HOME > Chowhound > Greater Boston Area >


Plotting My Birthday Dinner

So, I am anticipating that my boyfriend is going to ask me where I would like to be taken for my 33rd birthday. I want to have a great answer! Somewhere romantic. Somewhere with a good, but not terribly expensive wine list. Somewhere with entrees around $20-30. Not a steakhouse or seafood place. I live in Somerville, work in Cambridge, and would certainly go to Boston, but don't want a 40 minute drive to dinner. (I have a car though). Where should I suggest? Thanks in advance!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Can you give us suggestions as to what restaurants you've been to with those parameters so we can avoid recommending them? My immediate first thought was Gargoyles, but if you've been there, I'd think you'd want some place different.

      1. You are both on the right track. I have not been to Gargoyles, and I thought of that as well. I loved Oleana when I went there (so therefore a perfect recommendation) but probably want to try somewhere new. I can't think of too many other places that I have already been that fit the bill. Keep the great ideas coming...you're on the right track.

        1 Reply
        1. re: cheesecake

          Since you probably spend a lot of time in Camb. and Som., maybe come into Boston for Meritage and get a window table overlooking the harbor. They're definitely in your range, esp. if you get the smaller plates which are still good sized. Davio's or Prezza push the $30 limit but you can share or stick to apps. and pasta. Not overly romantic but great rooms and fun. Taranta in the north end is a cozy little room.

        2. I went to EVOO for my birthday this year (August) and would highly recommend it: romantic, understated, reasonably priced, and fancy without being pretentious. We had the fantastic 7+ course "chef's tasting menu," which is just $50pp (~$75 with wine pairing). I think the menu is weeknights only, but the regular entrees are well within your price range as well.

          It's on the Somerville/Cambridge line (opposite DalĂ­). A board search for "Evoo tasting menu" gives some older reviews, but they are pretty accurate as far as my recollection of the meal.


          1 Reply
          1. re: mbtabus69

            I second the EVOO recommendation.

          2. I have a great idea, and it came to me when you said "romantic" -- the tiny bar at Lala Rokh is great -- went last night with another hound. You can sit and enjoy a bunch of delicious appetizers (approx $4 - 8 each) or eat a full meal (entrees all under $30). They have a nice wine list and a full bar, too.

            You can take the T or park inexpensively at the Boston Common garage.

            We'll write up specific recs from the menu soon, but I highly recommend Lala Rokh for your birthday.

            1. In Boston, I would go to Davio's. In Somerville, I would love the tasting menu at EVOO, but I think Gargoyle's is more romantic. Have a great Birthday.

              3 Replies
              1. re: mcel215

                Davio's is a nice idea for a celebratory meal, but I think most entrees are over $30 (the grilled meats and fish are a la carte), and the wine list is kind of crazy expensive.

                1. re: MC Slim JB

                  Ask for the sommelier if ordering wine at Davios. He is wonderful and will steer you away from the overpriced bottles, while pointing out some real values. The last few times there, he has put us into some great bottles which are not on their wine list. Reasonably priced (under $60 bottle). The wine is one of the reasons we love Davios.

                  1. re: Gabatta

                    Always nice to hear about a sommelier who's not upselling hard all the time. But I'm guessing that a wine list where the definition of reasonably priced is "under $60" is not quite what the OP is looking for.

              2. The bottles I enjoyed were under $60, whereas they can often be much more expensive than that. The bottom line is that price/quality from the reccomendations was excellent when compared to other restaurants. The sommelier also offered bottles at much cheaper prices which may accomodate the OP. I just think that characterizing Davio's wine as "crazy expensive" is not accurate.