Rehearsal Dinner suggestions
I'm looking for suggestions for rehearsal dinners for a wedding next year. We'll be looking at around 50 - 70 people. I'd like the restaurant to be in either Boston or Cambridge and not sooo high end that the dinner feels forced or stuffy.
I'm also thinking about costs - it's going to be a big wedding - so if I can keep the restaurant reasonable, meaning no O Ya (sadly,) it would be great.
Other bonus points are places with seperate rooms, ie Ole.
Any help would be great. I
When I ate at Chez Henri, there was a rehersal dinner crowd; with 50-70 of you, maybe you could book the whole restaurant? That would be really cozy and nice, good food and not too uptight
So this obviously is a matter of personal preference, but to me the rehearsal dinner before a big wedding is an opportunity to have a more intimate evening with the people you're closest to, since the bride and groom and their families are going to be spread thin at the wedding. So my recommendation would be to try to keep this dinner on the smaller side (if it needs to be 50-70, keep it to 50) and make it someplace special. If you can find room in your budget, the Salon Room at Mistral would make for a very special evening. For $100/person, you can choose five or six passed hors d'oeuvres, a salad or appetizer, three entrees for your guests to choose from, and a dessert. When booze/wine, tax and tip are added in, you're looking at close to $200/person, but it will be amazing. It's high end, but not at all snooty or stuffy. Unfortunately it comes at a cost.
I'm starting to feel like a broken record on this, but I had my rehearsal dinner at the Elephant Walk in North Cambridge, and it was just perfect. We had a private room for 40-50 guests (with room for many more) on a Friday night with dedicated servers, unlimited drinks and appetizers, and a pre-selected menu. Everyone still raves about it - from my more adventurous friends to my very conservative parents. The French and Cambodian combo allows options for any palate. I highly recommend it.
*EDIT: For reference, we had 40-50 guests with unlimited drinks, apps, and entrees for about $1800 - very reasonable for a Friday night and they didn't charge a fee for the private room.
Both Sasso in the Back Bay and Lucca in the NE do nice jobs. they have private functions spaces, great service and an intense wine list.
I also had my rehearsal at Elephant Walk Cambridge. It was the most affordable place we could find and the best food and wine. I believe it was about 40 bucks a person including drinks. The service was great and everyone said it was the best rehearsal dinner they had been to. I highly recommend it!