Ask MenuPages: Dinner With Dad

Originally posted on May 8, 2007. We sure do love it when people write in with questions!

A reader writes in…

Dear MenuPages,
My dad is stopping in Boston next week and wants to have dinner. Can you think of any place(s) easily walkable from South Station, relatively traditional but not too boring, where a guy could buy his daughter a nicer dinner than she could afford by herself?
-Frances, Providence

Dinner with parents is a great opportunity to vastly expand your restaurant repertoire. Odds are that your parents aren’t trying to pay rent and eat on an assistant’s salary (or worse yet, as a student) and they generally want to give you a little treat. Although the South Station area isn’t necessarily regarded as a food destination, there are lots of great parent-friendly eats nearby.

Trattoria II Panino serves up eminently reliable Italian food a cut above the typical red sauce joint. Go for the excellent pappardelle al ragu and marvel at the the sauce’s mindblowingly rich combination of four meats.
•Show your pops that you’re a sophisticate at Les Zygomates, a wine bar with stellar food. Go for the butter-poached lobster because there is but one thing in this world that can improve upon the natural deliciousness of lobster and that is poaching it in butter.
•Indulge in the seasonal perfection of Pigalle’s bitter greens salad: a sort of frisee aux lardons packed with pickled ramps and other goodies.
•The food at Avila is basic enough to appeal to a cautious eater but adventurous enough to satisfy a foodie. Go for the superlative hand-rolled potato gnocchi.

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

Trattoria II Panino [MenuPages]
Les Zygomates [Official Site]
Pigalle [Official Site]
Avila [Official Site]

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Ask MenuPages: Dinner With Dad