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  • The Hungry I

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The Hungry I
The Hungry I

The Hungry I Details

  • Dining Style: Fine Dining
  • Website: http://www.hungryiboston.com
  • Phone: (617) 227-3524
  • Hours of Operation: Lunch: Thursday & Friday: 12:00pm - 2:00pm; Dinner: Sunday - Thursday: 5:30pm - 9:30pm, Friday & Saturday: 5:30pm - 10:00pm
    Brunch: Sun 11am-2pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX, MasterCard, Visa
  • Cuisine: French
  • Executive Chef: Peter Ballarin
  • Dress Code: Smart Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Bar Dining, Beer, Fireplace, Full Bar, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Weekend Brunch, Wine
  • Special Events & Promotions: Small weddings and Rehersal diners of up to 34 people welcome; please call for information. Private Room available upstairs and we also have a patio for summer events.

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Mt. Vernon Street
  • Public Transit: Charles St Red Line is the closest; Arlington St on the green line is also walkable.
  • Parking: Street Parking
  • Parking Details: Street Parking available; also Charles St and Boston Common Public parking lots are close by. Valet Service available nightly during dinner service; 3 doors past the restaurant on the corner.
A word from The Hungry I
Welcome to the Hungry I! Tucked just below street level on Beacon Hill's picturesque brownstone-lined Charles Street, the Hungry I is charming and intimate. Although small, it is quite cozy and very romantic. There's a true elegance to the Hungry I that comes from the surroundings, the food and the staff. A distinctively different place that makes every visit really special.Continued
Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Ambiance
  • Diners' Choice WinnerRomantic
Diner Reviews
  • "Le lapin c'est magnifique!!! L'ambience et cuisine sont super et les maitre d, garçon, et chef sont exactment qu'elle une restaurant français est ètre. Sorry for the poor French!!!"
    Dined on 7/18/2014
  • "Hadn't been back to this Boston icon in years. We had the place to ourselves, and the quality of the food soon explained this. Bizarre salad, bland uninteresting entree, snotty service. Really unfortunate because the courtyard is magical."
    Dined on 7/11/2014
  • "Excellent choice for a quiet, romantic dinner. We ate in the courtyard and it was magnificent. The food was creative, well prepared, well presented and very flavorful. The service was attentive yet restrained, the staff was knowledgable, helpful and friendly. If you are a foodie and waould like a romantic dining experience, this is the place. We just returned from Paris and the Hungry I was on a par with most of the best that we experienced in France. Overall a fabulous experience and we will definately be back again and again and again."
    Dined on 7/9/2014
  • "Will the sentimental prevail? We think so-- terrific 25th wedding anniversary dinner."
    Dined on 7/8/2014
  • "Entering through the little alley into their lovely, old-worldy bar and out onto the patio for dinner. The evening was lovely, service and hosts very friendly and willing to chat, food amazing and atmosphere wonderful. It was nice to go back after a number of years and reminded me of living on Beacon Hill when I first moved to Boston in the 80s."
    Dined on 7/5/2014
  • "We have heard about this place for years and expected more… The service was very poor and the food average. The server was much too inexperienced for a restaurant at this price point. He poured just about the ENTIRE bottle of wine in our glasses at first pour; placed our plates half hanging off the table -- for no reason there was space on the table; and didn't realize we needed utensils following our appetizers. They were out of many menu items and did not have the wine we ordered from their list. We love to dine out and dine all over the world. The Hungry I seems to be resting on a reputation from years gone by perhaps due to the lovely room and patio (NOT the food or service). Boston has better options."
    Dined on 7/4/2014
  • "I have ridiculously high standards so I only gave the food four stars. But, dining here is an experience. The beet gazpacho is fantastic. A beautiful evening, a kir royale and your smiling partner, perfect. The service is impeccable. But, the hanging plants and statues make the ambience truly magical."
    Dined on 6/20/2014
  • "we were the only ones in the restaraunt i.e. obviously there was no need for booking at all. the food was good but nothing particularly good. eating at a chain might feel as good."
    Dined on 6/1/2014
  • "It was a Saturday night and I play music. Before the gig I started thinking that I'd be hungry by 8:30. So around 5:30 I was able to book a reservation for this place for two using open table for that night. It's a beautiful little place tucked in the lower level on Charles Street in Beacon Hill. Watch your head going in, there is even an ouch painted on the header. Great food, service, and wine. Also, the restaurant was quiet which is a rare find. I highly recommend."
    Dined on 5/31/2014
  • "While the food was good, I thought it would be better. Not as much complexity to the cuisine as expected for the price. Dinner was over $100 without drinks, dessert or appetizers. "
    Dined on 5/30/2014
  • "Great food. Romantic spot on historic Charles st. I had the venison and it was excellent. "
    Dined on 5/17/2014
  • "The Hungry i has always been one of the most charming rooms around, probably Boston's most romantic. On this visit, they upped their food game. Previously, the food was good but not up to the standards of the better restaurants in their price range. But this time the food was excellent. Venison was tender, flavorful with just the right sauce. Coq au vin was simply exquisite...one of the best I've had. This has always been one of our favorites restaurants based on the romantic ambience alone. If the food upgrade is maintained, it will be worth a visit for foodies, as well."
