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S. Donovan Mullaney

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Boston Dating Guide: The Dating Guide to Boston
By S. Donovan Mullaney   
Rated "PG13" by the Author.
Last edited: Saturday, February 17, 2007
Posted: Saturday, February 17, 2007

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Boston can be an exciting place to date-there's a lot to do here in The Hub and there are lots of different parts of the city to explore. However, planning that special evening can be nerve-wracking. Often, we ask ourselves questions like "What's going to show me in the best light?" or "How much money should I spend?"

In an effort to help our fellow daters succeed at the game of love Valentine's Day and beyond, we've compiled a list of places around Boston which will help you plan an evening to impress that special someone.


A Date in the Fenway
1. Spend an afternoon in The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.
The Gardner Museum has a breathtaking indoor garden, which is in full bloom all year long. They've also got great art from all over the globe, and there are often concerts and special exhibitions. The Gardner is a good place to show your sophisticated side without spending a lot of money. Student admission is only $5. The Gardner museum is located at 280 The Fenway, Boston. Information 617 566 1401 - Box Office 617 278 5156. www.gardnermuseum.org
2. Walk along the Fens.
After leaving the Gardner, enjoy the beautiful scenery of the Fenway as you walk across the Muddy River and through the park on the other side. It will give you time to talk a bit before dinner. The Fenway is part of Boston's "Emerald Necklace," a series of parkland that connects different parts of the city in an unbroken chain of green.
3. Sushi at Umi.
This lovely hole in the wall has a wide selection of authentic Japanese cuisine and reasonable prices. Their sushi bar serves a variety of sushi and maki. You can dine in if this comes in the early part of your evening, or get take-out if you'd rather hit Umi toward the end of night. Umi is located at 90 Peterborough Street, Boston. 617.536.6688 - www.umifenway.com
4. Bowling at King's
If you're feeling energetic, or you just don't like Japanese food, take a hop-skip-and-a-jump over to the Back Bay to try bowling at King's, located at 10 Scotia St. (Cross Street: Dalton St.), Boston. (617) 266-2695. From bowling and billiards to drinking and dining, the Back Bay's top all-purpose lounge has it all. If you decide to eat dinner there, they have a lane reservation policy, too.
5. Coffee/Cocoa at the ERC
Cap your evening off with a delicious beverage from the Espresso Royale Cafe on Gainsborough St. With a hip and arty atmosphere, this coffee shop serves delicious lattes, hot chocolates, and other caffeinated refreshments.

A Date in Jamaica Plain
1a. Dinner at Ten Tables
For a fantastic dinner, there's nothing like Ten Tables. It takes its name from, you guessed it, the number of tables in the dining room. Impeccable service, some of the best cuisine in Boston and a sublime wine list make this restaurant a must. If you take a date here, you're sure to impress. Be prepared to spend some money and make reservations in advance. 597 Centre Street, Jamaica Plain - (617) 524-8810 - www.tentables.net
1b. Dinner at Wonder Spice Cafe
This hidden gem serves Cambodian, Vietnamese and Thai food. The ingredients are incredibly fresh and delicious, making this a true treasure of quirky Jamaica Plain. The atmosphere is intimate, due to the fact that the restaurant is small. However, it's relatively easy to get a table there, and the prices are totally reasonable. 697 Centre Street, Jamaica Plain - (617) 522-0200 - www.hiddenboston.com/WonderSpice.html
2. Bella Luna/Milky Way
Again for the active type, the Milky Way is a great place to grab a drink, listen to some music, shoot some pool and bowl. The atmosphere is that of a really cool friend's basement party palace. Stop in here and take the edge off the evening with a drink and some light-hearted fun. Located at 403-405 Center St., Jamaica Plain - 617.524.3740 - www.milkywayjp.com
3. Ice Cream at JP Licks
No visit to JP would be complete without ending the evening with an ice cream from the original JP Lick's on Centre Street. The list of flavors seems neverending, the service is good, and the ice cream is out of this world good. Located at 659 Centre Street
Jamaica Plain - www.jplicks.com

