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Sep 8, 2006 05:45 PM

Claremont Dinner- discussed before, but need specific help...

Hi Chowhounds!

I know I know.. you're thinking you've seen this thread already. And trust me, I've reviewed them all! But I am still struggling with a choice because here's my situation:

Need a very very nice dinner for three. My friend and I are meeting with an old professor whom we admire deeply. A relatively quiet setting for good discussion is pantamount. Because we want this to be a memorable experience for him, we want the food to be great- he is an older gentleman, and diabetic. Staying in Claremont is important because driving later in the evening/dark may pose problems for him, and I'd rather him not drive very far to meet us.

So far, I'm thinking Walters or Harvard Square?

Does anyone have specific suggestions? Or have general suggestions on how to approach this dinner (ie, good times to eat, good fare recs)??

I greatly appreciate all the thoughts and help I can get. We're looking to dine on a Saturday evening in the next few weeks.

as always, with many thanks,

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  1. You might consider the Brasserie Astuce over in Pomona. The food is very good and the atmosphere is more hushed and serene than any place I can think of in the Claremont Village. For some reason, it's never busy on weekends.

    2 Replies
    1. re: ironykettle

      I had what I would consider to be a terrible meal at Brasserie Astuce.
      Server had no idea what was in various dishes on the menu, but returned from the kitchen with answers to our questions. Following an acceptable cup of clam chowder, we had the sand dab, a fish I had never heard of before. Presented with three filets of a fairly tasteless fish piled on a plate over what were clearly jarred artichoke hearts, a few mushrooms and a non-descript broth. House salad was inadequately cleaned...lettuce crunched with each bite. The 1999 Gigondas had lost all of its taste, leaving neither fruit nor tannins. Had someone come to check on us, I would have voiced my dissatisfaction, but only when we pushed our plates to the side were we offered a check. They had a sign in the waiting area indicating that they intend to move to Claremont Village in the future. Hopefully, their kitchen will improve by then.
      Bottom line: NOT recommended.

      1. re: famdoc

        Sorry you had a bad meal, but glad you took one for the team, Brasserie Astuce has been there for a few years (it was an Italian place prior), but never tried it and now I know I don't need to. Sand Dabs are a west coast thing, think filet of sole, but I wouldn't be surprised if this joint ruined them.

    2. If you are concerned about his driving at night, why don't you arrange to pick him up, then head south from Claremont to Owen's Bistro in Chino. Should be nice quiet dining either inside or on the patio on a weeknight.

      1. I think you'd be fine with either. The food at Walter's is more interesting, but Harvard Square has that "fancy restaurant" vibe. Walter's would probably be a little louder.

        1. Most of the places in the village are focused on college student type fare (hearty and relatively simple) in the evenings. Exceptions are Harvard Square, which is always good, and Walter's. I have never seen the big attraction at Walter's.
          I would try Viva Madrid (225 Yale Avenue). Not the quietest place around, but I have never had any problem with conversation - it will center on the food regardless of your intentions. Inexpensive tapas of all types from beans to ham to paella. You order several dishes apiece and they come out seemingly at random over the next half hour or so - surprise after surprise. Kind of like a floor show without all the fanfare. The Prof will have a memorable evening.

          1. When I lived out there, I always enjoyed HS over Walters. Been a while so assuming that things have remained the same, go HS.