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Friday night in Arlington or Belmont

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I'm looking for a casual restaurant, French, Italian or American, in Arlington or Belmont, preferably near Route 2 for dinner on Friday night. Money isn't much of a concern; I'm looking for great food and wine, and a nice atmosphere.

Would appreciate any suggestions. Thanks ever so!

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  1. Tango--it's Argentnian, but meets all the other requirements. Always a pleasant experience.

    1. For Arlington:
      The aforementioned Tango.
      Flora would probably fit the bill.
      Ristorante Olivio is supposed to be good but I've never eaten there.
      La Buona Vita is Italian but maybe a little too casual. Their original Sicilian chef has, unfortunately, sold the place, but I've heard that the food is still good.

      1. Il Casale Belmont is very good and meets the bill. Both towns are a bit lacking in sit down white table cloth places.

        There are some amazing ethnic places in Arlington, Kathmandu Spice is nice and has killer food but that does not really meet your cuisine request.

        8 Replies
        1. re: StriperGuy

          I second the Il Casale recommendation. I have found the food and service to be top notch. They were just nominated for a James Beard award, as one of the best Northeast restaurants.

          1. re: pasta

            "best Northeast restaurants" I would NOT go that far.

            1. re: StriperGuy

              Best new restaurant.
              and Best Chef Northeast.

            2. re: pasta

              Er, the actual James Beard nominations have not been announced yet, just the long list of semifinalists. The actual nominees will be announced on March 22nd.

            3. re: StriperGuy

              Funny, I haven't been to Il Casale, depsite living right near there. I had to google to realize tat it's the place that opened up in the old firehouse in Belmont Center. I'll have to put it on my list.

              I had a disappointing experience at lunch at Kathmandu Spice -- probably because they had the buffet going. I should try it again off the menu. Any particular recommendations?

                1. re: StriperGuy

                  I've like pretty much everything at Kathmandu Spice, too. I often have the buffet, partly because I'm usually there at lunch time and partly because I get to have a little bit of a lot of things, all of which are yummy.

                  1. re: StriperGuy

                    I thought the food there was actually better than I got in Katmandu itself.

              1. Thanks for the recs. Made a res at Il Casale just to have something in my back pocket, but am still open to more suggestions!

                1. Savino's in Belmont -another Italian place. Not as much buzz and a different vibe than than Il Casale but good.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: mtm7654

                    I wouldn't bother with Savino's - it's pretty disappointing and the room isn't nearly as nice as Il Casale. Il Casale is far better - definitely not the best in the Northeast, certainly not the best in the Greater Boston area, but very good and definitely in a whole other league than anything else in the area. Great the OP got a reservation - the wait can be long, otherwise.

                    GG
                    http://www.semisweetonline.com

                    1. re: mtm7654

                      Atmosphere is nice and service and food were good, but portions barely adequate for the price.