ELEGANT DINING BOSTON AREA

All of the following restrurant comments and reviews are from local area dining guides

French Restaurants

Aujourd'hui

200 Boylston St, Four Seasons Hotel, Boston, MA 02116 · 617-351-2037

This sophisticated restaurant offers eclectic French fare and views of the Boston Public Gardens. Representative offerings include butternut squash and lobster bisque, seared black sea bass, and roasted tenderloin of venison. Also available is a fixed menu wherein each course is paired with a complementary vintage. Also highly regarded is Aujourd'hui's Sunday brunch, an impressive affair with carving stations, cheese and seafood displays, and a stunning buffet that features dishes like seafood crêpes, Peking duck, smoked bacon and chocolate waffles.

Clio

370 Commonwealth Ave, Boston, MA 02215 · 617-536-7200

A unique interior of leopard prints and earth tones immediately catches your eye when you step inside Clio. The menu also calls for attention, as you'll see with one bite. Start out with one of Clio's signature items - Jerusalem artichoke soup - and then try lobster, caramelized swordfish, or venison. The wine list is extensive and includes red, white, and sparkling vintages. The chef also offers a much-recommended tasting menu nightly.

Craigie Street Bistro

5 Craigie Circle, Cambridge, MA 02138 · 617-497-5511

Chef Tony Maws started this modern bistro in 2002, and the accolades have been showering upon the place ever since. A tad snug at times, the space has all the charm of a Parisian flat, and you'll find getting a table much easier if your reservation request is flexible. Needless to say, it's well worth any trouble. Each night, Maws & crew offer a life-altering à la carte menu that includes dishes like spice-bread-crusted wild boar chops and whole-roasted Vermont squab. The wine list, too, is sure to impress thanks to an emphasis on vineyards that tend to be overlooked by the more mainstream eateries.

Hamersley's Bistro

553 Tremont St, Boston, MA 02116 · 617-423-2700

Head to Hamersley's for a charming French bistro experience serving both French and New American cuisine. Here you'll find that chef Gordon Hamersley really knows how to please a crowd with specialty dishes that include such favorites as seared tuna and portobello mushroom, Atlantic salmon cooked in crab broth, and veal cutlet stuffed with proscuitto and fontina. The wine list is quite varied, offering something for every taste. The decor is understated elegance.


L'Espalier

30 Gloucester St, Boston, MA 02115 · 617-262-3023

This elegant French restaurant, set in a circa-1873 townhouse, promises ambience as classy as the food. That's saying a lot, considering that the menu offers poached dayboat halibut, sautéed medallions of organic Vermont veal, and grilled partridge. The dessert menu is full of sweet delicacies, including chocolate soufflé and toasted almond crème brûlée. A great choice for special occasions.

Lumière

1293 Washington St, West Newton, MA 02465 · 617-244-9199

A very elegant dining room, Lumière makes guest feel special and pampered. The wait staff is top-notch and the menu exceptional. Notable items include the roquefort timbale, seared scallops, pan-roasted chicken breast, and the roast halibut. The interior is elegant yet relaxed; light colors adorn the walls and white linen the tables. The wait staff are very experienced and charming.

Mistral

223 Columbus Ave, Boston, MA 02116 · 617-867-9300

Sophisticated Mistral attracts well-heeled patrons looking to combine the perfect social scene and elegant dining. More popular dishes include grilled salmon with fennel, steamed mussels, and delicious pizzas personalized to fit your taste. As to the space, the spirit of Provence pervades, complementing the high ceilings, floor-to-ceiling windows and hand-made pottery with earthy stucco, weathered wood and stone elements.

No. 9 Park

9 Park St, Boston, MA 02108 · 617-742-9991

This Beacon Hill dining room has quickly become a favorite with the State House crowd. Chef Barbara Lynch continually updates and tweaks the menu, which emphasizes fresh ingredients and places particular focus on regional Italian and French cuisines. Representative selections include black pearl salmon, pork belly confit with curried pumpkin purée, and prune-stuffed gnocchi. Lynch is especially famous for her homemade pastas. In contrast to the main dining room, reservations are not needed to dine in the cafe-bar.


Radius

8 High St, Dewey Square, Boston, MA 02110 · 617-426-1234

In a vague nod to its name, this contemporary French restaurant features a circular shape. Its air of sophistication is gracious rather than intimidating, thanks to a warm, welcoming staff. Main courses include well conceived numbers like pepper-crusted New Zealand venison chop, seared Chatham cod, and Scottish salmon with Yukon gold potatoes. A favorite dessert is tapioca parfait, but "hot apple soup" shouldn't be overlooked either.


Steak House Restaurants


Abe & Louie's

793 Boylston St, Boston, MA 02116 · 617-536-6300

This well-known, Back Bay restaurant corners the market when it comes to tasty steaks served in heaping portions. Generously cut and cooked to perfection, steaks include a succulent porterhouse or a tender filet mignon. Sides are just as abundant and leave no room for complaints. Salads and seafood options are available for vegetarians. The elegant interior is finely appointed with brass, mahogany, and marble accents.

