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This interior shot shows the second floor bar at the Longfellow Bar in Cambridge. The triangular wall is brick-lined, and the bar is round. Dark beige high-top chairs sit in front of it.
The Longfellow Bar
Sarah Storrer/Eater

22 Ideas for Great Dinner Dates Around Boston

Good places to dine with a date, whether you’re looking for cozy conversation or lively fun

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The Longfellow Bar
| Sarah Storrer/Eater

Dating is hardly the easiest or most enjoyable thing people choose to do with their time, but luckily there are dozens of restaurants in the Boston area that make it easier. For anyone in the market for a dinner date, here’s an assortment of Boston-and-slightly-beyond standbys to cover any need: places for casual and quiet conversation, swanky spots with top-notch city views, comfortable restaurants with affordable meals, and a few high-end classics.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Giulia

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1682 Massachusetts Ave
Cambridge, MA 02138
(617) 441-2800
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Nothing more traditional for a date than a nice plate of pasta in a comfortable restaurant. Giulia delivers both, with good wine and cocktails to boot. Make a reservation in advance; this is one of the toughest tables in town.

Thick pasta noodles covered in red sauce and grated parmesan cheese
Pasta at Giulia
Giulia/Official Site

2. Celeste

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21 Bow St
Somerville, MA 02143
(617) 616-5319
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Celeste, Eater Boston’s 2018 Restaurant of the Year, is a lively little Somerville gem filled with upbeat music, pisco, and the tempting scent of lomo saltado being fired up in the open kitchen. Get a reservation, and get ready to eat lots of ceviche.

A vibrantly colored portion of ceviche is presented on a white plate on a white table, with a glass of beer on the side
Ceviche and a beer at Celeste
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

3. Casa B

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253 Washington St
Somerville, MA 02143
(617) 764-2180
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Sip excellent rum-based cocktails and eat snacks (try the queso frito with guava sauce) at the ground-level bar at Casa B, or descend downstairs to the intimate dining room for a full meal of Caribbean-inspired small plates and entrees that draw influence from the owners’ hometowns in Puerto Rico and Colombia.

A teal booth, wall of live plants, and white walls and tables at a restaurant
Casa B
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

4. The Longfellow Bar

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40 Brattle St #3
Cambridge, MA 02138
(617) 864-0001
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A gorgeous space above its older sibling (Alden & Harlow), the Longfellow Bar has a little something for everyone, including great cocktails and some hearty finger-food-style snacks and meals, including the famous burger from Alden & Harlow — as well as a burger of its own.

This interior shot shows the second floor bar at the Longfellow Bar in Cambridge. The triangular wall is brick-lined, and the bar is round. Dark beige high-top chairs sit in front of it.
The Longfellow Bar
Sarah Storrer/Eater

5. Oleana

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134 Hampshire St
Cambridge, MA 02139
(617) 661-0505
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A longtime standby in Cambridge, Oleana is another one you’ll most likely have to pick ahead of time, but it’s well worth it (or — if weather permits — show up right at opening to try to snag a patio seat; it’s one of the most romantic patios in town.) Share some Mediterranean bites over a glass of wine. Might as well stay for the world-famous baked Alaska while you’re at it.

A dramatic baked Alaska dessert full of toasted meringue sits on a brown plate, the background of the photo obscured in shadows.
Baked Alaska at Oleana
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

6. Little Donkey

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505 Massachusetts Ave #4018
Cambridge, MA 02139
(617) 945-1008
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This buzzy restaurant in Central Square has a globally influenced menu designed for sharing. The cocktails are great, too, and for dessert there’s cookie dough whimsically served on a batter beater. Make a reservation at Little Donkey if you’re in a plan-ahead mood, or be prepared to wait a bit at the bar for a table if you just show up — it’s quite a popular spot.

Pale red bar stools line an L-shaped bar, with a chalkboard wall displaying menu items off to the right
Little Donkey
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

7. Mamma Maria

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3 N Square
Boston, MA 02113
(617) 523-0077
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A romantic, fine dining restaurant in the North End’s North Square, Mamma Maria serves all the Italian classics, including osso buco, Tuscan-style rabbit pappardelle, and lobster agnolotti. The menu rotates, so enjoy the flavors of the month with a glass of wine. (There’s a designated vegetarian menu here, too.)

