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Place for small grad party - North End?

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Hi Everyone: Looking for recommendations for a small graduation party (about 15 - 20) at a North End restaurant. The group is varied -- age 5 to age 80. Looking for something with a nice, comfortable atmosphere -- not too stuffy or very formal, but someplace that could be considered "special" would be ideal. Food needs to be great, but more traditional Italian than not. Some of the group are not very adventurous eaters. Loud, fun, friendly place needed! High school graduation in June. Any ideas for a great spot that would make for a memorable gathering???
Thanks!
Sally

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  1. IMO that's tough, b/c the "special" places tend to do less traditional Italian, and the more traditional Italian places tend to be less special. Limoncello comes to mind first (I was in there once while a wedding party was occurring). Maybe Maurizio's (if they reserve their downstairs room)?

    3 Replies
    1. re: tatamagouche

      I heartily support the Limoncello recommendation. Very warm, family-friendly vibes, and delicious southern Italian food. Get some stuffed artichokes on the table, and get the party started. Congratulations!

      1. re: onefineleo

        I was going to say Limoncello too. They're very popular at graduations for all the reasons you were looking for. Second the stuffed artichokes. and also recommend the rosette pasta dish.

        1. re: Rubee

          Wow - is Limoncello really that good?

          I have not been but went to the North End one night with the express purpose of going there. We were VERY put off by the harsh lighting, large crowds of tourists and families with kids running around waiting to be seated. It LOOKED like a tourist trap to me, but as I said ... never been there.

          Went next door to Carmen instead and had a fantastic meal (with a bit of a wait, of course - but worth it). Not that I would recommend Carmen for a graduation party; it's too small.

    2. For a venue that easily fits most of your prerequisites, I would strongly urge you to check out Mamma Maria's at 3 North Square. Specifically, the La Terrezza room (18-30 people) on the second floor. The room overlooks The Square and is a terrific setting with superbly done classic fare to match, IMO. While certainly not cheap, it's not over the top by Boston standards either. We've used their rooms several times for some amazingly satisfying family celebrations . Here's the link; http://www.mammamaria.com/

      BTW, these rooms are VERY popular so reserve early!

      1. I have used the room at Mamma Maria's also, loved it.
        Just had a 20 person party at Limoncello, very family friendly. Better prices,
        and the food is excellent. They don't have a private room though.
        I agree with both of these suggestions.

        1. Limoncello was exactly what I would have recommended too and maybe Monica's when they are finished expanding (they are not open right now and I can't wait for them to reopen!). Lucca has a private room as well so that might work although it's fancier than the other recommendations.

          1. euno is very nice and family-oriented as owner will gladly show off his infant daughter to diners.