    Dined on 5/13/2014
  • "A very pleasant place to dine. Service was very good. Outdoor dining quite pleasant. Low noise level at brunch. Was advertised as one of Bonson's best restaurants. It was nice, but didn't fit into that category with respect to food - which was quite good, but not great. I'd go back again for dinner just to see what they serve and whether the restaurant does better on a less busy day."
    Dined on 5/11/2014
  • "Great service, unmatched setting - tucked away, romantic, cozy, it was a great environment. The food was excellent, but nothing special. I had high expectations and was left feeling like I don't need to go back."
    Dined on 5/10/2014
  • "My daughter put it best - for a place that bills itself as romantic, she would say 'no' to anyone who proposed to her at this restaurant. Terrible service and lack of ambiance easily offset the passable food. Upstairs was nicer (we were on the below street level section) based on the reports of the people who used the restrooms. "
    Dined on 5/3/2014
  • "tremendous food and wine, great service. well located in Boston"
    Dined on 4/29/2014
  • "Restaurant is a wonderful, romantic spot along Charles Street. Service was excellent, but the food was okay but pricey. My husband had the venison which he liked very much. I had the scallop and crab dish which was only average. "
    Dined on 4/26/2014
  • "Fabulous dinner in a lovely, interesting setting. Three friends all had something different and fabulous. The venison ended up being the winner. My seafood dish was terrific as was my friend's steak. Chris, the manager was our excellent and entertaining waiter. Definitely ask for him. The owner came upstairs to say hello. Champagne cocktail was outstanding. I can't wait to go back. Highly recommend this place."
    Dined on 4/12/2014
  • "This is a lovely little place, great for a romantic dinner with French flair. I think we aren't the perfect couple to rate the food here because we pretty much determined from this visit that while the food was excellent, maybe French food isn't our cuisine of choice - it wasn't quite hardy enough for us, some of it had very subdued flavors. But the staff was great, allowed us to take our time when we wanted it, and was friendly and professional."
    Dined on 3/28/2014
  • "Came here for restaurant week since the normal prices are a bit much. We both enjoyed out first and second course though I though the sides could be a little more interesting. Unfortunately my favorite part, dessert, was disappointing for both of us."
    Dined on 3/26/2014
  • "We had a lovely experience from soup to nuts...no pun intended! We were looking for that French je ne sais quoi and that's what we had. GREAT French wine selections, entrees cooked to order, beautiful flavor and properly prepared. Our server (the gentleman from Normandy) was a pleasure and very professional yet welcoming. He recognized our interest in French wines and French food and provided wonderful insights and conversation. Haters---hush up!"
    Dined on 3/26/2014
  • "Good for special occasion, but not worth your money. Do not get the Cod -- was way too salty. Venison was OK, dessert was OK. Service was excellent and it's a beautiful, private dining area."
    Dined on 3/22/2014
  • "We enjoyed our dinner there, primarily because it was quiet, romantic and had the perfect vibe for a night out with my wife. The food was good, but not great. The frogs legs in particular were just bland. We each had a cocktail and each was great. The venison, apparently the house specialty, was quite good. So, why only a 3? It was too expensive for what we got. I don't mind spending $250 on a meal for two - however, I do when it's not quite outstanding. I'm recommend for the ambience, but not for outstanding food."
    Dined on 3/22/2014
  • "Sadly, Peter, the owner/chef, who's HungryI has been a Charles St. old-line Beacon Hill stalwart over the better part of 4 decades is aging. Badly. Like a duchess whose teeth aren't exactly that pearly white any longer. Actually, yellowing badly. With rouge applied messily on her withered cheeks, H.I. is fading. Fast. Boursin crepe? Really? I think of Boursin in the same brainspace as Mateus. And The Mamas and The Papas. Peter, step aside. Let' a young turk with old-school sensibilities but with au courant culinary skills take over. Dust off the mahogany high boys and invigorate that old girl."
    Dined on 3/21/2014
  • "quaint, lovely place. Full of atmosphere. Our main course was wonderful and an excellent-sized portion for Restaurant Week. The other courses weren't nearly as good, so the portion size was irrelevant."
    Dined on 3/21/2014
  • "Service was excellent and friendly. There were very helpful in selecting wines."
    Dined on 3/20/2014
  • "Thursday night was quiet, as expected and we were seated in their lushly appointed 2nd floor overlooking the interior courtyard. My wife eagerly devoured the pate appetizer, I lingered over my delicious vegetarian choice. Unfortunately, those were the highlights of the meal. My wife's steak au poivre was sliced very thinly with no internal room for a juicy rare treat between its seared sides. My mushroom strudel had so much spicing that the mushrooms were lost in the heat. Her pear tartin dessert was a whole poached pear with a few crusts scattered on the plate while my chocolate bread pudding contained so much cinnamon that the chocolate was lost. And that's not including swapping a 2011 Pinot for a $60 2009. Not a $100 dinner"
    Dined on 3/20/2014
  • "Entrees outshone the salads. Maybe should have gotten a traditional appetizer instead? But really it was because the entree was incredible!! I got the quail special and my husband got their venison, both were tremendous. Our waiter was helpful and appropriately attentive."
