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Need a new place. Somerville, Cambridge, Newton, Arlington

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Saturday night is my night out with the hubby. We are sick of the same old haunts and would suggestions for a few new places in the area !! We would prefer to not go into town and stay in the Arlington, Cambridge, Newton Somerville area. Some of our favorites are Highland Kitchen, Garden in the Cellar, Chez Henri (bar side) Trina's Starlight Lounge, the Local, the Biltmore, and Cambridge One. Casual dining and not too pricey.

Other places we have also already tried:
Lord Hobo
Temple Bar
Grafton Street
West Side Lounge
Za (Arlington)

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The Biltmore
1205 Chestnut St, Newton Upper Falls, MA 02464

Chez Henri
1 Shepard Street, Cambridge, MA 02138

Highland Kitchen
150 Highland Ave, Somerville, MA 02143

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  1. The Independent, Foundry on Elm, Oleana, East Coast Grill, Soundbites, East by Northeast (all recently reviewed if you do search.)

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

    Oleana
    134 Hampshire St., Cambridge, MA 02139

    The Independent
    75 Union Sq, Somerville, MA 02143

    Soundbites
    708 Broadway, Somerville, MA 02144

    East by Northeast
    1128 Cambridge Street, Cambridge, MA 02139

    Foundry on Elm
    255 Elm St, Somerville, MA 02144

    1. What about Bergamot? Sit at the bar where you can order from both menus.

      1 Reply
      1. re: purple bot

        Bergamot is a little pricey. Don't get me wrong, I am definitely a fan of theirs. Maybe they can go and just order apps or snacks from the bar menu as you mentioned. Be aware that you may have to wait for a seat at the bar on a Saturday unless you go pretty early.

      2. Tango Argentinian Steakhouse in Arlington Center

        1 Reply
        1. re: CookieLee

          We have been here. Love it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        2. Karoun in Newton (Washington Street in Newtonville). Very yummy middle eastern food, plus belly dancing! Not sure how often they have the dancing, but I would bet they have it on Saturday nights.

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          Karoun Restaurant
          839 Washington St, Newtonville, MA 02460

          1 Reply
          1. re: mabelm4050

            wow! really? find karoun mediocre middle eastern food in a place that had to be dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century. service is uneven at best. save your money, get takeout from fordee's and go home.

          2. Maybe Little Q in Arlington... It's something different. Food's good. Lots of choices. Definitely fun to try...

            1. I'd recommend Russell House. Good drinks, good food, reasonable prices. Just make sure you sit downstairs - it's so much better than upstairs.

              1. Tupelo.

                1 Reply
                1. re: pollystyrene

                  chinese fusion: Om
                  sichuan; Thailand Cafe - stay away from the Thai food
                  Italian Rialto
                  modern american: Craigie - at the bar - Rendevous
                  Thai: Rod Dee
                  Spicy American: East Coast Grill
                  Indian: Tamardin Bay
                  Chinese Hotpot: Little Q in Arlinton

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

                2. sun, just curious, did you feel mostly 'meh' about your list of also-trieds or are some of them near to your favs in quality of food? (I've not been to any except Za.)

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: opinionatedchef

                    I wanted to add my list of others so that I would get some new places in the area. I like Za. (I have only been to the one in Arlington)

                    Lord Hobo: was very loud and our food was not that great so we haven't been back. Some people on here seem to really like it. So maybe we should give it a second try.

                    Temple Bar: We had a good meal here. Not a bad place.

                    Grafton Street: We had an awful experience here a while back. Bad food and bad service. Maybe a bad night. How do others feel about this place?

                    West Side Lounge: I put it in the same category as Temple Bar. We had a good meal.

                    Za (Arlington) Its close by so we go when we don't want to go far.

                    None of these places would move to the favorites list above though!!!!!!

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                    West Side Lounge
                    1680 Mass Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02138

                    Lord Hobo
                    92 Hampshire St, Cambridge, MA 02141

                  2. We frequent the same restaurants.
                    Some of our other neighborhood favorites are:

                    Little Q (mentioned above)
                    Pescatore Seafood
                    PJ Ryan's in Teele - which has really delicious food - this Saturday, we had a big bowl of big mussels, a perfectly medium rare cheeseburger and a big bibb lettuce salad - all outstanding.