Blackfin Chophouse & Raw Bar

116 Huntington Ave, at W Newton St, Boston, MA 02116 · 617-247-2400

Celebrated Chef Anthony Ambrose (of Ambrosia fame) brings the Back Bay his spectacular takes on dry-aged meats and fresh seafood, and all signs indicate this'll be a long, happy marriage. Of course, food this good must be carefully considered, perhaps over a raw bar specialty like the Blackfin, Yellowfin, or Bluefin Platter. And though seafood is always a wise option - the signature bouillabaisse, for example - true appetites look to braised lamb shank with risotto, filet mignon with warm potato salad, and pig chop with whipped sweet potatoes.

Bonfire, A Todd English Steakhouse

50 Park Plaza, Boston Park Plaza Hotel, Boston, MA 02116 · 617-262-3473

This fine restaurant offers a menu of perfectly prepared steaks that boast a South American flair. Options range from lamb chops to porterhouse steaks, along with beef brisket, wood-grilled salmon, and a signature meatloaf. You can also get tacos filled with everything from roast lamb to grilled lobster, duck, or pork and sweet potato. The chic, red-toned interior features polished woods and iron accents, and the bar, frequented by a young, trendy set, can get as hot as the sizzling steaks! Reservations suggested.

Grill 23 and Bar

161 Berkeley St, Boston, MA 02116 · 617-542-2255

Grill 23's striking, sophisticated interior features mahogany panels and white tablecloths, and its terrific food demands attention. The menu, which changes weekly, includes delicious New England clam chowder, swordfish, salmon, and lobster. Grill 23 is also famous for its preparation and presentation of beef. The extensive wine list boasts over 900 varieties, including rare Cabernets and Super Tuscans.

Morton's, The Steakhouse

1 Exeter Plaza, Boston, MA 02116 · 617-266-5858

Morton's, the upscale chain steakhouse, serves a lot more than just American Angus. Masculine decor and classy atmosphere reign, and the friendly waitstaff present dinner selections on a cart of options, knowledgeably explaining each dish. Favorite entrées include blackened swordfish, fresh Maine lobster, and, of course, the 24-ounce porterhouse.


Oak Room

138 St James Ave, Fairmont Copley Plaza Hotel, Boston, MA 02116 · 617-267-5300

The Oak Room, located in the Fairmont Copley Plaza, is considered one of Boston's finest steak houses. The menu boasts a wealth of steak, lamb, and pork entrees, along with an extensive seafood selection. Try delicately fried calamari, zesty crab cakes, or smooth lobster bisque for an appetizer. Then, opt for a thick steak or savory roast chicken for a main course. Finish things off with a slice of Boston crème pie, and your experience will be golden! The rich interior features green, gold, and burgundy fabrics and wood accents.

Plaza III: The Kansas City Steakhouse

101 S Market St, Faneuil Hall Marketplace, Boston, MA 02109 · 617-720-5570

This downtown dining room places a premium on serious steaks. All cuts are ideally aged and are flown in from Kansas City nightly. The signature steak soup gets diners acclimated from the get-go, and main courses include Kansas City strips, T-bones, and prime porterhouses. You'll also find veal, seafood, chicken, lobster, and lamb dishes. Dining in the atrium or on the outdoor patio is available as well, and the place hosts a top-notch Sunday brunch too.

Ruth's Chris Steak House

45 School St, Old City Hall, Boston, MA 02108 · 617-742-8401

The "Home of Serious Steaks" takes on Beantown's appetite for red meat with characteristic panache, its sizzling steaks tantalizingly topped by dollops of butter. Choice cuts are the only ones served here, so calorie-counters beware! Boston's Ruth's Chris is also known for its great service and extensive wine list. The masculine space, once occupied by legendary Maison Robert, is dressed in stained wood accents and long, elegant drapes. Curley's, the restaurant's fashionable bar area, was named in honor of legendary Boston mayor James Curley.

Smith & Wollensky

102 Arlington St, Boston, MA 02116 · 617-423-1112

Chef Tindaro Losurdo serves up delightful meats, dry-aged-in-house, and wonderful seafood in this prominent medieval structure. With four floors available for diners, including a mezzanine and banquet hall, this New York-based steakhouse has taken Boston meat lovers by storm since its 2004 opening. The décor is fitting with lots of dark wood and rustic elegance. Try a wine off of their "Great American" list. There are only 650 of them!

The Capital Grille

359 Newbury St, Boston, MA 02115 · 617-928-1400

The Capital Grille steakhouse definitely adds more distinction to Newbury Street, and locals are ever so glad it does. Regulars come time and again to order the savory steaks and steaming side dishes. The mouthwatering selections range from prime rib to veal and lamb chops. Nice seafood selection as well—lobster, salmon and shrimp to name a few. The setting of The Capital Grille is relaxing and inviting; the walls are adorned with handcrafted decorations and antiques. Extensive and well selected wine list. Wrap up with one of their many desserts—try the Key lime pie or the crème brûlée.
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