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YOUR RESTAURANT WEEK GUIDE: Boston

Moving across the Charles River leads us to various sections of Boston to choose from: the North End, the South End, Back Bay, Brookline, etc. There are at least a hundred RW restaurants within Boston, so it’s hard to choose one location. What I tend to do is search on Yelp for the $$$$ restaurants and match these to any that are offering RW menus—but keep in mind that during RW there are many people and the ingredients may not always be the best, so quality may be affected. These restaurants vary in location including Back Bay, the Northend, and more.

L’espalier [French] – L

L’espalier is located near the Prudential Center in the Back Bay neighborhood of Boston. Enjoy a prix fixe lunch in their beautifully decorated dining room. The reviews are consistently positive about the excellence of the food and service.

This is the place that people go in Boston for a special occasion – a memorable meal for a memorable day. The RW lunch menu includes a first course of either goat cheese panna cotta or mussels with garam masala. The main course is a pick between slow braised short ribs or herb-crusted Arctic char. To end, the desserts include dark chocolate and caramel mousse gateaux or buttermilk custard. These dishes are unique in ingredients and perfectly presented. Note that a jacket and tie are preferred, but not required to dine at L’espalier.

To make you want to go more, check out the pictures: http://www.lespalier.com

Meritage [American] – D

Meritage is located in the Boston Harbor Hotel in the Northend/Waterfront area of Boston. It is known for its impeccable wine pairings for each course. It has won numerous awards including AAA Four Diamond Award, Boston Magazine: The 50 Best Restaurants (#11), and Improper Boston: Best Hotel Restaurant (2010). If you want a romantic place to dine with a carefully crafted wine-pairing menu, Meritage should be your choice. Although wine is not included in the RW menu, many restaurants offer an extension or you can ask what to pair the course with—either at additional costs. Meritage is not specific, but if a meal of fresh and seasonal dishes paired with the perfect wine sounds good to you, try them out during RW!

For more information: http://www.meritagetherestaurant.com

Mistral [French] – D

Mistral is a French-Mediterranean bistro in Back Bay. Although bistros are usually modest, Mistral seems to take this idea to a high-end scale. The food is fairly class French cuisine, sometimes with a Mediterranean touch but everything looks and sounds like a comforting dish. Their menu is quite large which offers many options for those with a picky palette. The RW menu is not available for perusal on the website.

For more information: www.mistralbistro.com

Oishii Boston [Sushi] – L

Oishii Boston is a high-end sushi restaurant located in the South End of Boston. There’s good normal sushi, cheap supermarket sushi, and exceptional expensive sushi. Guess which one Oishii is? If I were to pick a place to go for RW, it might just be Oishii because I love Japanese food (and the Japanese RW New York restaurants always seemed to be lacking). The RW menu is not posted, but the full menu reflects a modernized take on classic Japanese dishes. The reviews for Oishii rave about high-end and great-quality sushi. Their dishes are playful, yet beautifully presented, and you know food always tastes better when it’s pretty.

Take a look at their site: http://www.oishiiboston.com

Sorellina [Italian] – D

Sorrellina is a classic, and classy, Italian restaurant located in Back Bay. The atmosphere is set for a romantic dinner or a special occasion. The menu is strongly, and comfortingly, Italian with a variety of pastas and risottos and the basic entrees (secondi). The ingredients are organic and fresh, and hopefully prepared with love like the food of a nice Italian grandmother.  Sorellina is quite expensive normally, so RW is a great time to try it out. Reviews reflect that the food is worth the price, so don’t miss out on the opportunity for quality without breaking the bank.

For more information: http://www.sorellinaboston.com

There are many, many more restaurants to choose from. If none of these strike your interest, take a look around on http://www.bostonusa.com/restaurant-week where restaurants are arranged by location or cuisine or you can search by name. Or you could do what I do and match expensive and highly-rated restaurants with those that are offering a RW menu. If you have any questions, there is a FAQ on the site as well. Tips I would give to people deciding is to go somewhere expensive, to make it worth your money, dress fairly nicely to feel less awkward around normal diners at fancy restaurants (although there are many casual dressers during RW), and make a reservation! RW is a great opportunity to go and try restaurants that have been on your list (but are too expensive unless for a nice occasion), so don’t miss out on this!

– Christina Pan

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