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Birthday Dinner for 18-Year Old Guest

We are taking my son and his girlfriend out for her 18th birthday this Sunday evening. We have tickets to STOMP, so we will be in the theater district area. She's not a fan of seafood. We want to keep it somewhat casual, not too expensive, but special nonetheless. Any suggestions?

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  1. Hi

    I would suggest Eastern Standard on Comm Ave adjacent to the Commonwealth Bay Hotel. Very nice atmosphere and a wide variety of choices that should please everyone. The prices are mid range for Boston. I also like Petit Robert Bistro also on Comm Ave and and not far from Eastern Standard. It is a nice little French Bistro with good food. Both places are on the ":in-bound side" of Comm Ave right near Kenmore Sq.

    1. You could scan the boards for info on Masa, which will be close to the theatres, or places in Chinatown. Davios on Arlington St might also be nice.

      2 Replies
      1. re: adams_jo

        My daughter, that age, loves Scala's Bistro on Union Square. The pizzas and pastas are reasonably priced.

        1. re: Oakland Barb

          But Scala's is in San Francisco, and they're in Boston - I'm sure she's a nice girl, but that would be a REALLY special dinner!

      2. I'd recommend Teatro, though it looks like prices have inched up a bit since I was last there.

        1. A couple of ideas to toss into the mix, depending what kind of an atmosphere you're in the mood for and just how expensive you want to make it. For something louder and scenier, you could try Via Matta or Teatro (with Teatro being the quieter of those two). More intimate, sort of tucked away, and a bit pricier (maybe too pricey for this occasion?) are Troquet and Spire. Not sure which theater the show's at but none of these should be more than a 5 or 10 minute walk.

          1. Fellow Chowhounds - please don't shoot me for this recommendation, but if you want to keep the price down and your daughter is a typical 18 year old, she will probably enjoy P.F. Changs. My two nieces and nephew 17, 18 and 19 really like it - the 19 year old is quite the foodie. The atmosphere is fun and it is right by the theater. I am pretty sure they take reservations.

            1. What about Penang? It's right nearby, festive with a slightly kitschy edge, and the food is great. There are menu choices both for adventurous and not-so-adventurous palates (I'll admit to enjoying mango chicken along with the more authentic Malaysian dishes), all tasty. The only issue I've ever had there was being rushed along by the waiter one time, but that was on a very busy friday night, I don't think it's typical.

              2 Replies
              1. re: MichaelB

                I agree with Penang (and actually, PF Chang's would probably work too). Silvertone on Bromfield St. isn't far and it's fun and funky, a place 18 year olds would like. Les Zygomates and Sorriso on South St. are a 10 min walk away.

                The Teatro and Via Matta recs are good, but I think the former is louder than the latter (tho they're both on the loud side).

                1. re: Joanie

                  Third the Penang rec. I love Les Zyg, but think it loses a lot of appeal if one can't have the wine.

                  Teatro is definitely louder than Via Matta, but both are very good and fun.

              2. I'd second the recommendation on Teator. We've always enjoyed their food and it's got a nice energy level (good warm-up for Stomp)

                1. Penang would be my rec. too. Funky, not too $$, and close to the theatre.

                  1. Teatro - perfect choice.

                    1. Peneng could be a good choice, but if your son and his girlfriend are not too adventurous, they may be intimidated by the menu. The food is very good, but some of the items might not sound too familiar...plus they have things like frogs on the menu which can scare some people.

                      Montien is very good for a Thai option. PF Changs can be fun for young people. The food is decent and it has a cool atmosphere. Plus they do things like mix sauces at the table and stuff.

                      1. I hate to recommend a chain when there are so many great local places, but I agree with the above posters that P.F. Changs would be a good safe bet. It is walking distance from the theater, upstairs from the Transportation Building parking garage, and offers interesting food, including a brown rice option. If it pleases their palates, they can expand from there into the many wonderful restaurants in the area for reasonably priced dates!

                        1. Food at teatro is much better than pf changs. For all u PFChang fans, there's a new outpost opening in 2007 in the Prudential Center... above Cheesecake Factory where the old Marche was that went out of business.

                          If u go 2 teatro... stick to the pizzas, apps, and pastas which are much better than most of the entrees. Portions are huge... an order of pasta can be split. Well chosen, not outrageously priced wine list.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: WineTravel

                            I do agree that the food at Teatro is much better. My concern with that recommendation was the request that it not be too expensive. I looked up the menu and it was more reasonable than I had remembered. We went there with our son at that age, and he loved it. He also loves Penang. I would look up menus on line and go from there. It really depends on the young people's taste in food. It would be more special in the sense that Teatro is not a chain, whereas P.F. Changs is, and he might be more apt to encounter that on his own. Have a great time and report back!