An exterior view at dusk of brick buildings with green awnings
Mamma Maria
Mamma Maria/Official Site

8. Craigie on Main

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853 Main St
Cambridge, MA 02139
(617) 497-5511
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A classic date-night destination, Craigie on Main has tasting menus available in the dining room — or try the bar (recently rebranded as COMB, for “Craigie on Main Bar”) for a bit more of a casual, a la carte experience.

Two cooks work in the open kitchen at Craigie on Main in Cambridge, with a marble bar and high-top chairs in front of it and part of the dining room visible in the background.
Craigie on Main
Craigie on Main/Official Site

9. Neptune Oyster

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63 Salem St # 1
Boston, MA 02113
(617) 742-3474
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This is possibly the best option for a longer, multi-stop date night. Head to Neptune Oyster to get on the waiting list (it’ll be long, most likely) before wandering through the North End until your table is ready. Stop in for a drink at any number of nearby bars, including Parla, or sit along the Greenway. End the night with a cannoli (or two) from Mike’s or Modern.

Exterior shot of a restaurant with blue-framed windows and a low brick wall
Neptune Oyster
Bill Addison/Eater

10. Lone Star Taco Bar

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479 Cambridge St
Allston, MA 02134
(617) 782-8226
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How about a casual taco dinner at Lone Star in Allston? Get some margaritas, too.

Two tacos sit on a plate with a sliver of lime
Tacos at Lone Star
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

11. Sportello

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348 Congress St
Boston, MA 02210
(617) 737-1234
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This is one of those classic, pre-Tinder dating destinations for a dinner on the fancier side. Sportello shows off the fine dining acumen of restaurateur Barbara Lynch — but at a slightly lower price point than some of her other restaurants, such as No. 9 Park or Menton. For a double feature, visit sibling and neighbor Drink for a subterranean cocktail show before or after dinner.

Interior view of a restaurant with white walls, light countertops, and sleek backless bar stools
Sportello
Cal Bingham/Eater

12. Lolita Fort Point

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253 Summer St
Boston, MA 02210
(617) 369-0931
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Lolita’s newer Fort Point location is an experience. It’s gorgeous, like its sibling restaurants; the food is solid; there’s tequila aplenty; and the bill comes with cotton candy.

This view of a restaurant interior features a brick-lined, cavernous space. Red seats with crosses on their backs sit in front of a bar, which has three distinctive stained glass panels behind it.
Lolita Fort Point
Adam DeTour

13. The Glenville Stops

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87 Glenville Ave
Boston, MA 02134
(617) 903-3638
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Quiet and comfortable with a good selection of beer and wine and delicious entrees, the Glenville Stops is a perfect spot for cozy conversation. It also recently expanded the dining room and now hosts live music weekly on Thursday nights. The bar is open “until whenever” if the date is going well and the conversation carries on, but if all else fails, chat with the staff: They’re warm and welcoming.

A warm wooden bar at a restaurant with yellow walls and Tiffany lamps.
Glenville Stops
Chris Coe/Eater

14. Island Creek Oyster Bar

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500 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA 02215
(617) 532-5300
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Share some raw bar items and appreciate the bounty of seafood Boston has to offer at Island Creek Oyster Bar. It’s centrally located and has great beverages, too. (Still thirsty? Head to sister cocktail bar the Hawthorne next door — it’s one of the best in town.)

A restaurant with tones of silver, gray, and brown has backlit bench seating with tables and low chairs
Island Creek Oyster Bar
Island Creek Oyster Bar/Official Site

15. Top of the Hub

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800 Boylston St
Boston, MA 02199
(617) 536-1775
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Boston’s most stereotypical restaurant-with-a-view, Top of the Hub is located 52 floors up above Back Bay and is a good spot for a dressy date. The view comes with a price; try the lounge for small plates, cocktails, and live music if you don’t want to embark on the dining room’s tasting menus or $40 entrees.

An aerial view of a restaurant dining room with Boston skyline views
Dining with a view at Top of the Hub
Top of the Hub/Official Site

16. Nathálie

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186 Brookline Ave
Boston, MA 02215
(857) 317-3884
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This intimate bar in Fenway is perfect for sharing a multi-dish meal over excellent glasses of wine. Nathálie is a comfortable spot for a date, with plenty of activities in the neighborhood if you want to extend the evening. (Try Fool’s Errand around the corner, a standing-room-only “adult snack bar,” for small bites and more booze.)