A Date in Cambridge
1. Dinner at the Craigie Street Bistrot
An off the beaten path gem, CSB is located at 5 Craigie Circle in Harvard Square. The Bistrot is a tiny restaurant that has earned national acclaim. They have great deals, including the Chef's Whim, the Pre-Theatre Curtain for Certain and the Neighborhood Menu, all multi-course meals for under $60. Check them out at www.craigiestreetbistrot.com.
2. Take In A Show at the A.R.T.
Get some culture with the wonderful stage productions at the American Repertory Theatre outside Harvard Square. If you're a theater buff, the company offers a Student Pass - 5 performances for $60. Visit the A.R.T at Loeb Drama Center, Harvard University, 64 Brattle Street, Cambridge - www.amrep.org
3. Music at Club Passim
Get some counterculture by seeing a live music performance at one of the oldest continually running music clubs in the country. The Passim Folk Music and Cultural Center is a nonprofit arts organization dedicated to the cultivation and preservation of folk music. For more than 40 years, Passim has been a cornerstone of the arts community of New England. 47 Palmer St, Cambridge - www.clubpassim.org
4. Finale in Harvard Square
Ending an evening at Finale truly is a just dessert. Finale is to dessert what Starbuck's is to coffee. Even the Patriots' Tom Brady goes there to satisfy his sweet tooth. Located at 30 Dunster Street, Cambridge - (617) 441-9797 - www.finaledesserts.com

5. Nightcap at The Lizard Lounge
This bar at 1667 Massachusetts Avenue in Central Square offers live Jazz, Poetry readings, and a great list of beer and cocktails. A mellow way to cap off your evening in Cambridge. - www.lizardloungeclub.com

A Date in Brookline
1. Dinner at Rubin's Kosher Deli
Located in Coolidge Corner, Rubin's Kosher Restaurant Delicatessen is a prime location for a more casual dinners. - 500 Harvard Street, Brookline, MA 02446 - (617) 731-8787 www.rubinskosher.com
2. A Movie at the Coolidge Corner Theater
The Boston area's only non-profit independent movie house, the Coolidge is a classic that shows old and new movies the way they were meant to be seen: on a large screen. This is great place to take in some culture, or just enjoy a simple movie date. Located at 290 Harvard St, Brookline - (617) 734-2500 - www.coolidge.org
3. Stop by Trader Joe's for Sweets and Wine
This "unique grocery store" truly lives up to its name. TJ's has an eclectic selection of organic foods, healthy snacks, chocolate and other candied goodies, and the best-priced wine selection in the Boston area. On your way home, don't forget to stop in and stock on those special treats that show your honey what a thoughtful person you are.

A Date in the North End
1. Dinner at Caff� Vittoria
This Best of Boston 2005 is sure to put you and and your honey in a delicious mood. The Old World feeling is entirely appropriate, as this was the first Italian Caffe in Boston. www.vittoriacaffe.com - 617-227-7606
2. 1 on 1 Basketball at Basketball City
BasketBall City, contains six air-conditioned, full-sized basketball courts complete with glass backboards and electronic scoreboards. Courts are available for private rental, and there are locker rooms to shower afterwards. So, if you'd like to get sweaty with your honey, here's a place to do it. www.basketballcity.com
3. Get on the KISS Cam at a Celtics game
OK, so maybe they have a lousy record. But that's why tickets are so cheap. Plus, you and your sweetie can get your mugs up on the scoreboard with the random camera shots of people making out in the audience. - www.nba.com/celtics.
4. Dessert at Bova's Bakery
Family owned and operated for over three generations. Bova's homemade treats will delight all palates, including ricotta cannoli, creamy tiramisu, flakey turnovers, fresh fruit tarts, jumbo chocolate dipped strawberries, eclairs and Neopolitans. Open 24 hours a day. 134 Salem St, Boston. - www.northendboston.com/bovabakery

A Date in Somerville
1. Big Portion of Italian Cooking at Amelia's Kitchen
Friendly service, big portions, great prices, and a down-home atmosphere categorize this little gem in Teele Square (outside Davis.) Located at 1137 Broadway, Somerville, Amelia's Kitchen is sure to whet your whistle and prime your pump.
2. Tequila sampler at Rudy's
Located across Teele Square, Rudy's is a great Tex-Mex Tequila bar that offers over thirty flavors of the good stuff. Get yourself a sampler of sipping tequila or enjoy a delicious margarita. 248 Holland St, Somerville - www.rudyscafe.com
3. Music at Johnny D's
This small club anchors the cultural scene of Davis Square. It's a great place to catch a live show and enjoy a burger or a cocktail. 7 Holland St Davis Square Somerville - www.johnnyds.com
4. Movie at the Somerville Theater
A cornerstone of Davis Suare, the Somerville Theater offers quality second-run movies for the bargain price of $6. The center screen is also often host to a variety of musical acts and other entertainment. www.somervilletheatreonline.com
5. Ice Cream at Toscanini's
Finish off your evening with a cool treat from Toscanini's located in the same building as the Theater.


Ben Whelan and Michael Hogan contributed to this article.


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