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Apr 16, 2007 08:38 AM

Dinner for 60 in the North End

I'm seeking suggestions for a dinner for 60 people in the North End or nearby. Because of the number of people involved, looking for someplace where we could get away with $25-30 per person. Ideally, would like some outdoor space where kids could escape and run around.

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  1. The only places that could hit that price point with a private dining room, which I believe you'll need for that many people, I can't recommend. I don't know how you address the outdoor space for kids question at all.

    5 Replies
    1. re: MC Slim JB

      And, unless everyone's coming by T, I wouldn't want to dream of the logistical nightmare of that many people driving to and parking near or in the North End.

      There are only 3 park-like spaces in the North End - Christopher Columbus Park, Copps Hill Terrace, and the promenade between Old North and Hanover St. Otherwise, the tightness of the car-people-sidewalk-street ratio means you wouldn't want to let any children venture off by themselves to escape. And that goes triple on Friday & Saturday nights and the summer - and forget the festival times.

      Too bad something like the Blue Room in Kendall Square has no peers in the North End.

      1. re: Karl S

        The only place I could think of is Fiore's on Hanover. Check out their web site but they have an upstairs room that overlooks Hanover that could accomodate 60 people or so. My company had a function there a couple of years ago with a group about that size and they did a vedry good job. They also have a roof top area that is open in the summer which might be good foir the kids in your group but you would have them about it.

        1. re: RoyRon

          Fiore's is what I was thinking of as well due to their outdoor space. I've only been there once but I didn't think the food or drinks were very good at all.

          1. re: lissy

            I considered Fiore, but a) I think their food is very weak; and b) those deck spaces are crammed with tables often filled with hard-drinking adults -- you can't just let kids run around there.

            1. re: MC Slim JB

              They also have a steep set of stairs that the poor waitstaff have to mountaineer on with heavy trays - not a place for kids to be around.

    2. you might check out joe's on the waterfront. not exactly great food, but at that price point, in that area, with a group that size, you're in a bind

      1. Finally! A request where we can't just shunt them off to Eastern Standard.

        Two places come to mind, but neither are in the North End. Stella in the South End might be able to handle that size crowd and they're right across from a park, though I'm not sure if they'd be willing to. Parking would be relatively easy there too.

        The other option that came to mind is the Faculty Club at Harvard which would almost certainly make your price point, but again is a long way from the NE. There's garage parking not too far away.

        Would you mind letting us know what the attraction to the North End is?

        5 Replies
        1. re: sailormouth

          Well, we have a lot of out-of-towners coming, and thought that the North End would provide a nice feel for some of Boston's unique atmosphere. Plus, in the letter I wrote to out-of-towners, I already alluded to an Italian dinner, so we're a little boxed in. My fall-back place is going to be The Daily Catch, which does functions in their courthouse location. Looks like we'll have the place to ourselves and they have an outdoor patio with a view of the city -- I just don't know how good the food is going to be. My fiance is a chef, so he's concerned that the food is high quality because people will expect it at his wedding, but he's also cheap, so that rules out some of the better restaurants in the North End!

          1. re: SpicyGirl15

            I'm guessing your fallback spot is probably going to be it for you.
            As you can tell from all the other posts, the North End is tough, esp for that amount of people. I rarely recommend chains, but I will say that Maggiano's Little Italy (in Park Sq, not the N. End) serves pretty respectable Italian fare and is perfectly family friendly. I've been there a couple of times with larger groups and it's been excellent each time.

            1. re: twentyoystahs

              Agree completely with that. I totally forgot about Maggiano's. That would definitely work. I know people who have had large gatherings there, and while it isn't quite chow-ish, the food is decent enough.

              1. re: twentyoystahs

                I have to agree with twentyoysters' Maggiano's recommendation. They have private rooms and family-style options that work very well in a large group with young people. The kids can have the run of the room, and the Public Garden (arboretum, swan boats, ducklings), Public Garden and other Back Bay/Beacon Hill sites are easy walking distance. It is part of a chain, and I have surprised myself by recommending it twice in two weeks, but the chef, Tony Fazio, has really set himself apart by offering cooking classes and putting a more personal stamp on the restaurant. There is a parking garage right there, and it is accessible by public transportation.

                1. re: chowfamily

                  To clarify, I am recommending the nearby parks and neighborhoods for adults and young people before and after dining, and with adult supervision during the meal. The private dining room would give them the option of getting up, moving around, and doing their own thing without disrupting other diners - and Maggiano's is geared for this - but I would not send them out to explore on their own. Let us know what you decide and how it worked out, as this seems to be a frequently encountered issue.

          2. A place I've been going to recently called Ricardo's (on North Street) might be able to accommodate you. They have a good amount of room inside, and they are rarely crowded. The food is excellent there, with prices being generally between $14 and $25 for most dishes, plus drinks (some entrees include salads).

            They don't have an outdoor space, but it is at the lower end of North Square, so it's a nice area to go with children.

            2 Replies
            1. re: hiddenboston

              if they are in the north end and rarely crowded... what's up with that?

              1. re: hotoynoodle

                It's truly off the beaten path, down about a block from the heart of North Square and a bit south of Hanover Street. So many people tend to hit Hanover or Salem, while there are all these other good restaurants along Richmond, North, Parmenter, etc. The two meals I had at Ricardo's were fabulous, and my friends who I went there with the last time I went wouldn't stop raving about it (I had to tell them to stop at one point). ;-b

                Here are my earlier threads on the place:



            2. I might be crazy here, but what about NeBo? It's only pizza, bruschetta and apps, but I know from personal experience they have the capacity to take that many people. The food's ok to good I think - no outdoor space that I know of, but it's a big room.

              Another room that might work is Pagliuca's? For some reason, I thought I've seen the place closed for private functions.

              Artu's website also states that can handle functions - and there is the park near the Old North Church half a block away...

              8 Replies
              1. re: Bob Dobalina

                Although I think that park can be a bit sketchy at night. Didn't someone set a homeless guy on fire there a few months back?
                What about Mother Anna's? That place is pretty big and cheap, isn't it, and has a little courtyard? I've never been, but I know some people like it.

                1. re: tatamagouche

                  REALLY?! Yikes! Didn't know about that...

                  I always considered the North End as pretty safe. Are we talking about the same "park"? I think I was referring to the square in front of 5 North Square, Limoncello and a couple of other restaurants.

                  1. re: Bob Dobalina

                    No, that happened at Langone Park, by the tennis court and the rink near the Charlestown Bridge. That can be a really dangerous place, day or night. The Paul Revere Mall (the park by the Old North Church) is generally pretty safe, though I don't think I'd go there alone late at night.

                    1. re: hiddenboston

                      Oops. Apologies to Paul Revere's statue.

                2. re: Bob Dobalina

                  The Daily Catch is good food. The Waterfront location will be nice and not far from the North End. Sixty people in the Noth End with lots of Tell me what day you'll be there so I can makes plans to leave my neighborhood that day :) I'm just teasing. It's just that most of the restaurants in the N. End are small.

                  1. re: Grita

                    It's on the border of the North End and it's not the best but it might be able to accommodate 60 people and it's kid friendly and there's places nearby for the kids to hang out...this would be Legal Sea Foods by the Aquarium. Just a thought.

                    1. re: hungryone

                      I don't think Legal hits the price target of $25-30/person.