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Dec 20, 2010 06:41 AM

once yearly dinner for two, for less than $100?

My parents will be coming to visit for Christmas, and they usually offer to babysit one evening so DH and I can eat out alone. We'll probably get a night out alone between Christmas and New Year's, and are willing to spend up to about $100 on dinner (we won't be drinking). I'll be picking up my DH from his work, which is in the Kendall Sq area. Where would you suggest we go? For the past two years we have gone to Oleana. The year before that, we went to Sabur, which we found disappointing (nothing was glaringly bad, but nothing "sang" either IYKWIM). Of course we could go back to Oleana (we haven't been disappointed yet), but I'd love some other ideas. It doesn't have to be in Cambridge or the Kendall area, but shouldn't be too far out since we don't want to waste too much time driving. Thanks for your ideas.

Sabur Restaurant
212 Holland St, Somerville, MA 02144

134 Hampshire St., Cambridge, MA 02139

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    1. re: emannths

      Strong second to Bergamot, but if you're in an Oleana / Sabur mood, you could eat like kings at Istanbu-lu, which isn't a long drive from Kendall Square. Super cozy, great food, and very welcoming folks. You wouldn't be disappointed.

      1. re: yumyum

        Bergamot looks very tempting, but I think Istanbu-lu is now the front runner. I looked at the menu, and if we eat there, we'd have enough left to go see a movie after. It looks like just the sort of "hole in wall, but really good food" place we enjoy. Is it right next to the House of Tibet? I think there was a coffee shop/bubble tea place there before? It's been a while since we ate in that area.

        1. re: little.tiger

          little.tiger -- it's right next to PJ Ryans in Teele Square, and isn't as much of a hole in the wall as you may think. Nicely decorated, smells like fresh bread when you walk in, all the lamb dishes are superb. Head back down the street to the Somerville theater for your movie and you''ve got a great date night.

          I hope you go!

          PJ Ryan's
          239 Holland St, Somerville, MA 02144

          1. re: yumyum

            Oh, we are definitely going in some fashion. I've been salivating over reviews all afternoon (boy that sounds pathetic!), and was pleased to discover this is the same chef as the Anadolu cafe that used to be by MGH which we loved back when it was around. In fact, I'm even sort of considering getting takeout from here for Christmas dinner with all the relatives instead of the Indian takeout we had planned. I left a message on their's hoping they call me back, and are not closed the whole time my family is visiting!

    2. how about a chinese meal at say, Mulon, Golden Garden, CK Shanghai?

      Golden Garden
      63 Concord Ave, Belmont, MA 02478

      2 Replies
      1. re: cambridgedoctpr

        2nd Bergamot. Also look at East by Northeast, Rendezvous

        East by Northeast
        1128 Cambridge Street, Cambridge, MA 02139

        1. re: cambridgedoctpr

          Thanks, doc. Mulan and GG are already regulars in this house ;) Dh's work often caters from Mulan (sometimes we get lucky and he brings home leftovers) and my kids love GG dumplings, which I get every month or so.

        2. EVOO, which is now in the Kendall Square area. Lots of folks here love Hungry Mother, also in the area; as a native Southerner, I'm not that impressed. Istanbul'lu is lovely.

          EVOO Restaurant
          350 Third Street, Cambridge, MA 02143

          Hungry Mother
          Cambridge, MA, Cambridge, MA

          1. Salts (I've never been, but it seems to seems to have special occasion all over it)? Rendezvous, which is wonderful, might also be an option.

            Istanbu'lu sounds great, too, but I feel like you could potentially take your kids there (i.e., it seems casual enough for kids but I've not eaten there yet). I guess I'd want to go someplace where I couldn't bring the kids along.

            1. i like Istanbu-lu very much but if you are an oyster and/or fish lover, I suggest Cognac Bistro. They still have their $1.00 an oyster special, a very nice bar, a homey feel, and excellent fish. We were there again last night and dinner, with drinks and oysters, came to about $40.00 a person.

              Cognac Bistro
              455 Harvard St, Brookline, MA 02446