Boston's Hidden Restaurants

Transcript of Online Panel Discussion, February 12, 2013

Topic: Romantic Restaurants in the Boston Area and Beyond

Below is a transcript of a live online panel discussion on romantic restaurants in the Boston area and beyond, which took place on Tuesday, February 12, 2013. The chat included several panel members, with media people, restaurants folks, and food writers participating. The hour-long chat included talks with the panel about good restaurants to go to for Valentine's Day in the Boston area as well as elsewhere in New England. [Note: The original discussion can be replayed at the following link: and please go to the restaurant discussions link to check out our other chats.]

Marc H. (hiddenboston): Hello, all! Welcome to yet another live online discussion, with this one being on romantic restaurants in the Boston area and beyond. As always, we have a panel of folks who you may know, including media people and food writers. Before we start, how about some introductions? I'm Marc, the founder and owner of Boston's Hidden Restaurants as well as the news-based blog Boston Restaurant Talk.

Julie Dennehy: Good afternoon!

MC Slim JB: MC Slim JB here. I write fine-dining restaurant reviews and food/drink features for The Phoenix: See also Twitter: @mcslimjb; Facebook:; blog: (Sorry, no Pinterest yet.)

Carol Yelverton: Hi, I'm Carol Yelverton. I'm the editor of Vinetown, a food publication focusing on sustainable, seasonal food -

Leah K (@bffoodie): I'm Leah. I blog at Pearls and Oysters and write as the Boston Family Foodie.

Marc H.: Hello, all! Still waiting on at least two or three others...

MC Slim JB: MC Slim JB here. Happy Spring Festival!

Julie Dennehy: I'm Julie Dennehy, food publicist and PR consultant to restaurants and hotels.

Leah K (@bffoodie): I'm clicking on everyone's links that I don't know so I guess it would be smart to send mine as a link too

Patrick Maguire: Hello, everyone. Patrick Maguire. Restaurant rat, and author of blog.

Steve Garfield: Hi guys

Marc H.: Hi, Steve! Welcome!

MC Slim JB: Also, Happy Breather Between Snowstorms!

Marc H.: All I can say is, it better not snow again this weekend....

RichardA: Hi all, I am Richard Auffrey, The Passionate Foodie. Sake educator & author of Tipsy Sensei series.

Marc H.: Hi, Richard!

Leah K (@bffoodie): I'm still not convinced that was a storm (Canadian blood)

Marc H.: All right, I think we can start...

Marc H.: Being that Valentine's Day is just around the corner, I figured that a good topic for this chat would be romantic restaurants in the Boston area and elsewhere in New England. We'll start in Boston and work our way out, looking at places at various price points along the way.

Marc H.: Unlike previous chats, this is mainly a panel chat only, though there may be guests here and there who come over from Facebook.

MC Slim JB: Having been swindled by more than one Valentine's Day prix fixe, I generally push people off the beaten path for dinner on that day. But I love the topic otherwise.

Marc H.: MC brings up a good point. I'd like to focus on lesser-known places that are also nice spots for couples to go to.

Carol Yelverton: That said....I think we can trust Number 9 Park. They are doing a 5 or 8 course menu for Valentine's Day which includes a starter of Champagne Marinated Oysters with lobster and caviar...yum...

Leah K (@bffoodie): My favorite romantic spots in Boston: South End Buttery downstairs is so cozy and romantic and the food is excellent. I also really like Beacon Hill Bistro for the cozy/intimacy factor.

Kara B.: Hi Guys. Kara from NYMag's Grub Street here.

Kara B.: I will be spending Valentine's Day dining in Harvard Square with my brother, trying to look VERY PLATONIC. Don't ask.

Marc H.: Hi, Kara!

Kara B.: My favorite romantic haunt is the Helmand. It's so lush and soothing.

RichardA: To me, restaurants in general with small plates can usually be romantic. It is the intimacy of sharing food together, all the different flavors and textures you can try at one sitting.

Leah K (@bffoodie): I actually think (especially speaking as a parent of young kids) dinner at the bar of any great spot (Ten Tables in Cambridge, Blue Room's Bar, ICOB's bar) and just going late for a light dinner at the bar is so romantic. Craigie too but now I'm back and forth across the river...hope that's okay.

