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Best fun restaurant for $50

The budget is $50/person - appetisers, dinner, dessert & wine. Someplace in Boston. Vegetarian-friendly and must take reservations. Hmmmm?

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  1. $50 before or after taxes and gratuities?

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    1. Do people think of Angela's Cafe in East Boston as "fun"? It easily comes in under the budget.

      1. $50 after taxes and gratuities kinda hard especially if ncludes wines...

        1. try mccormick and schmidt's happy hour..

          1. a couple off the top of my head--vee vee, ten tables, la morra, antico forno, trattoria toscana. dunno if any of these are "fun," which i find obscure as applied to restaurants.

            3 Replies
            1. re: autopi

              But that's still next to impossible. That means the meal has to total $40 for 3 courses and a glass of wine? Pretty tough. You're talking something like an app for $8, entree for $17, dessert for $7 and wine for $8. Unless you go to one of the special weeknight deals or to Ten tables. Actually, TT on Wed. may be the answer.

              1. re: Joanie

                I'm thinking you could do this at some of the Latin American places (e.g., Rincon Limeno, maybe Laura or Cesaria?) where you can share the huge portions family-style. But not so vegetarian-friendly. Old-style Italian with big servings?

                1. re: Joanie

                  sorry, i just skimmed the OP, yes for app+entree+dessert+wine for < $50 ten tables will not be possible unless you do the wednesday night thing. la morra has a daily $35 prix fixe, and you could add wine to that and maybe skate out at around $50 p.p..

                  in response to lemiller610, was just at cambridge1 and all they have by way of dessert is toscanini's tiramisu. but lizzy's ice cream is just right next door.

              2. Cambridge 1 (Harvard, sorry, not Boston proper) might fit the bill, but not entirely sure of their "fun" factor or dessert selection.

                1. you could probably get that done at Silvertone on Bromfield St, although I am not sure what they do for vegetarians.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: ebone

                    Silvertone is good for vegetarians as long as you like mac and cheese (really great there) or salads. I definitely prefer this to Ivy which is also mentioned in this thread - Ivy is more upscale, but the small plates are certainly small and I don't find the food/drinks quite as good . However, Silvertone doesn't take reservations. If Addis Red Sea took reservations that would fit the price/veg friendly/fun criteria, but they don't have dessert. Rocca, Pops, or Elephant Walk might work if you order correctly.

                  2. Ole' Mexican Grill in Inman Square (Cambridge) might be doable. You may go over the limit a bit ($10 or so) but you could probably stay within budget if you made the right choices, and there are vegetarian options.

                    1. What about the Helmand in Cambridge?

                      1. Maybe Grotto? $35 for the 3 courses and assuming $7 will get you a glass of wine (though I don't drink) should get you to a little over $44 with tax, leaving just enough for a 15% tip. Actually you'd be a little cheaper than 15%, but you'd be within a dollar.

                        1. Vinny's at Night is cutting it close too, but if you're careful, you should be able to do it. Excellent, fun Italian-American in East Somerville, bizarrely located in the back of a convenience store (don't ask; it works). Depending on what you order (and, considering the size of the dishes, what you share), $50 could be do-able here.

                          Ivy in Downtown Crossing might work too. I've heard some mixed reports on the chow since the last time I was here a year ago, but the prices are solid. Small plates $15 or under, and most bottles of wine fixed at $26.

                          1. We recently had one app, two entrees, two desserts and two cocktails for $66 before tip at Eastern Standard. If we'd both had an app it would have been about $76, so $38 each before tip. Their grilled cheese is veggie friendly, wallet friendly, and fantastic.

                            1. How about shabu shabu? The concept is fun and very affordable. I'd recommend Kaze in chinatown.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: nasilemak

                                growing up eating shabushabu, imo shabuzen is the best shabushabu in boston.

                              2. the only place I know that can do it is Tivoli in Malden. It is low-key though (ie, nice quiet place good for a relaxed, mellow but tasty meal), and in Malden, so aside from the price component, it's not for you.

                                1. BigCat, assuming you are from out of town, please reconsider your price range. A grilled cheese, no matter how good, is not what a vegetarian should be having for a nice meal on a vacation/visiting a new city, etc.! My recommendation is to put this one meal on a credit card and enjoy something great that the city has to offer and you will not regret it. If you do a search on the Boston board, you will find many veg and non-veg restaurants meeting your criteria other than price.

                                  1. Shabu Shabu in chinatown? You could definitely do dinner and drinks at Shabu Zen or Kaze Shabu Shabu for under $50 per person. You might need to go someplace else for lunch but, at least for me, shabu definitely qualifies as a "fun" dinner.

                                    1. To quote from the Laurel's web site:
                                      "Laurel is hosting a series of wine seminars & wine dinners in the coming months. These wine events will be available by reservation only. The value oriented seminars are a 90 minute tasting at a cost of only $25. per person plus tax and gratuity. The seminars include a series of 4 tasting plates, wine tasting with each course and will be led by an expert in the field."

                                      In the past they also had Thursday night dinner entrees for half price. Wonder if they still do that.,,,it's been a while since I was last there.

                                      1. http://www.laurelgrillandbar.com/id39...
                                        Laurel does have their frugal nights on Mondays & Tuesdays and the entrees are $10.00
                                        Now THAT'S a bargain......

                                        1. Toro would work well except that it doesn't take reservations (and it's not really traditional three courses, since it's tapas). Otherwise, i'd say Ten Tables if you can get reservations might be a few dollars per person over the price range, but it seems like the closest to your vision. I haven't been there but I think East Coast Grill might also fit your specifications.

                                          1. I have an idea but it requires sharing.
                                            You can do the vegetarian tasting menu at Oleana which is 5 courses + dessert for $42, which is a ton of food. Order an app (~12) and a pret a manger (~5) to supplement or better yet, the entree-sized portion of the bread dumplings (17) + two glasses of wine (~8 x 2 = 16) and you get $75 pre-tax and tip. That's pretty close and fits your criteria. Just make sure you share, and sip your glass of wine slooooowly.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: Bob Dobalina

                                              I'm going to second this. Oleana is suberb, especially for vegetarians. I still fantasize about the flaming haloumi I had there about 2 years ago. If it's nice out get there early and go for the patio--simply divine.

                                            2. If Shabu is your cup of tea, I've eaten for WELL under $50 (including apps, drinks,etc..) at Kaze Shabu Shabu. Perfect for vegetarians and meat-eaters alike. And fun? What's more fun than cooking your own food? Plus, it's just delicious!

                                              41 Essex St, Boston, MA 02111

                                              1. Don Ricardo's in the South End is a good bargain esp if you share apps (they are muy grande.) Don't know how "fun" it is but at least Peruvian is a little outside the norm, and the South End is generally a fun place to be.