I'm Shipping up to Boston
July 15, 2013 2:26 PM   Subscribe

Hello MeFites, Mr. Kitty and I are spending a long weekend in the fall up in Boston for our anniversary. We would love to find some amazing restaurants to try.

I did see the multiple, previous, threads on this - but the latest was from 2009, and we all know how easily a restaurant can turn sour.

So Boston Mefites (or aficionados) what are the best restaurants in town?

As a sampling of our favorites - we love

Zahav in Philly
Little Fish in Philly
La Sirene in NYC
Muse in Charleston

So really what we like - small, intimate places with amazing food and great atmosphere. The only genre type we tend to shy away from is Italian. We are staying at the Long Wharf, but are happy to move around to different neighborhoods.
posted by Suffocating Kitty to Food & Drink (16 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
I love Harvest in Cambridge and Scampo in the Liberty Hotel.
posted by xingcat at 2:38 PM on July 15, 2013

Best answer: small, intimate places with amazing food and great atmosphere

Baraka Cafe (Central Square in Cambridge) fits this description perfectly. It's a tiny, dimly lit little hole in the wall with absolutely amazing North African food. No alcohol served, cash only.

Must-haves: karentika, zaatar coca, and the addictive cherbat to drink.
posted by jesourie at 2:41 PM on July 15, 2013 [1 favorite]

These were mentioned in a couple of the previous threads, but:

Hungry Mother (my personal favorite) — it's pretty small and cozy. The food is really, really good. It's excellently prepared southern food. Get the cornbread.

I also have had good experiences at Oleana and Eastern Standard.
posted by Maecenas at 3:05 PM on July 15, 2013

Best answer: Tony Maws' Craige on Main in Cambridge
Gabriel Bremer's Salts in Cambridge (ask for Henri to be your server)
Gordon and Fiona Hamersley's Hamersley's Bistro in the South End (a bit of a haul but worth it)
Daniel Bruce's Rowes Warf near where you are.

Top pick would be Salts, then Craigie, then Rowes, then Hamersley's. It is all good, but that's my order. Read the prices on the menus carefully. A 'GOOD' dinner for two could cost you $160+ with wine. It will be worth it.
posted by Nanukthedog at 3:18 PM on July 15, 2013 [1 favorite]

Best answer: A few updates on the 2009 thread:

- Gargoyles in Davis Sq. is closed now. Replaced by Painted Burro - good Mexican, fun, but not necessarily intimate.

- Evoo has moved to Kendall Square (which is fairly bursting with new restaurants these days)

- In Evoo's place (at Beacon and Washington on the Cambridge/Somerville line) is Bergamot, which I absolutely love (even more than Evoo!)

- Oleana is awesome; the patio will probably be closed in the Fall, but if it happens to be open it's hard to beat the ambiance

- TW Food in N. Cambridge is still open and still good as far as I know; they've opened a new German/eastern european spot called Bronwyn in Union Sq. in Somerville.

- Also in Union Sq. in Somerville is Casa B - spanish/caribbean tapas - and super romantic if you can get one of the loveseats at the bar downstairs!

- Bondir in Cambridge is great and intimate

On preview: add another vote for Hungry Mother

Definitely check out the Boston board on Chowhound for more great ideas.

Damn, I'm hungry now.
posted by sriracha at 3:23 PM on July 15, 2013 [1 favorite]

Ten Tables, South End Buttery, Fiore (sit on the roof deck), Taranta. Seconding Bondir.
posted by ewiar at 3:29 PM on July 15, 2013

Also jumped in to suggest Bondir. Lovely lovely place.
posted by JakeWalker at 6:13 PM on July 15, 2013

Definitely agree on Ten Tables and Craigie on Main. Another possibility, which is within walking distance of where you're staying, is Meritage (sorry for the Yelp link, their website isn't responding this morning), which does small plates and is ritzy with an unbelievable wine list.

I also loved loved loved the food at Henrietta's Table in Cambridge, though the service left something to be desired (I'll give them the benefit of the doubt, though, because it was a full house during Restaurant Week).
posted by Mayor West at 5:11 AM on July 16, 2013

Henrietta's Table in Harvard Square (Cambridge). Central Kitchen in Central Square (Cambridge). Lala Rokh in Beacon Hill (Boston).
posted by NotMyselfRightNow at 5:17 AM on July 16, 2013

The food at Baraka Cafe is amazing, so I'll second jesourie's recommendation. But every time I recommend the place I have to give the "Baraka warnings" (analogous to the Miranda warnings):
1. There's no alcohol;
2. ... and no, you can't bring your own;
3. It's cash only;
4. You may have to wait a long time for a table;
5. ... and no, you can't reserve a table for 2.
6. The place is small so if the weather's cold, you get a chill wind every time someone opens the door;
7. If the owner is there, she's likely to try to convert you to Islam (in a good-natured sort of way).

But really, the food is great.
posted by EtTuHealy at 5:30 AM on July 16, 2013

Neptune oyster in the north end is awesome
posted by natasha_k at 6:03 AM on July 16, 2013

Lots of great recommendations here, but I'd like to second Bondir in Cambridge. The menu changes daily, but if they're offering anything featuring pu-erh-braised celery, eat that (and lots of other stuff).

Also, they're very small and frequently booked weeks in advance, so you may want to call early for reservations.
posted by lllama at 9:14 AM on July 16, 2013

If the owner is there, she's likely to try to convert you to Islam (in a good-natured sort of way).

Sorry for a potential derail, but I'm so surprised to hear this! She's never mentioned a word about religion to me, and I've lost count of the number of times I've eaten there, alone or with a rotating cast of many different people. The no-alcohol policy is the only way religion has ever come into play while I've been there.
posted by jesourie at 10:59 AM on July 16, 2013

@jesourie In fairness, I haven't heard of that happening for a few years now, so maybe "likely" is no longer accurate.
posted by EtTuHealy at 2:02 PM on July 16, 2013

Response by poster: It looks like Bondir will be the restaurant for our anniversary dinner. Thank you for the great recommendation! We will also be checking out the Baraka Cafe for lunch. That is definitely right up our alley!

Thanks again for all the great recommendations!
posted by Suffocating Kitty at 9:02 AM on July 17, 2013

small, intimate, amazing food and good atmosphere:

Dali in Somerville

Sophia's Grotto in Roslindale Village
posted by tiburon at 5:16 PM on July 20, 2013

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