Boston residents can easily overlook the fact that this city is home to a number of trendy luxury hotels. While we think a staycation is always a brilliant idea, for those who don’t see the point of a full staycation, many of the amenities at this hotel are still within easy reach.
Last year, a plethora of appetizing restaurants at some of Boston’s top hotels popped up to remind us that hotel restaurants don’t need to be a bland last resort for guests. In fact, with international restaurateurs, award-winning chefs and globally inspired menus, these restaurants are coveted enough to attract hotel guests just for their reservation.
Here are eight of those restaurants, including the new additions and a few stalwarts that have helped match Boston’s hotel restaurant quality to Boston’s world-class dining scene.
1 Bennett Street, Cambridge
Celebrity New York chef Mark Ladner brings fresh Italian charm to this veteran Cambridge hotel. Neo-trattoria has quickly made a name for itself in town thanks to its 100-layer lasagna, which every evening you’ll find the most patient of diners skeptically counting the thin sheets of pasta slipped between gooey layers of creamy mozzarella. fresh, spicy provolone and tomato marmellata. The rest of the menu combines locally sourced ingredients with distinctly imported Italian produce, including an outstanding wine list covering Italy’s most famous and lesser-known wine regions. Cozy up in a banquette by the bar or slip into a candlelit back room – don’t forget to leave room for dessert: Ladner’s homemade pistachio ice cream will transport your taste buds to the streets of Naples with a single ball.
450 Summer Street, Boston
A menu highlighting the best of French flavors combined with tapas from the Basque country, Coquette brings a certain I was born in the growing district. Hand-painted murals line the walls in a whimsical purple display, making the restaurant as alluring as it is satiating. Order a mix of raw bar (raw sea bass), snacks and small tapas for the best menu overview, but if you really want to dive in, go for a feast: the bottom quarter of the menu is dedicated to large-format meals, such as baked stuffed lobster, pepper tuna, and a selection of steaks up to 32 oz. Don’t forget the drinks: the Spanish-style Gin and Tonic served in tumblers (or “balloons” in their local lingo) is the perfect way to start — and very well accompany — a meal.
774 Boylston Street, Boston
This Boylston Street newcomer had some size shoes to fill – replacing the old Bar Boulud – but if anyone had to, chef Gordon Ramsay could. No need to be introduced, the Michelin-starred chef has created an extensive menu featuring favorites from his restaurants around the world, including Beef Wellington, Moules Frites and his infamous burger. The reservations list is one to watch, but sitting at the bar is a personal favorite for camaraderie and a close-up on curating craft cocktails.
250 Franklin Street, Boston
The new restaurants in the old Federal Reserve Building downtown were part of the Langham’s multi-million dollar renovation. Although the lobby bar, The Fed, offers an elite enclave of a library with homemade bar snacks and elevated bar bites, Grana has a moment of its own. Located in what was once the Federal Reserve Vault, old-world chandeliers and paintings splashed with a certain novelty that only the discerning eye can spot, welcome you to a refined venue serving Italian dishes, including including a phenomenal brunch offer. If you’re up for a weekend splurge, reserve a table for the Al Tavolo tasting menu from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. — because you can never go wrong with a multi-course Italian brunch with fortified coffee to share.
1271 Boylston Street, Boston
This funky izakaya matches the equally trendy vibe of its hotel with graffiti-covered walls and colorful Tiki decor punctuated by an assortment of mismatched trinkets, from fairy lights to paper lanterns. Gather a group and order a handful of treats from the menu, including maki and sashimi, but also staples like glazed Japanese eggplant, crispy chicken wings and kimchi fried rice, to provide a spread for share – eclectic and unlike any other in the city. A little known fact is that Hojoko serves up one of the best burgers in Boston. Sure, this menu item is underrated among the heaps of sushi and sake, but you won’t regret it.
3 Newbury Street, Rooftop, Boston
When Major Food Group landed at the end of Newbury Street in June 2021, the hype was unprecedented. Luckily, the spicy lobster capellini delivered on their own. Impeccably decorated with jewel-toned marble and royal velvet seating options, its ambience matches its tribe, as they say. The chic, wraparound rooftop restaurant is still the great spot for fresh pasta, pizza, and endless views of Boston Common, especially dazzling at sunset. Start with the Aldo meatballs and the daily imported burrata. From the bar list? Martinis are kind of their thing.
120 Huntington Avenue, Boston
Straddling the South End and Back Bay on Huntington Avenue, this new American-style restaurant has reopened with a whole new concept courtesy of Chef Nick Calias. The executive chef of The Colonnade knew his audience, so he tailored the cuisine, spirits and space to represent a neighborhood hotspot at its heart. The menu is seasonal, but diners can expect accessible classics and nostalgic dishes as a nod to what once occupied the space, Brasserie Jo. For fall, that means Chicken Milanese with Peppadew, Arugula and Candied Lemon Vinaigrette, Roasted Mushroom Pizza and Coconut Popcorn Shrimp.
215 Charles Street, Boston
Specializing in seasonal New England fare, this restaurant located in the former prison on Charles Street is a time-tested testament to the talent of chef Daniel Kenney. The colorful dishes add a whimsical touch to the Kenney’s style of presentation with ingredients as fresh as the season and include a variety of North Atlantic seafood. This is perhaps best showcased with the “Off The Coast…” menu offering, an ever-changing fresh catch sourced from local fishermen, farmers and gatherers. East Coast salmon is also a prime representation of our regional richness, making an appearance on every menu, from brunch to dinner. The brick-lined walls, which were once prison cells, provide a remarkable juxtaposition that is part of the experience.
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