Marc H.: Ha ha, I was slow in getting this question out--you beat me to it. Let's get into Boston, Brookline, Cambridge, and Somerville first. What do you like for romantic spots, again, looking at both less expensive places and higher end restaurants?

RichardA: Dali is one of my fav romantic spots. Lots of tapas, Sangria, good wine list.

MC Slim JB: For my friends who insist on going the fine dining route on V-Day, I like to push them to places that are new-new, less likely to be crushed. Sycamore, Cinquecento, Steel & Rye, Farmstead Table, Puritan & Co., Bogie's Place, Asta, Giulia.

Julie Dennehy: Great suggestion from Carol, though remember that some folks (think new couples) like the stability of faves like Maggiano's in the theater district (disclosure: client). :)

Leah K (@bffoodie): Funny romantic

Patrick Maguire: +1 No. 9. I've enjoyed many New Year's Eve dinners there. Love No. 9 in general, especially now that they have made the barroom more approachable with high tops.

Julie Dennehy: I love the North End - strolling, coffee, here, dessert there... and agree with Leah about late night dining.

RichardA: On a more upscale note, I would opt for Troquet. Probably don't have a special V-day menu.

Leah K (@bffoodie): I can't believe I haven't been to Helmand! Not doable anymore but Casablanca was pretty romantic too

Marc H.: I love Helmand. A great choice for Valentine's Day, in my opinion.

Carol Yelverton: Rialto is so elegant. It's an easy place to have a sweet romantic dinner. The decor and food are made for Valentine's Day. We were there several weeks ago with friends from CT. One of them ordered the slow roasted duck. He said he's coming back to visit just we can go there and get the duck again

MC Slim JB: I think shabu-shabu (more accurately Chinese hotpot in most places) is intimate and fun for couples. Q Restaurant is my current favorite (pretty fancy by the standards of the format), but I'm also a fan of Kaze and Shabu-Zen.

Julie Dennehy: I'm a fan of Southeast Asian in general - Panang is pretty exotic and romantic if not too noisy.

Marc H.: I agree, and they're generally good if you don't want to spend a whole lot.

RichardA: I agree with MC's shabu shabu rec

Leah K (@bffoodie): That's hilarious. My 8 year old is sitting next to me and she asked if I talked about Little Q Hot Pot yet. It's one of her favorite spots.

MC Slim JB: My jokes get funnier after a couple of drinks, so I like the craft cocktail / grazing format of places like The Hawthorne, Brick & Mortar, Deep Ellum, Daddy Jones, and Shojo.

Patrick Maguire: Always loved Dali and shareable plates. Tapeo was one of the originals. Always a good litmus test for a date. If someone isn't a sharer, we won't be together long...

Leah K (@bffoodie): Since it's a weekday...another way to make Valentine's Day meals out a bit more affordable is to meet for lunch (also great for very tired parents ...not that I would know.)

Marc H.: Definitely a good point. If you can celebrate Valentine's Day at lunch, chances are the restaurants will be a lot less crowded.

Julie Dennehy: Which, normally, we don't. :)

Julie Dennehy: Good point about sharing, Patrick.

RichardA: I think part of the issue is what you order at any restaurant. Think Champagne, sparkling wine, sparkling Sake. Think sweeter dessert wines.

Carol Yelverton: Farms, ME) Il Casale in Belmont has wonderful "sfizi" - little bites that are incredibly delicious. The burrata is amazing and I love the tuna. They have a nice wine list, too.

MC Slim JB: Many fancy places are a relative bargain at lunch, too.

Leah K (@bffoodie): I also like the cheap date idea (my husband and I have been together a long time so it brings us back) cocktails at home then Fried whole belly clam plate at Celebrity Pizza in Watertown, or Fresh Pond Seafood (in Arlington)

Kara B.: Casa B is also super cute and cozy. Plus, Backbar is right next door. And if things turn sour, you can drown your woes in potent margaritas next door at Taqueria Mexicana.

RichardA: In the North End, I would vote for Prezza.

Patrick Maguire: A booth at Metropolis in the South End is one of my favorite romantic spots in town. Don't get me started on the chicken, or the cauliflower and potato gratin...

