Ask MenuPages: Where To Go For The Wow Factor

Dear MenuPages,
So this boy is coming to town next week. I used to have a giant crush on him, but now he just makes me roll my eyes. I’d still like to wow him, though. Anywho, he wants me to pick out a restaurant. He’s a fancy investment banker that wears Armani suits, but he’s also a Texas country boy. He’s used to the best but appreciates simplicity. Money isn’t an issue and he wants seafood, but I refuse to wear a lobster bib on a date.
I want something nice, but nothing that *requires* a dress. Something sophisticated, but nothing that will make me struggle to pronounce my entree. Something close-ish to JP and Dorchester (where his hotel is). I want to eat gracefully and impress him with my dining selection and the Red Lobster is all booked up!
-Ashley, JP

Really, is there any more complicated situation than dinner with a former flame? We could write a book on the vagaries of choosing a hairstyle alone. It is paramount that you appear hot, sophisticated, brilliant and entirely out of his league while also leaving the door open for some ex-lovin’. Oh, like you’ve never done it. Anyways, we racked our brain and came up with four restaurants that we think fit the bill. Plenty of seafood but no shellfish required, that are sophisticated, yet relatively casual, and most importantly, places that will definitely impress an i-banking country boy.

Great Bay is a bit of a hike from Dorchester, but well worth it. It comes with a rareified pedigree (Christopher Myers, Esti Parsons and Michael Schlow) and features, in the restaurant’s own words, “conspicuously excellent seafood.” Your boy can get the butter-poached lobster while you luxuriate in the olive-oil poached halibut. Heavenly.
•If this is happening on a Monday, you must go to Neptune Oyster for the fabulous lobster spaghettini special. Hell, even if it’s not Monday, you can still dine exceptionally well on oysters, fish and the like. Bonus: afterwards, you can go for a “oh, we’re totally just friends but wait, look, it’s so romantic, oh whoops, we’re making out” stroll through the North End.
•It’s not a seafood restaurant per se, but Sel De La Terre does offer some damn fine fish dishes in addition to a truly great steak. The wine list is excellent as well, which should help with the situation’s innate awkwardness.
•If you’re after a trendy, South End feel, head to B&G; Oysters. Feast on a variety of oysters (and you know what they say about oysters!), before getting down to business with the lobster carbonara or amazing diver scallops.

Have a question about Boston dining that’s burning you up inside? Ask us!

Great Bay [Official Site]
Neptune Oyster [Official Site]
Sel De La Terre [Official Site]
B&G; Oysters [Official Site]

Ask MenuPages: Where To Go For The Wow Factor