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Analyzing Dine Out Boston, Part 4: $28 Dinners

Photo: Facebook/GEM Restaurant & Lounge

This is the fourth part of a six-part series analyzing the offerings at this year's Dine Out Boston, the revamped Restaurant Week. Refer to part one for details about the methodology of the following ranking. In short, Eater has combed through the options available at each price tier (lunches for $15/$20/$25 and dinners for $28/$33/$38) to determine the best (and worst) bets for Dine Out Boston based on three factors: number of options, rough amount of money saved based on the same (or similar) dishes on the regular menu, and how well the Dine Out Boston menu actually represents a regular meal at the restaurant.

What this ranking does not include: quality of the dishes or the restaurants. It's also possible that some restaurants will downgrade portion sizes, so while something might appear to be a deal on paper, that's no guarantee of what it will look like on the plate.

So far, we've looked at the $15 lunches, the $20 lunches, and the $25 lunches. Now, it's dinner time, starting with the $28 tier.

Here are all of the places offering $28 dinner during Dine Out Boston. Several options have been omitted from Eater's analysis because they haven't shared their Dine Out Boston menus, regular menus, or both, or their regular menus don't list prices: Sol Azteca and the Dean's List.

BEST BETS


· Ristorante Villa Francesca (North End): Also the best bet for $15 lunch. Save up to about $26 on the dinner options, of which there are 21, all a great representation of the real menu.
· Union Bar and Grille (South End): The only restaurant to put its regular dish prices right on the Dine Out Boston menu. There are only nine options, but they're pulled right from the standard menu, and you'll save $8-$18.
· Rowes Wharf Sea Grille (Waterfront): Save up to about $33 if you go for the filet mignon. Nine choices overall.
· Ristorante Olivio (Arlington): Save up to about $18 while choosing from 11 options.
· Osaka (Brookline): Get a good picture of the usual experience at Osaka while saving about $15.
· Gem (Financial District): You can save about $14, and it's a reasonable representation of the standard menu.
· Aquitaine (South End and Dedham): You can save around $20 at these two locations. While the menus don't feature anything pulled from the regular menu, they do show a certain care and give a decent representation of the restaurant's vibe.

DECENT OPTIONS


· Cinquecento (South End): Save about $18, but don't expect to find items from the regular menu.
· Metropolis Cafe (South End): You can save about $15. Alternately, there's a $30 prix-fixe menu every night the rest of the year, from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., and it includes a glass of wine. But the Dine Out Boston menu looks a little more exciting than the standard prix-fixe.
· Masa (South End and Woburn): Both locations offer up to $13 in savings and nine options.
· Pierrot Bistrot Francais (Beacon Hill): There are 11 options, and they represent the menu well, but you'll only save about $8.
· Aquitaine (Chestnut Hill): You're better off at one of the other locations. Here, you'll save about $15, and it barely resembles the regular menu.
· 75 Chestnut (Beacon Hill): Choose from six options that are not from the regular menu, and save about $12.
· Gaslight (South End): You'll save about $14, but alternately, you can go any regular night between 5 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. for a similar prix-fixe for $30, which includes a glass of wine.

GO SOME OTHER TIME


· Sophia's Grotto (Roslindale): Two courses, 12 options total. Save up to $5.
· Samurai: It's hard to make an accurate price estimate on this one as it doesn't line up easily with the regular menu, but you're only given two options — set meals that include a seafood-topped salad, some sushi and/or sashimi, miso soup, and dessert. The jury's out, so give it a try if you feel like it.
· The Grafton Group — Russell House Tavern, Park, Temple Bar, Grafton Street (Cambridge): Each is offering two courses with five to eight total options, none of which appears on the standard menus. Looking at comparable dishes, you'll only be saving $5-10 at each while not getting a good idea of the true experience at the restaurant. [UPDATE: A rep for the restaurant group has explained that the chefs took this opportunity to get creative with dishes not on the standard menu but still feel they are a solid representation of the typical experience.]
· 5 Napkin Burger: This two-course combination would normally cost $20-$24. It comes with a house wine or draft beer, so with that in mind, you're coming out about even — or losing a couple dollars.
· Cheers: This was one of the lunch choices to avoid, and it's not much better for dinner. Depending on the value you place on a slice of Boston cream pie and a soft drink, you're either just breaking even or losing a few dollars.

· All coverage of Dine Out Boston on Eater [~EBOS~]

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