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Something like Oleana...

BrunchOrBust May 17, 2007 06:59 AM

But that 6 people might have a shot of getting a table at on Memorial Day weekend (Saturday)? It's my mom's birthday, and Oleana is her ideal (Middle Eastern, fresh, complex spicing). Any ideas for a substitute? She's not big on butter-laden or meat-heavy - ahem, Grotto - and we'd prefer not to surpass the $30 entree mark. Thanks!

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  1. ChefJune May 17, 2007 07:00 AM

    Have you tried Oleana?

    4 Replies
    1. re: ChefJune
      BrunchOrBust May 17, 2007 07:07 AM

      Ha ha - no, actually, sorry - what I should have said is that Oleana is, in THEORY, her ideal type of food. Whether the food lives up to the menu descriptions, I don't know, but I'd be happy to find something even better tasting than Oleana sounds!

      1. re: BrunchOrBust
        litchick May 17, 2007 11:25 AM

        Is it that you've tried Oleana and don't like it? I feel like Oleana is a great place for celebrations -- the food is absolutely terrific and the service is really on point. They're very good at making a celebration truly feel special (especially if you tell them). I am an avowed fan of everything about the place, but I do hope they finish up their renovation soon!

        1. re: litchick
          tatamagouche May 17, 2007 12:57 PM

          I think her OP suggests she doesn't think they'll score a table for M Day wknd--which is probably true. They book up a few weeks in advance.

          1. re: tatamagouche
            ChefJune May 17, 2007 01:01 PM

            hmmmm I've always loved Ana Sortun's food.

            Here in new york, M Day is a fairly easy score for tables... The city empties out!

    2. limster May 17, 2007 08:49 AM

      Brookline Turkish Family Restaurant in Brookline Village. Do note that it's a downscale place, but if you want complex turkish spicing, it's better than Oleana IMHO.

      2 Replies
      1. re: limster
        Bob Dobalina May 17, 2007 09:52 AM

        Limster, how does Baraka Cafe rank between Oleana and BTFRiBV?

        1. re: Bob Dobalina
          limster May 17, 2007 12:46 PM

          Love Baraka, but it's a bit of apples and oranges compared to Brookline Turkish Family Restaurant, since I go there for the bastilla and other more Northern African dishes like tagines and cous cous. I go to those two places for different dishes. I certainly like Baraka more than Oleana.

      2. Joanie May 17, 2007 10:33 AM

        Casablanca maybe.

        1. finlero May 17, 2007 11:05 AM

          Two midscale-to-upscale ideas (entrees still under $30) would be Lala Rokh on Beacon Hill for elegant Persian, and Tangierino in Chalestown for upscale North African.

          I agree that Turkish Family Restaurant and Baraka Cafe have superb food (I'd argue better than Lala Rokh or Tangierino), but the upscale celebratory feel isn't necessarily there the way it is at Oleana, so depending on your mom's style-over-substance index, they may or may not be a good birthday fit.

          1 Reply
          1. re: finlero
            tatamagouche May 17, 2007 12:57 PM

            Plus Baraka, much as I love it, is alcohol-free.

          2. f
            Fenway_Frank May 17, 2007 01:51 PM

            according to open table there are reservations available at 6:30 and 7:30 (though not right at 7:00). I always find Memorial Day to be a great weekend to be in the city - it's like having it all to yourself...

            1. b
              BrunchOrBust May 18, 2007 06:57 AM

              Thanks so much for the suggestions! Mom and I have already done Baraka Cafe (which was delicious!) so I was looking for something new. She's definitely more substance than style, but I thought it might be nice to take her somewhere with a little bit of a "birthday feel". I was also considering Ten Tables (might be difficult to fit everyone), Ariadne, and Rendezvous.

              1. n
                newhound May 18, 2007 02:56 PM

                Helmand? It's a bit farther east than Turkish but very nice.

                1 Reply
                1. re: newhound
                  litchick May 21, 2007 07:34 PM

                  LOVE Helmand, especially for birthdays and similar events. Lots of interesting options for everyone, including good veg options, and they're much bigger than most of the other places suggested thus far.

                2. b
                  BrunchOrBust May 22, 2007 07:45 AM

                  Thank you all so much for your suggestions - they are along the lines of what we're looking for (we've already been to Helmand), but it turns out the birthday girl is going to be in New Hampshire helping my brother move, so we're going to have to move the celebration out Metrowestish. I'll post on where we finally go!

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: BrunchOrBust
                    wannbe_foodie May 22, 2007 07:58 AM

                    What about Sabur in Somerville? Great atmosphere too.

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