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Dinner for 20 in Cambridge

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fl bob Jul 3, 2007 11:41 AM

I'm looking for a restaurant in Cambridge that can handle a crowd of 20 or more including kids on a Saturday night. what are the best options?

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    Sonj71 RE: fl bob Jul 3, 2007 12:00 PM

    With kids I assume you're looking for a casual atmosphere. Why don't you try the Cambridge Common on Mass Ave? You can call and see if they can accomodate you for sure, but I believe it would be no problem. The food is good, and it's definitely ok for kids.

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      stevie abu nivi RE: fl bob Jul 3, 2007 12:09 PM

      Jasper White's Summer Shack in Fresh Pond Parkway at the Alewife Station can accomodate 20 people, no problem and the food is pretty good.

      1 Reply
      1. re: stevie abu nivi
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        Blumie RE: stevie abu nivi Jul 3, 2007 01:00 PM

        Completely disagree about the food being pretty good at Summer Shack, although it's tolerable enough if you need a place for the kids. I don't know if they'll let you have it on a Saturday night, but the Lava Lounge at East Coast Grill would be perfect.

      2. DavisSquare RE: fl bob Jul 3, 2007 12:43 PM

        Price range?

        1 Reply
        1. re: DavisSquare
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          fl bob RE: DavisSquare Jul 4, 2007 07:53 AM

          Willing to look at all options.

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          bachslunch RE: fl bob Jul 4, 2007 11:52 AM

          If you like Chinese food (if a bit Americanized), Changsho might be able to accommodate that large a group.

          1. MC Slim JB RE: fl bob Jul 4, 2007 12:21 PM

            A few places that could accommodate a crowd that size:

            Green Street -- their New Yankee menu is unchallenging enough for a broad range of tastes (don't know if they have a kids' menu, however).
            Sandrine's -- I've seen some big groups here, though the French/Alsatian cuisine is not to everyone's taste and the prices are pretty high.
            Lava Lounge at the East Coast Grill -- you can do a set menu there with that many people, but not on Saturday.
            Ole Grille -- their big back room would work, and I think their now more creative Mexican menu is very good, based on a recent visit.
            Harvest -- fancy and expensive New American, but decent of its kind, and certainly does a lot of big groups. I like their patio, too.
            Mary Chung -- a Chinese banquet for a group this size is a lot of fun and a huge bargain.
            The Similans -- a nice if not super-authentic Thai option.

            5 Replies
            1. re: MC Slim JB
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              pollystyrene RE: MC Slim JB Jul 5, 2007 06:02 PM

              Slim,

              Do you like Sandrine's? I find the look of the place and the menu so tempting, but I've read a lot of bad reviews. Is it a case of them only doing a few dishes well?

              1. re: pollystyrene
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                recentlysequinned RE: pollystyrene Jul 6, 2007 09:44 AM

                I was pretty impressed with Sandrine's when we went there two years ago; we were actually considering them for our rehersal dinner. Lost out a bit on atmosphere (which I found a bit cute).

                1. re: pollystyrene
                  MC Slim JB RE: pollystyrene Jul 6, 2007 11:29 AM

                  I like Sandrine's a lot, though the bill can be a bit shocking: many entrees in the $29-35 range. Chef Ost is a native of Alsace, and his choucroute garni (with housemade wursts, a big ol' trotter, pork chop, smoked ham, and pork belly) and flammekueche (a kind of flatbread pizza) are superb. Lots of nice regional wines, too, but also pricey.

                  The great Lee Napoli used to be their pastry chef. She handmade or hand-finished desserts to order, but I believe she is now at the South End Buttery, helping Marisa prepare for their expansion into a much bigger restaurant with sit-down dinner service.

                  1. re: MC Slim JB
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                    pollystyrene RE: MC Slim JB Jul 6, 2007 05:38 PM

                    Great. How big is the flammekeuche? Just wondering if I should order it as an entree, split it as an appetizer, order 5 for myself.... And have you ever had the chocolate kougelhopf?

                    It does look a bit cute, but I don't mind cute, if it's just a bit. I can see why you wouldn't want a rehearsal dinner there, though.

                    1. re: pollystyrene
                      MC Slim JB RE: pollystyrene Jul 6, 2007 06:14 PM

                      If memory serves, it's an oval about 14" at the widest; we almost always share the traditional one as an appetizer. It's pretty rich stuff, loaded with fromage blanc, carmelized onions and very smoky bacon, better as a slice or two than an entree.

                      I have not tried that chocolate dessert; I remember the fresh fruit topped crème brûlées and millefeuilles here fondly.

              2. NYA Joe RE: fl bob Jul 26, 2007 02:16 PM

                My friends from church and I are always sniffing around for restaurants that can handle large groups including kids. Because of the kids, we exclude nice places (no such thing as a fancy dining experience w/ kids IMHO). In Cambridge, we often end up in Royal East Chinese restaurant, near MIT. The food is decent, and they have many ways to seat 20 people together. The attached banquet room is almost always available. Changsho is another option in theory, but in practice, we think the food is no better, yet it's more expensive, and the atmosphere *feels* not as kid-friendly (the upscale ambience?). Our #1 recommendation, unfortunately, is not in Cambridge. Bugaboo Creek Steak House in Watertown (not too far from the Cambridge border), is the most kid-friendly and easily handles large groups.

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                  michela RE: NYA Joe Aug 1, 2007 06:25 AM

                  Sidney's Grille at the Hotel@MIT has the space & is kid friendly. Our son loves the robots in the lobby.

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