I am often asked, at work and outside of work, where to go for Boston dining. In fact, my reputation for knowing the Boston restaurant scene is global within work – such a fun reputation to have! I just had someone who was visiting from our Sidney Office asking me for a recommendation for a team dinner and a friend asking me where he should take his girlfriend for a quiet, cost conscious but still a little romantic dinner. Beyond today I am asked for my thoughts on places from a fun girls’ night out, to a parent visiting, to a place to eat solo. So, with that said, I thought I would share with you 10 of my top choices for all of the above and a bit more. Of course, I have many many favorites, seriously this list could go on for weeks, how could it not when we live in a metropolis of restaurant greatness. However, let’s tone my over excitement down a little and give you just one restaurant recommendation for each category.
If you want to enjoy a beatnik 21-80 year old crowd atmosphere while listening to the great musicians from Berkeley and beyond then go to Beehive. While the food is consistently solid, I do very much enjoy their Mussels Marinara and a glass of wine from a country such as Turkey I haven’t tried before. Beehive also has awesome people watching.
I could name a lot here, but I am going to go a bit more higher-profile and classic with Grill 23. I love the fact that they have redesigned their bar area so it’s more open and bright but have kept the integrity of the classic New England steak restaurant with their dining spaces. Of course, if it’s a work dinner then hopefully someone else will be paying so enjoy that fabulous shellfish sampler and definitely get the sea salt and truffle oil tots!
Impressing the Parents and In-Laws
I had to think about this one a little bit as it’s a question I do get asked a lot but haven’t had to experience it myself, however, that said I do have a great restaurant which I personally LOVE and have recommended it many times and received hugely positive feedback. The restaurant is Aragosta Bar & Bistro at Battery Wharf. They boast an always winning and creative menu, which changes with the seasons and I love their patio with cozy fire pits.
If you want to impress that person you have been dating and are ready to take it to the next level with perhaps the “L” or even the “M” word, then without question Sorellina is up there as one of the most romantic restaurant in the city. Beautifully elegant décor, divine dining and a serenity, which beckons romance. For a more cost conscious dining experience, sit at the bar and share a bottle of wine and some apps.
Girl’s Night Out
Simply, Eastern Standard. I love this place for its experimental drink menu, consistently good food, cool bar and great clientele, with which I mean a good probability of meeting a fun or special someone. Mussels and frites with a glass of Gruner is always a winner for me.
Friends’ Group Dinner
Give Red Lantern a try. Great share food, outrageously good cocktails and a bit of a nightclub vibe without making those of us over 30 feeling like we should have stayed home and learned how to knit one pearl one. Try their lobster rangoons – I could just eat these all night.
After Work Cocktails & Bites
I work and live Seaport/South Boston area so I have a ton of restaurants right on my doorstep where many an after work cocktail have been enjoyed. However, I am going to lead you over to the Oak Long Bar & Kitchen as one of my absolute favorites for a glass of wine or bubbly after work, after a hair appointment or after shopping. It’s just perfect, especially if enjoyed with any single one of their flatbreads or chacuterie boards. You are definitely going to meet a fun person or groups of people to have a laugh with.
Oh this one is so tough for me as I am the biggest fan of brunch. Again, I am going to go with old school and timeless and pick Sonsie. I have been going to Sonsie for almost 18 years and can hands down say their brunch menu is excellent. What is even better is their ridiculously good complimentary bread basket with lemon loaf and blueberry muffins. If you are a Bennie fan, you must try the smoked salmon eggs benedict. This is also a place that will impress the parents.
I would have immediately gravitated towards Oak Bar as I have enjoyed many a glass of vino there solo, but as I have already listed it above so I am going to suggest Island Creek Oyster Bar. ICOB is on my top 10 favorite list for Boston restaurants regardless of dining solo at the bustling fun bar or enjoying a celebratory worthy dinner with friends. Great wine list, friendly, knowledgeable bar staff and ridiculously good Crispy Oyster Sliders.
If you are looking for somewhere a little more off the beaten “it” place path and as low key as it gets, then I would suggest the kitschy Delux Café and Lounge in the South End. Seriously good cheap eats, especially the toasted cheese sandwiches and good beer selection. Oh and its cash only so stop by an ATM first.
If you want to know more about our restaurant scene in Boston and of course beyond please email me directly and I will be more than happy to share my opinions and picks and will always share my pans through email. Of course, I want to hear your recommendations so please feel free to share.