Blue and gold bar stools line a dark brown bar, with backless silver stools arranged at a window counter
Nathálie Wine Bar
Nathálie Wine Bar [Official Photo]

17. Myers + Chang

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1145 Washington St
Boston, MA 02118
(617) 542-5200
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Myers + Chang is a reliable destination for consistent food and service, and there’s even a designated “cheap date night” menu at the self-described “Asian-ish” neighborhood restaurant, a South End favorite for over a decade. Go on Monday or Tuesday from 5 to 10 p.m. and choose from three $45 multi-dish dinners — and that’s $45 for the pair, not per person. Wine is also available by the half-carafe or bottle.

A bright restaurant interior with high tan stools and decorative window art
Myers + Chang
Cal Bingham/Eater

18. Fox & the Knife

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28 W Broadway
Boston, MA 02127
(617) 766-8630
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Go for the aperitvo hour, stay for the cheesy focaccia bread and the pesto pasta. There’s care in every dish, as well as delicious cocktails and friendly staff, at Fox & the Knife, one of the best new restaurants in the country. Linger a while with a date to explore the delights of the amaro cart.

A plate of bright green twists of campanelle al pesto di pistacchio at Fox and the Knife
Pistachio pesto pasta at Fox & the Knife
Sarah Storrer/Eater

19. Prairie Fire

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242 Harvard St
Brookline, MA 02446
(617) 396-8199
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True to its name, Prairie Fire features wood-fired dishes, including crispy pizzas and luscious pasta dishes, including a squid ink campanelle with lobster arrabiata. There’s a select list of cocktails, wine, and craft beer, as well.

Black campanelle pasta with chunks of lobster on an earthy, white-speckled plate
Squid ink campanelle with lobster arrabiata at Prairie Fire
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

20. Mida

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782 Tremont St
Boston, MA 02118
(617) 936-3490
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Sure, there are a lot of Italian options on this map, but don’t miss Mida. Its Monday night special, in particular, is perfect for a date: For $35 per person, feast on all-you-can-eat pasta (made in-house, of course), salad, and bread.

A spread of food at Mida
A spread of food at Mida
Mida [Official Photo]

21. The Haven

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2 Perkins St
Jamaica Plain, MA 02130
(617) 524-2836
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There’s plenty of live music, hospitality, and hearty food at the Haven, Boston’s “Scottish headquarters.” Dig into the extensive Scotch whisky list and try some haggis and a deep-fried Mars bar with your date.

Interior of the Haven, a Scottish restaurant in Boston’s Jamaica Plain, featuring an antler chandelier and simple tables and chairs.
The Haven
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

22. Merengue Restaurant

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160 Blue Hill Avenue
Boston, MA 02125
(617) 445-5403
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One of Boston’s best Dominican restaurants (and one of the only full-service ones), Merengue is a brightly colored stunner that has been around for 25 years. The spacious venue also plays host to many events in its function room.

A restaurant dining room with bright colored walls (some pink, some blue) and attractive artwork
Merengue restaurant
Merengue/Official Site

1. Giulia

1682 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02138
Thick pasta noodles covered in red sauce and grated parmesan cheese
Pasta at Giulia
Giulia/Official Site

Nothing more traditional for a date than a nice plate of pasta in a comfortable restaurant. Giulia delivers both, with good wine and cocktails to boot. Make a reservation in advance; this is one of the toughest tables in town.

1682 Massachusetts Ave
Cambridge, MA 02138

2. Celeste

21 Bow St, Somerville, MA 02143
A vibrantly colored portion of ceviche is presented on a white plate on a white table, with a glass of beer on the side
Ceviche and a beer at Celeste
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

Celeste, Eater Boston’s 2018 Restaurant of the Year, is a lively little Somerville gem filled with upbeat music, pisco, and the tempting scent of lomo saltado being fired up in the open kitchen. Get a reservation, and get ready to eat lots of ceviche.

21 Bow St
Somerville, MA 02143

3. Casa B

253 Washington St, Somerville, MA 02143
A teal booth, wall of live plants, and white walls and tables at a restaurant
Casa B
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

Sip excellent rum-based cocktails and eat snacks (try the queso frito with guava sauce) at the ground-level bar at Casa B, or descend downstairs to the intimate dining room for a full meal of Caribbean-inspired small plates and entrees that draw influence from the owners’ hometowns in Puerto Rico and Colombia.

