As the semester comes to a quick close, I’m not the only senior juggling final projects while making plans for graduation. With the whole family coming for the weekend, and so many friends to celebrate with, the pressure is on to find the best bites in Boston for the grand finale. Even for students not counting down their final days of college, the start of summer brings plenty of reasons, and time, to celebrate. This city has hundreds of dining options, but for a big celebration, look for places with variety on the menu and unique, memorable atmospheres.
Ask Your Parents to Take You To…
Any one of the Fort Point restaurants popping up in Boston’s newest neighborhood are guaranteed hits. Right near the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center, the location of this year’s commencement ceremonies, Miel Brasserie serves a high -end brunch menu featuring sweet dishes using honey from their private apiary. Nearby Aura Restaurant is known for a whimsical, seasonal menu that highlights “Chef healthy choices” to help diners make informed decisions. With dishes like wild mushroom napoleon and grilled monkfish on a polenta cake, there’s sure to be something for everyone. Sportello offers high-end dining on the waterfront and incorporates rich Italian flavors in their brunch menu. Minestrones with saffron broth, citrus-cured salmon, and poached eggs with braised kale are some of the healthy, innovative options available for an early afternoon breakfast.
Miel, 510 Atlantic Ave., 617-217-5151; Aura Restaurant, 1 Seaport Ln., 617-385-4300; Sportello, 348 Congress St., 617-737-1234
Get a Group of Friends Together At…
Celebrating with friends over great live music at The Beehive’s Sunday Jazz Brunch is worth the walk to the South End. The eclectic menu offers many easy-to-share dishes, including the massive Deluxe Mezze Platter with Mediterranean salads, spreads, and pita. Pass around a basket of beignets, or splurge on an impressive seafood platter. If you choose to save the party for the evening, head to The Wine Cellar for a melted feast. Boiling your entrée is a healthy way to balance out a cheese fondue appetizer or a liquid chocolate dessert. Dip and mix with your friends over fondue, or share a Spanish tapas lunch at Tapeo on Newbury. Split a large dish of vegetable paella, or pick an assortment of small plates. Grilled shrimp with spicy red sauce, roasted red peppers, and sautéed portobello mushrooms are healthy, fun plates that will satisfy everyone in your group.
The Beehive, 541 Tremont St., 617-423-0069; The Wine Cellar, 30 Massachusetts Ave., 617-236-0080; Tapeo, 266 Newbury St., 617-267-4799
Celebrate the Weather With…
Crowded street-side patios are easy to come by in Boston, but private escapes and rooftop retreats are rare gems. Kick off summer with a festive Mexican meal in a garden hideaway at Casa Romero. Find this restaurant by following the smell of smoked chipotle and roasted poblano peppers, and dine in the quiet garden patio enclosed in a vibrant turquoise fence. Make a graduation toast with friends or family at Poe’s Kitchen at the Rattlesnake, where you can sample exotic Tex Mex dishes such as wild boar burritos, or grilled avocado with lobster, while lofted above Boylston Street on the restaurant’s rooftop. Get a sky-high view of the North End by ordering dinner at Ristorante Fiore. Authentic Italian antipastos, gluten-free pastas, and a wide selection of salads make this rooftop retreat perfect for group dining.
Casa Romero, 30 Gloucester St., 617-536-4341; Poe’s Kitchen, 384 Boylston St., 617-859-8555; Ristorante Fiore, 250 Hanover St., 617-371-1176
Finding the right place to celebrate the end of another school year is easy when you have the good fortune of attending college in one of the country’s most cultured cities. After four years, I’ve never tired of trying new places and searching out the most delicious, healthy, and creative dishes in Boston. Whether it’s an upscale occasion on the waterfront, an interactive group experience, or a simple al fresco afternoon, you’ll be looking for more excuses to celebrate this summer.
Lieberman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.