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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.)


2013

FF 2013 at tiptap
FF 187 - Tip Tap Room
: Ducan, Tim, Jay, Will, Nick, Trevor (Obscured), Cody, Kristin, Sluggo, Greg, JD

185

1/4/13

Cafe Polonia

Cuisine:
Polish

Food: starstarstarstar

Service: starstar

Decor: starstarstar

Overall:starstarstar

611 Dorchester Av, S. Boston
617- 269-0110
T:Andrew

Diner Comments: Cafe Polonia, while receiving an overall score of 3.25, was regarded as one of the more lackluster FF experiences in recent memory. Between the "terrible service," the food that "seemed to lack flavor," and the decor that was "a little bland," there wasn't much love for Cafe Polonia. "Even Turkish prisons serve bread and water to their 'guests' but not Cafe Polonia." A few lone holdouts held some faith in the food, but these sentiments were tempered by the service. "Excellent food cannot entirely erase the terrible service." One reviewer indicated he'd gladly return... to the Salem location. Sadly, the Salem location has closed. $$ [35] [All Comments]

186

2/13/13

Yasu **

Cuisine:
Korean

Food:starstarstarstar

Service:starstar

Decor:starstarstar

Overall:starstarstar

1366 Beacon St, Coolidge Corner
617-738-2244

T:Coolidge Corner

Diner Comments: Loved the food. Hated the service. $$ [35]

[All Comments]

187

3/2/12

Tip Tap Room

Cuisine:
American

Food:starstarstarhalfstar

Service:starstarstarstar

Decor:starstarstar

Overall:starstarstarhalfstar

138 Cambridge St Boston
857-350-3344

T:Charles/MGH, Govt Ctr

Diner Comments: The Tip Tap Room got generally good reviews for food, particularly the lamb dishes. The lamb burger was "flavorful, extremely tender and moist", and the lamb tips were "perfectly cooked and flavorful". For apps, the duck cracklin's were "amazing", but the mashed potato sampler was "really odd". There was a good selection of beers and cocktails, and although one diner felt the food was "pleasant but not memorable", many diners would come back to try other menu items or for a post-work pint and snack. There were mostly above-average scores for attentive service; an entree was forgotten but quickly rectified and comped. Mixed reviews on decor; "OK", "noisy", "needed a theme", "very cool NYC vibe"; opinions varied on the "Mayor's Corner", but overall the room was "welcoming without trying too hard". $$$ [43] [All Comments]

188

4/5/13

Abigail's

Cuisine: New American

Food:starstarstar

Service:starstarstarstar

Decor:starstarstarstar

Overall:starstarstarhalfstar

291 3rd St, Cambridge
617-945-9086

T: Kendall

Diner Comments: With our large group, the best summary we have for the food is "inconsistent." Some enjoyed large portions of bacon mac and cheese or the burgers, which were "very hearty". And yet others had bland entrees of chicken or pork. The positive stand-outs were the steak and "perfectly cooked" crab-stuffed-flounder, while the negative stand-out was the garlicky kale, which was neither garlicky, nor, unfortunately, particularly cooked. The decor was pleasant and unique, with "half barrel-walls", if a bit noisy (but what can you expect from a popular place?). The only real detraction from the decor was our light show - they couldn't seem to figure out what the right amount of lighting should have been, and kept changing it during our meal. Service was "efficient" with comfortable pacing - despite our poor waitress's nearly-lost voice, she was great at managing our large group and was very friendly.$$$$ [50] [All Comments]

189

5/3/13

224 Boston Street

Cuisine:
American

Food:starstarstar

Service:starstarstarhalfstar

Decor:starstarstar

Overall:starstarstar

book on ureserv

224 Boston St, Boston
617-265-1217

T:Andrew

Diner Comments: Somewhat mixed grades on the drinks ("badly mixed" to "very good"), the appetizers ("underwhelming" calamari, but "tasty and filling" fritters), and main courses ("Easy bake oven" pizza to "cooked to perfection" scollops); while everyone liked our "attentive" waitress, there were "hassles" and misfires from the bartender and "achingly slow service", and though some liked the "eclectic" interior, and some thought it seemed "stuck in the early 2000s." $$$ [43] [All Comments]

190

6/7/13

5th Annual Pink Party

Cuisine: Pink!

Food:Pink!

Service:N/A

Decor:Pink!

Overall: Pink!

