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BU Parents Weekend Dinner suggestions

Suggestions for good place for dinner with 8 people - meeting our son's girlfriend's family for the first time. Would like a casual place where you can talk with good food.


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  1. It's a little small, may not be the greatest for conversation but I highly recommend Carlo's Cucina at 131 Brighton Avenue, Allston (very close to B.U.), very good food, casual and very reasonable prices. I am not sure if they take reservations, but if they don't forget it, you will never get a table for 8.

    1. I'm a big fan of Kenmore Square's India Quality. About a five minute walk or one subway stop from BU East.

      If Indian isn't your bag, Chef Chang's just south of campus has very dependable American-Chinese, and Taberna De Haro across the street has wonderful tapas and spanish entrees.

      1. I think Eastern Standard would work very well -
        Right in Kenmore - google for price points - but can definitely go casual without a problem - good food all the way around.

        Trattoria Toscana is a well-regarded casual Italian place in the Fenway area about 10 minutes? from BU - search the board for thoughts.

        I love Carlo's but IIRC, it can be VERY cramped and loud, so not so great for a table of eight to have a conversation. I fully support going there on your own, however. Good chow...

        1. Try hitting the Super 88 food court in Allston. It's spacious and casual with many good option (see 2 recent threads).

          Also very nice is Ken's Ramen, around the corner from the food court.

          Other good places in the Allston area: Aneka Rasa (Singapore/Malaysian), Buk Kyung II (Korean-Chinese).

          1. The foodcourt?? give me a break Yuck - not a place to go for dinner with 8 people.. food may be ok but oh my god- please not a place to recommend for a dinner for 8??/

            2 Replies
            1. re: emilief

              Why not? The dim sum and (especially) the Indonesian stuff are great for the area. And seating will be easy to come by.

              1. re: limster

                My problem with foodcourt style eating is it's not at all conducive to conversation because the timing is off- everyone's off getting their own stuff and that means they don't end up all sitting at the same time. I have the same problem with Fire & Ice and with Marche when they were open.

                Plus when you're a student, you want mom and dad to bring you out to the places you can't afford on your own :-)

            2. What about Bamboo up at Comm and Washington. Neighborhood casual vibe but with tablecloths and candles on the table to dress it up a bit for the 'rents. Probably not the most authentic Thai, but well made food and very friendly staff. Very fond of their grilled garlic pork and their nice touch with perfectly stirfrying veggies convinced me I even liked cauliflower. Not a large place but never been crowded when I've been there and they could certainly set up tables together for 8.


              1. A great place to go would be to Tasca on Commonwealth Ave and Washington Street. Great Tapas to choose from and a great atmosphere! Love the Sangria.

                1 Reply
                1. re: crinklesmn

                  Yuck! Don't go to Tasca, in my opinion, a shadow of its former self.

                2. Bamboo, Tasca and Anaka Rasa are all good suggestions - Beacon Street Bistro, on Beacon up the block from Chef Chang, if you go for an early dinner, is a good choice - if you are driving as opposed to walking, the range gets a lot bigger - i'd consider Porcini in Watertown - comfortable, will take reservations, good to very good Italian food, medium-priced.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: teezeetoo

                    Besides these and Eastern Standard, Audobon would be fine earlier in the nite. Great Bay for a fancier dinner. Lineage, Khao Sarn and Pho Lemongrass in Coolidge Corner. La Morra in Brookline Village. All pleasant places to sit and talk. I need to get back to La Morra.

                  2. My two suggestions are Eastern Standard in Kenmore Square or
                    Lineage in Brookline. Both are great places to talk.

                    We recently dined at L'Espalier and found the room where we were seated to be quite loud.

                    1. Obviously you want a place where you can make a reservation.
                      I think Eastern Standard is a great recommendation; Trattoria Toscana is also a great choice, and i believe they will take a reservation for a party of that size.
                      I'd try for either of these 2 places.

                      I agree that the Super 88 food court really isn't what your looking for.

                      1. Last time I went there Eastern Standard was so loud we had a hard time making conversation.

                        Brown Sugar (Thai) is good and in the general neighorhood , but don't know about ambiance, only have had take out.

                        1. I went to BU and my parents came up on a somewhat regular basis for dinner. Some places that they really liked were Elephant Walk, Carlos, and Khao Sarn. We also made some driving trips to places like Henrietta's Table, the Helmand and the North End. You didn't say whether you would be going on a weekend or a weeknight which would definately effect the reservations and noisiness situations!

                          1. Easstern Standard is exceptionally convenient for BU visitors and is an exceptional restaurant. However, unless you are there on a night that it is not busy, if there is such a time, it hums at the highest decimals. Not a place to chat with potential in-laws, for the first time, although if the conversaation falters, there will be much to distract you from a dull exchange. Tomorrow, will post some alternatives to any that have been suggested.

                            1. Great Bay has an excellent dinner menu. They have specialty sushi (which seems to be a huge trend at seafood restaurants now a days) that are superb

                              1. And may I suggest Stephanie's on Newbury being one of my all-time fave's for consistent food at affordable prices!

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: bentleyz

                                  Only if I may counter that it's an overpriced tourist/shopper trap dishing out oversized portions of mediocre food coupled with lousy service. It's pretty much The Cheesecake Factory but more expensive.

                                  1. re: tamerlanenj

                                    I second that...last year, my husband and I went there mainly for the al fresco dining. He ordered a burger medium, and had to send it back when it was prepared well done. When they brought it back exactly as before, he gave up. To add insult to injury, there was a surcharge on the bill for eating outside, that wasn't displayed in any obvious way prior to that. I just wouldn't ever go back, given all the alternatives around.