KidNosh is your go-to resource for kid-friendly restaurant reviews, and we believe that dining out with kids is a wonderful way to experience food together as a family. But we also know that sometimes you just need a night out with grown ups. That’s why we also believe in date night.
This list of the best date night restaurants in Boston is where we honor all of the babysitters and grandparents that help make date night a reality. Below are some of our favorite date night restaurants in Boston and beyond for your next parents-only night out, grown up celebration or girls/boys night out. From festive cocktails and innovative wine lists to delicious cuisines of all shapes and sizes, these date night restaurants in Boston are best kept off limits for junior, but parents can visit to feel footloose and fancy-free…if only for a few hours.
Organized to fit all date night budgets, below are some of our favorite Cheap Eats, Affordable and Splurge locations that are best reserved for the kids at heart.
Just off the usual beaten path to Fenway Park, this Kenmore Square-ish restaurant is frequented by more sophisticated Red Sox pre-gamers and hipsters alike. Complemented by a solid beer selection and full bar, the menu offers tasty options to suit virtually every palate. The seemingly out of place pot sticker appetizers are always a great choice, as is the their kale salad–which is so tasty it somehow makes you think you’re splurging. The menu rotates with the season (and whim of the chef) but you’ll also find a great selection of sandwiches and burgers to choose from–there is no wrong choice with this menu. So go ahead–be a hipster for the night and tuck into one of their many tables, grab a seat at the bar, or bask in the sun and stars at a table on the bamboo plant-covered outdoor patio. Most nights you’ll be able to get a table pretty quickly, but on Red Sox game nights, plan to arrive 30 mins after game time to score a seat.
Not as hidden as it used to be, Silvertone is a great choice for a date night restaurant in Boston. This subterranean hot spot sports a cool, retro vibe with vintage radios, magazine prints and other decor spread throughout. But they don’t just get the decor right–Silvertone comes through with both food and drinks to make even the simplest of American comfort foods seem cool. If you’re at the bar or enjoying a cocktail with dinner, don’t miss the house made raspberry vodka–tasty when combined with soda water, and with Sprite or in martini form for those who like things on the sweeter side. If you’re sitting down for dinner, you can’t go wrong with any menu item–whether you indulge in one of the best grilled cheese sandwiches in Boston and homemade mac and cheese or keep it on the lighter side with the summer salad or the California chicken sandwich. This loungey spot doesn’t take reservations, so put your name on the list with the host as soon as you walk in the door.
Whether you stop in for pre-dinner glass of wine, or manage the impossible feat of scoring a table, Barbara Lynch’s The Butcher Shop is a date night must. The space–which operates as a high-end butcher shop during the day–is open and industrial, with a massive wooden butcher block operating as a centerpiece. The house made meats (think sausages, sopressata and foie gras) are divine, as is the impressive list of wines by the glass as well as the bottle. Do not be afraid to ask your server about wines to pair with their small and seasonal menu–The Butcher Shop’s staff is one of the best trained in the city…especially when it comes to wine. Your best bet to grab a seat is to stop in early for a drink and get your name on the list pronto–reservations are only accepted for parties of 6 or more, or for the first dinner seating at 5:30-6pm.
The latest edition in chef Tim Maslow’s Boston ventures, Ribelle does not disappoint. And while they do welcome kids here (as you have to when you’re located in Brookline’s Washington Square neighborhood), we think it is one of your better choices for date night restaurants in Boston. The decor is casual, modern and sophisticated at the same time, and many of the tables are communal. The menu changes, but some often seen items are garnering rave reviews, including the garlic knots, lamb tartare, green beans, pappardelle bolognese and the olive oil ice cream. If you arrive before 6:30, there’s often an early bird “3 for $30” tasting menu available, which is guaranteed to satisfy your appetite and your budget. There’s also a late night menu consisting of pizza and subs from 11pm-1am should your date night go late night. Service proves to be the perfect balance of attentive and laid back–water glasses are magically refilled and empty plates cleared away before you ever even noticed them–and everyone is knowledgeable about the menu. Ribelle takes reservations by phone as well as walk ins.
Alden & Harlow
Alden & Harlow has been the new “it” place of the Boston food scene since it opened in February 2014. Located in the former Casablanca space in Harvard Square, the dining room is lively and inviting thanks the open kitchen and wrap-around bar. Alden & Harlow’s menu features seasonal “snacks” and sharable plates packed with bold flavors. Dishes not to miss: the secret burger, Verrill farm corn pancakes, and the crispy Berkshire pork belly. The beverage program (and charismatic mixologists behind the gorgeous bar) is one of the most creative and tastiest around. Alden & Harlow is located next door to the Brattle Theater – perfect combo for dinner and a movie.
It doesn’t get more fresh and local than Craigie’s menu. The seasonal menu changes daily, printed with a time stamp only after the day’s ingredients have arrived. The interior is cozy and a bit rustic, with an open kitchen that can be seen from every seat in the house. Both the food and the drinks here are top notch–renowned Chef Tony Maws takes great care in fresh, local and in-season ingredients and in keeping a well-trained and informed staff, able to inform and educate on just about anything you could think to ask. The bartenders here border on genius–able to mix up any drink on the spot, pregnant moms have access to mocktails that will (almost) make you not miss the booze. Reservations book up far in advance at this Cambridge food destination, so plan ahead for your next special night out.
Splurge on Sorellina for your next date night in Boston and you’re bound to have a spectacular experience from start to finish. You’ll be impressed with the decor–from soaring ceilings and a wine rack the length of an entire wall, to a gleaming white (and rather sexy) bar and sleek dining room, the entire feel is polished just enough to make it feel special, but not toooooo over the top. The Italian-inspired cuisine is also impeccable, with stars such as the Polpo (grilled octopus) and the now famous Macceroncelli (Wagyu meatballs with a rich and luscious wine sauce). Equally impressive is the service, with attentive, professional and extremely knowledgeable staff that seem to check in just when you need them. Extra special bonus–Sorellina offers a complimentary car service within 2 miles of the restaurant…so go ahead and indulge in the Frutti di Bosco AND a glass of wine.
While the original Jamaica Plain location has knocked down a wall to expand beyond the original namesake ten tables that make up the main dining room, this cozy and delicious spot is still as romantic and tasty as ever. The seasonal, fresh and ever-changing menu focuses on local ingredients, many of which are delivered daily by bicycle. Ten Tables likes to cultivate relationships with local farmers, fisherman and more to create a fantastic menu with some of the freshest ingredients available. Feeling adventurous (and hungry)? Try the 4 course tasting menu…guaranteed to surprise and satisfy.