Marc H.: Metropolis is one of my favorite places in Boston.

Julie Dennehy: Prezza is my favorite too, Richard. Traditional.

Kara B.: The Iraqi place in Arlington, Sabzi, is also romantic, warm, intimate, etc. I hope they make it

Leah K (@bffoodie): Just in terms of atmosphere (and the food was good there too when we went) Park in Harvard Square is romantic. I like the bar at Gaslight.

Marc H.: Can we look at the North End for a minute? What are some less touristy spots that might not be as crowded on Valentine's Day and have nice atmosphere?

Marc H.: I remember going to Euno in the North End years ago on Valentine's Day and it was really nice (we sat in the basement room).

Patrick Maguire: I miss Dom's.

Marc H.: Me too.

Julie Dennehy: Off Hanover, there are some nice picks...

Leah K (@bffoodie): I'd just go out to Caffe Vittoria for espresso and dessert I think.

MC Slim JB: If your paramour is a food geek, I favor traditional restaurants in out of the way locations. Nobody thinks of them on Valentine's Day: Traditional cuisines in out of the way spots: Rincon Limeno in Eastie for Peruvian; Angela's Cafe in Eastie for Poblano Mexican, Gustazo in Belmont for Cuban, Vejigantes in the South End for Puerto Rican, FuLoon in Malden for Taiwanese, Toraya in Arlington for sushi/sashimi, Suya Joint in Rozzie for Nigerian.

Marc H.: Has anyone been to Ida's in the North End? :-) I'm not sure how romantic it is, but I know people who love it.

Marc H.: And yes, MC, I find Angela's and Gustazo to be a bit on the romantic side as well, but then again, I'm also a food geek.

Julie Dennehy: I went once, not romantic really but delicious.

Kara B.: I love Daily Catch, Massimino's, Antico Forno

Kara B.: I've always been curious about Ida's!

RichardA: I would suggest Gennaro's 5 North Square, especially for Chef Iocco's bread pudding. Their upstairs dining area is romantic.

Carol Yelverton: MC Slim JB - I agree about Gustazo- Gustazo has fabulous authentic Cuban food. It's very tiny, though, so go early. The met dishes are excellent. I'm not big on meat have had wonderful experiences with their apps: pan fried polenta with goat cheese and pine nuts as well as an eggplant dip. Bring your own wine or beer.

MC Slim JB: Agreed: humble but charming.

Julie Dennehy: Ida's had a great shrimp scampi, I recall.

Patrick Maguire: 91 beer/wine/liquor licenses, and a dearth of great restaurants in the North End.

Leah K (@bffoodie): I'm a fan of Antico Forno as well though its been years since I went.

Julie Dennehy: I got engaged over bread pudding, Richard, good tip.

Kara B.: I agree about Gustazo, though the service can be flaky.

Marc H.: Kara, I found that as well.

MC Slim JB: I like the North End if I can make reservations. Standing in line on date night is not my idea of fun, especially in February.

RichardA: Julie, Chef Iocco makes one of the best

Leah K (@bffoodie): I really liked Lone Star Taco Bar and could totally do that for Valentine's Day.

Kara B.: I like the North End if I can PARK.

Marc H.: Kara, the lots along the water usually have spots. :-)

Leah K (@bffoodie): I haven't been but L'Impasto looks cozy and romantic.

Marc H.: Leah, it is. I've been a couple of times recently and it has such a nice feel to it.

Julie Dennehy: I park across the street, near Hard Rock and walk across... a bear in the winter.

Kara B.: I think TW Food is incredibly romantic and charming. And Bronwyn is a lovely hostess.

Leah K (@bffoodie): I was just going to mention TW Food

Julie Dennehy: Massimino's is my go-to recommendation, though I've had diva-ish servers there lately.

Marc H.: Yes! I love that place, Julie. A real hidden gem.

Kara B.: I also think Taberna de Haro is rustic and charming.

Carol Yelverton: My husband loves the rack of lamb at Massimino's

Kara B.: yum

MC Slim JB: Spanish food and wine is very romantic in my book. Estragon, Taberna de Haro, Tres Gatos are all great date night spots in my book. Casa B is in the same vein, if a different continent.

