40th birthday, 6 friends, where?
A friend is having a 40th birthday and will have 5 long-time friends in from out of town to celebrate.
Without breaking the bank, where should they go?
Requirements: maybe sort of upscale, perhaps colorful, not too noisy but not churchy, good food and wine, or perhaps something FUN and less upscale but still very good
My first thoughts:
-Bistro 5 (Medford)
but that's only a blink of a start
What does break the bank really man to you? Mama Maria is pretty pricey. A little more fun and in the same range (IMO) is Prezza in the north end. I agree with eastern Standard and Green St. altho those seem a little like a random b-day # and not the big 4-0. In the same vein somewhat, the Blue Room is kinda fun. I think Bistro 5 is really good and if you're in that area, a nice place but it has no scene. Davio's might work.
Hungry Mother could be fun. Craigie Street's new location now perfectly lends itself to pre-dinner cocktails. Marliave (sp?) could be more on the special side (downtown, dinner upstairs with outstanding cocktails downstairs).
From your original list, I like Hamersley's. I agree that the others are more romantic or quieter, but I've found Hamersley's to be bustling and lively, and I think it's special enough for a big birthday.
Pop's in the South End seems to fit all your reqs. Make sure to get a table toward the back though, especially this time of year. Drafts can be annoying if you're near the front.