Sat. night in Cambridge for our group of 8
Planning a night out for four couples for a Sat. night a few weeks from now. Assuming I can get reservations, would you recommend:
* Garden At The Cellar
* Central Kitchen
* Green Street Grill
Price is somewhat of a concern, which is why Salts and some other places are not on the list. Any Chowhound recs or things we need to consider?
I think any of these would work just fine. They're all good values. But I always strongly encourage reservations with a big party on a weekend night at prime time.
Rendezvous is a go-to place for me with bigger groups. It has the most polished service, nice wines and cocktails, and a crowd-pleasing diversity on the menu. I just love the food. The priciest of the bunch.
Green Street (no Grill) anymore has the best bartending, nudging up against the very best in Boston (ESK, No. 9). I was bitter about the loss of the Carribean menu, but I've gotten over it. The glorified Yankee food is very solid, satisfying, probably better now that the weather is cooling.
Central Kitchen seems like the most cramped dining room for a big party, but its pan-Euro menu is lovely and very consistent. I think it has the most interesting wines, too. I'm overdue for a revisit here.
Garden is the newest, and it has shown in service and kitchen consistency on my visits (quite early on -- it has likely improved). But the food is very good for the prices, and I think the chef is one to watch. The most casual, pub-y menu, with sandwiches, soups, and pizzas as well as small plates, apps and entrees. Decent, short, budget-focused wine list; no liquor. A very loud room when it's busy.
When looking for a group location in that area for my family (8-12) we have also had good experences at Atasca on Hampshire over by Kendall. It is (in my opinion) very good Portugese and reasonably priced.
50 Hampshire St, Cambridge, MA 02139
You can also try one of the tapas places, like Dali or Cuchi Chuchi, but be careful if you are on a budget items can add up fast, but if you were watching what you are ordering you can have an delicious dinner there for not so much, plus tapas are great for large groups!
I really like Rendez-vous for reasons already listed above - food is consistent, atmosphere pleasant and wine list well-researched.
I think Central Kitchen might be too cramped for a group that size.
It seems like you're focused in Central Square - would Cuchi Cuchi be too much of a scene for your crew? It can be fun with large groups - small plates are good, not outstanding, but the muddled drinks are. Staff is outrageously bedecked, but quite attentive.
I'd recomment Rendezvous - you'd probably feel least cramped there. I'm not sure that Garden at the Cellar takes reservations, though I love their food.