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Graduation dinner

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Our daughter is graduating from Northeastern in May and we want to take a group of about ten people for dinner to celebrate. Since we're from NYC we're not familiar with Boston restaurants. Places suggested include: Sorellina, Radius, Davio's, Da Vinci. We'd like a fun, non-stuffy place, but somewhere we can talk and hear ourselves as well. Any suggestions/advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

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  1. First of all, where is the commencement being held? I graduated from NU in 1976!!!, and the graduation was held at the Boston Garden. (And it was called The Garden at that time!) So, I would chose depending on the location.
    If the ceremony is at NU, you have really good choices there already. If it is in another neighborhood within Boston, you may want to expand your quest to the North End or other locales in Boston.
    As I said, all your choices are great. I love the food at Davio's, but I think the acoustics may be challenging. You could also opt for Mistral which is close by all the places you mentioned, and I know they have a nice private dining room. Likewise, Rocca in the South End has a small private dining room which could be fun at the right price.
    If money is no object, you could look into Clio on the corner of Mass Ave and Commonwealth; or I like Abe and Louie's. It is a traditional steak house, also great seafood. I think it is great for special occasions and the wait staff knows how to create the right ambience. We went there for my nephew's 16th birthday, and they really helped make it a special time.

    3 Replies
    1. re: snowcone

      It's probably being held at the same place only now it's called TD Banknorth Garden. Is that the Back Bay area? My problem at this point is too many choices. Friends who have been there, felt Mistral and Radius were disappointing (although others said they were great!) and their first choices were Davio's or Da Vinci. I was a little worried about going to a steakhouse, since there are a lot of non-meat eaters in the group. But all this helps, so thanks.

      1. re: lldirect

        Although Davio's is billed as a Northern Italian Steakhouse it certainly offers up a number of more than decent seafood options as well. I can't speak to the feathered choices as I've never ordered anything other than steak & seafood! Snowcone is right, the decibel level can be a bit much at times but it doesn't create an issue with myself personally. If you do expand your search to the North End you'll have almost an infinite choice of options. The place to start is here with bachslunch's amazingly complete breakdown of that scene. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/448599

        Harp

        BTW, the link also includes their website

        -----
        Davio's
        75 Arlington Street, Boston, MA 02116

        1. re: Harp00n

          That was an incredibly helpful link. As it turns out, the graduation itself is at the TD Banknorth Garden which I'm informed is in the North end. So I'll use that list to pick a place for lunch after the graduation. Of course, that complicates matters because now I have to find a great place for dinner that is NOT Italian. So the search goes on. If you've got more ideas, they're most welcome. Thanks.

    2. Important logistical question to help sort out answers: how are the guests getting to dinner, and would that be directly from the ceremony or from elsewhere? Car, taxi or subway?

      1 Reply
      1. re: Karl S

        More complications ensue... Most of us will be driving I assume but with the graduation taking place at the TD Banknorth Garden in the North End, we'll probably end up at some place Italian for lunch after the graduation. Which means that this lovely dinner I'd like to have should probably be something other than Italian. All thoughts are welcome.

      2. For a super nice dinner I'd suggest Clio
        For very very nice: Mistral or Sorrelina, Rialto in Harvard Square, Icarus, Pigalle, or one of several steak places including: Abe and Louie's, Capital Grille, Ruth's Chris
        For very nice (slightly less expensive): Prezza in the North End, Taranta in the North End, Sel de la Terre

        2 Replies
        1. re: athena877

          I'm thinking about Prezza for lunch. Which leaves dinner open and I'll check out your suggestions. Thanks to all for your help.

          1. re: lldirect

            Oops. I just checked Zagat and see that Prezza is only open for dinner, so that's out. Now I'm look for a "can't beat it" recommendation for lunch in the North End for after the ceremony, and a dinner anywhere not too inconvenient for people in cars for a celebratory dinner that doesn't duplicate lunch. You're a swell bunch of folks for hleping. Thanks.