Robert Bistro
Sel De La Terre: SEL DE LA TERRE: French Restaurant : Boston, MA | Natick, MA
Brasserie JO: Brasserie JO Boston - Brasserie JO Boston - French dining in Boston - Boston's first and most authentic French brasserie - Chef Jean Joho

Thai:

Dok Bua: Restaurant Row - Restaurant Detail
Rod Dee: Rod Dee Thai Restaurant - Brookline and Boston
The two above have a separate Thai menu you would have to ask for, there are some very interesting, excellent and authentic dishes to be had.
If you are looking for something a little less adventurous but still very delicious I would try Thai Basil on Newbury st: Thai Basil - Boston Restaurant - MenuPages Thai Restaurant Search

Mexican: This is a category that is really lacking in Boston, there is one place that is impressive though and that is Angela's Cafe in East Boston. The owner is a Chef from Puebla Mexico with over 25 years experience. The family that owns it are great people and the food is out of this world. One of the most complex Mole sauces I have tasted in my life. She specializes in Puebla cooking so this is regional Mexican at its best.
Angela's Cafe | Angela\'sCafe East Boston

Another hidden gem is the Villa Mexico Taqueria at the back of Grampy's Gas Station in Beacon Hill. Yes I know getting food from a gas station sounds a little sketchy, but this taqueria hidden at the back serves probably what is Boston's best Burrito:
Hi my Friends!

Some other places that I would mention are:

Neptune Oyster: You have to try seafood if you come to Boston, and Neptune is probably our best seafood restaurant: Neptune Oyster Boston

Yankee Lobster: The most affordable Lobster in the city, served right out of a fish market in the Seaport: Yankee Lobster Company and Fish Market

Orinoco: An affordable and great Venezuelan restaurant in the South End and Brookline Village. Orinoco: A Latin Kitchen

Taiwan Cafe: Excellent Taiwanese food in Chinatown: Taiwan Cafe - Boston, MA, 02111 - Citysearch

Flames II: I am of Jamaican background and this place serves some of the best Jamaican cuisine I have tasted outside of my mothers kitchen.
Flames II - Boston - CHOW (http://www.chow.com/places/33550 - broken link)

There are quite a few more, so if you need any other specific recommendations I would love to chime in, but that should get you started. Congratulations and have a great trip.
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Old 04-29-2009, 09:19 AM
 
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One place I recently went with my husband is called "Pops"....I believe it's located on Tremont Street in Boston. It was a wonderful place to eat, and even better to get away from our kids!
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Old 04-29-2009, 09:52 AM
 
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I second Villa Mexico! So wonderful, such friendly people!
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Old 04-29-2009, 10:17 AM
 
Location: Boston
7,338 posts, read 15,305,855 times
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L'Espalier is wonderful. I've got reservations for next Friday. I absolutely love it.

Oh Ya is good too. Excellent Sushi.

If you want some room and decent steaks in an elegant atmosphere, K.O. Prime is a great place. KO Prime | 90 Tremont Street - Boston, MA

There are some excellent suggestions here. I really would emphasize getting a pre-dinner (or post dinner) drink at Clink! at the Liberty Hotel http://www.libertyhotel.com/

BanQ is elegant and I enjoy their food: http://banqrestaur.web151.discountasp.net/

I like Oishii for Japanese: http://oishiiboston.com/
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Old 04-29-2009, 03:51 PM
 
Location: Oxford, England
13,036 posts, read 21,519,881 times
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Thank you to everyone, so helpful and it is much appreciated.
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Old 04-29-2009, 03:54 PM
 
Location: Oxford, England
13,036 posts, read 21,519,881 times
Reputation: 19858
Quote:
Originally Posted by lrfox View Post
L'Espalier is wonderful. I've got reservations for next Friday. I absolutely love it.

Oh Ya is good too. Excellent Sushi.

If you want some room and decent steaks in an elegant atmosphere, K.O. Prime is a great place. KO Prime | 90 Tremont Street - Boston, MA

There are some excellent suggestions here. I really would emphasize getting a pre-dinner (or post dinner) drink at Clink! at the Liberty Hotel Boston Luxury Hotels | The Liberty Hotel

BanQ is elegant and I enjoy their food: BanQ Restaurant & Lounge, 1375 Washington St. Boston's South End

I like Oishii for Japanese: Oishii

I notice you are from Portland ME.

What are the best places to eat in Portland ?

Have you been to "Arrows " in Ogunquit ? It is as good as some people say it is ? ( I have also read a lot of negative reviews).

How about "THE White Barn ", and "On the Marsh " in Kennebunkport ?
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Old 04-29-2009, 06:18 PM
 
1,989 posts, read 3,842,704 times
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"Normal" and a memorable icon of Boston: Doyles.

It's in the Jamaica Plain neighborhood. Been there for over 100 years. First bar to ever serve Sam Adams beer. An old mural featuring local politicians (including Kennedy) covers one wall. Older mural featuring New England landscape (including Revere on his horse) covers another. There's an entire room devoted to Michael Collins, a leader of the 1920's "good" IRA (rumor is that Doyle's help fund the Irish revolution in the early 1900's). Full sized photos and newspaper clippings of John "Honey Fitz" Fitzgerald (JFK's grandfather) show you how far back the place goes and how connected it is.

The light fixtures are original to the 1920's. The linoleum on the floor is warn through two layers to the hardwood below. The old wooden booths are high-sided for privacy. This is the bar that every bar in America has been decorated to replicate. But it's the real thing. And you can feel it. Right down to the "hussy" from the 1890's painted on the wall, hidden behind the "little" ladies room (you have to know she's there and look for her).

All that said, there's not a friendlier place, not very touristy (since it's off the beaten track), good beer, a leisurely serving pace if you care to linger-- they're used to people talking politics in there, so they don't try to hussle you along. If you look around the room, you'll see it still serves its original purpose-- a gathering place for the locals and the organizers.

I lived in Boston for eight years. Of all the restaurants from elegant to plain, Doyles is the only place I miss. Tellingly, whenever I meet someone else who has moved from Boston (or visited a friend there) they ask me if I know "this bar....Irish..." They ALL miss it.

Solid steaks. Yummy stew. Good mashed potatoes. Awesome Guinness. And LOTS of Sam Adams.

Doyle's Cafe
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