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Taking my 17yr. old cousin to Boston, MA, any cool restaurants & places she would like?

Kiwiho8 Jun 23, 2008 01:55 PM

Hi there,

I'm taking my 17yr old cousin with sisters to Boston, Ma next month. We are there for only the weekend. Are there restaurants that have live bands that she can attend?
What cool restaurants or places would you suggest? I havent been to Boston since 1995..


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  1. finlero RE: Kiwiho8 Jun 23, 2008 02:09 PM

    Where are you/where is she from? (I'd recommend different places to a New Yorker versus an Angelino versus someone from a smaller town.)

    To get the ball rolling, we had some younger cousins visit us last summer who seemed to enjoy: Dali, Bartley's, Antico Forno, Neptune Oyster.

    Being a decreasingly cool 30-year-old, I'm not going to touch the live bands question with a 10-foot pole.

    1. h
      heWho RE: Kiwiho8 Jun 23, 2008 07:23 PM

      Johnny D's in Somerville has live bands and is 17 year old appropriate I believe.

      As much as I hate Fire and Ice, everytime I've gone there have been numerous packs of girls that age (or maybe college Freshmen).

      6 Replies
      1. re: heWho
        chowciao RE: heWho Jun 24, 2008 07:11 AM

        Johnny D's is s great suggestion. I'm not sure if there are many other places with live music and dining (unless you want to go to an irish pub?)

        Bartley's is also a great option - love their burgers
        Salvatore's over on Northern Ave is good food with some great people watching - bonus is you can hear whomever is performing at the Pavillion if you sit outside.
        Addis Red Sea - Ethiopian food - no utensils, the flat bread scoops up everything

        1. re: chowciao
          gourmaniac RE: chowciao Jun 24, 2008 07:48 AM

          In Cambridge, Cantab Lounge (for burgers), Asgard, River Gods, Plough and Stars for music and good pub food. Also the Middle East for music and OK (duh) middle eastern food. In Harvard Square, Cambridge 1 pizzeria that used to be a fire station and Natalie Portman used to be a regular in her college days. In JP, Zons and Milky Way (for bowling).

          1. re: gourmaniac
            swans RE: gourmaniac Jun 24, 2008 08:57 AM

            Second the River Gods recommendation (even a 17 year old would think it's cool), but get there before they start carding at the door (around 8:00?).

            1. re: gourmaniac
              Dax RE: gourmaniac Jun 24, 2008 10:27 AM

              "Natalie Portman used to be a regular in her college days." I knew there was a reason I liked that place.

              I thought you had to be at least 18 for Middle East, Burren, Cantab, Harpers Ferry, etc.

              1. re: Dax
                gini RE: Dax Jun 24, 2008 10:58 AM

                I think anyone of any age can eat the the Middle East restauant (ZuZu), but you definitely need to be at least 18 for all shows upstairs and downstairs. I've walked into Enormous Room at 8 without running into a bouncer or anyone carding me, but I think some of those places (Joshua Tree springs to mind for some reason) card all day and night.

          2. re: heWho
            LindaWhit RE: heWho Jun 24, 2008 08:45 AM

            Johnny D's is a good suggestion, but confirm that they're not over 21 shows on the weekend you're here.

            The Middle East also has bands, as does the Burren if they'd like to hear some traditional Irish music (also seems they have some cover bands in the back room).


            Dali would be a fun place - the tapa size makes it easy to try different foods: http://dalirestaurant.com/

          3. Bob Dobalina RE: Kiwiho8 Jun 24, 2008 07:46 AM

            I would recommend Zuzu at the Middle East or the Enormous Room. Zuzu always has live music and Enormous is way cool. The food is certainly passable, at worst, but should be perfectly acceptable to the 17 y.o. palate, and these places are reasonably age-appropriate. Both are easily reachable by the red line (Central Square).


            Or dare I say...Beehive? (if he/she likes jazz, etc.)


            If you plan on visiting the MFA, stop in to the Savant Project, a restaurant nearby, which is also "cool," has decent chow and a patio out back. You'll have to google that one. No regular live music here.

            5 Replies
            1. re: Bob Dobalina
              finlero RE: Bob Dobalina Jun 24, 2008 07:50 AM

              Can a 17-year-old get into the enormous room (legally)?

              1. re: finlero
                Bob Dobalina RE: finlero Jun 24, 2008 08:21 AM

                You think there would be a problem? I figured so long as they are accompanied by an adult and not drinking...

                1. re: Bob Dobalina
                  kimfair1 RE: Bob Dobalina Jun 24, 2008 08:42 AM

                  Most places with drinking and music will not allow anyone under legal drinking age in (21 in MA). There are occasional 18+ nights, but I think a 17 year old is going to have a hard time hearing live music in Boston or it's environs, unless it's during a dinner service. Does Zuzu have live music during the dinner hours? I don't know of anyplace else that does.

                  1. re: Bob Dobalina
                    heWho RE: Bob Dobalina Jun 24, 2008 02:28 PM

                    Everytime I've gone to the Enormous room I've been carded either at the door or at the top of the stairway. Since they didn't pass out wristbands, I'm assuming this means it's 21+. It couldn't hurt to call and ask though.

                    As for the other suggestions, I'd be very leery bringing a 17 year old to the Cantab!

                    One more tip, I bet Finale would go over big for desert.

