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Casual Dinner East Cambridge?

jba6478 Apr 5, 2011 09:39 AM


I'm a Miami Chowhounder who went to school at BU but I haven't lived in the Boston area since 2002. I'm coming up for 3 days with my dad and this Friday will be reuniting with some of my BU Film School friends to rock the karaoke mic at Courtside in East Cambridge (near Lechmere).

My eyes are already tired after pouring over all the Cambridge threads on this board so I figured I would post instead.

Looking for an early-ish Friday night dinner for 3 people before we go a-karaoke-ing in the general area. Would love to walk after to Courtside, but totally fine to cab it from other parts of Cambridge too. Looking for a quality casual dinner and drinks, not too expensive but doesn't have to be super cheap eats either - just good and tasty, hopefully fresh and local-ish. Japanese, Vietnamese, American, Italian, Fusion, what have you - just not anything strictly Seafood. Anyone have any Cambridge rec's that I may not have seen already? I know there are tons of Cambridge threads already and I really have read most of them, but haven't really seen anything that fits the bill yet in terms of the more East Cambridge area or within walking distance to that side.

Would love some help as a former Bostonian during my epic return :)

Thanks all!!

Courtside Restaurant
291 Cambridge St, Cambridge, MA 02141

  1. o
    onecaketwocake Apr 6, 2011 04:07 PM

    Another option that is pretty close is the Helmand - tasty Afghan food, I especially like the pumpkin and ground beef appetizer (the kaddo), and their lamb dishes.

    1 Reply
    1. re: onecaketwocake
      STL BOS Apr 6, 2011 06:28 PM

      Second East Coast Grill - really good and walkable (about 10 min walk). Also second East Side Bar and Grill - good Italian and is very close to Courtside (at Cambridge and 7th, I think). BUT best would be Bondir - search the board - quick cab ride to Courtside and really good, local, simple yet sophisticated food.

      East Coast Grill and Raw Bar
      1271 Cambridge St, Cambridge, MA 02139

      Courtside Restaurant
      291 Cambridge St, Cambridge, MA 02141

      279 Broadway, Cambridge, MA 02139

    2. m
      mvi Apr 6, 2011 12:14 PM

      I'd go to the Eastside Bar and Grill which is only three or four blocks away. You can get good food and drinks and listen to some great Frank Sinatra songs which will get you in the mood for your karaoke-ing. (Note that the East Coast Grill is closer to Inman.) Their menu is very friendly - steak tips, burgers, calamari, pasta, etc. - and really quite good. My second choice would be Muqueca but service can be achingly slow at times. Third choice- Atwoods. All of these are closer to the Courtside and you can walk down when you are done. Have a great time wherever you go. Sounds like fun.

      East Coast Grill and Raw Bar
      1271 Cambridge St, Cambridge, MA 02139

      1010 Cambridge St, Cambridge, MA 02139

      Eastside Bar & Grill
      561 Cambridge St, Cambridge, MA 02141

      1. yumyum Apr 5, 2011 12:00 PM

        On the casual side of "casual dinner" I'd suggest Atwood's Tavern, within walking distance to the Courtside (the other recs here are all good but are kind of a schlepp to Inman). Good beer, burgers, etc. No sketch.

        Atwood's Tavern
        877 Cambridge St, Cambridge, MA 02141

        2 Replies
        1. re: yumyum
          digga Apr 6, 2011 04:42 PM

          I second Atwood's. Terrific food...In a nod to the neighborhood, I have especially love the Portuguese-esque fish stew (seafood from New Deal). Liam, the bartender, is a trip and a half.

          1. re: digga
            5thAndNowhere Apr 8, 2011 10:09 AM

            Atwood's is probably what you are looking for. Foodie pub. Burgers, sammies, pizzas, a GREAT blt, hummus plate, salads, along with the occasional duck dish, pork 3 ways, coq au vin and other homey dishes depending on season. Great beer list and wine list is decent too. Full liquor. Totally casual. Live music starts at 930-10? Usually on the quieter side but forewarned is forearmed.

            You wouldnt go wrong at Eastside Grill (italian/seafood), Portugalia (portuguese) or The Similians (thai) either.

        2. Matt H Apr 5, 2011 11:42 AM

          Second Muqueca, East Coast Grill and East by Northeast.

          Also add Casa Portugal, Portugalia, Tupelo, Hungry Mother, Blue Room and EVOO.

          1. e
            emannths Apr 5, 2011 11:39 AM

            Just down the street from Courtside is the Courthouse Fishmarket Restaurant. If you just want some good fried fish and french fries, that might be a good option.

            Ooops--missed the part on drinks. Not gonna happen, unless you byo and convince them to look the other way.

            1. l
              lc02139 Apr 5, 2011 11:34 AM

              How about East Coast Grill apps 10-14, entrees 18-28. or Allstar sandwich just a few blocks down.

              All Star Sandwich Bar
              1245 Cambridge St, Cambridge, MA 02139

              East Coast Grill and Raw Bar
              1271 Cambridge St, Cambridge, MA 02139

              1. k
                keith Apr 5, 2011 11:13 AM

                In the area, I like Muqueca (Brazilian), which does have a lot of seafood, but also a lot of terrestrial options.

                I also like East by Northeast for fresh and local Asian-inspried fusion.

                1010 Cambridge St, Cambridge, MA 02139

                East by Northeast
                1128 Cambridge Street, Cambridge, MA 02139

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