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Photo: The Charles Hotel, home to Henrietta's Table and Rialto, Official Facebook

Here Are Boston's Best Hotel Restaurants

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Hotel restaurants often get a bad rap. That's understandable -- for many hotels, the need to pump food into tourists and business travelers and get them out the door far outweighs the need to actually feed them a good meal in the process. In concurrence with Curbed's Hotels Week 2013, Eater has assembled this list of hotel restaurants that not only would be a decent find for a visitor to stumble upon, but are worth visits from locals as well.
-Drew Starr

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.
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Henrietta's Table / Rialto

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Next time you're staring down a chafing dish full of rubber eggs, ask yourself why you didn't stay at the Charles Hotel, where Henrietta's Table offers perhaps the best breakfast - hotel or otherwise - in Harvard Square. The Charles also features legend Jody Adams's Rialto, where she has been serving seasonal Italian food to visitors and locals alike for nearly twenty years.

Good hotel restaurants are rare. Good water-view restaurants are even more rare. Dante de Magistris manages to fit both inside his modern Italian restaurant in the Royal Sonesta in Cambridge. The recently renovated riverside patio has its own bar.

Once a prison, the Liberty Hotel is home to Boston culinary matriarch Lydia Shire's Scampo. Andrew Holden, general manager of Hotel Commonwealth's Eastern Standard, knows a bit about hotel restaurants. He says Shire's "spaghetti with cracklings and hot peppers and the fresh mozzarella with Alaskan king crab, avocado and mustard oil come to mind as some of the best dishes served in a hotel restaurant."

Beacon Hill Bistro

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At the Beacon Hill Inn's eponymous restaurant, chef Josh Lewin often uses foraged ingredients to execute his refined bistro menu for both tourists staying in the boutique inn and the local Brahmin alike. Diners may be forgiven for forgetting BHB is in a hotel, Lewin says he does as well, sometimes. Keep an eye out for unusual special menus - BHB just completed a week long Swedish prix fixe.

It's a hotel restaurant. It has a ridiculous name that reminds diners their food once had vocal cords. Even with those two strikes against it at every plate appearance, this steakhouse inside luxe boutique hotel XV Beacon manages to get on base regularly and very frequently hit it out of the park. Great steaks and better than chain steakhouse sides make it a bit easier for the expense report crowd to justify heavy-hitter dishes like six ounces of Wagyu sirloin for $145.

Meritage

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A restaurant in the gorgeous Boston Harbor Hotel that also has a wall full of intimate tables overlooking the sea probably doesn't need good food to fill the dining room. That doesn't stop chef Daniel Bruce, founder of the Boston Wine Festival, from putting out a menu designed for the most serious oenophiles. Each dish - available as a large or small plate - is listed on the menu by what style of wine they would best go with.

Market by Jean Georges

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Celebrity chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten's outpost in the tragicomically hip W hotel may feature a menu that's been "relaxed" for the Boston market, but before taking offense, consider this: Todd English has opened restaurants at W Hotels in New York. Relaxed or no, the menu is competently executed, the service is pristine, and no one has ever tried to sell a Jean-Georges oyster.

OAK Long Bar + Kitchen

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The Fairmont Copley Plaza was the home of the famous Oak Room. However, the owners saw the writing on the wall (that the owners of Locke Ober did not) - a grand old room is simply not enough to run a successful restaurant today. Gone is the chateaubriand for two, some of the dark woods have been painted white, and a more modern menu is in place, but the majestic space remains. And it remains busy.

Sólás

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The Lenox Hotel is a well-appointed, historic hotel, which seems an odd pairing for an Irish pub. Unassuming Solas itself may seem an odd inclusion on this list, even though the affordable pub food is certainly good, and the service is fast and friendly. It's the fact that Solas manages to do that on a street where most of the other eating and tippling options are either high end restaurants or bro bars that warrants it spot on this list.

 Asana

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Harvard kids were crushed when Rachel Klein left OM in Harvard Square in 2007. She resurfaced at the Seaport Hotel in the early days of that area's building boom, but it wasn't until she took over the helm as executive chef for the Mandarin Oriental's restaurants in 2012 that she showed up back on the culinary radar in force. Her menus rescued a flagging program in the super-luxury hotel. Good thing Harvard kids usually do pretty well for themselves - Klein's New England inspired food comes at the Mandarin Oriental price premium.

Clio / Uni

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In 1997, in the newly remodeled Eliot hotel, Ken Oringer opened his flagship modern French restaurant, Clio. Five years later, it was joined by sister establishment Uni, a small high-end sushi (and now also ramen) restaurant that gets multiple weekly deliveries of fish from Japan. Today, both restaurants' patrons - be they visiting dignitaries staying upstairs or culinary legends touring Boston's best restaurants - may have their meals enhanced by drinks from self-declared mad scientist, bartender Todd Maul.

ICOB / Eastern Standard

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Garrett Harker's Island Creek Oyster Bar and Eastern Standard have more than an owner and a Hotel Commonwealth address in common. They also share executive chef Jeremy Sewall, bar manager Jackson Cannon, and pastry chef Lauren Kroesser. One specializes in seafood (guess which), the other as a modern bistro. Both, by force of geography, are a peculiar mix of destination restaurant, local watering hole, and high volume Red Sox bar. More than just above average hotel restaurants, they are two of the most influential establishments in Boston, with alumni running bar programs and kitchens all over town.

