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Jamaica Plain Dinner for 12

Looking for suggestions to give my folks and their friends for a pre-theater Friday dinner in JP. They tried 10 Tables, but you can't do a group larger than 8 without booking the whole restaurant.
Some pretty adventurous eaters in the group as well as some people I've never met before. I'm open to all suggestions!

TIA for your help,


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  1. For a little nicer, I'd say Cafe D. Alchemist could fit that. And Zon's. More casual could be James Gate. Or go super casual at Miami or El Oriental de Cuba.

    1. The Dogwood Cafe would be a fun place to go. Excellent brick oven pizzas (as always, specify "well-done" to get the crust perfectly cooked), great turkey tips and such, pretty good pastas, and the specials are usually tasty as well.

      Certainly not fine dining, but real satisfying food.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Bostonbob3

        I like Dogwood as well! Great pizza. Wonder spice might be able to seat you as well.

      2. I've recently enjoyed meals at the Alchemist Lounge and Zon's, places that could seat that crowd and have the range to please diverse tastes.

        1. Cha Fahn is another option, nice atmosphere,good interesting food
          I agree with Cafe D, maybe Zon's for atmosphere.
          Dogwood cafe,I do not recopmmend ,James Gate is good for a drink but I wouldn't eat there

          1 Reply
          1. re: reelfood

            Isn't the layout at Cha Fahn a little odd for such a large group?

          2. All good recs above. I'd say Zon's and the Dogwood are both good options, mainly because they have a wide variety of entrees at both places.

            1. Are you going tonight in the freezing cold? Then go to James Gate- they have parking and a fireplace and the food is really good.

              1. I had a similar situation a few months back..we had about 10 people and I was searching for a place large enough to accomodate. Zon's is great, but it's not a big restaurant --you'd really need to call and see if they had the room. The restaurant side of James Gate is also a good option --I know they can seat a large group, but again, you'd need to call to see if they have availability. The pub is fun and cozy but not at all feasable for a group of 12. Maybe after dinner you could swing by there and grab a few pints, but there's no way you could all get seated together there for dinner (unless you showed up at about 4:30) Plus it's loud and not really conducive to dining for more than a few folks...

                Anyway, our large group ended up going to the Dogwood. They set up a big table for us and the food and service were good...everyone seemed happy with their meals so I'd give it a thumbs-up, esp for a larger crowd. Again, you can call them and make a rez.

                Good luck!

                1. I had a dozen people at Zon's for my birthday. A very tight squeeze. And for adventurous eaters I would not recommend Dogwood. I think your best options may be Cafe D and Cha Fahn because with advance notice they can set up a table for you. You will also find some very appealing meal choices.

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                  1. Thanks for all the great recommendations! I've passed everything along (it's not my decision) and will report back on their experience.