21st Birthday Dinner
My daughter will be 21 in Jan. and I'm looking for a fun restaurant where she can order a fouffy drink or two and which offers vegetarian options. To accommodate her Dad, I'd like to find a place that's not wildly noisy and where parking is not impossible. Price range - $35-$60/pp, Cambridge, Boston, Somerville, etc., or points beyond. Thanks for your help.
I'm assuming that the presence of parents indicates that "not too loud" means also a little more adult than you'd want for a 21st with friends.
While the drinks aren't too fouffy, they are good at the West Side Lounge, and it meets all of your criteria above except that it is occasionally too loud. We haven't had that problem recently, though. I'm not sure about parking since we always walk.
If it's just the three of you, I'd also suggest the bar at Gargoyles. It's got great drinks, is quite quiet, and very good food. They have their own parking lot.
Gargoyles On the Square
219 Elm Street, Somerville, MA 02144
West Side Lounge
1680 Mass Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02138
Rocca in the South End has free parking and a decent cocktail list, as does Gaslight in the South End, but the latter is very loud.
The other options would be to go to a place near a parking garage, like the Monday Club at Upstairs on the Square in Harvard Sq., or to a place with valet parking, like Prezza in the North End (if you skip dessert at the restaurant and hit Mike's Pastry after you might fall within your budget).
If it weren't for the parking concern, I think Cuchi Cuchi in Central Sq. is where I'd want to go for a 21st vegetarian birthday. It's a fun atmosphere, with an extensive cocktail menu and a wide variety of small plates, many of them vegetarian. You could luck out and get a spot in front, or drive around for a while and end up walking a bit.
Thanks for the help - I think Cuchi Cuchi might just be too much for Dad - anyway, some friends are taking us there to celebrate later in the week. (Sorry if I sound sexist - I don't mean that. Last time I was at C-C, the noise level was too intense for any level of conversation.
How about OM in Cambridge? My parents took me there for a birthday in my younger 20s and I loved the hip atmosphere and the bar area is very cool. Great Asian fusion cuisine and some fun cocktails. Plus my parents have returned there many times so its parent friendly. Someone else might be able to comment if this is good for a vegetarian though since I can't remember the menu except that it was delicious.
My kids are 21 and 23 and one is a vegan. Both live in Boston. I like all of these suggestions and can add Eastern Standard which is one of our family's favorites as they seem to have something for everyone. Their drinks are spectacular, they have a wonderful raw bar, good wine by the glass, several vegetarian offerings that have satisfied my older daughter, and all kinds of goodies for the carnivores. My 21 year old loves old fashioned things like mac and cheese and mashed potatoes, which they offer as sides. You can make a nice meal out of those, if you like. The staff is particularly helpful- very professional. They are in the BU area- Kenmore Square. The bar can get noisy but we have always been seated on the other side of the room and have never felt overwhelmed by the bar crowd at all. Good luck.