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Residents of Boston can easily overlook the fact that this city hosts a number of trendy, luxury hotels. While we think a staycation is always a brilliant idea, for those who don’t see the point in a complete staycation, many of these hotel’s amenities are still at your fingertips.
This past year, a plethora of mouthwatering restaurant venues within some of Boston’s top hotels have 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 draw hotel guests for their reservation alone.
Here are eight of those restaurants, including the newer additions and a few stalwarts that helped match Boston’s hotel restaurant quality to Boston’s world-class dining scene.
1 Bennett St., Cambridge
Celebrated New York City chef Mark Ladner bestows a fresh Italian charm to this veteran Cambridge hotel. The Neo-trattoria quickly made a name for itself around town thanks to its 100-layer lasagna, which on any given night you’ll find the most patient of diners skeptically counting the thin sheets of pasta slipped between gooey layers of fresh mozzarella crema, sharp provolone, and tomato marmellata. The rest of the menu combines locally sourced ingredients with distinctly imported Italian goods, including an exceptional wine list covering Italy’s most famed and under-the-radar wine regions. Tuck into a cozy banquette near the bar or slide into a backroom, candle-lit table — just don’t forget to leave room for dessert: Ladner’s homemade pistachio gelato will transport your taste buds to the streets of Napoli with one scoop.
450 Summer St., Boston
A menu highlighting the best of French flavors combined with Basque country tapas, Coquette brings a certain je nais se quois to the ever-expanding neighborhood. Hand-painted murals line the walls in a whimsical violet display, making the restaurant as alluring as it is satiating. Order a mix of barre crue (raw bar), snacks, and petite tapas for the best menu overview, but if you really want to dive in, opt for a feast: The bottom quarter of the menu is dedicated to large format meals, like baked stuffed lobster, tuna au poivre, and a selection of steaks up to 32 ounces. Don’t forget about drinks: The Spanish-style Gin and Tonic served in goblets (or “balloons” in their local lingo) are the perfect way to start — and very well carry you through — a meal.
774 Boylston St., Boston
This Boylston Street newcomer had sizable shoes to fill — replacing the former Bar Boulud — but if anyone were to do it, Chef Gordon Ramsay could. Needing no introduction, the Michelin-starred chef has created a lengthy menu featuring favorites from his eateries across the globe, including beef Wellington, moules frites, and his infamous burger. The reservation list has been one to watch, but snagging a seat at the bar is a personal favorite for camaraderie and a close-up of the craft cocktail curation.
250 Franklin St., Boston
The new restaurants within the former federal reserve building downtown were a part of The Langham’s multi-million dollar renovation. Though the lobby bar, The Fed, offers an elite enclave of a library with house-made bar snacks and elevated bar bites, Grana is having a moment of its own. Located within what was once the vault of the Federal Reserve, chandeliers, and old-world paintings splashed with a certain newness only the discerning eye can spot, welcome you to a polished venue serving up Italian-centric dishes, including a phenomenal brunch offering. If you’re ready 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 complete with shareable spiked coffee.
1271 Boylston St., Boston
This funky izakaya matches the equally trendy vibe of its hotel venue with graffiti-clad walls and colorful Tiki decor punctuated by an assortment of mis-matched trinkets, from string lights to paper lanterns. Round up a group and order a handful of goodies from the menu, including maki rolls and sashimi, but also staples like the glazed Japanese eggplant, crispy chicken wings, and Kimchi fried rice, to provide for a shareable spread — eclectic and like no other in the city. A little-known fact is that Hojoko serves up one of the best burgers in Boston. Of course, this menu item is underrated amongst piles of sushi and sake, but you won’t regret it.
3 Newbury St., Rooftop, Boston
When Major Food Group landed at the end of Newbury Street in June 2021, the hype was unparalleled. Luckily, the spicy lobster capellini lived up to it, alone. Immaculately decked out in jewel-toned marble and royal, velvet seating options, its vibe matches its tribe, as they say. The swanky wrap-around rooftop restaurant is still the place to be for fresh pasta, pizza, and endless views of Boston Common, especially glowing at sunset. Start with the Meatballs Aldo and daily, imported burrata. From the bar list? Martinis are kind of their thing.
120 Huntington Ave., Boston
Straddling the South End and Back Bay on Huntington Avenue, this New American-style restaurant reopened with a whole new concept thanks to Nick Calias, the director of food and beverage at The Colonnade. Calias knew his audience, so he geared the cuisine, spirits, and space to portray a neighborhood hotspot at its core. The menu is seasonal, but diners can expect approachable 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 preserved lemon vinaigrette, roasted mushroom pizza, and coconut popcorn shrimp.
215 Charles St., Boston
Specializing in seasonal New England fare, this restaurant in the former Charles Street Jail is a tried-and-true testament to Chef Daniel Kenney’s talent. Colorful dishes add fanciful flair to Kenney’s presentation style with ingredients that are as fresh as the season, and include a variety of North Atlantic seafood offerings. This is perhaps best showcased with the “Off The Coast…” menu offering, an ever-changing fresh catch sourced from local fishermen, farmers, and gatherers. The East Coast salmon is also a favored representation of our regional bounty, making an appearance on all menus from brunch to dinner. The brick-lined walls, which were once jail cells, provide a remarkable juxtaposition that’s all part of the experience.
Correction: A previous version of this story referred to Nick Calias as executive chef at The Colonnade. He is director of food and beverage. Boston.com regrets the error.
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