Often times people think that, by choosing to dine at an upscale restaurant, they’re going to sacrifice meal portions in exchange for exquisite taste. Many fine dining establishments do cut back on portions to avoid the law of diminishing returns, treating the food and its presentation as an art, not just dinner. While these establishments can be pure pleasure to your taste buds, sometimes you leave with your stomach wanting more.
Fortunately, some restaurants can capture the best of both worlds: a fantastic, upscale dining taste with a large enough portion to fill you (and maybe some to take home after you’re done, as well). Check out these four restaurants that can offer you both quality and quantity next time you’re out for a meal, ranging from middle-of-the-road to upscale.
A great place for great quality Italian food with a taste like it’s fresh out of your grandmother’s kitchen (if your grandmother is Italian, that is). While certainly not “upscale,” if you’re heading to La Famiglia Georgio’s you might want to ditch the suit and tie in favor of something with a little more give in the waist.
The most casual of the five restaurants here certainly shouldn’t be looked down on for the ambiance, as it brings a much more homey vibe to the dining experience. But the portions are the real focus here. The food can be borderline dangerous here: an almost endless plate of fettuccine, veal chops, lasagna or anything else you could want, delicious enough that you’ll never want to stop stuffing it in.
Another restaurant in the area that doesn’t approach upscale in atmosphere or price, Sweet Basil’s quality and quantity of their servings are second to none. I recommend you try the rosemary chicken as your entree. Make sure you don’t fill up too much on the bread and pesto if it’s plausible to stop eating it while you wait for your dish, though I wouldn’t blame you if you couldn’t.
The one drawback to a restaurant like Sweet Basil that serves up a delicious array of food with enormous plates and a reasonable price is the fact that it’s quite hard to keep a place like that a secret. Because Sweet Basil is such a popular restaurant, wait times can be long (over an hour during peak times), but I can promise you if you decide to stick around it’s well worth it.
One step above Sweet Basil and La Famiglia Georgio’s in terms of upscale atmosphere, Grotto will cost you a little money money, but deliver the same large portions that you’ve come to expect from this list. In addition to the larger-than-average portion size, Gotto also features a similarly sized menu. While some “upscale” dining establishments feature limited menus, Grotto gives you the option to explore a new dish each visit.
Another step up in terms of atmosphere, Moo is one of few upscale restaurants to offer larger-sized portions, particularly in their sides and hors d’oeuvres, which are often enough to fill up on, whether you intended to or got caught up in the tuna tartar or fresh rolls. While everything on the menu is worth trying, as you may surmise from the name, Mooo’s specialty is in its array of steaks.
From 24-ounce prime porterhouse and Delmonico cuts down to the 8-ounce filet or 6-ounce Japanese wagyu, each cut is cooked to perfection and nearly melt-in-your-mouth tender. If you’re in the mood for a starchy side, the truffle fries are hard to beat.
If you’re looking for a restaurant around Boston that’s capable of filling your stomach, look no further than the above restaurants. From family-style casual Italian restaurants like La Famiglia Geogio’s or Sweet Basil to upscale date-night options like Grotto or Mooo, Boston has something to offer that will deliver on both quality and quantity.