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[UPDATE] Vote for your favorite restaurants in the Boston area for "Best of 2014."

Oleana, oleanarestaurant.com
wonderful middle eastern spices, good wine list, fabulous patio
Taberna de Haro, tabernaboston.com
the garlic dishes (and there are many) are like poetry. Comprehensive, all-Spanish wine list. Cozy dining room in the winter. Friendly, competent waitstaff.
Troquet, troquetboston.com
Great french wine list, food to match.
Gourmet Dumpling House
now in Chinatown and Cambridge, both have lines, worth the wait in either branch. Soup dumplings my favorite.
Shiki, shikibrookline.com
unusual Japanese, lovely dining room, extensive Sake list
Carmelina's, carmelinasboston.com
just amazing, rich, lovely Italian - recommended by the owner's Italian mother!
Carmen, carmenboston.com
rich, lovely Italian, intimate, romantic
Neptune Oyster, neptuneoyster.com
if you can get in under 3 hours you're lucky. All things seafood, innovative spins, no-frills setting.

Nov 18, 2014
dd65a in Greater Boston Area

VISITING BOSTON? One Hound’s Guide to Historic Areas and Restaurants

Great list. Here are some additions I like.

In the North End Carmen, right next to Paul Revere's house. Very small, lovely space, superb food. I second Modern but they are SLOOOOOOW. I can't figure out why it takes them so long to serve their customers, but since I work down the street I just don't go there when everyone else does (nights and weekends).

On the harbor, Meritage and the downstairs version in Rowe's Wharf hotel are excellent. The outdoor seating in the summer comes with a variety of shows, including Friday night movies.

Near the Common, Troquet (on Boylston near the Piano store), great wine list, excellent food.
Someone mentioned Gourmet Dumpling House I think in Chinatown. The best dumplings I've had in Boston. Very very busy. Expect a wait anytime after 6 and before 9, every day.

In the South End, Hamersley's and B&G Oysters across the street. B&G has another great patio eating area (did I mention the best of the outdoor eating spots, Oleana?)

In Harvard Square, Upstairs on the Square is one of the most whimsical, fun spaces around. Downstairs noisier & a bit less expensive, upstairs more austere. Good food both levels.

On your way out to Watertown/Belmont, stop at Ana Sortun's other place (Oleana being the first), Sofra. Not open for dinner but mouth-watering breakfast/lunch, middle eastern style. It's a favorite bike ride stop for me.

For the pubsters, Doyles in JP has been around forever and is a great place for families. We used to go there regularly when our kids were small and they loved it. Great beer, of course, decent food, and their black raspberry/chocolate chip ice cream is fabulous (if they still have it).

In Brookline, Taberna de Haro is one of my two favorite restaurants (the other being Oleana - inside or out). The very best Spanish wine list around, to go with stupendous Tapas. It's on Beacon just where the green line surfaces.

In Coolidge Corner, I like Lineage for new American, Shiki (a bit north, off Harvard on Babcock & downstairs) for Japanese, and still further North on Harvard, Dok Bua for wonderful Thai. Off topic but I can't get this close and not mention the magnificent Clear Flour Bakery, about 5 blocks off of Harvard Street (really just inside the elbow Comm. Ave. makes when it stops running in a straight line). If someone makes better bread, sticky buns, tarts, focaccia, . . . I have yet to find them. If you think you have and you haven't tried Clear Flour, try it. Another place where there are frequently lines out the door.

Pho Le, formerly Pho Pasteur (not to be confused with the remaining Pho Pasteur in Chinatown) is a small chain, the newest in Field's Corner Dorchester but others on Brighton Ave. in Brighton and in Harvard Square. All uniformly good. I like Anh Hong, also in Fields Corner (on Adams St.) and my son thinks their peanut sauce for the spring rolls is superior to Pho Le's.

If you venture to my neck of the woods (Dorchester) for Vietnamese, Chris Douglas' restaurants are fun. The Ashmont Grill has a great back patio which makes for delightful summer meals, and Tavolo has a very nice bar area. And you should definitely go to the end of Dorchester Avenue, Lower Mills, for the incomparable Ice Cream Smith.

That's my two cents' worth. Bon Appetit, as cooking in America's godmother used to say.

Aug 18, 2012
dd65a in Greater Boston Area

Poor grad student gets $100 to spend on nice meal out--where???

