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Oct 31, 2007 06:56 PM

parents in town, need suggestions


My folks are coming into town next weekend, and I'm looking to go out to dinner with them and my SO. I don't want the meal to be too expensive - I'd prefer to keep the entrees in the mid 20s max if possible...

They are extremely open-minded with food, and love trying new things (as do I.) They loved Oleana the last time we were up, and previously have really enjoyed places like Ole.

My initial thought was a place like the Helmand, La Morra, Trattoria Pulcinella...

I'm less concerned about neighborhood, but somewhere that is parking friendly is always a plus. So any suggestions from people would be greatly appreciated.


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  1. I haven't been to La Morra or Pulcinella, but I like Helmand a lot. I see it as adventurous comfort food. It's not a familiar cuisine to most, but there's something for everyone. It's in a bit of a dead zone, so I haven't had trouble parking on the streets near it.

    EVOO, using more familiar (and local) ingredients in new ways, might be another good choice. They do have a parking lot.

    1 Reply
    1. La Morra is a good idea, parking is pretty easy around there. For basic American, there's Washington Sq. Tavern and Eastern Standard (with some French). Or Rendezvous and Green St. in Central Sq.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Joanie

        Rendezvous was on my short list. Haven't been back to GSG since they altered the menu - any thoughts?

        I never loved Washington Square Tavern, although I do frequent their sister spot from time to time. I do love Eastern Standard, but I find myself going there way too much - plus I've heard they've removed the spaetzle from the menu, unfortunately.

        How is EVOO? I've never been.

        1. re: Mr Bigglesworth

          Green Street (no Grille in the name any more) now does a kind of updated Yankee cooking, and while I miss the old fiery Caribbean menu, the new menu has really grown on me. A lot of old-timey stuff you don't see anywhere except touristy places like Durgin-Park (which was bought by a NYC restaurant conglomerate earlier this year): corn chowder with fried clams, a kind of cured bluefish appetizer (unusual and delicious), baked beans and brown bread, a plate of roast local root vegetables and gourds with fresh mozzarella (odd combo, but it worked), excellent grilled and fried local seafood.

          Big emphasis on local ingredients, but mostly done pretty simply at modest prices, no T.W. Food-style foofaraw. Great bar snacks, too, like a really good bowl of spiced roasted nuts. Green Street also has the best bartending in Cambridge, taking its B-Side heritage up a level, with both classic cocktails and some great originals, building on a broad selection of whiskies and aged rums (no flavored-vodka crap here). Wine list is short and decent, some good craft brews on tap. $1/hour parking garage next door. Very worthy.

          Also got back to Central Kitchen for the first time in ages recently, and I was pleased to see it remains very, very good, though prices have (predictably) crept up since my last visit. Had some excellent raw oysters, plus marinated olives with fine bread and garlicky white-bean spread. Love that wine list, too. This would be another good option if you wanted something more Mediterranean in flavor.

      2. Places that parental unit loving Oleana types have also enjoyed:
        Ten Tables