The 62nd World Science Fiction Convention

  • Sept. 2-6, 2004
  • Boston, MA

Restaurant Suggestions Introduction

  • This weblog is a place where we can share information about restaurants in Boston. To add a new restaurant to the list, please send a brief review to N4 Restaurant Weblog. To add a comment to a restaurant on the list, click on the Comment link below that item.

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August 09, 2004

Outrageously Expensive Gourmand Restaurants

Having reviewed all of the cheap eats in the Hub, here is a list of the outrageously gourmet high-end restaurants. If you want the best of the best of Boston fine dining while at the Noreascon4, check out this very savory short list that will launch you to the Moon and back several times over. Just put it on the credit card, don't think about the price, and worry about paying off the installments later. These places are SO worth it! The pleasure list begins immediately following this intro. Fasten your safety belts, put your seats into the upright position, open mouth, and initiate launch sequence to Phood Phantasyland..... This is science fiction, where everything is possible.

No. 9 Park

Located at Park Street, just below the State House (Herr Mitt's digs) and Beacon Street, this unassuming little place has some of the most amazing food in Boston. Choose from the fancier restaurant or the more casual café, which still has a breath-takingly-good menu. Cuisine is inventive American done in reasonable portions, including seafood, meat, veggie dishes derived from seasonably-available items. Service is very attentive and the martinis and other exotic drinks good. Desserts are not your mother's tried and true, but inventive combinations or great ingredients. Their chocolate flight is particularly good. The crowd is great fun as well.


French cuisine collides with Indian cuisine, and oh what what a lovely result. The place is located in an old Boston Bank building (historical tiling and vault accoutrements are still on view in the downstairs level near the restrooms and private dining area) on Temple Street, off of Tremont Street and one block over from Winter Street. It is at the end of the block, closest to the Macy's and Lafayette Place Complex. Closest MBTA is Green Line Park Street, Silver Line Temple Street stop, or Orange/Red Line Downtown Crossing. The restrooms themselves have a startling and hilarious secret practical joke for every visiting customer. Start with the pomegranite martini (you'll want 2), then try one of the light appetizers. Meals are inventive French, Indian or combo with a few other cuisine crossovers. The fannish phantom gourmet has tried nearly everything on the menu and reports nothing bad discovered yet. In between coarses, the staff tempts the palette with a tasty tidbit to melt in your mouth. Dessert is also a multi-cultural adventure; even if it sounds awful, try it. The pastry chef knows what she's doing. The crowd comes home happy every time. If you wish to stay over later into the evening, Mantra becomes a lively night club for the young and professional with good live entertainment.


So good it's almost impossible to get a reservation, so book very early. Located at 90 Tremont Street between Park Street (Green Line) and Government Center (Green/Blue Line) and not far from State Street (Blue/Orange Line). Located in a very swank boutique hotel. Features steaks, chops, fish all done with great sauces in an upscale atmosphere. Desserts are to die for, and drink menu good and lengthy. A once in a lifetime experience.

Hamersley's Bistro

Located in Boston's South End on Tremont Street. Closest MBTA #43 Bus (leaves from Park Street Station, Cyclorama - Dartmouth Street stop), Silver Line (Washington Street stop at Union Park, walk 1 block north to Tremont Street) or Orange Line (Back Bay stop, walk south 4 - 5 blocks on Dartmouth Street until you get to Tremont Street). Fresh American ingredients make for some wonderful cuisine. Great things happen to game, seafood, and vegetables here. Wine list is very extensive and desserts are great. The Dalai Lama was spotted here last fall; other celebs may be seen here as well.


Located in Boston's South End on Tremont Street, a block or so west from Hamersley's. This place was voted one of Boston's Best Brunches as well as having great French bistro cuisine at other times. Start with a Lillet cocktail, a fabulous martini, or one of their many excellent wines. Everything from cassoulet to fish to their medium-rare filet is excellent. Top it off with a divine French dessert. Heaven doesn't get any better than this place.

Sel de la Terre

South of France cuisine from Provence is featured at this swank little venue located right across the street from the Aquarium (Blue Line) MBTA stop and only a short walk from the southeast corner of Fanuiel Hall Marketplace. Our Fannish Phantom Gourmet adores eating in the more interestingly-decorated bar. Start with one of the creative home-brewed martini concoctions, or sample from the long wine list. Suggested start: one of their paté plates, a soup, or any special pastry appetizer. The meals come with the place's other hit: their bread basket; skip the Atkins self-denial this week and sample the plain brioche, olive bread, date bread, or grained bread to your heart's content. Then try one of
their many day-boat fish specials or a cut of succulent filet de boeuf, or their daily vegan specialty. Finish with their sorbets, a peach tartin, artesanal cheese plate, or sinfully-rich desserts au chocolats and sip of cognac or port. This place was just voted Best French Restaurant for the second year in a row and is so good that restauranteurs flock here to dine on their off hours. Ooh la la, la la!


If you are feeling very venturesome, try out this nifty Charlestown locale located right at City Square (take the #92 or #93 bus from Haymarket station, get off at the first stop just over the bridge and cross the pocket park to the front door), or take the $1.25 ferry from Long Wharf (at Aquarium, across from the T stop), cross the length of the Navy Yard (taking a bow to USS Constitution along the way), proceed uphill, cross the main avenue (Chelsea Street) to the pocket park, and go as before. The meal starts with a dish of gourmet olives scented with flavored olive oil and the most delightful focaccia on the planet. Then choose from the many creative soups or appetizers, or proceed on to the many gourmet fish or meat dishes or try a pasta. Olives has two signature desserts, which are a "must try" that need to be ordered at the beginning of the meal: vanilla bean soufflé with crême anglaise (so light it melts in your mouth and floats away) or the molten choclate lava cake (a semi-sweet chocolate orgasm oozing with the yummiest, gooiest warm chocolate center know to creation. Other desserts are good too, but these rock, big-time! If you missed the last boat back to Long Wharf and the buses run less often when you leave, the walk over the ancient metal swivel bridge (with the cool scifi sound effect over the midsection, great for those fen looking for cool sound FX) to the North Station MBTA will help with your digestion.


Located in Harvard Square on Holyoke Street, just off of Mass Avenue near the Harvard Square MBTA stop (Red Line), this little jewel of a place features Alsatian French cuisine. Start with a refreshing vintage from the wine bar accompanied by escargots simmering in fennel-garlic sauce, a flammekuch (Alsation thin-crust pizza), or a refreshing salad. Then, pick an entré from a variety of fish dishes, viandes, or occasional vegan offerings (chef's specials are usually a good bet). Desserts feature a variety of mousses, tarts, or an artesanal cheese plate and are best accompanied by one of the many excellent dessert wines.

Bon appetit to all of those true gourmand food affciando fen! Don't forget to reserve early for reservations at any of these. (No maalox needed afterwards for any of these gems.)

-- Sally Mayer

August 09, 2004 | Permalink


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