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Cambridge with a group for good dinner

There is a group of us that go out to dinner once a month and we typically stay around the Back Bay/South End where most of us live. I fee like we've hit most of the restaurants there so I want to look to Cambridge next. Can someone offer up some suggestions on some places in Cambridge (Central, Davis, Inman, Harvard, etc) that a group of 10-12 would work. Looking for nice places, but more importantly excellent food ($18-25 range per entree). I've heard of some places (Rendevouz, Central Kitchen, Salts, etc), but don't know many people who have actually been there. Any help is greatly appreciated.

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  1. 12 people at Salts would take 1/2 the restaurant and they're pricier than the others. Rendezvous definitely has the room and is about in that range. I think it's quite good. Central Kitchen is on the small side, price point is right. Lots of people here love it. I'd add the Blue Room in Kendall Sq., good size room and good new American cooking. Casablanca in Harvard Sq. would be good and Gargoyle's in Davis Sq. definitely fits the room, price and quality requirements. If you can go on a weeknight, you might want to hit he 5-4-3-2-1 special at Noir in the Charles Hotel, until 9PM now I think.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Joanie

      Agree w/J's choices and would add Hungry Mother in Kendall Sq. to the mix. Have been w/a group & all loved it.

      1. re: Taralli

        Would have to second Hungry Mother for a crowd-pleaser. Taralli, you must have also gone with the msmacandcheese group! That certainly was a delicious evening.

        Might I also suggest Oleana, though not sure if they could swing the larger group size. Maybe on the patio, the only issue being that I don't believe they will take reservations for patio seating.

        1. re: chevrelove

          Actually, CL, have been 3X to HM. After a meet-up w/my dining club for dinner at the Blue Room a while back, walked them over to HM for a look around & subsequently enjoyed a dinner there. Was w/msm&c last night w/other hounds at Ten Tables, but that's for a separate thread.

    2. I second Hungry Mother. Also, Henrietta's Table is a crowd-pleaser as well. http://www.henriettastable.com/

      www.carrotsncake.com

      1. I would definitely recommend Hungry Mother! We went there with a group of 9 and had an excellent dinner (they sat us at a table for 10 which could have fit two more on either end). Would recommend your group ordering the shrimp and grits, deviled chip-in farm eggs, warm beef tongue canape, fried chesapeake bay oysters, cornmeal catfish (main course), and watermelon sorbet for dessert.

        1. There are some quality places in Cambridge that I go to, then go back, then go bck again. Some well known, other's just personal favs. Some are small for such a big group, but worth a look -

          1) Garden at the Cellar - Central - Wil is great!
          2) River Gods - Central - Great Fries and love the feel of that joint, maybe a little small
          3) Blue Room - Kendall - Great wine list, but $$
          4) Antonia's - Davis - Super cute and very nice grub for the green
          5) Pepper Sky - Central - Best Thai in town
          6) Blue Ribbon - Arlington - Worth the trip if you love good BBQ
          7) Greek Around the Corner - N Camb - Food isn't quite what you get in Corfu, but the staff is hilarious

          Ok, I need to get back to work, but thanks for the mental meal/vacation

          2 Replies
          1. re: rustichef

            I know you qualified your recs, but are there even 12 seats total in the Arlington Blue Ribbon? It sure wouldn't be a great place to hang out in and not particularly "nice" as requested by the OP. And yes, River gods is a little small and a large group would also be tough at GATC.

            1. re: rustichef

              If you're going to hit River Gods, I'd definitely do it *before* the students come back, otherwise you'll be waiting a few hours to get a table for 12.

            2. I like Rendezvous and would also consider Gran Gusto -- great pizza, nice pastas, slightly over the top service, but they could easily accomodate 10 - 12 people at your price point.

              -----
              Gran Gusto
              90 Sherman St, Cambridge, MA 02140

              1. Agree with all Joanie's recs. Will add that I ate at Blue Room last night, first time in a couple years, and it has shot back up to the top of my personal list. Great stuff. Also consider Small Plates in Harvard Sq, have been twice and loved it.