Daedalus and others near Harvard Square
I live in NYC and I'm planning two dinners in March--both restaurants must be in walking distance of Harvard Square:
1. should be more informal, for about 10-15 people. Good Thai, Middle Eastern, etc.
2. for 25-30, I talked to Daedalus--they have a room downstairs that we could have...but is the food decent? Also might try Casablanca.
Any other suggestions welcome.
re: Alexandra Hans
I would stray away from Daedalus; I've had a mixed experience and heard even worse from friends.
-I've had numerous great meals at Casablanca, but Sandrine's is a really lovely restaurant with exquisite food. They also have a downstairs room that is really nice and quiet as well.
Informal? Friendly? Delicious food? Amazing flavors?Good times? MIDDLE EASTERN?? Dude,you so have to go to ZuZu. It's maybe a twelve-minute walk from the square, and it's just great. When my college buddies and I feel we've done something worth celebrating, THIS is where we go. Check out this recent Boston Globe review - most of what I would say, it says. Enjoy!!
Chez Henri ( ~ 10 min walk up mass ave from the square towards porter sq. ) is french/cuban and very good. I've seen large parties served there so they might be able to handle the larger group. It's a little pricey for the samller ,less formal, dinner ($16-23 main dishes, $7-10 appetizers) unless you eat in bar (excellent inexpensive menue, really cool cuban drinks) but bar too small for 15-20. Call them & see what they can do, food is excellent & environment VERY cambridge.
Okay, maybe I've had unusual experiences at these restaurants, however:
Daedalus: I live across the street from it. I was ecstatic when it opened, as it seemed to promise good food and an exciting bar scene close by. The bar scene has met my expectations; the food, however, is dismal, and pricey. I never render a verdict on a restaurant after only one visit, and many acquaintances have spoken highly of Daedalus, so I gave the restaurant a second, third, and fourth try. The food was consistently not only unimpressive but just not good. The Portabello Napoleon was horrendous. A ravioli entree was tasteless, a steak was doused in some kind of cream sauce that completely overwhelmed it, and a chicken entree was dry and bland.
Casablanca: I have had consistently wonderful meals there, and recently. I have dined there I think four times in the past couple of months, and each time thoroughly enjoyed myself (as did my guests). The quail appetizer and the venison entree are particularly memorable. I had a steak as an entree the last time I was there and it was delicious.
Inman Square is a bit of hike (like 20 mins) but since I live near there and walk to H Square practically every day, this does not seem such an obstacle. East Coast Grill will let you book the Lava Lounge room (cap. 29?) on Sun-Thurs nights, and the food is usually inventive and good, with a great, fun atmosphere. Mains in the low $20s?
Sandrine, right in the Squarea, has a room downstairs, which might work for you. I haven't eaten there in ages, but I'm sure others can comment.
And for what it's worth, my last meal (ca. two months ago) at Casablanca was fine (scallops, beautifully cooked).