Boston Restaurant Week (August 19-24 and 26-31) for some great lunch deals.
Aragosta: Not too fancy and not too casual, this waterfront Italian in the Fairmont Battery Wharf makes for a nice backdrop for doing deals and can impress without being over the top (617-994-9001).
Avila: The tables are set apart for optimum privacy, and the service efficient and friendly at this Mediterranean in the Theater District near Park Square (617-267-4810).
Capital Grille: Whether you’re in Back Bay, Chestnut Hill or Burlington, your bet for meat and potatoes is the menu and the button-up service - great for serious Sams who want to talk shop or smooth it over with a midday glass of vino (617-262-8900).
Harvest: Professorial types and Cantabrigians clamor for the low-key glam of this handsome institution that’s always on the mark with its inventive New England cuisine and knowledgeable staff (617-868-2255).
Legal Sea Foods: At this popular local seafood chain's Kendall Square location, MIT whizzes and other biotech types slip away to discuss top-secret topics (617-864-3400).
Oak Long Bar & Kitchen: This excellent Back Bay haunt features plugs at its long bar where you can power up your laptop, iPhone or blow dry your hair (just kidding on the last one). The New American menu of small plates and flatbreads offers perfect nibbles while you do so (617-585-7222).
Radius: This longstanding French favorite in the Financial District still maintains its swagger and shine, offering white-tablecloth treatment and a creative menu from owner Michael Schlow (617-426-1234).
Spiga: This “reliable” Italian in Needham happens to hit the spot for both great fare and attentive service, a winning combo to iron out the agenda. Parking is free and it's near Route 128 (781-449-5600).
Sportello: We know this Seaport Italian by Barbara Lynch is more funky diner than splashy spot - that's why we suggest it's a perfect foil for easing tensions and getting down to business through slurpy pastas and easy conversation (617-737-1234).
Toscano: When you’re on Beacon Hill, nothing compares to a quiet tête-à-tête among colleagues, and here you can get your fill of “Tuscan delights” to inspire communication among office mates (617-723-4090).