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Restaurant and/or music for 25 people in Cambridge (central, harvard or inman area)

My company is having a corporate sales meeting in cambridge in a few weeks. We're looking for some restaurant ideas (moderately priced) that can accomodate a large group but and also looking for entertainment (music)ideas for afterwards. A place that has both would be great, but I know that most places that do both don't have great food. So, places that are in close vicinity to music venues would be good. Any suggestions?

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  1. Are you looking for lunch or dinner? As I assume dinner, Legal Sea Foods might do if it's in your budget, as would Henrietta's table. If you think they could do Indian the Bombay Club (Cafe?) would also be a good choice.

    1. A place that has both great food and great music is the Green Street Grill in Central Square. It's always a blast, and there's very cheap parking available nearby at the Green Street garage. I highly recommend it.

      1. What day of the week, what is reasonable, do you need vegetarian options, what type of music?

        I was also going to recommend Central. Green Street is a good option, although music might start on the late side and I thought it was Thursday-Sun. The Plough and Stars is probably way too small, but has both 7 nights a week. Rendezvous has good food, with excellent vegetarian offerings. The Cantab Lounge has Little Joe Cook Friday and Saturdays and the Chicken Slacks (never seen them) Thursdays. Wish or Tavern on the Square, the Tavern has music 7 nights a week.

        Just about any Brazilian Restaurant could arrange music for you and a number have live music on the weekends. Fish options abound (moqueca), but satisfying true vegetarians would be hard. You could call Muqueca in Inman and ask if they could handle a party this size and provide music. Midwest Grill certainly could and has music most nights, but its not my favorite. If you could change your route to Oasis in Medford, they have a new private room and can offer music, plus have the best brazilian collards in town.

        Johnny D's in Davis is also off your map, but could probably accomodate you and will have some music offering. The Burren might be able to handle your group in the back room and has nice music, but unless they have music in the backroom its a bit too crowded for much socializing. In Inman Ryles should have music most nights, but I haven't been in ages. And the Druid has music weeknights, but is waaay to small.

        4 Replies
        1. re: itaunas

          Food is poor at Johnny D's (weekend brunch excepted). I can't think of anywhere for such a large group which would let you walk to Johnny D's afterward for the music. Redbones maybe?

          1. re: DavisSquare

            I haven't eaten at Johnny D's in a while but I thought people here said it was surprisingly decent and reasonable for dinner.

          2. re: itaunas

            Green Street does not do live music anymore.

            1. re: MC Slim JB

              I hadn't noticed music since it reopened, but it was someone above that suggested it for live music.

              Zuzu might also be fun for the dinner part (again small), but not certain about the sales team at the Middle East... PA's lounge in Union? :-)

          3. Maybe make a reservation and eat at Magnolia's or O Cantinho and walk to Ryles afterwards for Jazz? Both reasonably priced and good food. I've only eaten at Ryles once for brunch and it tasted exactly the same as the food from S&S - bland and boring. But 25 might take up the full room at either Magnolia's and O Cantinho.

            1. We're looking at a wednesday or thursday night. Not sure if we have any vegetarians but a bit wary of getting 25 people interested in specific ethnic foods knowing there's always a few "not very experimental" people in the crowd who just want their steak and potato. Flexibility is key here. Thanks for the great ideas, keep them coming!

              1 Reply
              1. re: crazylash

                I hear you, I come up with this for both personal and work outings.

                The Blue Room used to be our safety for work. La Groceria in Central is pretty uninspiring, but never offends anyone. I partly suggested Johnny D's because its in this vein, but the food there is pretty far from fancy (and as mentioned above sometimes mediocre, but sometimes good). Henrietta's has a lot for everyone, but a bit pricey (they are doing a tasting menu for August, but you said Sept). Green Street might be a bit spicy. West Side and Rendezvous have meat and potato entrees, but call them "steak frites" which for my co-workers makes it a bit too foreign. Elephant Walk used to be pretty good all around by having both sides of the menu -- Cambodian and French, but the steak au pouvre is now a kobe beef entree (I suspect they could do a menu just for your group, which included a straight steak and potato if you call).

                I still think Central gives you the most flexibility for live music within walking distance (especially on Thursday). Either Rendezvous, the Tavern/Wish, or La Groceria. West Side Lounge has some music walking distance, but its mostly small venues (Lizard Lounge and Toad). If you have transportation, try Elephant Walk, Henrietta's, or Blue Room. Call and ask them for a sample menu for your group, see if you can try it first (always recommended).

              2. For something very vanilla that others, but not really me, have liked you could try the Independent in Union Square. It has the benefit of free parking and some nightlife nearby.

                1. Don't know how much your company is willing to shell out, but Rialto has a private room, and then the Regattabar is just upstairs...

                  1. If I recall correctly Ole in Inman has a private room. I'm not sure what kind of music you're looking for but they often have musicians play in the restaurant on weekends. Reasonable prices and generally nice folks. Amazing guacamole!

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: kittychow

                      The back room at Ole is outstanding -- great food, great drinks, and warm people at fair prices -- music and ice cream options nearby.