    Dined on 3/8/2014
  • "We thoroughly enjoyed our meal at the tiny little The Hungry I on Charles Street. The prices were higher than you'd expect in such a small place, but I guess that's necessary to keep going. All of the French food was very tasty. The interior is dark wood, with a live fire. Nice, low background music. Definitely a place to go if you're not going to worry about the prices."
    Dined on 3/4/2014
  • "We had never eaten at the Hungry I - but went there on a special occasion. the restaurant is intimate, beautiful selection of background music, attentive but not rushed service....loved there special cocktail: champagne with raspberry and lime... Food was elegantly presented...A romantic and memorable evening."
    Dined on 2/20/2014
  • "Terrible presentation of the Tarte Tatin and they only serve, from their "full bar", quite drinks. No shakers allowed, since its particular and distinguish sound will disrupt their "noisy" atmosphere. Pricy menu for what we received. Much better options out there for their price range. Don't bother to go..."
    Dined on 2/1/2014
  • "We started with bread that included an inventive cornbread with cranberries. For the appetizer we tried the fried eggplant - it was creatively served in a martini glass! This was followed by the highlight of the asparagus/tomato/garlic soup. Served steaming hot it was the perfect for a winter night. We both ordered a special - the snapper and scallops in a dijonnaise sauce with an atypical mix of vegetables of sprouts, potatoes, green beans. etc. Great! The servings were more than generous and we asked to take some of our entrée. When we asked if we could have a bit more dijonnaise sauce the waiter said no. Then he asked if we wanted separate containers for our take aways - um, yes. Despite this oddness, we definitely plan to come back."
    Dined on 2/1/2014
  • "When i booked the restaurant, i expected quite and romantic mood. I was also worried about too classic mood. However, Servers were really kind and other customers were also very delightful. It was one of the best dinner that i had in Boston!!"
    Dined on 1/31/2014
  • "Romantic, unique Beacon Hill special restaurant. I had frogs legs, escargot and braised rabbit. My husband had Coq a vin. Service was excellent, food delicious, a special night."
    Dined on 1/19/2014
  • "This restaurant still makes the most fantastic well presented food in a lovely intimate space. With a little bit more attention to the service. Our waiter was friendly and gave prompt service but was unable to accomodate a request for a table away from the door even with the restaurant only half full at the time. On prior visits the waiter knew all about the food but this waiter said the menu had just changed and was not very descriptive of the dishes. I think the Hungry I is a Boston gem that seems to be on the decline (very few diners for a Saturday night) so with a little bit more attention to detail, this great place with continue to be around for years to come"
    Dined on 1/18/2014
  • "We enjoyed a fine meal, venison with pepper cooked perfectly, not gamey, very good. Looking forward to returning next time we are in Boston. The restaurant is a little below street level, very cozy, not large at all. Staff was present and very helpful, not intrusive."
    Dined on 1/17/2014
  • "Absolutely unbeatable---food, service spectacular, and settling is charming."
    Dined on 12/31/2013
  • "For over 30 years this quirky space on the ground floor & cellar of a Beacon Hill townhouse has been a reliable home for French cooking presented beautifully and served in an elegantly decorated room. Peter, owner & chef, keeps the atmosphere warm as he stokes the fireplaces and conversations, slipping from table to table charming old friends and winning new customers, and never failing to greet arriving and departing guests at the restaurant's cellar entrance. The restaurant's portal requires one to stoop to descend 3 granite steps beneath a massive stone lintel bearing the warning, "OUCH!" A narrow alley decorated with seasonal vegetables, greens & lights leads to the restaurant's entrance, and beyond that, the massive lighted wood stack."
    Dined on 12/24/2013
  • "I was excited to find this restaurant open on Christmas eve which also happens to be my husbands birthday. We arrived and found the ambiance charming and our table in a cozy nook -I would have preferred a little more room though. Realizing I had forgotten my glasses I asked our waiter if there might be a pair I could use- he practically scoffed at me. Later I asked if a candle could be put in my husbands dessert and that was forgotten. Small details that made a difference in the overall experience. When the bill came I was surprised that this 3 course meal was $100/ person. I am happy to pay for great food and service but the whole meal was less that outstanding and not worth the price."
    Dined on 12/24/2013
  • "The Hungry I is a wonderful restaurant, with great food and a romantic setting. The staff is friendly and knowledgeable, and are attentive without being overbearing. Menu selections are plentiful and are augmented with interesting specials. The restaurant has a full bar, which is small but works for the space. There's a fireplace that adds to the charm, and the space is nicely decorated. We were out with friends and our party of four enjoyed sharing tastes of the dishes we ordered. Appetizers were delicious, as were our entrees of Atlantic Cod with gravlox, rabbit, venison au poivre, and a snapper with scallops special. The dishes were spot on and the portions very ample. We barely had room for desert, but had some anyway."
    Dined on 12/21/2013