Need a Restaurant in Cambridge for Anniversary!
I am celebrating my 2yr. anniversary this weekend and need a good, not too expensive restaurant take my date! Anyone have any suggestions for places that are not only good eats, but unique and of course romantic?? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated, i am new to the area.
"Not too expensive" is a pretty relative term, especially in the Northeast, but here are a few of the more romantic Cambridge-area places that would fit the descriptor one way or another:
--- Entrees $20 - $30 ---
Chez Henri - upscale French Bistro with Cuban influence, wonderfully refined food.
Upstairs on the Square (Club Bar only) - if the Mad Hatter from Alice in Wonderland opened a Cambridge eatery, this would be it. Inventive food, great wine list. I don't recommend the upstairs Soiree Room; both more expensive and less compelling.
Gargoyles - located just over the line into Somerville, chef Jason Santos is turning out some fascinating, playful, upscale food (smoked Dr. Pepper foie gras...), served in a romantic dining room, one of the better high-end values in the Cambridge/Somerville area.
--- Entrees $10 - $20 ---
The Helmand - different, but accessible Afghan cuisine in a handsomely decorated space near the Galleria. If you're unfamiliar with Afghan food, it's geographically exactly what you'd expect, somewhere between Middle Eastern and Indian. The pumpkin kaddo appetizer is a must.
Dali - near Harvard and Inman squares, but again technically in Somerville, this tapas place can be noisy, but it has a distinctly romantic feel to it, especially if you're willing to wait a few extra minutes for one of the corner tables, or their quieter back room. Sangria is great, as are the inventive tapas. NB they don't take reservations for small parties.
The first three have websites, and all five have been discussed incessantly on this board, so do a little Internet research and see what works for you.
In the $20-$30 entree range, I just celebrated Valentine's Day at Oleana, on Hampshire Street, and had a fantastic time, with the total for a shared app, 2 entrees, 2 desserts, a bottle of great wine, and coffees at just about $200. This seems pretty reasonable for an outstanding dining experience on a special occasion, but then again, I spend most of my disposable income on food anyway...
The service was attentive but not obtrusive, and the atmosphere was simultaneously lively and intimate. It was my first time there, and I can't wait to experience their legendary garden seating this summer. Happy anniversary, enjoy!
I third Oleana. They "get it" from the moment you walk in. I've had to wait for a bar stool on a few occassions and was always approached by someone offering to get me a drink while I waited. The gas fireplace is a nice touch. There is a pretty cool deuce in the bar area off to the side that you might want to request. The food can be pretty adventurous so you really need to engage your server about preparation and ingredients. One of my favorite dishes is the lightly fried oysters w/jalopeno peppers w/great dipping sauce. Be sure to check out the menu before you go. Craige Street Bistro is also an excellent recommendation. I went for a "chef's whim" experience on a Sunday night and it was great!!! Good luck and enjoy.
I'd personally go to Gargoyles or Oleana or EVOO (have done anniversaries at all of those). Slightly cheaper but with very good food (although we haven't been in a while) is the West Side Lounge on Mass ave. The only danger there is that sometimes the room is VERY LOUD making date-like conversation difficult.