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Jul 29, 2009 08:48 AM

Dining outside / Cambridge

If you had to choose between these three choices for a date, which would you choose?

Henrietta's table
Blue Room
Temple Bar

Looking for lively crowd, nice atmosphere, good eats.

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  1. Temple bar purely based on the atmospher. Haven't been to HT in a while but never liked the vibe. BR might have better food, but always felt too basementy for me.

    2 Replies
    1. re: StriperGuy

      striperguy's exactly right.
      based on ambiance, then temple bar.
      based on food, then blue room.

      1. re: jylze

        I third this. Also, Temple Bar is good b/c you can stroll to other places if you like--maybe to have a drink at one place and dinner at another. Chez Henri, West Side Lounge all all right there. I think WSL is a great date place.

    2. Hate to throw a wrench in the works, but how about Central Kitchen (they had outdoor dining last it still there)? Maybe eating on Mass Ave is not the best venue for a civilized date, but at least there is good strolling afterwards and people watching for the duration if it goes badly (I hope it rocks!).

      Another wrench - Om. The outdoor seating looks really fun, either out front or towards the back.

      8 Replies
      1. re: digga

        I haven't seen outside tables at CK yet and while watching the liquor store devotees is interesting (people can bitch about the yuppifying of Central Sq. but it ain't ever gonna happen), it may not be the outdoor experience you're looking for. (And Om's seating does look nice.)

        1. re: Joanie

          digga, Joanie -- I always wonder how awful it would be sitting at those outdoor tables at CK but I'm not brave enough to find out.

          The above three options were really the choices, so I think it's Temple Bar. Thanks for the other ideas though.

          1. re: yumyum

            I haven't seen the outdoor tables yet this year, but I haven't seen the sun much, either. I sat out there last summer, and despite the CK's best efforts, with the plants etc., there you are with the liquor store friends and the occasional waft of sewer smell that says "Central Square".

            I think they might have given that up, but I think the wine director there posts here and can probably say. That said, the seats by the open windows in CK are awesome. And I think is better than the three options laid out in the original post.

            I would also add Caffe La Luna, down Mass Ave at the corner of Columbia. They have outdoor seating, a small but nice menu & wine, and is right on the new plaza.

        2. re: digga

          there is also outdoor seating at Scampo (not to be confused with the outdoor seating at CLink or the other place at the Liberty hotel) and the sangria there is very drinkable PS. the roasted garlic/anchovy pizza is covered in potato slices which are not listed on the menu

          1. re: barleywino

            I really want to go to Scampo one day with a regular! ;-)

            1. re: barleywino

              Another wrench. Oleana. Really great outdoor patio if you can get a seat out there (I don't think you can reserve one). Terrific food. Vibe?, I'm not sure how to judge, but I like it.

              1. re: justbeingpolite

                I LOVE Oleana's patio, but it is more of a beutiful date place then a fun social place. Also, if you don't get their by 6:00 it is almost impossible to get seated.

                1. re: StriperGuy

                  I guess I wasn't clear on the OP. It was for a date, with a "lively crowd" and "nice atmosphere".
                  For me, Oleana fits the bill.

          2. I think that Henrietta's table has too much of a family vibe to be a good date place.
            With the caveat that the food is just OK, nothing special the patio at Daedalus is really a nice space- outdoors and urban, but nicely separated from the traffic. The lively bar makes it social, but the tables are more tranquil. Probably a long wait though and I don't know what the reservation policy is.

            1. Thanks for all the replies. Temple Bar was the right call -- very bustling and busy, we sat at the bar with the open windows behind us.

              Unfortunately both the date and the risotto were overhyped. I'll leave the date out of it, but I was sorely disappointed in the risotto after both Slim and Striper recommended it highly. Scelfo was there, and walking the dining room. The rice was a stiff clump, not nearly loose enough (it should almost ripple like waves on the ocean). Flavor nice but texture all wrong. I might have mentioned it to Michael had I not been trying to finish things up quickly. Heh.

              On a positive note, both the tuna tartare and the berry bread pudding were delicious. So, there was a savory start, a sweet ending, but no real joy in between. I think that sums up the evening perfectly.

              2 Replies
              1. re: yumyum

                Too funny - and thanks for the feedback. I take it your date is not aware of your hound alter ego? If there isn't yet, there should be a dating site for 'hounds, don't you think?