Special Birthday Dinner Night Out w/The Girls
Any suggestions on where my friends and I should go to celebrate a birthday and a Friday night out? Some of our faves are Mistral, Clio, Radius, Oleana, Helmand, Tryst (Arlington), Tempo (Waltham), Ariadne (Newton), Quince (Needham) and Aujourd'hui. Looking for something new, different, upscale and not stuffy. We all eat out a lot so finding a place we haven't all been too is challenging. Thoughts?
Given your willingness to go west, I would suggest 51 Lincoln in Newton Highlands, which has superlative food. Just don't let them seat you in the basement room. I've said it a lot lately, but Pops in the South End is a very worthy newcomer, a very pretty room with lovely food at attractive prices for the South End. I had one decent early meal at Sasso; that's probably new enough to be a novelty, though it's a bit pricey. If you haven't all hit Sorellina, I'd recommend that one, too, though it's costlier than it should be (but does have great atmosphere). I don't see Rendezvous at Central Square on your list; that's worthy and fits your requirements. If you're willing to endure a no-reservations wait (that can be long), Toro is fun, especially with a group.
Two additional board favorites that no one has mentioned yet:
No. 9 Park - I'd be surprised if none of your crew have been there yet, but No. 9 is one of the least stuffy E-ticket restaurants in town. In addition to stellar food, wine, and cocktails, the service manages the deft feat of being attentive, informative, and unpretentious all at once.
Eastern Standard - pretty new, great food, very fun, not stuffy.
Start at Rendezvous in Central Square - just really great food, completely non-stuffy, move on to the Middlesex Lounge (5minute walk up Mass ave) - great drinks, friendly & cute bartenders, fun vibe, eclectic crowd.