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Help! Boyfriend's Birthday Dinner

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Hi Chowhounders!

I love this board. And I am in need of help! I just moved here recently (to Cambridge - b/w Harvard and Porter Square). My boyfriend is coming up for the weekend and it's his 26th birthday. We love going out to eat, and we love good food. I want to take him out for a meal to celebrate. Do y'all have any good suggestions for me? Romantic is nice, but nothing stodgy, if that makes sense. And I don't mind expensive as long as it's a good value. We like all kinds of food - mostly, we just like exploring new cities.

Thanks in advance for any help you can provide!

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  1. Welcome to the area.
    Gargoyles in Davis is fun and somewhat romantic but also fun.
    Also, there are a few good places in central square that are dark/romantic but also great for parties - Rendezvous and Central Kitchen.
    All of them have great food and drinks IMO.

    1. As a casual option, I'd recommend the bar at Chez Henri, which is dark and cozy (and somewhat romantic), serves great cocktails (especially the Periodista), and very good food (the Cubano is universally lauded). You can also order off the dining room menu in the bar area.

      Another good possibility is the Monday Club at Upstairs on the Square.

      I sat in the bar area at Gargolyes Sunday night, and I did like the food and atmosphere, but they had a guy playing an amped guitar and singing loudly, which made screaming necessary--not romantic. I took a peek into the main dining room and it had an odd vibe. Is it because there are no windows?

      1. What about Ten Tables (at either location) or T.W. Food? They both have great menus, especially their tasting menus. The limited number of tables provides an intimacy that creates a romantic vibe, although not necessarily over the top.

        1 Reply
        1. re: CreativeFoodie42

          I find Hungry Mother romantic but not stodgy. And the menu can be great. The choices above are all good, as well. If the Ten Tables in Cambridge venu hasn't changed much since it was Craigie, the food has to outweigh the room significantly.

        2. Just wanted to reply and say thanks for the help! I am saving all of the other recs for another time - we ended up in the bar of Chez Henri one night and at Hungry Mother the next :)

          first, chez henri. I live a couple blocks from here, and i think the bar is going to become a problem. they were so nice. the cubano was amazing. and the duck tamale was pretty darn good too. definitely plenty of dinner for me.

          as for hungry mother, i loooved the ambience and atmosphere. while we were waiting, the bartender came out from behind the bar to encourage us to order drinks. we did, they were great. as for the food, I would say that the best parts were the apps (ham and pepper jelly biscuits and the beef tongue canape), my bf's gnocchi (at least i loved it - and he seemed to as well), and his bread pudding dessert.

          i thought the special veg for the night (succotash) was forgettable. the cornbread was greasy - totally didn't see that coming. and i didn't love my seafood medley thing. i thought the green tomato cake was good, but it's basically just like ordering carrot cake, so keep that in mind.

          overall though, a great meal. especially loved the bartender and the parts of the meal that i already listed. and the servers were very nice as well.

          and again, thanks chowhound!