                    1. re: heWho
                      finlero RE: heWho Jun 24, 2008 02:46 PM

                      > One more tip, I bet Finale would go over big for desert.

                      For the record, Finale may have its admirers, and I seldom post overtly negative comments on a restaurant, but personally, it's one of the few restaurants that actually makes me angry when I think about it.

                      All the desserts look beautiful, and the decor is pretty sharp, but it's quite expensive, and I have yet to try anything there that was better than mediocre. Many items I've tried over the years have been downright bad.

                      A possible alternative would be Le Patissier, a similar concept (primary focus on dessert, open late). I haven't been yet, but considering it's owned by the same people as the always-excellent Troquet, I like the odds.

              2. f
                FoolForFood RE: Kiwiho8 Jun 24, 2008 08:27 AM

                When I was that age, I considered Fire and Ice the place to be. Maybe she'll like the interactive element?

                1 Reply
                1. re: FoolForFood
                  Bob Dobalina RE: FoolForFood Jun 24, 2008 08:35 AM

                  I thought we were supposed to pass on the wisdom of our experiences down to the younger generations, not perpetuate our mistakes!

                2. l
                  lexpatti RE: Kiwiho8 Jun 24, 2008 08:28 AM

                  My suggestion would be Dali in Somerville for tapas or Tangerino in Charlston for dinner, belly dance show and hookah bar next door. Both would be fun as well as great dinner.

                  1. j
                    jonship RE: Kiwiho8 Jun 24, 2008 08:41 AM

                    I think Savant Project, Enormous Room and River Gods are all great recommendations. As to whether a 17-year old would get into the Enormous Room, I'm not sure. It's definitely the more of a lounge/club of the three and the only one with a guy at the door. You'd certainly have no problem at either Savant Project and River Gods. I've seen 1-year olds at River Gods, so 17 must be ok. I may be wrong but of the three, I think Savant Project is the only one with a live band whereas the other two have mostly DJs. I thought the SP is also the only one with outdoor space, but the enormous room website says it has a patio coming soon. I have only been to the SP once, but liked it, and thought it kind of like a smaller beehive with less of the well-discussed disadvantages of that establishment.

                    6 Replies
                    1. re: jonship
                      jonship RE: jonship Jun 24, 2008 08:46 AM

                      Actually more I think of it, the SP is probably a good call. They take reservations too. Then in the neighbourhood is The Squealing Pig and Mission Bar both of which you should be able to take a 17-year old, at least on the earlier side. Plus, there's a JP Licks right there too.

                      1. re: jonship
                        dulce de leche RE: jonship Jun 24, 2008 11:27 AM

                        River Gods cards me and I'm 20 years older than her. She couldn't get in at night, but probably could at dinner time.

                        What does she think is cool, kiwiho8? Because 17 year olds vary so widely!
                        If she's kind of a rocker/alterna, I would go to the Middle East or the B-Side. I've never seen them card at the Middle East restaurant, but they do at Zuzu. I don't know what time B-Side starts carding, but I think you could go at dinner time with no problem. I've brought my kids there.

                        If she's more girly, she would probably like Tremont 647 or Pho Republique; they don't have live music but are scene-y. 28 Degrees, too, has DJs. You'd have to check when they card for all of these.

                        1. re: dulce de leche
                          Kiwiho8 RE: dulce de leche Jun 24, 2008 12:15 PM

                          hi dulce de leche,
                          well she is 17yr old who likes just about anything, she is into fashion design.Where is the Middle East? Is it like a college hang out? Is there a website for the 17yrs old that have graduated high school and will be going to college in the fall, plus she turns 18 in september. hmm...

                          * Thanks to everyone's responses, this has helped a lot!

                          1. re: Kiwiho8
                            ginnyhw RE: Kiwiho8 Jun 24, 2008 12:53 PM

                            You should take her to upper Newbury Street for the 18 year old fashion design scene. Sonsie might be fun at lunch or Trident Books. Island Hopper is another possibility.

                            1. re: Kiwiho8
                              BobB RE: Kiwiho8 Jun 24, 2008 01:20 PM

                              The Middle East is in Central Square, Cambridge, between Harvard and MIT.

                              Middle East Restaurant
                              472 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02139

                              1. re: Kiwiho8
                                dulce de leche RE: Kiwiho8 Jun 24, 2008 07:55 PM

                                The Middle East on ground level has a restaurant side and the "corner" which is also a restaurant that has a small stage and usually live music or DJs for free. There are also performances that are paid, and sometimes are 18 plus and maybe all ages? They have a website with a schedule. The food isn't super, but there's a lot of good energy and she will feel like she is somewhere. The crowd that hangs out there skews heavily to goths and punk types, but there are lots of "average" people, too.

                                If she's into fashion design, she might like to go to the cafe at the store called Louis Boston, which is on Newbury St. Louis Boston is a clothing store that I guess you would say is world-class, and she can browse clothes from the most influential designers there. The cafe is supposed to be good, but I've never been.

                                Based on what you said, I'd still recommend Tremont 647 or the Beehive, too.

                          2. k
                            Kiwiho8 RE: Kiwiho8 Jul 21, 2008 01:07 PM

                            thanks everyone for your help on places to go for my 17yr old cousin. we had a fabulous time, even though it was short. It was hard to get into places, so we just hung out, we walked by Middle East which was cool. We went to the Redline in Harvard Square for dinner which was great. Food was good, the price was good.

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