Ask MenuPages: What To Do With A Gift Certificate

A recent email from a reader…

Dear MenuPages
I was wondering if you have been to Mamma Maria in the North End. A friend of mine got me a gift certificate from DineGift and I saw that it was on the list. Also, if you have any suggestions for other restaurants I should try on that list, I’d appreciate it. I have $100 to spend.
-Jerry, Boston

Gift certificates, especially the sort that work at a finite variety of restaurants, can be a sticky situation. On the one hand, yay free dinner! On the other hand, boo for limited choices. We’ve never been to Mamma Maria, but we’ve heard good things. Mamma Maria seems like a good choice, but there are a few other restaurants on the list that we find mighty tempting. To wit:

Davio’s is justly renowned for its stellar wine list, but the food is excellent as well, especially the pasta selection. With $100, you could treat yourself to the chef’s five course tasting menu.
Harvest boasts some of our favorite local and seasonal cuisine, not to mention a truly great patio. Use your gift certificate to treat yourself to the $42 roasted veal chop with morels, fava beans, “chubby carrots” and horseradish rosti.
•There are not enough restaurants in the Boston area serving great Alsatian cuisine, so we’re very thankful for Sandrine’s Bistro. The restaurant offers a five course tasting menu with wine pairings for $100. Sounds like a pretty great fit to us!

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dinegift [Official Site]
Mamma Maria [Official Site]
Davio’s [Official Site]
Harvest [Official Site]
Sandrine’s Bistro [Official Site]

Ask MenuPages: What To Do With A Gift Certificate