Dine Out Boston, formerly known as Restaurant Week Boston, is a chance to try some of the area’s best restaurants without breaking the bank. Participating restaurants create prix-fixe menus for the 12-day event, running Sunday, March 1, to Friday, March 6, and Sunday, March 8, to Friday, March 13.
The Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau and American Express sponsor the dining fest and have imposed price limits to keep the food affordable for ordinary diners. Two-course lunches range from $15 to $25, and dinners run from $28 to $38. Make a reservation in advance—these discounted meals are in high demand.
1. Aquitaine Bar a Vin Bistrot
569 Tremont St., Boston
Open seven days a week, this South End French bistro, celebrating 20 years in business, serves up classic cuisine. Lunch here costs $20 for two courses (your choice from appetizers, entrées, or desserts), and dinner is $33 for three courses. The menu is the same for both, and includes a soft poached truffled egg and duck confit ravioli as appetizers and short rib bourguignon and coq au vin rouge (chicken in red wine sauce) as entrées.
2. Rail Stop
96 Guest St., Brighton
This train-themed restaurant sits on the site of the Brighton Station, which was built in the 1840s. It serves “comfort food done well.” Appetizers for lunch and dinner are largely soups and salads. At lunch, $20 during Dine Out Boston, look for entrées like a smoky pepper grilled cheese with Manchego and house-made Boursin cheeses on Texas toast, and for dinner ($33), among the choices are steak-frites and fettuccine alfredo with chicken and broccoli.
700 Harrison Ave., Boston
Estragon bills itself as being “like a night in Madrid—or the very next best thing,” and for good reason. The Dine Out Boston promotion is available for dinner only, and on the $33-per-person menu are an appetizer, two small plates for an entrée, and a dessert. Try the serrano ham croquettes as an appetizer, pulpito (braised octopus and roasted brussels sprouts with chorizo) or espinacas (sautéed spinach, butternut squash, hazelnuts, and raisins) as main course options, and for dessert, go the churros route.
4. Q Restaurant
660 Washington St., Boston
Q is an Asian fusion restaurant in Boston’s Financial District. Mixing Thai, Chinese, and Japanese cuisines, the spot is famous for its Mongolian hot pot. Running $15 at lunch and $33 at dinner, the lunch options are a hot pot combo, with a choice of beef, lamb, fish, shrimp, boneless short rib, or mushrooms, a poke bowl, thunder roll, and sesame chicken. For dinner, it’s an Angus rib eye, surf and turf, vegetarian hot pot combo, or a sushi and sashimi combo.
215 Charles St., Boston
With a name that means “escape” in Italian, Beacon Hill’s Scampo is in a former jailhouse. It’s open only for lunch during Dine Out Boston, with a $25 three-course meal that includes appetizers like prosciutto with gruyere and truffle honey cheese puffs and main dishes such as burrata and pear ravioli and veal scaloppini with pomodoro risotto. For dessert, choose tiramisu or a cookie plate.