Boo’s Bistro might be the best-kept secret in the foodie world of Hamilton. Tucked away on one of the most charming streets in Hamilton, James St. South, Boo’s serves up an unforgettable dining experience. At first glance, this inconspicuous restaurant resembles something of a cozy hideaway, meant for the lucky few who’ve stumbled upon its doors. Open the door, and you’re greeted with an intimate set of dining tables and the aroma of a dish most likely in the process of redefining someone’s taste buds. Boo’s Bistro had me at, “Name please?”

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It’s easy to see why most students aren’t aware of the secret spot, as this truly is a nod to a luxurious dining experience. The menu features entrées generally between $20 to $30, but, lemme tell you, it’s worth every dime – even if you’re digging for those dimes from a velcro McMaster wallet you got in first year. So even if you feel a vivid throwback to playing “big kid” when we draped pearls around our necks and toppling in oversized heels, embrace the fact that this restaurant is the real so-over-our-budget-but-there’s-really-good-wine deal. So before going further, I thought I’d make it clear that for most this is very much a celebratory spot – not so much a “Wanna grab a quick bite?” spot that we’re generally used to here at LifeStyle. On that note, definitely make a reservation, as they’re generally booked up by the time the weekend comes.

The intimacy at Boo’s Bistro sets the perfect scene for a date, because whisking a gal off her feet in the most old fashioned way possible with good food has hardly ever failed, especially if you ask me, myself, and I. The menu has some common favourites done to perfection – like steak and fries, er, pardon me, frites – and dishes that will elevate your taste buds to a very spoiled place – like duck breast. I even found that I wanted to eat off my date’s plate just as much as my own. Although I’d recommend refraining from sneaking a few unsolicited bites if you’re on a first date. (If you still go for it, you are my foodie hero.)

Now technically Boo’s Bistro is a wine bar. I am by no means a wine connoisseur, and am still very much lost when people refer to a wine as full-bodied or oaky. (In fact, I walked away from this experience still having no idea as to how a wine can taste like a tree.) Regardless, I delved into the full experience, like the full-bodied diner I am, and ordered the waitress’s suggestion. Here’s to the first wine I’ve ever enjoyed from start to finish! So alas, there is hope for any fellow wine “noobs”/novice folks out there. And if you do happen to be a wine connoisseur, here’s a tip of a hat to you and a note that they do offer an impressive range of wines – even exclusive choices to Boo’s Bistro.

As with most restaurants, my least favourite thing in the world is waiting for what seems like a decade before the appetizer alone manages its way to my table. The service here, however, was both quick and surprisingly well timed. They really do seem to take into account the dining experience as a whole, rather than just depending on the quality of their food to impress.

Lastly, the name “Boo” isn’t just made for the convenience of alliteration in the restaurant’s name. There really is a “Chef Boo”. Marinade on that, my friends, as I count up the dimes in my wallet for my next dining experience at Boo’s Bistro. 

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