Dear Hounds; I have read with interest your 10 best & other posts. Please help me out. Where can we take a celebrating group for good food? We are talking more than 12 people and possibly more than one table. In my experience, only certain restaurants can handle (or would want) such a crowd. I'm not looking for a 10 course tasting menu, just good food in a comfortable atmosphere that will allow us to visit with each other.
every restaurant in boston is impacted by, and deals with, graduation season.
by more than 12, how many more? do you want in-town, have a preferred cuisine or a price range?
Availability also depends on the school and what other schools have commencements that weekend. MIT and Harvard graduate the same weekend. That and the weekend of the BU graduations need a lot of planning.
And the location of the graduation may also change our suggestions.
I think a place that would meet your requirements would be Eastern Standard in Kenmore SQ on Commonwealth. They have a room that is separate from the main dining room but is not totally private so you still feel like you are in part of restaurant. I think this room could accommodate 12 people easily but of course you will have to reserve well in advance. The food is very good (check this board for other posts) and would appeal to a wide variety of tastes from seafood to meats to vegetarian. They also have one of the best bar in Boston staffed with people who really know how to make good cocktails. Their selection of wines and liquors is truly impressive.
I don't know when others graduate, but I'm planning for mid-May now precisely to avoid such a problem. We are eight people and some of the other families have mentioned getting together for dinner. In Miami, we have previously arranged for 4 tables in separate area of a large restaurant with a limited (think restaurant week) menu and each family taking care of it's own bill. Another time we took a private room and just hosted it ourselves. We will probably stay in Copley plaza area, but we can eat anywhere we can drive and park. A late lunch is a good possibility since I understand the graduation is in the morning. Price range and cuisine are flexible.
The dates to avoid, if you can, are May 14-17. Simmons, Massachusetts College of Pharmacy, Boston Conservatory, Bentley , Boston University, and Emerson all hold commencements during those four days.
May 24th- the 28th is also full with Harvard, Tufts, Boston College, and a few smaller schools schedule for those days.
If it has to one of those weekends. Make your reservation as soon as possible. It may already be too late.
I'll add Sel De La Terre to mix. They have private areas at both the Waterfront and Back Bay restaurants.
Brasserie Jo is a great idea.
I'm a foodie and love Boston restaurants. That said, for my graduation, my roommates and I hosted a family & friends party. We divvied up who made/brought what and everyone had a great time. Obviously, it was cheaper, but more so, it was a great celebration. So much so, that my brother and his friends did the same when he graduated two years later.