253 Washington St
Somerville, MA 02143

4. The Longfellow Bar

40 Brattle St #3, Cambridge, MA 02138
This interior shot shows the second floor bar at the Longfellow Bar in Cambridge. The triangular wall is brick-lined, and the bar is round. Dark beige high-top chairs sit in front of it.
The Longfellow Bar
Sarah Storrer/Eater

A gorgeous space above its older sibling (Alden & Harlow), the Longfellow Bar has a little something for everyone, including great cocktails and some hearty finger-food-style snacks and meals, including the famous burger from Alden & Harlow — as well as a burger of its own.

40 Brattle St #3
Cambridge, MA 02138

5. Oleana

134 Hampshire St, Cambridge, MA 02139
A dramatic baked Alaska dessert full of toasted meringue sits on a brown plate, the background of the photo obscured in shadows.
Baked Alaska at Oleana
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

A longtime standby in Cambridge, Oleana is another one you’ll most likely have to pick ahead of time, but it’s well worth it (or — if weather permits — show up right at opening to try to snag a patio seat; it’s one of the most romantic patios in town.) Share some Mediterranean bites over a glass of wine. Might as well stay for the world-famous baked Alaska while you’re at it.

134 Hampshire St
Cambridge, MA 02139

6. Little Donkey

505 Massachusetts Ave #4018, Cambridge, MA 02139
Pale red bar stools line an L-shaped bar, with a chalkboard wall displaying menu items off to the right
Little Donkey
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

This buzzy restaurant in Central Square has a globally influenced menu designed for sharing. The cocktails are great, too, and for dessert there’s cookie dough whimsically served on a batter beater. Make a reservation at Little Donkey if you’re in a plan-ahead mood, or be prepared to wait a bit at the bar for a table if you just show up — it’s quite a popular spot.

505 Massachusetts Ave #4018
Cambridge, MA 02139

7. Mamma Maria

3 N Square, Boston, MA 02113
An exterior view at dusk of brick buildings with green awnings
Mamma Maria
Mamma Maria/Official Site

A romantic, fine dining restaurant in the North End’s North Square, Mamma Maria serves all the Italian classics, including osso buco, Tuscan-style rabbit pappardelle, and lobster agnolotti. The menu rotates, so enjoy the flavors of the month with a glass of wine. (There’s a designated vegetarian menu here, too.)

3 N Square
Boston, MA 02113

8. Craigie on Main

853 Main St, Cambridge, MA 02139
Two cooks work in the open kitchen at Craigie on Main in Cambridge, with a marble bar and high-top chairs in front of it and part of the dining room visible in the background.
Craigie on Main
Craigie on Main/Official Site

A classic date-night destination, Craigie on Main has tasting menus available in the dining room — or try the bar (recently rebranded as COMB, for “Craigie on Main Bar”) for a bit more of a casual, a la carte experience.

853 Main St
Cambridge, MA 02139

9. Neptune Oyster

63 Salem St # 1, Boston, MA 02113
Exterior shot of a restaurant with blue-framed windows and a low brick wall
Neptune Oyster
Bill Addison/Eater

This is possibly the best option for a longer, multi-stop date night. Head to Neptune Oyster to get on the waiting list (it’ll be long, most likely) before wandering through the North End until your table is ready. Stop in for a drink at any number of nearby bars, including Parla, or sit along the Greenway. End the night with a cannoli (or two) from Mike’s or Modern.

63 Salem St # 1
Boston, MA 02113

10. Lone Star Taco Bar

479 Cambridge St, Allston, MA 02134
Two tacos sit on a plate with a sliver of lime
Tacos at Lone Star
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

How about a casual taco dinner at Lone Star in Allston? Get some margaritas, too.

479 Cambridge St
Allston, MA 02134

11. Sportello

348 Congress St, Boston, MA 02210
Interior view of a restaurant with white walls, light countertops, and sleek backless bar stools
Sportello
Cal Bingham/Eater

This is one of those classic, pre-Tinder dating destinations for a dinner on the fancier side. Sportello shows off the fine dining acumen of restaurateur Barbara Lynch — but at a slightly lower price point than some of her other restaurants, such as No. 9 Park or Menton. For a double feature, visit sibling and neighbor Drink for a subterranean cocktail show before or after dinner.

