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South End dining for a group of 12-15

mollyditty Feb 23, 2009 10:44 AM

I have a number of friends coming in from out of town. We'll be having drinks at a friend's place in the South End, and hope to go out to dinner around there after. We could head over to the back bay area, but South End has sooo many places! so many awesome unique restaurants!

Ummm, clearly 12-15 is a tall order.
We were thinking Pops....but I dont know if they'd do a reservation like that.

Maggiano's....uh, waaaaaaaay too much food, and doesn't have an intimate/unique feel...

I know this is a tall order. I look forward to suggestions. Splitting into a couple tables is always fine too....


  1. b
    BackBayGirl Feb 23, 2009 10:56 AM

    Gaslight is very good. I went for the first time this past weekend. They have some longer tables in the dining area and I saw larger parties there. The prices are very reasonable and the food is delicious.

    1 Reply
    1. re: BackBayGirl
      BBHound Feb 23, 2009 10:59 AM

      Second Gaslight. Very good for groups like yours.

      Gaslight Brasserie du Coin
      560 Harrison Avenue, Boston, MA 02118

    2. hotoynoodle Feb 23, 2009 10:57 AM

      pops is pretty small for a group that size, but most others (maybe not metropolis) could accommodate you. what night of the week, what time and what price point?

      7 Replies
      1. re: hotoynoodle
        mollyditty Feb 23, 2009 11:07 AM

        Saturday evening.
        around 6-8ish....
        price...entrees around $20.

        just looked at Gaslight, and it sounds like they'd fit the bill nicely!
        any thoughts on Rocca?

        Thanks for the recs so far!

        1. re: mollyditty
          Joanie Feb 23, 2009 12:01 PM

          Rocca is very good and could accommodate that size.

          1. re: Joanie
            twentyoystahs Feb 23, 2009 12:10 PM

            But Gaslight is a bit less expensive, and probably a bit more casual...just depends what you're looking for.

            I'm pretty sure both could accomodate you.

            Pops has a back room --if they aren't booked up yet that night they might be able to put everyone back there. Obviously you'd need to check.

            Out of all of these, for a large group, I think I like Gaslight the best. It's a fun spot with a good vibe, nice energy and the food is pretty good too. Not earth shattering but good.

            1. re: twentyoystahs
              hotoynoodle Feb 25, 2009 05:59 AM

              gaslight to me seems like a disney-fied version of a french bistro. i was totally unimpressed. fun place for drinks though.

              meyers + chang has a great vibe and delicious food. rocca would be a good pick and so would estragon.

              1. re: hotoynoodle
                twentyoystahs Feb 25, 2009 01:01 PM

                I agree that it's not a place that will overly impress or "wow" you; it is simple, basic, bistro fare, much like many of the places you'll find in France. I think the food is pretty good --not "knock-your-socks" off good, but again, I'm pretty sure that's not their intent. Would I go there for special night with one other person? No. Would it be great for a big group? Yeah, I think so.
                I also agree Myers & Chang is fun with good (albeit somewhat pricey) food. I think it'd be great to go with a group and share lots of stuff, just not sure how many they can accomodate at one table. Rocca = eh. Haven't been to Estragon so can't comment.

                1. re: twentyoystahs
                  hotoynoodle Feb 26, 2009 03:40 AM

                  i understand the intent of gaslight. however, the cassoulet is quite clearly cooked as separate components and then plated together for service. big ding in my book, sorry.

                  it's like the owners had a few too many fevered balthazar dreams. gaslight is first a concept, then a business, then lastly a restaurant. plenty of other places serving similar menus that i much prefer.

                2. re: hotoynoodle
                  BackBayGirl Feb 25, 2009 01:09 PM

                  Not sure about it being a disney-fied version of a French Bistro. I went the other night for the first time and had a very pleasant experience. I think for a group of people it would not be a bad place.

        2. s
          skylark938 Feb 25, 2009 06:10 AM

          You could split a bunch of dishes at Estragon. Much cooler space, vibe and food than Rocca. Be sure to check out the authentic tapas menu first.

          3 Replies
          1. re: skylark938
            latertater Feb 25, 2009 10:22 AM

            We do this with a group of our friends each year at the holidays. We did go to Pops this year and it was perfect. We had the entire back room, which was ideal for a big group of us(around 15 or so). The service was some of the best I've had, really friendly and acommodating waiter, and they even gave us a bottle of bubbles at the end. There are also small / share plates for $10.00.

            We went to Rocca the previous year. Gorgeous room, food outstanding, a little on the expensive side if you are going to be doing a lot of talking and switching places and sharing stories / pix etc.

            1. re: latertater
              skylark938 Feb 25, 2009 11:00 AM

              Sorry, but Rocca reminds me of a Ramada Inn from the 70's. I don't like the private room, and the upstaira diningroom reminds me of a cruise ship. Do they still have that big blue wave thing in the ceiling?

              1. re: skylark938
                mollyditty Mar 1, 2009 01:18 PM

                We ended up at Gaslight! Thanks so much for the suggestions, all. We had 9pm reservations, and were not seated till 9:45 or so. during this time there was an overwhelming smell of feet every now and then. it was gross. later on someone said the smell was coming from fondue. eh, perhaps some like the smell, it was just a bit too much for us.
                the bread was wonderful! and i love that they just bring the full baguettes to the table!
                not sure what everyone got....but everyone was pleased :) We did find that most of the entree's were very salty. things were good, but I don't think i'd go back for the food alone....and with all the other reviews, i'm excited to try some new places next time we have a big group here.
                we actually went to Rocca afterward for drinks. fun place :)

                again, thanks so much for the recs.

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