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Pre-theater in Harvard Square

Looking for a casual and quiet(ish) place that is not expensive - hopefully in the mid-teens for entrees. I like Indian but another member of our group doesn't, so that's out. thanks

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  1. A few options:
    Small Plates, a new Tapas restaurant on JFK
    The Red House (prices may be slightly higher than you want but they also have half-sized pasta entreees that are actually quiet big
    Casablanca

    1. Cambrige1 is always fun. I really like their salads and their thin pizzas.

      1 Reply
      1. re: CityPork

        I recently went to Cambridge1 before a movie at the Brattle. My friend and I were directed straight to a table, but I was a little impatient for a server since we only had 45 minutes to make our movie. There was no server nearby, but the hostess was in the area so I flagged her down. I asked if she could send our server since we didn't have a lot of time. She went away and came back less than a minute later to say "If you're ready to order, I can take it for you." We did, we got our food very promptly, and we even had time for an extra post-dinner glass of wine before the movie.

        I've enjoyed going to Cambridge1, but this experience has moved them higher in my list of "go-to" places in Harvard Square. This is an instance where extra effort on the staff's part not only resulted in our having a nice night out, it was even enhanced since we had time for another drink. I really, really appreciate this, and I'll definitely be going back more often.

      2. Grafton St. isn't the best place in the world, but they've got a fairly varied menu that's mostly <$20. It's sister restaurant Redline is casual and well priced too. Small plates at Casablanca would work. Dolphin Seafood. Sandwiches or apps at the place that begins with D on Mt. Auburn St.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Joanie

          Darwin's? Good sandwiches, lousy service - more of a place to grab lunch than eat a decent pre-theater dinner.

          1. re: Dizzied

            It was Daedalus that I was thinking of. They have sandwiches that would definitely fit the OP's requirement and it should be quiet at 7 on a Sat.

            And I see lots of people ragging on Redline in the other related post, that it's not a place to eat. But we've gone early on a couple weeknights (before any DJ'ing) and had perfectly fine burgers, steak salad, steap tips, etc.

        2. I agree with Casablanca. If the weather's not too rough, walking up to West Side Lounge could be a good idea.

          1. Assume the theatre is ART? Then, the best bets are the bar menu at Harvest or Om; or Casablanca; Red House; the Monday Club Bar at Upstairs on the Square - pretty much in that order of preference. Grafton Street, mentioned elsewhere, is close to the Zero Arrow theatre; quite a hike from ART.

            1. Some good suggestions here but I would toss out the Red House, unless someone vouches that their food has improved recently. Their menu always looks good to me, the service is pleasant, I think the atmosphere is cute, but the food is always disappointing. I've never had an entree that wasn't overcooked/oversalted/underseasoned, etc.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Dizzied

                I really like Red House. I always find their food quite nice. It's not up to the standards of Harvest or Upstairs on the Square but I do enjoy their food, especially their pastas.

              2. Mike - one of the early posters said that the small plates at Red House are fairly large - would a "half" pasta there count as an entree?

                Also - don't know if you saw it, but someone in my follow-up post (research results) said that they have never had a good meal at Red House - over-salted, under-flavored, etc.

                1 Reply
                1. re: velotrain

                  I've definitely eaten the half pasta as an entree along with sharing an appetizer with someone else.
                  I've never had a bad experience at Red House. Like I said in the other post, it may not be as good as Harvest or Upstairs but I think they do a great job for the price. And the atmosphere is wonderful if you need a quiet place to chat.

                2. If you want indian i think tamarind bay is by far one of the best indian places in boston. its quite fancy on the inside but the wait-staff is good and the food is delicious, a little pricey though but very good.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: sekbowmeyaa

                    As mentioned in the original post one of the group doesn't like Indian, otherwise we'd go to Cafe of India which I think is fine. IQ remains my favorite Indian in Boston.

                    1. re: velotrain

                      oops my bad skipped that part i guess!

                  2. I like Casablanca, Algiers is ok, Daedalus is another.