Friendly (birthday celebration) takeover
I want to invite about 20-30 friends to meet me for a casual dinner and drinks to celebrate my birthday. I know some people will stroll in late, and because of the economy budgets are tight, so I didn't want a formal sit down dinner, or a set menu with a price per person. I was looking for good food- most entrees should be less than $20, and a great drink selection so those who don't want dinner can come a little later and join us for drinks. Music is also a must! I was looking at Golden Temple's E-room but it does not feel quite right. I need more atmosphere. I know I'm asking for a lot but any suggestions in the Boston/ Cambridge area would be really helpful. BTW- this is for a Tuesday night. Thanks so much for your help!!
Well, there are mixed opinions on the nitty-gritty of the food but Dali, in Somerville right on the Cambridge border, seems to cater to the birthday crowd. We strolled in late to a friend's birthday a few months ago and they had a big table reserved in the back room with people coming and going and pitchers of sangria and no pressure for anyone to order any particular courses. Plus there's the requisite Happy Birthday singing that goes on, oh, 30 or 40 times per night. I guess this may sound like a luke-warm endorsement upon re-reading it, but I don't mean it as such. It does seem to be a favorite spot for a lot of people for this type of thing, it just wouldn't work for everyone but is worth looking into.
I guess I'm unapologetic apologist for Dali - I find the menu caters to both the timid (garlicky chicken, hot baked goat cheese with tomato and basil) and the explorer (braised rabbit, roast duckling with berry sauce). Ask for Crema de Alba at the bar, a cream liquor that smells of bananas and tastes of awesome.
They have mixed reviews, but I've had great food at Vlora. They have a HUGE dining area and a back room that you can reserve with no reservation fee. I don't believe they have live music but certainly music that plays in the restaurant. Only catch is they don't have a full liquor license - only beer, wine and cordials.