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Something like Oleana...

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. re: ChefJune

      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

        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

          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

            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. 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

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

        1. re: Bob Dobalina

          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.

        1. 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

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

          2. 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...