I know this question gets asked consistently but I thought I'd throw it out again. I'm getting taken out for a birthday dinner "anywhere I'd like.."
The truth is, I prefer more casual, simple restaurants..LOVE good italian but in general just good food in comfortable surroundings. Some of my recent favorites include Stella, Ashmont Grill..old standbys are Metropolis, Chez Henri...I realize these aren't necessarily "special occasion" places but for me it's just about a relaxed vibe w/good food.
I've never been to Prezza; was thinking Smith & Wollensky (even though it's a chain I've heard relatively good things); Neptune Oyster seems like it'd be just my speed but I'm not really up for waiting long for a table...any other stand-outs, recs that perhaps I should give a try? Location-wise, Boston-proper is great but I'm open to Cambridge too.
Thoughts, ideas, recs?