Dine Out Boston, formerly called Restaurant Week Boston, is a two-week opportunity to try new restaurants, check out high-end spots usually reserved for special occasions or simply treat yourself to an extra night out.
The spring installment of the event (there’s a second round in August), is scheduled for March 5 to 10 and March 12 to 17. So far, more than 150 restaurants around the city are involved, ranging from celebrity chef hot spots to legendary favorites. Participating restaurants create prix-fixe menus at one of three price points ($15, $20 or $25 for lunch and $28, $33 or $38 for dinner).
Here are five restaurants worthy of a reservation.
Barbara Lynch’s exclusive Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star Menton, which is renowned for its exquisite French cuisine and service, will serve up a special Dine Out Boston menu for lunch only. For those who see the restaurant as a once-a-year or special-occasion-only spot, this offers an inexpensive way to sample some of the celebrity chef’s finest food.
The two-course meal includes tuna crudo or a chicory salad with truffle and Parmigiano for the first selection, and beef ribeye or cappelletti with pancetta for the second. Splurge and order the divine chocolate praline tart off of the regular menu.
Bar Boulud, Boston
This eatery at Five-Star Mandarin Oriental, Boston will offer lunch and dinner, with the same menu choices at each meal. Appetizers include interesting dishes like celeriac pear soup and chicken liver mousse. Main dishes, such as squash torchetti, pan-seared trout and wine-braised steak will make it difficult to decide what to eat. Dessert options range from English toffee cheesecake and a key lime tart to a warm cookie plate.
To make the night more special, book the Bed & Breakfast package at the hotel to enjoy breakfast offerings at the restaurant or, if you like, have it delivered to your room.
Miel Brasserie Provençale
Miel, located in the Four-Star InterContinental Boston, is a Provence-themed brasserie, which offers a lovely fine-dining experience on the waterfront. For lunch, the restaurant is presenting two courses.
For dinner, it’s offering three. Appetizers include duck confit toast, sausage lentil soup or creamy cheddar polenta. Entrées vary from a maple-brined Berkshire pork chop, four-pepper-crusted Atlantic salmon or Dijon brick chicken breast. Dessert brings out the gourmet guns with flourless almond, orange and coconut cake, or Riz Au Lait, a traditional French rice pudding.
Ristorante Villa Francesca
This Italian mainstay in the North End is always a great choice. With the eatery’s inclusion in Dine Out Boston, the decision makes even more sense. The generous lunch menu includes several choices for each course, including five different antipasti, a dozen entrées (including the signature veal Francesca).
At dinner, the menu has even more fun, with delicious starters like lobster ravioli or steamed mussels; entrées such as filet of sole, vitelli monte (veal layered with eggplant and artichokes in a white wine sauce) and chicken parmigiana. Cannoli or custard round out the menus for both dinner and lunch.
STRIP by Strega
Swanky STRIP by Strega, located in the newly renovated Boston Park Plaza Hotel, is opting to participate in the two-week event just for dinner, and fans of the steakhouse will certainly be delighted by the decision. Appetizers consist of tempting dishes like mussels with Spanish chorizo or Wagyu beef carpaccio with truffle aioli. Entrées include a filet tenderloin served with cheddar potato au gratin and jumbo asparagus; pan-seared cod with baby shrimp and lemon risotto; chicken Milanese; and truffle egg pappardelle with exotic mushrooms, cream truffle and parmesan cheese. The closing treat can either be cappuccino Strega or Charlotte cake.