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.
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).
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.
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.
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!!
re: sugar the cat
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.