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Thoughts About Special College Graduation Dinner?

balwink Jan 17, 2007 06:15 PM

When our oldest daughter graduated from college in Manhattan a few years we had a fantastic meal at Le Bernardin. Any thoughts about someplace special, preferably in Cambridge but also could be in the Greater Boston area, to celebrate the college graduation of daughter #2 this spring? We have eaten at Oleana, Cafe Capriccio, Blue Ginger, Lumiere (yuck - incredibly overated!) but are thinking about something new.....Thanks!

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    Blumie RE: balwink Jan 17, 2007 06:17 PM

    The only thing close to comparable to a Le Bernardin experience in Boston is L'Espalier. (It's terrific, but don't expect it to match Le Bernardin.)

    My other top choices would be Clio and No. 9 Park.

    All three of these restaurants are an easy drive or taxi ride over the Mass Avenue bridge from Cambridge.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Blumie
      Joanie RE: Blumie Jan 17, 2007 07:06 PM

      If you want to stay in Cambridge, you could also go to Upstairs on the Square besides Rialto. Locke Ober would be the traditional Boston fine dining. And maybe Radius in addition to the list above.

      1. re: Blumie
        plasticman RE: Blumie Jan 17, 2007 08:21 PM

        I just went to L'Espalier two days ago. I've been to most of the "top-tier" restaurants in the US and L'Espalier is definitely well below average. The food ranks as a decent mid-tier restaurant in New York. Spend your money elsewhere.

        1. re: plasticman
          Blumie RE: plasticman Jan 17, 2007 09:08 PM

          You're in the clear minority on that one. Sorry you didn't enjoy it.

      2. hotoynoodle RE: balwink Jan 17, 2007 06:17 PM

        rialto will be completely renovated by then, with a new menu. it's right in harvard square.

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          emilief RE: balwink Jan 17, 2007 06:50 PM

          Its not Le Bernardin but Clio is very posh( and expensive). Sorellina in Copley Square is beautiful, has very nice food and excellent service. A real special occasion place.

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            InmanSQ Girl RE: balwink Jan 17, 2007 07:09 PM

            OOOOhhhhh!!! Rendevous is your best choice for this occasion. Cambridge location, lovely atmosphere, and AMAZING food. I would get reservations early though, as the location is not huge.

            1 Reply
            1. re: InmanSQ Girl
              cmd RE: InmanSQ Girl Jan 18, 2007 01:18 AM

              I don't know...I quite liked Rendezvous, but I'm not sure it would be "special occasion" enough for the OP. I'd certainly go if you were in town for a regular visit, but the atmosphere is...just ok.

              Unfortunately, I haven't done this sort of special occasion dining in awhile, so I don't think I have a better suggestion. For my last "occasion" Aujourd'hui was really lovely, but that was probably a couple of chefs ago!

            2. Sal Monella RE: balwink Jan 17, 2007 07:10 PM

              Blue Room isn't too bad either

              1 Reply
              1. re: Sal Monella
                thunderbug84 RE: Sal Monella Jan 17, 2007 08:18 PM

                My boyfriend had his graduation dinner at the Blue Room and it was terrific. Its fairly small, but he rented out the whole place and it was well worth it. The seaonal menu is great and its not too expensive.

              2. kittychow RE: balwink Jan 17, 2007 07:36 PM

                L'Espalier would be lovely. You're smart to think about reserving now.

                I really like EVOO on the Cambridge/Somerville line, lovely dining room. It's not at all as elegant as L'Espalier.

                Mamma Maria's in the N.End would be a nice choice.

                Others that come to mind are Sorelinna, the Oak Room, Om, Clio, Upstairs on the Square, Radius, Mistral... I would book now for any of these.

                1. thegolferbitch RE: balwink Jan 17, 2007 08:16 PM

                  What types of foods/places does your daughter (the future grad--congratulations!) like?

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: thegolferbitch
                    balwink RE: thegolferbitch Jan 18, 2007 01:04 PM

                    She just loved Oleana when we ate there last year but it was crowded, noisy and while we might go back for her graduation the atmosphere was kind of loud and chaotic. We know Le Bernardin is one of a kind. Rialto is near the top of the list. I joined Chowhound just for this post and I really appreciate the response and great ideas - thanks everyone!

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