We all look forward to parent visits for two reasons. First being that we've obviously missed them, but second and more importantly, their visits inevitably provide an opportunity to go out to eat. The problem that a lot of students face is maximizing on this opportunity.
Trust me, this is not something you want to waste on pizza or slightly-above average pasta. So instead, allow me to provide some insight on where to dine if you are looking for the best of the best in Boston.
A true farm-to-table restaurant, Alden and Harlow in Harvard Square is must-try when the parentals are in town. All food is served "small plates style" which I personally love because smaller portions means more dishes ordered which means more food which equals = happy family.
Another great thing about the restaurant is that the menu constantly evolves to fit ingredients in season which means that you can take your family back every time they visit because chances are the menu will be brand new.
Another spot to check out when you are trying to get the most out of your dining experience during your family's visit is T.W. Food. Nestled in Cambridge, this cute little spot has a very rustic feel with its brick walls and limited seating.
T.W. Food features a daily three-course pre-fixe with about 4-5 options to choose from in both the appetizer and entrée section of the menu. But the aspect that I loved most about this restaurant is how cozy the space was. Its a great atmosphere in which to hang out with your family after being apart for months, AND you get pretty great food.
What better way to show your love than to wine and dine your family at the best of the best (even if they technically are paying)?
No trip to Boston is ever complete without dining in the North End. The North End is famous for being home to some of the best Italian restaurants. Its one of those areas where you can drop into any restaurant and expect good quality food. And if you are trying to impress your parents, look no further than Aria Trattoria.
The mark of any Italian restaurant is the quality of their pasta and Aria Trattoria really knows their stuff when it comes to this Italian staple. All pastas are handmade fresh and you can find a variety ranging from traditional style dishes to contemporary twists. Trust me, you can never go wrong with a glass of red wine and a plate of their delicious ravioli con funghi.
Located in the Leather District, O Ya is another restaurant to visit with the fam. Come expecting some really bomb contemporary Japanese cuisine. The menu starts off with an extensive list of nigiri and sashimi options, followed by noodle and meat dishes. Each dish is presented with delicate detail, so much so to the point that you feel bad for eating the work of art.
My suggestion is that you come try a ton of the different nigiri and sashimi as they are served as individual bites and then maybe share a noodle dish to finish off. As far as the nigiri goes, the foie gras and hokkiado scallops will not disappoint.
And make sure your phone is charged to take pictures because the presentation is half the experience.
And here it is. The holy grail of fine dining in Boston (at least according to me). Part of the Barbara Lynch restaurant group, Menton is her flagship restaurant. This restaurant is very much about the details, evident in the fact that even their butter is made from their very own cow, Babette.
In true French style, the menu is set up in two ways: á la carte and an 8-course tasting menu. The á la carte dishes are small, so diners typically order 3-4 dishes.
Dishes that I can personally vouch for are the Menton butter soup and the foie gras tart (be adventurous). However, if you are going for the full experience I really do suggest the tasting menu for the table because the catch is that not everyone's dish is prepared the same.
So if you can get your parents to say yes to going, I would order a great bottle of wine, sit back, and prepare for a game-changing culinary experience.
And there you have it. Hopefully you can put this list to good use next time your parents are in town.