South End
T:Worcester Sq

Diner Comments:5th Annual Pink Party Pride Eve Celebration

191

7/123/13**

Estelle'sstar

Cuisine:
Southern

Food:starstarstarstar

Service:starstarstarstarhalfstar

Decor:starstarstarstarhalfstar

Overall:starstarstarstarhalfstar

782 Tremont St, South End
857-250-2999
T:Mass Av, #1, #43

Diner Comments: A First Friday favorite for "perfectly spiced" "southern with a New England twist" food, "excellent" beer list, "stellar" service ("water refilled", "no automatic 18%", liberal "substitutions allowed"), and a "warm" and "funky" decor. Most said they'd already made "plans to come back." (Minority detractors bemoaned "slow service" and "overdone" fried food -- and the "dumplings" that were not what anyone expected.) $$$ [48] [All Comments]

192

8/2/13

Masona Grill

Cuisine: Latin/American

Food:starstarstarstar

Service:starstarstarstarhalfstar

Decor:starstarstarhalfstar

Overall:starstarstarstar

book on opentable

4-6 Corey St., W Roxbury 617-323-3331
T:Highland (Needham Line)

Diner Comments: Capsule not available from organizer $$$$ [60] [All Comments]book on opentable

193

9/6/13

Firebrand Saints

Cuisine:
New American

Food:starstarstarstar

Service:starstarstarstar

Decor:starstarstarstar

Overall:starstarstarstar

1 Broadway St Cambridge
617-401-3399

T: Kendall

Diner Comments: Mixed reviews all around. The majority of the diners felt that the cocktails were bland. ("Couldn't taste the alcohol at all.") in the Dirty Daly. Everyone felt the appetizers were the certainly not the star of the show ("batter fried onions were good...but a bit salty") and ("the nachos were very salty and the queso just a yellow mess."), despite the salt the nachos and fried onions were completely devoured at one end of the table. Everyone enjoyed their sandwiches/main courses. The rotisserie pork sandwich got high grades from 2 diners. The side order of saffron bacon potato salad is outstanding. ("My sirloin and lamb burger was tasty...wedge fries were good but a bit mushy"), (the beef and brisket burger, was very good") Everyone thought the service was excellent except ("...when they auctioned off the food.").) $$$ [52] [All Comments]

194

10/4/13

5 Horses Tavern

Cuisine: New American

Food:starstarstar

Service:starstarstarhalfstar

Decor:starstarstarhalfstar

Overall:starstarstar

book on opentable

535 Coloumbus Av, S. End
617-936-3930
T: Back Bay / Prudential

Diner Comments: The restaurant received solid 3’s and 4’s, except for one dissatisfied diner’s smack-down. Most comments noted the exceptional beer list and delicious drinks. The food received mixed reviews ranging from “too salty” and “cooked to within an inch of its life” to “tasty” and “outstanding.” Just about everyone enjoyed the appetizers and said that they’d go back… at least to drink. While the service and décor received consistent marks, several people noted that noise levels were a bit high. $$$$ [55] [All Comments]

195

11/1/13

Hops & Scotch

Cuisine:
Pub Grub

Food:starstarstar

Service:starstarstarstar

Decor:starstarstar

Overall:starstarstar

1306 Beacon St Brookline, 617-232-8808
T: Coolidge Corner (C

Diner Comments: Hops n Scotch garners a middle of the road review from First Friday diners. While the service, drinks, and décor(downstairs) received top marks, there was the other end of the spectrum when it came to some of the meals and the ambiance provided in the upstairs dining room. One diner stated that "If you're going to put a southern staple on your menu in Boston, then you better bring your A game. Unfortunately, the pimento cheese was sort of bland and lacking. " . The scotch eggs got mixed reviews from bland as can be to interesting and tasty. There also was no dessert menu to the chagrin of someone who was holding out for a sweet treat. "I feel like this place is two different restaurants in one. Downstairs was awesome! Lively scene, gorgeous mahogany bar, delicious and innovative cocktails. It had a dimly lit warm, cozy vibe. Upstairs not so much" from another. The thing that was agreed upon by all was that the service was solid and worth heading back to for a check up on the potent potables that make up the namesake. $$ [37] [All Comments]

196

12/13/13**

Back Bay Harry's

Cuisine: New American

Food: starstarstarstarstar

Service:starstarstarstarstar

Decor:starstarstarstarstar

Overall:starstarstarstarstar

book on opentable

142 Berkeley St, S. End
617-424-6711
T: Back Bay / Copley

Diner Comments: Diners agreed the "art-deco inspired" re-imagining of the former Geoffrey's Place space was impressive. Cocktails reviews ranged from "inventive expertly crafted, and a good value at $10 a pop" to " too syrupy and sweet". Service was good, but a little slow and slightly disorganized at times. Buttermilk fried chicken had "skin crisped [to] perfection" but a pan-seared scallop dish had a smokey cream sauce that "tasted like someone melted down a Slim Jim in it". Though experiences were mixed all agreed that Back Bay Harry's is worth another trip. $$$$ [55] [All Comments]

 

 

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

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