Restaurants Within Safe Walking Distance of the Westin Copley Place Hotel
Recommend reservations soon.
Boston is small, almost anywhere is easy to get to other than Alston-Brighton, Chelsea and Charlestown (Battle of Bunker Hill).
- Sorrelina- Italian, $$$ 11 Huntington Ave, Boston, MA 02116 617-412-4600 One of my favorites, for understated elegance, good food (“Italian-Mediterranean”), comfort, price within reach and sufficient QUIET. Across the street from Westin.
- L’Espalier- French, $$$$ (prix fixe) 774 Boylston St, Boston, MA 02199 617-262-3023
- Oak Long Kitchen & Bar- American, $$$ 138 Saint James Ave, Boston, MA 02116 617-585-7222
- Grill 23 & Bar- Steakhouse, $$$ 161 Berkeley St, Boston, MA 02116 An excellent steak house. 617-542-2255
- Bistro Du Midi- French, $$$ 272 Boylston St, Boston, MA 02116 617-426-7878
- Mistral- Southern French, $$$ 223 Columbus Ave, Boston, MA 02116 617-867-9300 Small, intimate, pleasing décor, quiet, sophisticated, very good food.
- Legal Sea Foods- Seafood, $$ 100 Huntington Ave, Boston, MA 02116 617-266-7775 A perennial favorite for its New England seafood, almost always excellently prepared, good prices, but a bit of a victim of its own success — larger, more impersonal, busier, noisier. If you want the best New England clam chowder there is, do not miss this opportunity.
- Douzo Sushi- Japanese, $$ 131 Dartmouth St, Boston, MA 02116 617-859-8886
- Brasserie Jo — French $$-$$$ 120 Huntington Avenue, in The Colonnade Hotel, Boston, MA 02116 617-424-7000 Another French bistro, traditional French look, bustling and busy with big pre-symphony crowd, then quiets down, old standards well prepared, wonderful French bread. Get the profiteroles! Ne regrette rien!
Many, many less expensive restaurants within walking distance of Westin, with all sorts of cuisine. Just walk up and down Boylston and /or Newbury streets. Notice Moses, Isaiah, Jesus, Paul and a 19th century Boston Brahmin clergyman all honored equally on the same Trinity Church frieze. Plus la change, plus la meme chose…
For those who want to go further afield, a reliable stop is the North End, with an endless number of Italian restaurants. Suggest you avoid the main drag Hanover Street — too touristy with food to match — and find a tiny joint on a side street. Hard to go wrong even chosen randomly but with a bit of a sharp eye. Look for a side-street bakery and get anything.
Another possibility is the South End — younger and trendier, some excellent restaurants, close to Westin, but a mixed neighborhood.
Harvard Square in Cambridge, a 10 minute Uber ride away. Students will be gone by then — plus: quieter and less crowded; minus: lose some of the student atmosphere, but still likely to find street musicians, mimes and magicians. Recommend Harvest (quiet, good food, relaxing décor, professorial) or Henrietta’s Table in The Charles Hotel — food there is good enough but not great, Assistant Professorial atmosphere, pleasant and spacious outdoor dining (hard to find in Boston area) if weather is good.
I’ll leave this to you, using the usual online sources. My favorite traditional theater for the most consistently good productions: the Huntington — 15 minute walk. For edgier fare, try the ART in Harvard Square in Cambridge – vastly improved from when they thought Hamlet was enhanced by putting him in full-body cuddly pj’s with button-down rear end. Symphony Hall and Jordan Hall worth the price just for the amazing acoustics and stunning classical looks, with excellent quality classical music and both a 15 minute walk (perhaps eat at Brasserie Jo pre-concert, as many do, then walk.)
Museum of Fine Arts or Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum — need I say more? But they haven’t found the stolen Rembrandts yet — always seem to be close, never close the deal. Short taxi ride, very close to each other.
If you treasure freedom — walk the Freedom Trail! Probably don’t know who James Otis was — successfully sued to establish freedom from unreasonable search and seizure in the colonies — and died a few years later insane, perhaps suffering a chronic subdural hematoma (my speculation) possibly inflicted when he suffered nearly fatal beating by British redcoats. Visit his grave and thank him, as well as grave of parents of Benjamin Franklin — and thank them and their older son and Cotton Mather for driving Ben crazy enough to undertake the dangerous escape to Philly at age 17 and on to brilliance and fame. And thank John Adams, a young lawyer who risked his career by defending the British soldiers who were in fear for their lives at the hands of a mob and who panicked and fired at the crowd in the Boston Massacre; his long-shot defense was successful, strengthening the rule of law. Or visit the Registry of Motor Vehicles. The RMV???? Notice the bas relief on the side of the building marking the site of the Liberty Tree, the rallying point for Sam Adams, a failed tavern keeper, a failed merchant, like Thomas Paine a failed everything, the despair of his father, but a brilliant leader of the “rabble” despite his chronic tremor, and the Sons of Liberty. When he was appointed to the Continental Congress, he needed to borrow money from wealthy smuggler John Hancock to buy suitable clothes. Visit little-noticed Dorchester Heights, where George Washington leapt from being a well-known but slightly suspect figure in Virginia (considered perhaps impetuous on the battlefield, and an ambitious climber) to being a national hero of north and south, the near-silent man without whose reassuring and commanding presence our Constitution would not have been ratified. The Dorchester Heights feat was made possible by the improbable bookstore clerk and school dropout Henry Knox, who captured British cannon in a surprise attack at Fort Ticonderoga and then endlessly improvised, inventing unheard of ways to drag the cannon 300 miles over snowy hills and icy rivers to deliver them to Washington, who then dragged them up Dorchester Heights above Boston. Don’t get me started on all this…. Full disclosure: Prof. Lamb may have a different perspective.
Baseball– the Red Sox will play up through the afternoon of Sunday, May 28 at spirited, safe, small, venerable Fenway Park, now an icon for baseball lovers, having retained its old-park flavor while upgrading just enough. After Sunday they go on the road. Get tickets soon. Don’t sit in right field bleachers — can get rowdy — although always safe. Don’t sit along first base and right field line if hot day — full sun. But so-called Monster Seats above the “Green Monster” are great unless you have fear of heights. 8 minute taxi ride, or walkable (safe) for those who like to walk.
Basketball — in the unlikely event that the Celtics are still in the hunt at the end of May — fughettaboutit — you’ll never get tickets.