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Drinks @ Mass Ave + Rt. 16?

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Hi, I'm meeting a friend for drinks next week (Thursday) after work at what seems to be the only mutually convenient place for us -- the intersection of Mass Ave + Rt 16 (Cambridge/Arlington). I'm looking for a place that 1) has a good bar (can make a good martini would be fabulous) 2) has tasty small plates/apps and 3) is not near the parking chaos of Temple Bar/West Side/etc. (we'll both have cars). Thoughts?

Rose

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  1. Tryst in Arlington Center has decent drinks and apps for suburbia (I had a drink served on the rocks that should have been up, but still pretty tasty), but not officially small plates. In Arlington you need to order food in order to drink. Its a bit past rt 60, so parking is easier.

    1. Rudy's in Teele Sq. isn't far from your target location; it gets mixed reviews on this board, but I think it has decent Mexican food and a nice selection of tequilas (they might, however, look at you funny if you order a martini). Sabur, also in Teele Square, might fit your needs better, and you can park in their lot.

      1. Gargoyle's In Davis. Great drinks and great food both bar and otherwise. There's a fair amount of parking in the lots if you're not too late, and the street meters give out at 6. DO NOT park on the side streets or you will get a ticket. They're ruthless.

        If that doesn't do it for you, why not park at Alewife and take the T to Harvard Square and go to West Side Lounge or Casablanca which are exactly what you're looking for.

        We've had terrible experiences at Sabur both with the food and the service although not recently since we simply won't return.

        6 Replies
        1. re: DavisSquare

          I second Gargoyle's. I am not as effusive in my praise of it as others here, but with your conditions, it is the perfect spot. Don't fear the meter (maid). With a little patience, you will find some easily.

          In terms of ticketing, DS, am I correct that on the Somerville side of things, you can park in residential areas for 2 hours without a sticker? Cambridge-side on the other hand allows no time?

          1. re: Bob Dobalina

            Nope, you need a visitor's permit for the right district and even that can only be used twice per-week in the same car. Cambridge has only recently stepped up enforcement, Somerville has always used parking enforcement as a revenue generating activity (ticketing street cleaning even when its not being cleaned at hours when people are not up, whereas Cambridge drives down the streets alerting residents).

            To expand on DavisSquare's note, you need to put money in the lot meters after 6pm (until 8pm), but they do allow 3 hours I think.

            1. re: itaunas

              Gargoyles, Out of the Blue et al have parking in the back. They are metered by the resturants bought permits to allow free parking at the meters after 6:00 pm (designated by pink sheets taped to the meter heads). The street meters run till 8 pm. Just let the host/hostess that you parked in the back.

              1. re: Sal Monella

                No, the street meters run until 6pm, the lot meters until 8pm, which is a fairly recent change (<6 months, I think). Except apparently for the meters affiliated with restaurants, which I didn't know about since I just park at home :). It's very nice and makes it even easier for the OP.

                1. re: DavisSquare

                  OK. Thanks. Somerville Parking Dept is a fiasco that causes a lot of grief...

            2. re: Bob Dobalina

              There are a few residential/2 hour zones, maybe there's some along College Ave, but I can't remember. The vast majority of side street parking is residents only although any Somerville resident sticker will do, not just one from the same zone (lots of people from all over town park in front of our house and take the T in the morning). If you've got a visitor pass, it's only good near your host's house, they're marked with the address, and as itaunas says, only twice a week (Mon-Sat) in the same car. It's a pain in the )(*&^ when you have overnight guests. The Somerville traffic department tickets assiduously in and around the Square, especially on weekend nights, and they make big bucks doing it. On the other hand, they will not tow you at the drop of a hat like Cambridge does.

              All that said, there's a fair amount of metered parking both on the street and in the lots in Davis. If you show up at 8:30 on Saturday night, you might have to search around a bit, but if you're there for "after work" it should be no problem. The meters in the lots do run until 8, though, even though the street meters only go to 6.

          2. My first choice for delicious food and elegant cocktails is Flora in E Arlington, on MassAve. Parking shouldn't be a problem.

            Another option is Sabur in Teele Square. The Smokva fig martini is fabulous and unusual, and they have a very wide meze list. There usu are some 2 hr spaces on the street near there.

            Tryst in Arlington is a good third choice in my opinion. Their specialty cocktail list has gotten a little smaller I believe, but there are a few interesting options. Their bluefish tacos are tasty, though small,

            1 Reply
            1. re: Bluebell

              I second the vote for Flora - it should have all you are looking for, and we have never had issues with parking, even on the weekend