Marc H.: MC, my last two Valentine's Day meals have been spent at a Spanish restaurant in the West Village, so I couldn't agree more.

Julie Dennehy: Was just looking at TW's website - they have a Kitchen Improv option (great idea!) for $49, five spontaneous courses... kind of romantic.

Leah K (@bffoodie): I also think Bergamot is a good spot.

MC Slim JB: Plus Taberna has a great new bar space, and the patio is expanded for better weather.

Kara B.: I'm also curious to try Salts. I get a very romantic professorial Cambridge cozy vibe.

Marc H.: Salts....Patrick, you go there, no?

Carol Yelverton: Taberna's tapas are wonderful - again, small plates!

RichardA: Leah, I agree with you on Bergamot. They have a 5 or 7 course menu for V Day

Leah K (@bffoodie): I never get the name right but also because I like cozy and good food North by Northeast or East by Northeast..whatever its called is a great choice.

MC Slim JB: I'm an old Salts fan. Not many places that carve tableside for two anymore, as they do with their roast duck.

Marc H.: All right, unless any of you have any other picks in Boston, Cambridge, Brookline, and Somerville, let's move on...

Kara B.: My husband and I never dine out on V Day, but we did go out once here -- to La La Rokh. The couple seated next to us broke up over dinner. Then sat next to one another, silently.

Marc H.: Oh, we went there for Valentine's Day as well. No one broke up next to us, though.

Patrick Maguire: LOVE Salts. Some of the best plating I have ever seen.

Leah K (@bffoodie): Must be Kara :)

MC Slim JB: I have many stories about ugly fights and breakups at adjoining tables in restaurants! Mrs. MC and I seem to be a magnet for them.

Kara B.: Even the most luxurious atmosphere and potent wine couldn't improve that night.

Leah K (@bffoodie): No one's mentioned Oleana but maybe that's too obvious.

Guest: How about best romantic restaurants outside of Boston?

Marc H.: That's where we're heading right now, Guest! Well, in a minute, anyway.

Kara B.: I do cause people to end relationships over dinner. It's a bad habit.

Marc H.: Sounds like a Seinfeld episode.

MC Slim JB: The battling Bickersons at L'Espalier: that were ugly:

Guest: I've had great vday dinners at tw food & ten tables

Marc H.: All right, let's look at the suburbs, out to, say, Route 495. Any romantic restaurants out there?

Leah K (@bffoodie): Aka Bistro in Lincoln.

Julie Dennehy: I'm a suburban gal... Metrowest has some beautiful spots. Old school: Wayside Inn. Romantic.

Kara B.: Romantic outside Boston: Gibbet Hill in Groton for swoonworthy farmy surroundings; La Provence Concord for a midday lunch tryst over pate; La Boniche in Downtown Lowell for proper french on a cobblestone street; and the White Barn Inn in Maine if your dad invented the Internet or something.

Marc H.: Kara, the "silo" table at Gibbet Hill is amazing, no?

Patrick Maguire: As a general rule, I would never go out and fight the mobs and drama on major holidays. Prefer to stay in and make a great meal.

MC Slim JB: My recent early Valentine's Day dinner (a habit I recommend) was at one of our favorite occasion places outside of Boston, at the White Barn Inn.

MC Slim JB: Oops, sorry, probably too far with that one.

Marc H.: MC, we'll get into the rest of New England a bit later, but I know people who absolutely love that place.

Kara B.: The White Barn Inn is lovely, if you have a trust fund or just robbed a bank.

Kara B.: The Silo room is indeed great!

MC Slim JB: Agreed, Patrick: on the day, spend the money you would on dinner out on good ingredients to cook dinner for your honey at home, with some good wine.

RichardA: And agree with Leah on AKA Bistro.

RichardA: I love Chef Ettore's restaurants, Bistro5 in Medford & A Tavola in Winchester. Small, intimate spots with great food.

Leah K (@bffoodie): I haven't been in years but I'd say Blue Ginger could be romantic.

Guest: 80 Thoreau-great spot!!

Leah K (@bffoodie): If I were on the Cape I'd definitely see what PB Boulangerie was up to.

Marc H.: We'll get to the Cape soon with some more picks as well!

