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A bit untraditional graduation--restaurant recommendation

Just to give a little background--my boyfriend is graduating from the BAC (located on Newbury Street). The reason I titled this "untraditional" is because he's 32 (not 21!). I'm looking for a place to take his family for dinner after graduation. There will be 7 of us in total. I'd like to find a place with great food at a reasonable price. His parent's may decide to pay for dinner, but I don't want to make reservations at a place that has exorbitant prices, and then they still feel obligated to pay. It doesn't matter where the restaurant is located, just as long as it's is a bit sophisticated and has great food. Any rec's would be much appreciated!

Thanks

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  1. Does anyone have any food needs- ie, allergies or vegetarians? Are you looking for American or Italian only, or would you be open to Asian/Indian/other cuisines? Are you open to Somerville/Cambridge, or even further out? Can you give us some dollar amounts for what you would consider exorbitant? And by the way, it's not too early at all to be looking- we ran into this a couple of years ago and were on the late side for a grad weekend party of 8 by April.

    I had a very nice dinner at Bergamot in Somerville last night. Wonderful service, excellent food, and exceptionally accommodating of my husband whose plane was late getting into Logan due to volcano issues. I would recommend them and there's a good chance they don't have a lot of bookings yet.

    1. Would you be interested in or averse to a place with a strong design theme? A lot of people have enjoyed meals at Ginger Park in the South End (I haven't been) and their prices seem largely under 20. Their space is well known for its interesting interior. But maybe he has had enough architecture for a while. Congratulations to him!

      1. I suppose American/Steak/Italian are safe bets. There are no food allergies or vegetarians, and I would prefer to stay in the Boston area (although not necessarily downtown).

        I don't love the North End--find it overrated and overpriced, but his family is coming in from Jersey and CT so it might not be a bad idea.

        Thanks for your suggestions--I will certainly check them out. And of course, I'm open to many more!

        1 Reply
        1. re: crosel23

          Have you been to Prezza, Lucca, Mama Maria in the North End? Good places altho prices might be bordering on exorbitant. Hamersley's Bistro in the South End might be a nice place for a graduation dinner and there's lots of stuff in a pretty area for the out of towners to look at. Da Vinci and Bergamot are good suggestions.

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          Prezza
          24 Fleet St., Boston, MA 02113

          Hamersley's Bistro
          553 Tremont Street, Boston, MA 02116

          Lucca Restaurant
          226 Hanover St., Boston, MA 02113

        2. da vinci might suit - it's good northern italian, has a 35.00 three course prix fixe menu, and the mains run around 22.00 or so. another alternative, a little closer to BAC, would be Vlora (more mediterranean bistro).

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          Vlora
          545 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02116

          2 Replies
          1. re: teezeetoo

            Teezeetoo--thanks for the rec on Da Vinci. I looked at the menu and it looks lovely. How are the prices??

            1. re: crosel23

              Nevermind! Just noticed that they're actually right on the menu--silly goose!

          2. I'll second parsipppety's recommendation of Bergamot - I had a really great meal there last week that I wrote up here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/705471

            But if you'd like to stay closer in, try Eastern Standard, just up the street in Kenmore Square. The food is very good and the atmosphere lively, with an eclectic crowd. They offer a nice variety of dishes, from more traditional for the tamer palates (roast chicken, steak frites, an excellent burger) to more adventurous for those with more sophisticated tastes (be sure to ask about the Offal of the Day!

            )

            The charcuterie assortment is a nice appetizer to share.

            And they're also one of the best places in town to order cocktails - perfect for a celebration! Just make sure to reserve at least a few days in advance, especially if it's for a weekend table.

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            Eastern Standard
            528 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02215

            1. Some other suggestions might be Stella in the South End. They have a great private back room which I discovered for the first time last week! Another favorite spot of mine for Italian is Erbaluce in Bay Village.

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              Erbaluce
              69 Church Street, Boston, MA 02116

              1. Just so everyone knows--we decided to try Piccolo Nido in the North End, and were very, very pleased. Everything was homemade (pasta!!) and fresh! Pino, the owner, was a wonderful attribute to dinner. He has some amazing stories that he shared with us, and he was very accomodating. He prefaced the meal with "If you don't see something on the menu that is appealing, we can make you anything you want as long as we have the ingredients." All in all, it was a very delightful experience, and I highly recommend Pino's restaurant!

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                Piccolo Nido
                257 North St, Boston, MA 02113

                1. You might want to check out the Franklin Cafe in Southie. Good food at a moderate price and a nice ambiance. You might also want to check out Gaslight on Harrison Street in the South End - they have a parking lot (if that matters.)