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21st birthday dinner

My daughter is turning 21 this month and we plan to take her and a couple of her friends out to dinner. Any suggestions for a nice, festive place with fun drinks for a newly legal college kid that is not too expensive in the Boston-Cambridge area?

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  1. Green Street Grill in Central. American comfort/gastro-pub food with awesome cocktail and beer list. If you're going to introduce your kids to alcohol, send them down the right road.

    3 Replies
    1. re: avial

      Green Street is amazing and has one of the best cocktail menus in the city, but it might be a little too chill and grown-up for a 21-year-old. It has a great focus on exquisite drinks, though, so if that's the focus, it's a decent option. Of course, it depends on your daughter and her friends. A different more upbeat option might be Toro in the South End--always packed, totally hip, great food and great cocktails, and not too expensive

      1. re: spencerque

        The problem with Toro is it doesn't take reservations. I'd suggest Cuchi Cuchi, but I don't think they take them either. Green St. is a good suggestion. A more festive option is Eastern Standard, but it's also more upscale and doesn't list the ingredients on its extensive cocktail menu.

        1. re: spencerque

          I feel like Green St. is usually pretty bustling, at least on the weekends. Altho the dining room is a little quieter. Eastern Standard is also a good rec.

      2. Not too expensive - how much per person? I think that one of the great values in Boston is the Sunday prix fixe dinner at Sage @ $22.00 per person. They also have a nice selection of drinks from the bar.

        1. Cuchi Cuchi for SURE. It is basically made for events like this. It is guaranteed to be fun & festive for both you & the 21 year olds, and the drinks are fantastic. They do take reservations, and have a special LED-lit table that you can reserve, which I recommend.

          The food is very good (with a few exceptions). The only downside is that it expensive for what you get--the plates are $10-15 and you'd really want at least two per person, and drinks are around $10.

          1 Reply
          1. re: dulce de leche

            I believe Cuchi Cuchi only takes reservations during the week for anytime and weekends only until 6PM

          2. Moderately-priced: East Coast Grill, Eastern Standard
            Very Inexpensive: Border Cafe

            1. I second East coast grill, good drinks, fun and casual attmosphere...only good for the fish though, the bbq is lacking...
              Also Highland Kitchen on Highland Ave in Somerville is a fun atmosphere, upbeat, rather crowded and quality food with fun drinks
              I have yet to go but have been wanting to try Franklin Cafe in the South end...the drink and food menus both look great and it seems like a fun young place

              1 Reply
              1. re: shellicopter

                Big fan of Highland Kitchen, but somehow not the right vibe for 21 year olds, in my opinion. It's mostly a slightly more seasoned young professional crowd. Encourage the group to go there the next day however. ECG is a good suggestion - third that.

                Would Drink be an interesting place to go? Probably not the right crowd again, but the format there could lead to some very creative cocktails for the newbies.

                Oh and geez, not sure why I hadn't thought of this, but wouldn't Dali be good for this? Small plates, sweet sangria, etc. - could dine there and head somewhere else for a nightcap. Other tapas places also come to mind, like Toro and Taberna de Haro, but Dali seems more focused on this age group.

                Honestly, isn't Match also a perfect place? Fancy burgers and sweet martinis...I know you said quality and all, but it always seems packed with 21 year olds the couple of times I've been in, and the bartending reflects that. I bet it would be a hit.