Julie Dennehy: Love White Barn Inn, and my new favorite is Bandaloop (

Carol Yelverton: Or Napi's in Ptwon

MC Slim JB: It can be a little loud, but Chris Parsons's new place in Milton, Steel and Rye, has fabulous food and drinks.

Kara B.: I just enjoyed a meal at Vine Brook Tavern in Lexington. Sat in a very nook-ish booth.

Leah K (@bffoodie): I hear Summer Winter is really good but I don't know about the setting its in a hotel in Burlington so that's not promising.

MC Slim JB: I've also had superb meals in Newton Centre lately at Farmstead Table (on Station Street) and Sycamore, from David Punch, formerly of Ten Tables.

Marc H.: A few of my romantic faves in the suburbs are Vecchia Roma in Nonantum, Alia in Winthrop (Moroccan/Italian food), and 88 Wharf in Milton.

Kara B.: The Nashoba Valley Winery out in Bolton is cute, too.

Marc H.: Oooooohhhhhh.

Marc H.: Sorry--I'm just a huge fan of Nashoba Valley Winery.

Marc H.: I could sit on that wraparound porch all day (and have, actually).

Leah K (@bffoodie): Love Nashoba Valley Winery but have never eaten there.

Kara B.: I'm curious to scout out Waban Kitchen; I'm a big fan of 51 Lincoln.

Leah K (@bffoodie): I really like Daikanyama in Lexington for sushi.

Marc H.: Same here. That place is very underrated.

Leah K (@bffoodie): 51 Lincoln in Newton is romantic although depending on your age you might feel too young there.

Kara B.: It's adorable!

RichardA: Also suggest The Grapevine in Salem. Another place with a killer bread pudding too.

MC Slim JB: The communal-table dinners at the Herb Lyceum at Gilson's Farm (in better weather) are worth a trip, too.

Marc H.: I need to keep that one in mind. That's in Groton?

MC Slim JB: Yep.

Kara B.: Massimo's in Malden is also romantic in its way.

Kara B.: In its plastic-tablecloth-blue-haired-patrons-formica-and-plywood way.

Roy S.: I agree with 80 Thoreau!! great food and service

Roy S.: Heard good things about Sycamore

Kara B.: Gilson's is in Groton and run by Will Gilson's fam.

Guest: haven't been in a few years, but I remember Carmen in the North End as a pretty low key "romantic" spot.

Julie Dennehy: Newburyport in general is pretty walkable, romantic.

Marc H.: Yes, Newburyport is great. Even a loud place like The Grog can be a bit on the romantic side.

MC Slim JB: Sycamore also has the best cocktail program in Newton at the moment, though admittedly there's a low threshold there.

Marc H.: Ha ha.

Roy S.: very low threshold!

Leah K (@bffoodie): M3 is fun and I think a nice bowl of those shrimp and grits to share would be perfectly low key and romantic.

Julie Dennehy: Carol: did you see my comment about Bandaloop in Kennebunkport? You'd love that place...

Julie Dennehy: The Grog can get a little rowdy. I wouldn't consider that romantic, but that's just me.

Marc H.: It depends on when you go. On a rainy Sunday afternoon when it's quiet inside, The Grog can be very cozy and nice.

MC Slim JB: I tried Bandaloop for the first time recently: enjoyed it a lot. Pretty vegetarian friendly, which seems rare for the neighborhood.

Leah K (@bffoodie): I haven't been but I always hear good things about Green it still good?

Carol Yelverton: Julie, I"ll check it out!

Julie Dennehy: Quiet, yes.

Julie Dennehy: Maybe a good question would be what makes a romantic restaurant so?

Marc H.: Wow. We'd need another hour to answer that question. :-) Now you got me thinking!

RichardA: Are there are romantic food trucks? :)

Marc H.: Richard, I hear that 2014 will usher in the romantic food truck era. I could be wrong, though.

MC Slim JB: Romance is more about the company and good food and drink to me, the trappings less so.

Julie Dennehy: I've been with my hubs (counting fingers) 23 years, so romance for us is quiet, private, candles, where we can talk w/o distractions. (Including other loud patrons)

Patrick Maguire: Used to love Carmen, but was very disappointed on a recent visit. Very pricey, and food quality took a big dip from previous visits.

