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Jan 23, 2009 05:14 AM

Private dining for 30-40 for wedding celebration dinner

Since we are eloping in the South Pacific, we thought it would be nice to celebrate with our friends with a nice dinner in the summer. We are looking for a restaurant with a private dining room in the Boston area or beyond. The top priority is food/service, it is extremely important that the food is consistently very good and the service is top notch. The group will be a mixed crowd (not many foodies), so we are trying to avoid ethnic restaurants or high end establishments. The budget is around $100pp including food and drinks and we would prefer to avoid restaurants that charge for the room or have high minimum charges.

Our first choice is Eastern Standard but it looks 50/50 that they will expand their private dining area by this summer. Other recommendations have been Mamma Maria due to their wonderful private rooms and the Harvest outdoor area (only available during lunch), but we have had mixed experiences with both restaurants.

Any new ideas or recommendations would be appreciated.

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    1. I have had great experiences with Mistral. The issue there will be what you can do for $100/person.

      4 Replies
      1. re: Blumie

        We had our wedding and dinner (for around 40) at Mistral and it was super (food, service, ambiance), though it probably edges up against your budget. As of last summer it was $75/person for a set menu (1 appetizer, 1 entree, 1 dessert), $85/person if you wanted to provide your guests a choice of 3 entrees, not including drinks of course. No room charge.

        I don't know if it matters to you but the one negative thing about Mistral was a weird attitude towards vegetarians. Although they were extremely friendly and amenable to providing food for guests with special needs, there were no vegetarian options in their regular menu. We wanted one meat, one fish, and one vegetarian choice, rather than have the vegetarians in the group have to order something specially as if they had a food allergy or something. We had repeated conversations on this score but mostly talked past each other, and in the end we just ended up with a "vegetarian entree available on request" (which was something perfectly palatable but uninspiring like pasta and vegetables) at the bottom of the menu. It was an odd attitude to encounter in a high-end restaurant in Boston, where vegetarians are so plentiful.

        1. re: dfan

          Although it surprises me that they did not offer a vegetarian option, at each of the functions I've had at Mistral they've been extraordinary at handling special requests.

          1. re: Blumie

            Restaurants like Mistral don't offer vegetarian options because they don't fit into the price point of the regular menu.

            1. re: Blumie

              Yes, and they were for us too - we had a vegan with a food allergy in our party, for example, and they treated her great - it was just odd that "vegetarian" was in the category of special requests. almansa's point is an interesting one I hadn't considered.

        2. I did my wedding dinner at Capitol Grill on Newbury St. and was very pleased. I generally prefer more adventurous cuisine myself, but as in your case, the group included a number of non-foodies, so I decided to compromise on this and it worked out very well. Both food and service were top-notch. I pre-selected two wines, a red and a white, and instructed the staff to open as much as people wanted but no more, and they were scrupulous about not wasting any.

          They have a private room that's just the right size for your group, and I believe you can manage it for about what you want to pay - depending, of course, on the level of alcohol consumption, which in my group was fairly low.

          1. You could try a small restaurant that only seats about 40 people. Maybe Pigalle, Troquet or Salts.

            1. Possibly the back room at Gran Gusto? Consistently very good Italian. Some parking available. May not be as pricey as some of the others listed here.