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Dinner for 30 High School Students?

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I will be bringing a group of 30 high school students to Boston in a few weeks. We would like to take the group out for a "nice" dinner for our last night? Suggestions? Here are the parameters . . .

We will be staying nearish Copley Square and would like to be able to walk or T it to the restaurant. Some sort of family style option would be nice -- but not necessary. We have carnivores, vegetarians, and a vegan. We can spend up to $25 per person. We would really like to not be limited to chains.


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  1. I think in that area, although it's a chain, Maggiano's would be your best bet, and good for that age group. A friend took 10 teenage boys there for a birthday party and they loved it.

      1. re: ginnyhw

        I really like the idea of going somewhere in Chinatown - e.g., Peach Farm. It shows a different side of Boston and will possibly open up the students to different cultural experiences to boot. The food at these places is excellent and of course you can order some safe things - besides this simplifies sharing and plating.It also fits in your budget. I don't think some of the other places recommended here (e.g., Eastern Standard) can easily be done with $25 pp even without alcohol, once you include a tip.

        1. re: Sgt Snackers

          Eastern Standard, w/ 30 kids, would cost you a fortune. Though you should check it out on your own- it has great food!

          1. re: foodforthought.m

            If you got burgers or the mussels/frites and a soda, you could get out of Eastern Standard for $20 pp.

      2. My first thought was also Maggiano's or perhaps Vinny T's on Boyltson. I believe they both do family style, food is good/decent, it's within your price range and they are used to dealing with groups. Good luck!

        1. If you have the time- and 3 weeks is plenty of notice- you can arrange a party w/ a restaurant's event planner-explore several options for food- from heavy apps to sit down family style (and don't let them force you into a beverage package- it's a waste of $$ and unnecessary w/ your age group.)

          Perks often include private to semi private space-. Also, because you typically will have a contract that includes tax and grat, you will know ALL of your costs ahead of time with no surprises.

          Most restaurants won't allow resi's for 30 w/o some form of agreement- and that includes your cc info.

          Good luck!

          1. Eastern Standard might fit the "nice" bill and it's a unique spot. Would be my first choice, might be more on the 30/35 dollar level. They may push you towards an early sitting.

            Only consider it if you're arriving before April 10th. Can you imagine herding thirty teenagers in Kenmore during a game?

            1. How about Fire & Ice at 205 Berkeley St.? Quick walk from Copley Square, all you can eat, and the kids can pick and choose exactly what they want - been to the Cambridge location enough to know that teens love the concept.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Truh

                IMO the food at Fire & Ice isn't worth the effort- of course, you're partly to blame because you assemble it, but most people don't know what would work well, plus I think the sauces are awful. I also wouldn't want to be responsible for keeping an eye on 30 teenagers all over the place.

                I like the idea of something in Chinatown, either a planned menu, or maybe even Shabu Shabu. Something with an entertaining visual element, which will expose them to different trypes of food that they wouldn't get at home. (When I was that age on school outings, I thought Benihana was THE SHIT!) http://shabuzen.com/ is one option and is defintely in your budget

                For other "nice" dinners in that area, Brasserie Jo and Laurel come to mind.

                1. re: Chris VR

                  As usual, I was thinking Laurel too for this but it seems their prices have risen a good bit in the last year. Their cheapest set menu for the private room is $27.99/head w/o tax or tip, plus there may be a room charge. Not sure about 30 in the main room.

              2. Making my own dinner in a restaurant doesn't sound like my cup of tea, but I know that teenagers do seem to like Fire & Ice.

                1. Chinatown would be fine, but I wouldn't recommend Peach Farm for this. First, 30 people is a lot to pack into that small place. Second, I've found that many times, when I've tried to take people there, whether tourists, or locals who don't know Chinatown, they are very put off by the "lack" of atmosphere, and general "unkemptness" of the place. They can't get past it to enjoy the food.

                  If you are doing Chinatown, I'd suggest Empire Garden, or Chau Chau City, or one of the large "emporium" type places, which can accommodate a crowd.

                  I think Maggiano's is also an excellent suggestion, as they have family style service, plenty of large tables, and even private dining rooms, which will accommodate a crowd of that size.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: mwk

                    I think Empire Garden is a great suggestion--maybe not the best food in Chinatown, but quite the atmosphere! I believe they have dim sum even at off-peak times and a decent selection of the American/Chinese stuff for the culinarily nervous.

                  2. Or for a historic-feeling place- Durgin Park in Quincy Market area. I'll bet they're used to getting large tourist groups.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: silver queen

                      Durgin Park would be fun, and a good "taste" of Boston. Vegetarians would have lean pickings but the menu does list a few options. The vegan might have a VERY hard time.

                    2. Another option over in Faneuil Hall area is McCormack & Schmicks - also a chain, but they do some fne seafood there. They have a 2d location on Columbus Ave. I know they do arrange for banquets, so you can probably call them and arrange a pre-planned menu.

                      1. I always think Legal Sea Foods is a good option for crowds. They have the chowder and seafood that's distinctly New England, but they have basic stuff for people who won't eat anything "crazy" like fish. Not that I think fish is crazy, but with 30 high schoolers, there are going to be some who won't eat anything that's not uber basic. It's not my favorite restaurant in Boston, and yeah it's a chain, but it's more than suitable for what you need. Have fun.

                        1. Any restaurant that you are reserving at for 30 people will happily set a menu to fit your budget. I know eastern standard will do it. Try calling around to the reccommended places and asking i f this is an option. HAVE FUN!

                          1. Thanks for the many suggestions . . . I'm going to spend today making my way through them and (hopefully) set something up for our group!


                            2 Replies
                            1. re: LCB

                              I agree with Legal seafood and depending on what you are looking for, Dicks Last Resort for something more basic - check out the web site though coz its a different type of place you may be looking for, depending on their ages

                              1. re: LCB

                                Please come back and let us know what you chose... and how it went!

                              2. There are some good choices near Copley, I like the Fire and Ice suggestion, I also think many restaurants would put together a package for you for that many people, it would be fun to do something North End Authentic like Mamma Maria's, or you could stay very close and try Clery's or Brownstone on Dartmouth Street, which would certainly work within that price range. Both of those places will place together menus for you if want family style, we've done both of them once for a graduation and then again recently for a family christening. Worked very well.