Marc H.: That's too bad, Patrick. Such a nice-looking spot.

Carol Yelverton: Julie- great question - I think decor, service, incredible food, a great wine list -including sparklers - all add up for romantic ambiance.

Leah K (@bffoodie): Must have: good food and either a good wine list or great cocktails or both. Next up: atmosphere has to make me feel good so it could be cozy, hipper than I usually feel without making me feel out of sorts, a throwback kind of spot, not too quiet not too loud.

Julie Dennehy: LOL... maybe Island Creek should do a romantic Aphrodisiac Truck with their amazing oysters...not sure how you'd slurp.

Leah K (@bffoodie): totally agree Mc Slim Jb although a fire place is always good too.

Marc H.: Yes, We used to go to Ristorante Romanza in Providence's Fox Point area before they closed a few years back--three fireplaces in their charming old rooms. God, I miss that place.

MC Slim JB: Mrs. MC and I plan to spend this Valentine's Day at my local old-time tavern; we're regulars, like the food, and love the family that runs it. There will be no crowds, no prix fixe, and no crappy sparkling wine.

Julie Dennehy: Service is key, don't you think, for romantic spots? Knowing when to move in and clear, when to ease back...?

Leah K (@bffoodie): got to run. Thanks! It's been fun...I guess I need to actually face the fact that Valentine's day is this week.

Marc H.: Thanks for stopping by, Leah!

Carol Yelverton: Room for conversation is important in a romantic spot - not too close to other tables with attentive servers who also respect space....

RichardA: Yes, a good romantic spot needs excellent service.

Julie Dennehy: Everyone have reservations? If so, where?

Carol Yelverton: My husband is picking..We;ll see!

Marc H.: We're doing a belated Valentine's Day dinner in NYC this weekend, actually. My guess is, somewhere in the West Village.

Julie Dennehy: Smart man, Carol.

Julie Dennehy: Great point about the spacing of the tables, Carol.

Patrick Maguire: Green Street is still one of my favorite neighborhood restaurants. Great price point, great food & cocktails.

Marc H.: I haven't been to Green Street in ages. Still good, huh?

RichardA: I'll probably dine at home, maybe celebrate Vday over the weekend, rather than on the actual 14th. Which is good advice too, to celebrate on the weekend when it won't be as much as a zoo as the 14th.

Marc H.: All right--time to move on once again...

Marc H.: How about the rest of New England? Any road trip-worthy romantic restaurants?

Kara B.: The Bedford Village Inn is quite romantic.

Leah K (@bffoodie): Hugo's in Portland...I'm throwing that in there because I have to head out in a minute even though I know its out of bounds.

Marc H.: Sorry, that was an old post from Leah, who has left us for the day. :-)

Kara B.: Ken Oringer's Earth in Maine is very swoony.

Marc H.: I REALLY want to get there, Kara. We're in that area quite often, so hopefully I'll get there soon.

MC Slim JB: I wouldn't mind going back to the place we visited for the first time on that same weekend as our recent White Barn Inn dinner, a Japanese place in Portland called Pai men Miyake. Awesome ramen and pork-belly bao. Not fancy, but that was a great meal. With the right dining companion, I think that's all I need for romance.

Marc H.: Portland is a great food city.

MC Slim JB: I was speaking to a bar manager the other night. He was expressing gratitude that V-Day falls on Thursday. Life is misery for waitstaff when it falls on Saturday and every couple in the world is crying for a two-top on that day alone.

RichardA: I recommend Moxy in Portsmouth, NH. Excellent tapas, local ingredients, good drink program.

Marc H.: And Portsmouth is another great food city.

Julie Dennehy: My all-time favorite in Stowe VT area (Jeffersonville) is 158 Main.

Marc H.: Stop the presses! Wait, Julie, you know that place?!

Marc H.: That's a regular stop for me when I'm in Stowe, Smuggler's Notch, and/or doing the annual Vermont Cheesemakers Festival. 158 Main is a classic Vermont farm-to-table restaurant. Love it.

Julie Dennehy: I do! We have timeshare at Smuggs and go there all. the. time. Had Thanksgiving at 158 Main.

Marc H.: We used to do a timeshare at Smuggs as well.