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: Bob Dobalina

                      I really felt like a burger and passed up PJ Ryans in lieu of Istambul'lu for a lamb kebab that was OK but didn;t rock my rock. live and learn (and eat).

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

                      1. re: gourmaniac

                        BTW, forgot to mention the fries - they were very meh.

                        1. re: gourmaniac

                          I had the sultan's delight at Istambul'lu on Thurs and it was delicious. Paca soup was good but a little bland - not that it wasn't good.

                        2. re: Bob Dobalina

                          Thanks to Bob Dobalina's post, four of us hit PJ Ryan's Saturday night. Not destination dining but for a neighborhood spot (well, nearly), this will go right into the rotation. Chicken wings, steak tips, fries, mashed potatoes, all very good to excellent. Did not try the mussels but I have eaten a lot of meals with the DC who had them and can't remember ever seeing her eat anything with the kind of concentration and speed she applied to that huge bowl of mussels! The teenage vegetarian in the group was extremely happy with her tomato soup, grilled cheddar sandwich and fries, and she's a pretty picky eater. Add in rushed but extremely nice service and the Red Sox 14th inning win and it was a great evening. Thanks for the pointer, Bob!

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

                          1. re: GretchenS

                            Hey, happy to help!

                        3. wherever you go, plse remember to tell us about it :-)

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: opinionatedchef

                            I am very grateful :) to have received so many suggestions so I will definitely tell you all where we end up going!!!!

                          2. Call now, get a reservation at Bondir a few Saturdays out. It's tiny, kind of romantic feeling, not at all stuffy. It's not really to your request of "cheap, casual dining", but is one of the better chef-owned places I've tried in a long time.

                            They serve most of their dishes as both apps and entrees (typically around $15/$30), which makes it easy to try a bunch of things. New American, big focus on sustainability, short beer/wine list, really lovely food. Given the prices, maybe a good choice for a splurge or occasion dinner where you don't want a lot of pomp and formality.

                            http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

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                            Bondir
                            279 Broadway, Cambridge, MA 02139

                            1. The first few on your list are my locals, too.

                              Others I really like, not too far from this price point and "feel":
                              Russell House Tavern
                              Atwood's
                              Muqueca
                              Central Kitchen
                              Hungry Mother
                              Tupelo
                              The Independent
                              Green Street.

                              If you're ready to spend a little more $$, try Oleana, Bondir, Journeyman (I haven't tried this one myself.)

                              -----
                              Central Kitchen
                              567 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02139

                              Muqueca
                              1010 Cambridge St, Cambridge, MA 02139

                              Hungry Mother
                              Cambridge, MA, Cambridge, MA

                              Oleana
                              134 Hampshire St., Cambridge, MA 02139

                              Russell House Tavern
                              14 JFK Street, Cambridge, MA 02138

                              Bondir
                              279 Broadway, Cambridge, MA 02139

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: dulce de leche

                                Hungry Mother and Tupelo have been on the list for a while. Will check them out. Thanks

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                                Hungry Mother
                                Cambridge, MA, Cambridge, MA

                              2. East Coast Grill is definitely one of my favorite restaurants in Boston. The chowder is fantastic.

                                Also Atwoods down the street is a fantastic bar, with an amazing vibe and really great food.

                                I'm surprised no one mentioned Ten Tables in Cambridge. Although I definitely prefer the one in JP better (we went to both and the Cambridge location service was pretty lame - although it might just have been our really snooty waitress with an attitude). The food is fantastic and if you can't get a seat in the dining room the bar menu is just as great.

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

                                Ten Tables
                                5 Craigie Circle, Cambridge, MA 02138

                                1. Give Scutra in Arlington a try (and see if Fresh Pond Seafood has opened yet, it's on the other side of the street.

                                  1. CAN'T BELIEVE NO ONE MENTIONED PASHA!