348 Congress St
Boston, MA 02210

12. Lolita Fort Point

253 Summer St, Boston, MA 02210
This view of a restaurant interior features a brick-lined, cavernous space. Red seats with crosses on their backs sit in front of a bar, which has three distinctive stained glass panels behind it.
Lolita Fort Point
Adam DeTour

Lolita’s newer Fort Point location is an experience. It’s gorgeous, like its sibling restaurants; the food is solid; there’s tequila aplenty; and the bill comes with cotton candy.

253 Summer St
Boston, MA 02210

13. The Glenville Stops

87 Glenville Ave, Boston, MA 02134
A warm wooden bar at a restaurant with yellow walls and Tiffany lamps.
Glenville Stops
Chris Coe/Eater

Quiet and comfortable with a good selection of beer and wine and delicious entrees, the Glenville Stops is a perfect spot for cozy conversation. It also recently expanded the dining room and now hosts live music weekly on Thursday nights. The bar is open “until whenever” if the date is going well and the conversation carries on, but if all else fails, chat with the staff: They’re warm and welcoming.

87 Glenville Ave
Boston, MA 02134

14. Island Creek Oyster Bar

500 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02215
A restaurant with tones of silver, gray, and brown has backlit bench seating with tables and low chairs
Island Creek Oyster Bar
Island Creek Oyster Bar/Official Site

Share some raw bar items and appreciate the bounty of seafood Boston has to offer at Island Creek Oyster Bar. It’s centrally located and has great beverages, too. (Still thirsty? Head to sister cocktail bar the Hawthorne next door — it’s one of the best in town.)

500 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA 02215

15. Top of the Hub

800 Boylston St, Boston, MA 02199
An aerial view of a restaurant dining room with Boston skyline views
Dining with a view at Top of the Hub
Top of the Hub/Official Site

Boston’s most stereotypical restaurant-with-a-view, Top of the Hub is located 52 floors up above Back Bay and is a good spot for a dressy date. The view comes with a price; try the lounge for small plates, cocktails, and live music if you don’t want to embark on the dining room’s tasting menus or $40 entrees.

800 Boylston St
Boston, MA 02199

Related Maps

16. Nathálie

186 Brookline Ave, Boston, MA 02215
Blue and gold bar stools line a dark brown bar, with backless silver stools arranged at a window counter
Nathálie Wine Bar
Nathálie Wine Bar [Official Photo]

This intimate bar in Fenway is perfect for sharing a multi-dish meal over excellent glasses of wine. Nathálie is a comfortable spot for a date, with plenty of activities in the neighborhood if you want to extend the evening. (Try Fool’s Errand around the corner, a standing-room-only “adult snack bar,” for small bites and more booze.)

186 Brookline Ave
Boston, MA 02215

17. Myers + Chang

1145 Washington St, Boston, MA 02118
A bright restaurant interior with high tan stools and decorative window art
Myers + Chang
Cal Bingham/Eater

Myers + Chang is a reliable destination for consistent food and service, and there’s even a designated “cheap date night” menu at the self-described “Asian-ish” neighborhood restaurant, a South End favorite for over a decade. Go on Monday or Tuesday from 5 to 10 p.m. and choose from three $45 multi-dish dinners — and that’s $45 for the pair, not per person. Wine is also available by the half-carafe or bottle.

1145 Washington St
Boston, MA 02118

18. Fox & the Knife

28 W Broadway, Boston, MA 02127
A plate of bright green twists of campanelle al pesto di pistacchio at Fox and the Knife
Pistachio pesto pasta at Fox & the Knife
Sarah Storrer/Eater

Go for the aperitvo hour, stay for the cheesy focaccia bread and the pesto pasta. There’s care in every dish, as well as delicious cocktails and friendly staff, at Fox & the Knife, one of the best new restaurants in the country. Linger a while with a date to explore the delights of the amaro cart.

28 W Broadway
Boston, MA 02127

19. Prairie Fire

242 Harvard St, Brookline, MA 02446
Black campanelle pasta with chunks of lobster on an earthy, white-speckled plate
Squid ink campanelle with lobster arrabiata at Prairie Fire
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

True to its name, Prairie Fire features wood-fired dishes, including crispy pizzas and luscious pasta dishes, including a squid ink campanelle with lobster arrabiata. There’s a select list of cocktails, wine, and craft beer, as well.

242 Harvard St
Brookline, MA 02446

20. Mida

782 Tremont St, Boston, MA 02118