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Restaurant for mother-in-law's birthday dinner in/near Natick

Hi, Chowhounders! This is my first post! I searched the other topics and couldn't find anything similar, but if I missed something, please let me know!

I want to take my mother-in-law, who lives in Natick, out to dinner on Saturday night, and I'm having trouble finding a suitable restaurant. I'm trying to avoid major chains and places that are really, really loud. I'm looking for a Japanese, Italian, American or French restaurant that has entrees between $15-30 and has a classy feel. We're also willing to drive maybe 15 minutes away from Natick, too.

We've been to Oga's a million times (which we love!), so it's our last resort if we can't find anything else.

Thanks so much for your time, Chowhounders! You all really know your stuff.

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  1. How about Coach Grill in Wayland?

    1. I haven't been to the Natick outlet, but Sel de la Terre ought to fit the bill. I'm a fan of the original on Boston's waterfront. http://www.seldelaterre.com/natick/me...


      2 Replies
      1. re: MC Slim JB

        Good food but that location can get noisy.

        1. re: MC Slim JB

          Thanks for the suggestions! I'm looking into Sel de la Terre, and though I'm reading that the Natick location isn't quite as good as the others, it's worth a try. And maybe I can make an earlier reservation to beat the crowd so it'll be quieter for us.

        2. how about the sherborn inn on rte 27 ? the food is good, the atmosphere is too.

          1. Maxwells 148 is on RT 135 in Natick near the Wellesley line, and seems like it would fit your needs.

            Maxwells 148
            148 East Central Street, Natick, MA 01760

            1. If you're willing to drive around 22 minutes, I'd recommend Bon Caldo, or Rte 1in Norwood. It definitely has a nice decor and good service, very good to excellent food, reasonable prices (low $20's for entrees), and an awesome Italian wine list, if that's of any interest. I go there quite often with relatvies who live in Natick, and they think it's worth the ride.

              Have you considered China Sky, in Wellesley? It has the nicest decor and ambience of any Asian restaurant I've been to in the Boston area, very good (though not particularly authentic) Chinese food, a relatively elegant atmosphere, (and relatively high prices for Chinese food, reflective of the quality of the ingredients IMHO), and also has good sushi. I'd definitely recommend it for a nice Chinese meal.

              1. Another idea to throw into the mix is Lumiere in West Newton. Simultaneously intimate and elegant with really delicious food. Definitely not noisy at all! Prices on the entrees are in the high 20s.

                1. 51 Lincoln in Newton isn't too far and fits your criteria.

                  1. Sel de La terre in Natick is very good. Also, there is a new restaurant in Wellesley/ Newton Lower Falls that is very good. It is claled Bobby's American Grill. More festive atmosphere than Oga. American food- choices from sandwiches(tenderloin, steak, roast beef, turkey club) to comfort food ( shepard's pie) to more upscale entrees. WE went once and thought the food was good (lollipop lamb chop appetizer =$12, 5 chops) was juicy, flavorful and generous. Maxwell's in Natick is probablymore expensive than you want.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: emilief

                      just had a very pleasant dinner at the sel de la terre in natick. while I'm not a mall fan, we had gone to see avatar and that's right across the road, so it was a choice of convenience. The food was very good, reasonably priced, and the service was pleasant. Don't know how noisy it gets on a saturday but it was fine for us and the four of us could hear each other and visit without stress.

                    2. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/570828

                      this is the link to my rave review of maxwell 148. Very quiet and elegant(but unpretentious) and special. I think she would be thrilled.

                      Maxwells 148
                      148 East Central Street, Natick, MA 01760

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: opinionatedchef

                        I agree with Maxwell's and Sel de la Terre, but you also may want to consider Gourmet Decisions, which is adjacent to Dolphin Seafood (but not affiliated). We have been there many times for breakfast and lunch and have always enjoyed the food, service, and atmosphere; I can't comment on the dinner, but the menu is on-line.

                      2. Thanks everyone for these great recommendations! I'll have to keep Maxwell 148 on my to-do list - it sounds great!

                        But I found a pretty sweet deal on BuyWithMe.com for a $50 voucher at Sel de la Terre selling for $25, available for use starting tomorrow! How's that for timing? So I think our decision has been made.

                        Thanks again!

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: ineemeeny

                          Thanks for the tip- I just bought a voucher too!

                        2. Do you like your mother-in-law?

                          1 Reply
                          1. Alta Strada in Wellesley is a good option for Italian. It's no Via Matta, but still excellent.

                            Maybe not for this occasion, but I also have to recommend Dah Mee for Japanese/Korean food in Natick Center. The Korean options are really delicious. It isn't very fancy so it may be a place worth going to for a more casual meal.

                            Alta Strada
                            92 Central Street, Wellesley, MA 02482

                            Dah Mee
                            25 Washington St, Natick, MA 01760

                            1. Sel de la Terre in the Natick Mall Collection.

                              1. Thanks, Chowhounders. Dinner last night at Sel de la Terre turned out to be a great choice. They almost seated us in the super echo-y, super cold atrium, but we convinced them to give us a table in the warm and cozy dining room. The pork tenderloin was huge and really tasty, the walu (fish) with parmesan grits was wonderful, the salad and appetizer flat bread pizza thing was pretty good, and the bread accompaniment trio was delicious!

                                We ended up saving $50 thanks to the BuyWithMe.com deal and had a great time!

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: ineemeeny

                                  thanks for reporting back and I'm so glad you enjoyed your choice. Thanks for sharing on the buywithme info. Similarly, check out www.hubeats.com to see who has discounts on any given night.