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Jun 7, 2009 09:38 AM

Torn! Where to plan spcl Nshore dinner

Planning a special dinner for big birthday - party will include seniors so I need to start no later than 6 PM -- normally, I'd plan this in Boston but several don't want to drive or be driven there(!) Looking for a more upscale place, but not too pretentious - want quieter atmosphere & very good service! I've been to Summer/Winter and Cafe Escadrille - would pick S/W over CE in terms of atmosphere but willing to try something else - won't go near Gavin's I've heard too many horror stories... some suggested BC Wild Horse or Soma also reading about small places in Gloucester/downtown Peabody?- guest of honor loves steak, seafood or Mexican is the "dark horse" here - no Italian just bcause there are prior plans that, help, help! Looking for "wow" factor -

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    1. How about Capital Grill, Burlington, depending on your party some places in Gloucester may also work.

      1. Catch in Winchester is very good. I don't know how big your party is. Also Absolutely Fabulous in Melrose will let you rent the whole space if you party is large enough. Her food is incredible and it is BYOB.

        Went to a GREAT mexican restaurant last night in Beverly - something Lindo. It is at 150 Cabot Street. Food and service were both excellent. If you google mexican restaurant in Beverly MA it will come up. Drove by Soma on the way home and it was packed. Don't know if that is the atmosphere you are looking for......

        1. Pellana is a Very Good SteakHouse in Peabody.

          3 Replies
          1. re: ScubaSteve

            Thanks for the recommendations - we will have no more than 10, maybe even a few less, so I doubt I'll qualify for private dining. Due to the uneven reviews, I was concerned about Capitol Grille...I know it will be expensive which I can live with if service/atmosphere are delivered. ..I saw some negative reviews, so I'm nervous. Ditto for service at Summer/Winter although the menu has a decent variety and I like the space. (Might be a different feel if it's packed! Lunches have been pleasant.) I will consider Pellana, also intrigued by 9 Elm in Danvers and Franklin Cafe Gloucester. Oh, decent selection of beers on tap would be the icing on the cake....microbrews/imports would be awesome, but food quality and service will trump it all. Which would you select?

            1. re: adiosoven

              no draught beers at Pellana and the prices there are on par with the
              Capital Grille.

              i'll also throw some love to The Wild Horse in Beverly, they have a
              pretty solid menu confidently executed and they have a great selection
              of draught beers.

              i've also very recently heard some encouraging things about the Bar
              tending at Tryst in Beverly but a cannot attest to the quality of the

              Soma was decent when i went a couple of years back and did the app
              menu as courses, but i have no recent experience.

              i've never been to the other places you mention.

              1. re: ScubaSteve

                Scuba Steve - After visiting several places, I'm going with one of your suggestions listed above - I will report back after the event; Thanks for all the advice! Keep on chowing!

          2. If you go as a larger group ( >6) to Franklin they will likely seat you upstairs which I find to be really cramped and no room between the back of your seat and the guy behind you. serving is tough up there as well....

            1 Reply
            1. re: capeanne

              You'd NEVER catch me saying this three months ago, but I'd recommend Alchemy Bistro in Gloucester. The former chef of Excelsior took over their kitchen a few months back and its shows in a big way.