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Apr 24, 2008 07:06 PM

College Graduation Dinner?

My daughter is graduating in May from Tufts, and the family is descending on the Cambridge/Somerville area. It's fallen to me to set up the family graduation dinner for Saturday before the celebration. I need recommendations for a mid-range to high-end place that can handle a party of about 16, kids 8,12,13, and 16, the rest adults. 2 Vegetarians, 1 non-seafood eater, but the rest are adults looking for a decent food and dining experience.

Most any cuisines would be acceptable, this is a pretty accepting group, but the ability to be seated together and hear each other is a big plus.

I put myself in your capable hands, Chowhounds. Thanks for your guidance.

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  1. As a parent of a graduate myself, I do have to say I made reservations months ago for every night of that same weekend, so my best advice is to move fast on this as so many families descend into the area at the same time with similar requests. With the size of your group and the age range, along with the dietary needs, you might want to think about Chinatown. Just do a quick search here. I recommended shabu shabu to another person with a very similar request. Congratulations to the graduate.

    1. In Harvard Sq., Sandrine's should have a banquette long enough to accommodate all of you. Or you might try Upstairs on the Square or Harvest.

      1. Thank you both for the suggestions. I should mention, anywhere in the Boston Metro area would work. Thought not everyone is T-savvy, we'll have cars.

        1 Reply
        1. re: btaylor84

          Eastern Standard in Kenmore Sq. and Hamersley's in the South End should also have the room to accommodate you. Once you check these or other places out, let us know if you have any questions.

        2. Since you will all have cars, I will suggest Grain and Salt in Allston. It's not too far off the pike and should have ample street parking since it's off the main drag. It's perfect in a tucked-out-of-the-way skid-row on the outside, warm and comforting on the inside kind of way. It opened in the last year or so, and I read the message boards that the owner makes special efforts to welcome newcomers, and that was borne out on our first visit. Plus, Indian food is rife with vegetarian entrees. The only potential negative is they don't yet have a liquor license. The restaurant is kind of divided into two smallish rooms, so they might even be able to make one of those exclusively for you. Good luck!

          2 Replies
          1. re: amygrace

            Thanks for that thinking out of the Boston-box. But, given the older generation's idea of a good time, no liquor license may be a killer. Unless we BYOB. Do they allow that?

            1. re: btaylor84

              This is an odd idea, but with that many people to accommodate I'd head for The Stockyards in Allston. Plenty of parking, a long and varied menu, the price is right and they can give you a private room to yourselves. It's a pretty place and there's a great bar. If you stick to simple things --steak and burgers-- you can have a great time. It's not the best steakhouse in Boston, but I bet you can still get reservations, and that's got to count. Look here:

          2. Check out Gran Gusto in N. Cambridge. Italian, new enough to be maybe off the radar, off-street parking in the evenings.