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First Friday

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On the first Friday of most months since late 1995, my best friends and I have gone to a different restaurant for dinner. It's sort of the Algonquin Round Table. Without Dorothy Parker. Or the round table.
$ at the end of the review indicates price range for one person with drink, app, entree and desert: $15-20 $$20-35 $$$35-50 $$$$ 50+ (price in parenthesis is the per person price we actually paid).

Restaurants with bold name and are a First Friday Favorite - deemed particular standouts for their uniqueness, fun atmosphere, or excellent food. Requires overall ratings over 4, and at least 2 "FFF" votes.)

You can click on the Book online icon to make a reservation at OpenTable.com, otherwise call for reservations (unless "No Reservations" is noted.)


2011

ff 163
FF 163 - Dumpling Cafe
: Jason, Mike, Tim, Bill, Tim, Helen, Chris, Will (click for larger)

163

1/7/11

Dumpling Cafe

Cuisine:
Asian

Food: halfstar

Service:

Decor:starstarhalfstar

Overall: halfstar

695 Washington St, Boston
617-338-8858
T: Chinatown

Diner Comments: "Yummy" "thin-skinned" soup dumplings (xiao long bao) and "ample portions" of "as-expected" Chinese at "a good value," if decidedly down-market. Everyone agrees "what's not to love about Chinese food?" (except Little Tim, apparently.) $ [20]

164

2/4/11

Saray

Cuisine:
Turkish

Food: star

Service:

Decor:starstarstar

Overall: halfstar

1098 Commonwealth Ave, Boston
617-383-6651
T: Packard's Corner (B-Line)

Diner Comments: Diners found the space appealing and "fun".The Iskander kebabs were "really delicious". Some found the cold mezze "lacking in flavor", while others enjoyed them more. Service was "friendly and helpful". $ [20]

Mar & Apr On Hiatus  
165

5/6/11

Back Bay Social Club

Cuisine:
American

Food:

Service: halfstar

Decor:starstar

Overall:

book

867 Boylston Street, Boston
617-921-8499
T:Hynes, Prudential

Diner Comments: Has a "dimly lit" "basement rec room feel" that didn't deliver on our "high expectations," as smart-phones were needed "to read the menu" at our "Liliputian-sized dining table". On the "somewhat limited" menu, "Bland pan-roasted chicken" and "bloody awful chicken and waffles" were juxtaposed against "terrific" roasted beet salad and "a nice selection of charcuterie". "Attentive enough"service couldn't save us from the overall feeling that "we wont' be back." $$$ [42] [All comments]

166

6/2/11

5 Napkins Burgers

Cuisine:
Burgers

Food: star

Service:

Decor:starstarstarstar

Overall: star

book

105 Huntington Ave, Boston (In the Pru)
617-375-2277
T: Prudential

Diner Comments: "Most found their burgers "flavorful and moist" and "perfect[ly]" cooked, with sides of "some of the best onion rings" ever and "nice [rosemary] fries", but everyone agreed the plates felt "naked" "without fries [or] a pickle" as garnish. The couple detractors noted "dry and tough" burgers and "meh, too hipster" from the one person ordering sushi. "Attentive" (if "too quiet to be heard") service and the "urban abattoir chic" design rounded out the mostly-positive reviews." $$ [34] [All comments]

167

7/8/11**

Citizen Public House

Cuisine:
Gastropub

Food: n/a

Service: n/a

Decor: n/a

Overall: n/a

1310 Boylston St, Fenway
617-450-9000
T:Hynes, Kenmore, #55

Diner Comments: Diner's had the Pig Roast. Organizer did not provide reviews. [See Yelp! Reviews]

168

8/5/11

Trina's Starlite Loungestar

Cuisine:
American

Food: star

Service: star

Decor:starstarstar

Overall: star

No Reservations

3 Beacon Street, Somerville
617-576-0006
T: Central, then #91 bus

Diner Comments: Everyone gave the service glowing reviews; the waitress was "friendly, "attentive and knowledgeable". The food got mostly good reviews, and "excellent and unusual" cocktails and beer options got raves. The "retro" decor and ambiance was a little meh...we were seated at small tables on the bar side of the restaurant, and it was "very noisy," but still a FF Favorite. $$$ [36] [All comments]

169

9/2/11

Red Lantern

Cuisine:
Asian

Food: n/a

Service: n/a

Decor: n/a

Overall: n/a

book

39 Stanope St, S End 617-262-3900
T:
Back Bay, Copley

Diner Comments: Organizer did not provide reviews. [See Yelp! Reviews]

170

10/7/11

Tasty Burger

Cuisine:
American

Food:starstarstarhalfstar

Service:starstarstarhalfstar

Decor: starstarstarhalfstar

Overall:starstarstarhalfstar

1301 Boylston St, Fenway
617-425.4444
T:Hynes, Kenmore, #55

Diner Comments: Food was considerd universally good. "Burgers were fantastic, messy, & artery-clogging." However, some found the music a highlight as they heard their "favorite song from the fourth grade: Bay City Rollers' 'Saturday Night'." Despite the multiple reports of indigestion, pretty much everyone gave consistent marks in all areas. Most people said they would return for other visits to try more food. $$ [22] [All comments]

171

11/4/11

Cafe St. Petersburg

Cuisine:
Russian

Food:starstarstarstar

Service:starstarstarstar

Decor: starstarhalfstar

Overall:starstarstarhalfstar

57 Union St Newton Ctr
617-467-3555
T:
Riverside

Diner Comments: Those in the group who remember Cafe St. Petersburg's previous incarnation in Brookline Village tought its ambiance had suffered with the move to Newton Center, noting its reincarnation looks like "a function hall" or "a church hall". Diners were divided about the food, one found it "boring", while another praised his "juicy and tasty" Chicken Kiev and a third praised CSP's "comfort food" and said he would like to explore the menu further. However, the caviar and flavored vodkas got thumbs up all around as did the solicitous pianist. Service was characterized as "friendly, but slow". Overall, a mixed bag on the restaurant front, but all agreed that the company made the evening fun. $$$ [42] [See Yelp! Reviews]

172

12/2/11

Tavolostar

Cuisine:
Italian

Food: starstar

Service:starstar

Decor:star

Overall:starstar

1918 Dorchester Av, Dorchester
617-822-1918
T:Asmont

Diner Comments: "Food is excellent and sometimes extraordinary". The appetizers and sides were “delicious" and “outstanding". Glowing reviews for the main courses and “really special” pizza where the “tomatoes were freshly crushed and the sausage was not … from a Sysco truck"; Service was "wonderful, "attentive yet not overbearing" ("yay for frequent water refills and carafes of water for the table"); and Interior is “comfortable,” “well decorated and inviting” (“love the bouy screen!”) A unanimous FF Fave. “If [we] lived closer, [We’d] be here once a week".$$$$ [56] [All comments]

 

* Restaurant now closed ** First Friday Observed - Held on an alternate day

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