Other possibilities: Troquet on Tremont across from the Common (French), Carmen in Paul Revere Square in the North End (very small excellent Italian if open) and Taberna de Haro on Beacon at the Boston/Brookline line (Spanish tapas). Taberna is probably the least pricey.

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Troquet
140 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02116

Tremont Cafe
418 Tremont St, Boston, MA 02116

Nov 21, 2010
dd65a in Greater Boston Area

Recette review

Unfortunately, due to the treatment we received we were unable to try the food. Last night I called and made a reservation for 7:30. We are in town with our daughter who is returning to college and were going to have a last night dinner together. When we arrived we were told we would be seated shortly. Within minutes a woman came and told us that, because a party with a 7:00 reservation had arrived 35 minutes late, we could not be seated. She offered to let us sit at the (cramped) bar to eat. So we left and told some prospective diners outside why. And they did as well.

I would understand if we did not have reservations, but I think it is rude and bad business to basically rescind our reservation in favor of someone who was 35 minutes late. If their policy is to hold reservations that long they should not have made a reservation for us and caused us to take a 35 minute trip.

Aug 29, 2010
dd65a in Manhattan

First Anniversary Celebration Recs

Rowes' Wharf is fabulous food and if it's nice weather you can eat outside on the Harbor, which is beautiful. Troquet is great food, great wine with suggested pairings and wines by the glass and half-glass. If you sit in front you have a beautiful picture-window view out on the Common.

Jun 25, 2009
dd65a in Greater Boston Area

Coming from Montreal

I second Neptune (North End), for any seafood. Also in the North End are Bricco (big) and Carmen (tiny) both very good Italian. I like Taberna de Haro in Brookline, a Spanish Tapas restaurant with a comprehensive Spanish wine list. The owner's ex-husband now owns another Tapas restuarant, Toro, in the South End. I've heard good things about it but have not eaten there.

The best Indian I have had in Boston is at Tamarind Bay in Harvard Square (and I hear there's another one in Brookline).

Have fun. We just got the first sunshine in it seems like years and I hope it stays for your trip.

I don't know why you would want to try a French restaurant here coming from Montreal, but if you do Troquet is a lovely restaurant, on the Boston Common, lovely food and a large wine selection.

Jun 25, 2009
dd65a in Greater Boston Area

Foodie visitor from NYC, where to go?

Oleana is my favorite, and I like Rendezvous. Cafe Flora is another very good choice in Arlington. In Cambridge, Upstairs on the Square (2 choices, 2d floor funky decor, 3d floor less funky, more elegant, different menu, higher prices), Harvest and Rialto are all wonderful, if maybe on the pricier side for your group. I'd guess you could check their menus on line. If your roast chicken person can be persuaded to be a bit adventurous, Tamarind Bay in Harvard Square is the best Indian restaurant I've been to.
I haven't been to Elephant Walk in years (Porter Square) but it used to be very good -- 2 menus, French and Cambodian.

Jan 31, 2009
dd65a in Greater Boston Area

Near Boston Convention & Exhibition Ctr: Catering & Client dinners

Meritage at Rowe's Wharf is a good candidate for your first request. Right across the bridge into Boston (less than a mile away), fabulous food, good atmosphere, perfect for important clients, pretty steep.

Aug 12, 2008
dd65a in Greater Boston Area

Help with anniversary dinner in the N. End

Also Carmen next to Paul Revere's house is tiny and wonderful.

Aug 12, 2008
dd65a in Greater Boston Area

Help with anniversary dinner in the N. End

Bricco is great food but probably not a place to dip into. Modern Pastry is great for dessert if you can stand the lines. Cafe dello Sport has closed, alas, for espresso and biscotti, so it's Cafe Vittoria or if you want regular coffee, Lulu's (which sells Terroir from George Howell, in another life the owner of Coffee Connection) (all of these are on Hanover). There's a (relatively) new coffee place on Salem Street down from Neptune (past the Hardware store) that's pretty good but I don't know how late it's open.

A little farther afield, Selle de la Terre near the Aquarium is the downscale version of L'Espalier, but still plenty upscale. I have lunch there and dinner infrequently but I've never had a bad meal. It's a lovely space, very anniversary-worthy.

Aug 12, 2008
dd65a in Greater Boston Area