MC Slim JB: Hugo's is fabulous, if your dining companion likes piggy parts and offal in general. I'm a big fan of Fore Street, too. Breakfast the next day from its adjacent bakery, The Standard.

Julie Dennehy: My sister lives in K-port.... why hasn't she taken me to Earth? Looks gorgeous.

Kara B.: Portland is home to the best, most cozy little sandwich place known to man -- DUCK FAT!

Marc H.: Two of the greatest words on the face of the earth.

Marc H.: One place I really miss that I've been to for Valentine's Day is the Silvermine Tavern in Norwalk, CT. It's a B&B now, but it used to be an old colonial restaurant, and it's location in Currier and Ives country

MC Slim JB: Earth is only open in season, I think.

Julie Dennehy: LOL... not for the duck.

Marc H.: True.

MC Slim JB: Duckfat is great fun, the baby Hugo's.

Kara B.: 'Tis. Perfect for a summer tryst.

Julie Dennehy: I've been there when I worked for Labatt USA in Norwalk... it reminded me of the Wayside Inn in Sudbury.

Marc H.: Yes, it was very much like that place.

Julie Dennehy: Oh! Tryst!

MC Slim JB: Open year-round on the Cape, and still terrific after all these years, is Inaho in Dennis, a Japanese place.

Marc H.: Is that on Route 6A, MC?

MC Slim JB: Correct, Marc. One of those good, out-of-the-way sushi spots I like for romantic dinners.

Julie Dennehy: Foodie friends, gotta dash. I'm promoting the Ellie Fund's Oscar night event - if anyone wants media credentials on this chat, please email me at It'll be foodier than ever with Jason Santos, Brian Reyelt, Brian Poe.. 17 chefs. Join me. Sorry about the shameless plug, but it's for the Ellie Fund and I love them and what they do for breast cancer patients.

Marc H.: Thanks, Julie! Have a great day! And thanks for posting about this.

Julie Dennehy: Marc, thanks for inviting me. Great fun and I've got lots of new ideas for future dining (beyond 2/14).

Marc H.: A few other romantic spots that come to mind for me are the Thompson House Eatery in Jackson, NH, Tavern on the Hill in Easthampton, MA (amazing views), and the Hotel Viking in Newport, RI.

Patrick Maguire: Lots of tryst talk, Kara...

Kara B.: *blush*

MC Slim JB: I had a lovely, romantic dinner recently at the Vanderbilt Grace mansion in Newport, at Muse. Same exec chef as at the White Barn Inn, though I don't think it quite hits WBI's heights for cuisine. Still, a very cool setting.

Marc H.: A few other romantic spots that come to mind for me are the Thompson House Eatery in Jackson, NH, Tavern on the Hill in Easthampton, MA (amazing views), and the Hotel Viking in Newport, RI.

Marc H.: We have about 5 minutes left, so a final question coming...

Marc H.: If you could go anywhere in the Boston area for Valentine's Day (price being no object, and a table available for you), where would it be?

Patrick Maguire: Menton. Thank you, Marc, and everyone. Happy V-Week. Be kind to the restaurant workers out there.

Marc H.: Thanks, Patrick! Have a great day!

MC Slim JB: Time travel to L'Espalier in the old Gloucester Street location. And since I have a time machine, it wouldn't be Valentine's Day.

Carol Yelverton: High maintenance - Rialto or No 9 Park

RichardA: Oishii on Washington St.

Marc H.: I'd probably pick Metropolis Cafe on Tremont Street in the South End.

MC Slim JB: If it had to be today, Yume Wo Katare for jiro ramen, without having to wait in the line. Those noodles taste like love.

Marc H.: Oh, I really need to get there. Like right now.

RichardA: Me too Marc.

Kara B.: I wish I understood the ramen craze! I'd go to O Ya.

Marc H.: All right all, thanks for joining in today, and have a great rest of the week! And happy Valentine's Day, of course.

RichardA: Thanks all, and Happy V-Day!

MC Slim JB: That was a crazy-fun topic. Thanks again for inviting me, Marc! Happy V-Day and Chinese New Year, all!

Kara B.: Thanks Marc!

Carol Yelverton: Thx, Marc! Happy Valentine's Day, everyone!