Good places to hang out and chat in Boston
October 9, 2006 9:12 PM   Subscribe

Know of a quiet-ish restaurant and a bar you don't have to shout to be heard in boston on a thursday night?

I'm having dinner with my mom's fiance's daughter the night before she becomes my step-sister. we've never met. It will be me, my step-sister-to-be, and my SO (we're 27 to 30 in age, omnivores). I'd like to take her to a mid-range quietish restaurant in Boston, walk around the city a bit (we live here, she hasn't been here since she was four, but lives in nyc) and then to a bar. our plan is to pick her up at her hotel in Waltham, then park under the common and walk. any suggestions on restaurants or bars?
posted by soplerfo to Food & Drink (21 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Can't say enough about Grotto on Bowdoin Street. Quite, small, excellent food. Used to live right next door. Check it out.
posted by JakeWalker at 9:50 PM on October 9, 2006

It's been ages since I lived there, but it looks like the Green Street Grill is still going strong. Even the menu still looks familiar.

It's a quiet and intimate dining room until later in the evening when the jazz gets going.
posted by michswiss at 10:10 PM on October 9, 2006

Green Street Grill was hideously loud the last few times I've been, though it may have been the weekend.

If you're parking at the Common, maybe Silvertone? They get annoyingly financial-district-frat-boy right after work in the bar, but the restaurant is kind of nice (though not super-fancy).
posted by occhiblu at 10:50 PM on October 9, 2006

Oh, there's Figs up on Beacon Street, too.
posted by occhiblu at 10:51 PM on October 9, 2006

I seldom went to the Green Street on the weekends. Always on a weeknight. I remember the ambient noise getting slightly loud if the dining room was busy. But, I was never around once the music started.

Sticking to my Cambridge bent, another definitely quiet location with good food is The Harvest in Harvard Square.
posted by michswiss at 11:08 PM on October 9, 2006

If you feel like making it to Cambridge, go to the B-Side; it's without question my favorite bar ever. Even now in San Francisco, I mourn it every time I go out. If Dave is working, his drinks are simply sublime.
posted by mostlymartha at 11:13 PM on October 9, 2006

Silvertone was what I thought of first, too.

No. 9 Park is really good. The restaurant is a little on the expensive side, but the bar/cafe has a great menu and is more low-key. I don't think you can make reservations for the cafe, but the couple of times I've been it's been no problem.
posted by MarkAnd at 4:37 AM on October 10, 2006

There's a place called Kennedy's on Providence Street (across from the Littlest Bar) that could be either. It's part of that faux-Irish bar company (Clery's, Canal Street, Etc.) but it's really well-decorated (fake old club done well) with a decent menu at reasonable prices for the area.

You could eat there and feel good about it, but it would be pretty excellent as your bar option.
posted by Mayor Curley at 4:45 AM on October 10, 2006

I've always liked the West Side Lounge, between Harvard and Porter on Mass Ave in Cambridge, for this sort of thing.

I realize it's not what you were thinking of, but michswiss's suggestion of dinner at Harvest, followed by drinks at the West Side might fit the bill.
posted by dseaton at 6:59 AM on October 10, 2006

I've never been to Silvertone without it being completely ear-splitting. As occhiblu said, the finance traffice starts rolling in right after work, and there's no real break before the nighttime traffic picks up. And the bar and restaurant are really on seperate sides of a room, one's not quiet when the other's loud. Unless you rent the private room on the side, which seems overkill for the occasion.
posted by rkent at 7:40 AM on October 10, 2006

I am not a fan of most of the food around Downtown and the Back Bay (outside of Chinatown), but Bamboa has good drinks and appetizers. (On Thursdays, they have $5
Mojitos and a Caipirinhas.)
posted by toddst at 8:17 AM on October 10, 2006

I recommend Oleana, also on my fair side of the river (Cambridge). Great food, great ambiance, and a lovely outdoor space (though a little cold now). Or what about Les Zygomates on South St?
posted by cocoagirl at 8:50 AM on October 10, 2006

Boston-side: Chili Duck, across Boylston from the Pru, lower level. Delicious Thai-ish food, nice atmosphere, always quiet even when packed. Highly recommend the deep-fried soft shell crab, the golden basket appetizer, and, well, anything else.

Cambridge-side: Harvard Square, Iruña, Iberian cuisine. Lots of garlic, oxtail, and meat. Very homey, small, plenty quiet.

I don't know anything about bars in either area, other than there are some.
posted by whatzit at 9:02 AM on October 10, 2006

I second No. 9 Park in Boston, and West Side Lounge in Cambridge. While Harvest has good food, I found it to be rather loud (mainly due to many tables situated close together).

Another fabulous restaurant is Meritage in the Boston Harbor Hotel. Great view, impeccable service, wonderful food, and perfect noise-level for conversation -- not so quiet that you felt like you were on stage, not so loud that you had to raise your voice.
posted by tentacle at 12:03 PM on October 10, 2006

BTW, Iruna is no longer in Harvard Square. Now it's a place called Conundrum; I guess I'd call it eclectic American cuisine. I can't quite remember the noise level. Food was good but seemed pricey.
posted by tentacle at 12:07 PM on October 10, 2006

I'm not sure about Thursday nights, but a group of friends and I used to hit the Hub Pub in Downtown Crossing (behind Borders) every Tuesday night. We'd sit upstairs and generally be the only ones there.
posted by ArsncHeart at 2:21 PM on October 10, 2006

If you gotta park in the Common, then how about Lala Rokh On Beacon Hill (they do Persian Food). Then go to either the Sevens on Charles Street for a drink, or the 21st Amendment (beside the State House) which will let you stretch your legs and view the common.

Thursdays can be tough to find a quiet place for a drink, but most times I've been to the 21st on a Thurs/Fri the bar may be full, but they have a little side room with seating that is usually quiet.

I never knew the Hub pub had an upstairs! Don't know if I'd bring the Mum-in-law-to-be there! ;)

Kennedy's has good drink, and is usually quiet.

I've been to Grotto for lunch and it's good!

Silvertone is decent, but will be noisey on a Thursday.

Let us know where you go.
posted by zaphod at 6:29 PM on October 10, 2006

Scollay Square is near the Common and is superb. Might not be too quiet depending on the evening, but probably not too loud to have a nice conversation among a few people.

The Bristol Lounge is pretty nice as well; it has a real 'lounge' feel about it.
posted by theorique at 8:50 PM on October 10, 2006

Response by poster: Thanks for all the advice folks. Particularly the in-Boston stuff, very helpful. Right now we're leaning towards Chili Duck, I think.
posted by soplerfo at 6:18 AM on October 12, 2006

Chilli Duck? Hmm, it's near where I live, let me know how it is!

Also, Island Hopper on Mass Ave is usually pretty laid back, plus U get to watch all the interesting people walking up-&-down Mass ave:
posted by zaphod at 6:07 PM on October 16, 2006

Response by poster: For anyone who's interested: in the end we ended up at Addis Red Sea. We had a great time - I'd completely forgotten about the place when I originally posted this question. It's exactly what we needed though - nice quiet atmosphere with fantastic food. Also, it turns out I'm getting a great step-sister!
posted by soplerfo at 3:28 PM on October 22, 2006

« Older legal info on online forums   |   Powerful laptop for 3d work etc Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.