Red Lantern

Red Lantern – Owned and operated by Empire’s Big Night Entertainment group, the ambiance at Red Lantern is spectacular; Asian décor of course. It’s not too loud to have a conversation with your date or even neighbor. In fact, I had one of the worst dates of my life here, but always seem to make friends with those eating at the table next to me. Had a little too much to drink? You won’t even get in trouble for pushing your friend under the table when she leans over to pick up her chopsticks. Trust me. I’ve tried it.

It’s a fun spot to go with a group. The service is impeccable and the wait staff is extremely knowledgeable. Don’t like something on the menu? Not a problem. They are quick to offer you something else and may even whip up something special. Just ask.

When it comes to cocktails, there’s something for everyone.  I usually go with the Blueberry-Lemon drop, the Geisha or the Red Lotus, all fruity, vodka-based drinks with the right amount of sweetness. In other words, you won’t have a sugar high followed by a crash, and you won’t wake up with a stabbing headache.

Red Lantern Bar

For appetizers, here’s my list: the lobster rangoon and the boneless spareribs are to die for; you can’t go wrong with a Pupu platter that has a little bit of everything and the “Rock Roll” signature dish is one I never fail to order. I usually have the manager make me something simple and fresh, similar to the Hamachi roll that I love at Empire, or I go with soft shell crab and/or sashimi because the fish is so fresh.  You can never go wrong with a simple spicy tuna roll or one of their signature fried rice or noodle dishes served in a massive bowl family style.

The bonus to eating at Red Lantern is that you can make a night of it. After dinner, head to the bar for a nightcap.  The bartenders are friendly (take note, Bricco) and are quick, too. And we like quick bartenders! If you do want a change of scenery, the Back Bay nightlife is around the corner.

Oh and one other thing…what happens at Red Lantern stays at Red Lantern.

Del Friscos

DelFrisco’s – Listen, you don’t always have to order a steak at a steakhouse! In fact, I rarely do. However, if I’m in the mood for a filet, DelFrisco’s Waterfront is where I’d go. And if I’m in the mood for a tuna steak, DelFrisco’s Waterfront is where I’d go. Come to think of it, if I’m in the mood for a pear martini with some king crab gnocchi, this is where I’d go, too.

Found in Boston’s historic Seaport district, one of the hottest spots in the city, DelFrisco’s can be a fine-dining experience or a social event, which is one of the reasons I have chosen this as one of my favorite go-to spots. What sets it apart from Morton’s, Mooo, or even Capital Grille, is the laid back atmosphere that can turn a stuffy steakhouse dinner into an actual fun night out on the town.

Regardless of the crowd, I know the food will be great and the service will be impeccable because the staff is highly trained. And as always, I know the drinks will be delicious. If any of you listened to “Salk and Holley” on WEEI, this is where the infamous “Bacon-Gate” occurred. Apparently I shocked former afternoon-drive host Mike Salk when I had an astonishing reaction to two massive slabs of bacon being served with the garden salad. Bonus, right? Well… Salk disapproved with me asking the waitress if I can take the bacon home to Truman, let’s leave it at that. I also drank Jon Meterparel under the table after a Herald Radio show, but I’m guessing nobody is shocked at that.

Del Friscos

I rarely eat in the actual dining room as I prefer eating at the bar in most establishments. If there are no open seats at the bar, the bar/lounge area at DelFrisco’s has enough tables to keep your evening social, which is a bonus in my mind. Again, back to the whole “This is not a stuffy steakhouse.” The pear martini, as I mentioned before, is delicious and will knock you on your ass. If it’s too sweet for your liking, the bartender will adjust it. It’s that kind of accommodation, among other things, that make DelFrisco’s a gem.

Simply put, while one may think a five-star steakhouse would be uptight and boring, this place doesn’t apply. Usually parked at the front of the restaurant greeting patrons is Maitre’d Jamie Benge and c. Both are extremely pleasant and professional, while Jamie is a nothing short of a big teddy bear you must say hello to. In fact, give him a hug.

For those of you who know me, you know I’m not a dessert eater — I have no sweet tooth whatsoever, so unfortunately, I can’t recommend a final course. I’m a meat and potatoes gal who likes anything and everything salty. Hmm… Maybe this is why I go into withdrawals if I don’t eat at DelFrisco’s at least once a month.

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