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Henrietta's Table / Rialto

Next time you're staring down a chafing dish full of rubber eggs, ask yourself why you didn't stay at the Charles Hotel, where Henrietta's Table offers perhaps the best breakfast - hotel or otherwise - in Harvard Square. The Charles also features legend Jody Adams's Rialto, where she has been serving seasonal Italian food to visitors and locals alike for nearly twenty years.

Dante

Good hotel restaurants are rare. Good water-view restaurants are even more rare. Dante de Magistris manages to fit both inside his modern Italian restaurant in the Royal Sonesta in Cambridge. The recently renovated riverside patio has its own bar.

Scampo

Once a prison, the Liberty Hotel is home to Boston culinary matriarch Lydia Shire's Scampo. Andrew Holden, general manager of Hotel Commonwealth's Eastern Standard, knows a bit about hotel restaurants. He says Shire's "spaghetti with cracklings and hot peppers and the fresh mozzarella with Alaskan king crab, avocado and mustard oil come to mind as some of the best dishes served in a hotel restaurant."

Beacon Hill Bistro

At the Beacon Hill Inn's eponymous restaurant, chef Josh Lewin often uses foraged ingredients to execute his refined bistro menu for both tourists staying in the boutique inn and the local Brahmin alike. Diners may be forgiven for forgetting BHB is in a hotel, Lewin says he does as well, sometimes. Keep an eye out for unusual special menus - BHB just completed a week long Swedish prix fixe.

Mooo

It's a hotel restaurant. It has a ridiculous name that reminds diners their food once had vocal cords. Even with those two strikes against it at every plate appearance, this steakhouse inside luxe boutique hotel XV Beacon manages to get on base regularly and very frequently hit it out of the park. Great steaks and better than chain steakhouse sides make it a bit easier for the expense report crowd to justify heavy-hitter dishes like six ounces of Wagyu sirloin for $145.

Meritage

A restaurant in the gorgeous Boston Harbor Hotel that also has a wall full of intimate tables overlooking the sea probably doesn't need good food to fill the dining room. That doesn't stop chef Daniel Bruce, founder of the Boston Wine Festival, from putting out a menu designed for the most serious oenophiles. Each dish - available as a large or small plate - is listed on the menu by what style of wine they would best go with.

Market by Jean Georges

Celebrity chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten's outpost in the tragicomically hip W hotel may feature a menu that's been "relaxed" for the Boston market, but before taking offense, consider this: Todd English has opened restaurants at W Hotels in New York. Relaxed or no, the menu is competently executed, the service is pristine, and no one has ever tried to sell a Jean-Georges oyster.

OAK Long Bar + Kitchen

The Fairmont Copley Plaza was the home of the famous Oak Room. However, the owners saw the writing on the wall (that the owners of Locke Ober did not) - a grand old room is simply not enough to run a successful restaurant today. Gone is the chateaubriand for two, some of the dark woods have been painted white, and a more modern menu is in place, but the majestic space remains. And it remains busy.

Sólás

The Lenox Hotel is a well-appointed, historic hotel, which seems an odd pairing for an Irish pub. Unassuming Solas itself may seem an odd inclusion on this list, even though the affordable pub food is certainly good, and the service is fast and friendly. It's the fact that Solas manages to do that on a street where most of the other eating and tippling options are either high end restaurants or bro bars that warrants it spot on this list.

 Asana

Harvard kids were crushed when Rachel Klein left OM in Harvard Square in 2007. She resurfaced at the Seaport Hotel in the early days of that area's building boom, but it wasn't until she took over the helm as executive chef for the Mandarin Oriental's restaurants in 2012 that she showed up back on the culinary radar in force. Her menus rescued a flagging program in the super-luxury hotel. Good thing Harvard kids usually do pretty well for themselves - Klein's New England inspired food comes at the Mandarin Oriental price premium.

Clio / Uni

In 1997, in the newly remodeled Eliot hotel, Ken Oringer opened his flagship modern French restaurant, Clio. Five years later, it was joined by sister establishment Uni, a small high-end sushi (and now also ramen) restaurant that gets multiple weekly deliveries of fish from Japan. Today, both restaurants' patrons - be they visiting dignitaries staying upstairs or culinary legends touring Boston's best restaurants - may have their meals enhanced by drinks from self-declared mad scientist, bartender Todd Maul.

ICOB / Eastern Standard

Garrett Harker's Island Creek Oyster Bar and Eastern Standard have more than an owner and a Hotel Commonwealth address in common. They also share executive chef Jeremy Sewall, bar manager Jackson Cannon, and pastry chef Lauren Kroesser. One specializes in seafood (guess which), the other as a modern bistro. Both, by force of geography, are a peculiar mix of destination restaurant, local watering hole, and high volume Red Sox bar. More than just above average hotel restaurants, they are two of the most influential establishments in Boston, with alumni running bar programs and kitchens all over town.

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