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One more recommendation for a special dinner PLEASE!

n
naturedr May 22, 2011 10:12 PM

So, finally tying the knot and heading north to your neck of the woods to do so! I need a place for dinner Sat night for 14 people- really not into the 'private dining' as we like to be part of the scene.
I love the atmosphere of Aquitaine and Metropolis (from what I can see of the latter)- but honestly, I was hoping to not drop $1000 for dinner, which would be the case at Aquitaine.
I am a big foodie, and atmosphere is crucial- ANY chance someone has a hip place, awesome food, that might get us out the door for $700 including tax and tip? love the idea of the South End (although I haven't been there), or Beacon Hill, Newbury St, etc...not so much into the North End.
(OR if not cheaper then something else to consider on par with the atmosphere and food at the above?)
Open to anything great- from French to Asian and all in between, except this new trend for offals!
HELP - thanks so much in advance!

  1. s
    somerville01 May 25, 2011 10:29 AM

    Not sure if you'd be into it but what about the Whole Pig Roast at Citizen? It's served family style and includes sides and shellfish to start. I think it would run you about $500 for the meal leaving you a couple of hundred for drinks. It might be a really fun and unique post wedding meal. Just a thought. Good luck!

    1. g
      ginafly May 25, 2011 09:52 AM

      I think this may be a controversial suggestion, but check out Lolita in Back Bay. I've been there twice now in a group of 6 or so and really enjoyed the food both times. They have some great tacos and an excellent brewed-just-for-them beer on tap. Both times I was there, we all ate and drank with abandon and the tab was 40 pp including tip.

      1. e
        ebaba May 24, 2011 03:34 PM

        +1 for Gaslight, it was my first thought
        Also look at Masa -- nice atmosphere and good food and you could possibly swing it for under $700.
        Congratulations!

        -----
        Masa
        439 Tremont Street, Boston, MA 02116

        1. opinionatedchef May 23, 2011 05:54 PM

          DR, we too are Aquitaine fans. when are you coming? $700 for 14, includ tax and t- i come up w/ something like $40 pp.Since you are a foodie, I would suggest Oleana above other spots in the 'not most expensive' category; the menu there is one of the most unusual in Boston- all Turkish/Arabic/Moroccan/Mediterranean and farm to table. They have a pleasant outdoor patio in season. You could also do a big assortment of small plates there. Here's a recent review:

          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7822...

          You could also do an assortment of small plates at Cuchi Cuchi in Cambridge, very fun swinging spot; less expensive than oleana. Also- Toro is a popular crazy loud tapas spot at the edge of the South End, w/ excellent food(NOT conversation conducive).
          Congrats on your upcoming wedding.

          -----
          Toro
          1704 Washington St, Boston, MA 02118

          Cuchi Cuchi
          795 Main St, Cambridge, MA 02139

          Oleana
          134 Hampshire St., Cambridge, MA 02139

          7 Replies
          1. re: opinionatedchef
            t
            teezeetoo May 24, 2011 07:47 AM

            honestly, I don't see Oleana or Cuchi Cuchi as a comfortable venue for 14 people, nor do I think you can easily eat here for 40.00 a person. OP, have you eaten there with a large group?
            I think you could do Tapas at Tico with a large group for the price you're looking for. I'm not an aficionado of hip but I understand it is considered "happening."

            -----
            Cuchi Cuchi
            795 Main St, Cambridge, MA 02139

            Oleana
            134 Hampshire St., Cambridge, MA 02139

            Tico
            222 Berkeley St, Boston, MA 02116

            1. re: teezeetoo
              opinionatedchef May 24, 2011 08:13 PM

              gee teezee, i've seen plenty of big groups at cuchi cuchi, and i thought Oleana's patio would work(price too), but I bet Gaslight is best choice for them. After seeing it raved in this thread, i finally pulled up their menu and now we want to go! their brunch menu looks really good and better than aquitaine's.and free next door South End/SOWA parking- what more could we want?!

              -----
              Oleana
              134 Hampshire St., Cambridge, MA 02139

              1. re: teezeetoo
                m
                Madrid May 25, 2011 09:12 AM

                At Oleana, the vegetable tasting menu is $40 and includes 5 mezze plus dessert. Supplemented with a few other mezze, the VTM is definitely splittable between 2. If you order 2 VTMs, you get 10 different dishes. Of course, the group would have to enjoy the sharing style and also get there early with a reservation to get the garden seating, which is really, really special and not guaranteed with a reservation. Certainly not as hip as toro however and also not as loud with better service.

                -----
                Oleana
                134 Hampshire St., Cambridge, MA 02139

                1. re: Madrid
                  b
                  bear May 25, 2011 09:23 AM

                  We went a few weeks ago and the two of us who ordered the veggie tasting menu got the same dishes, so I think they've changed that. Still delicious, though.

                  1. re: bear
                    m
                    Madrid May 25, 2011 09:45 AM

                    ahh, now that is not nearly as fun. Maybe asking would help?

                    1. re: Madrid
                      b
                      bear May 25, 2011 10:55 AM

                      We did ask, but didn't push it. As I said, we still enjoyed it a lot. Ten would be fun, though.

              2. re: opinionatedchef
                b
                bubblesdlev May 24, 2011 02:14 PM

                I second Toro and Gas Light as well as throwing in Ecco into the mix as well.

                -----
                Toro
                1704 Washington St, Boston, MA 02118

                Gas Light Cafe
                59 Schofield Ave, Dudley, MA 01571

                Ecco
                107 Porter St, Boston, MA 02128

              3. p
                pixel girl May 23, 2011 03:48 PM

                Eastern Standard might be another one to check out -- especially if you're open to drinks and heavy apps as an alternative. They have a private dining room, or will set aside part of the outdoor patio for special events, which is really nice.

                Or the Milky Way in JP. Definitely not fancy, but really fun to use their semi private room, and you could definitely stay within budget!

                -----
                Eastern Standard
                528 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02215

                5 Replies
                1. re: pixel girl
                  chefematician May 23, 2011 04:02 PM

                  I thought the Milky Way was closed? Was I misinformed?

                  1. re: chefematician
                    p
                    pixel girl May 23, 2011 05:01 PM

                    Not closed, just relocated! It's now in the Brewery building in JP. Wii bowling instead of the real thing!

                    www.milkywayjp.com

                    1. re: pixel girl
                      t
                      twentyoystahs May 24, 2011 04:58 AM

                      The restaurant is actually called "Bella Luna." Milky Way, which was the bowling alley, has closed...

                      1. re: twentyoystahs
                        p
                        pixel girl May 24, 2011 07:56 AM

                        Not to split hairs but the website still identifies the space as Bella Luna Restaurant and Milky Way Lounge.

                        In any case, we're happy it still exists and is thriving as much as ever!

                        1. re: pixel girl
                          t
                          twentyoystahs May 24, 2011 06:12 PM

                          Ah okay. I didn't realize the lounge area was still called Milky Way, thanks for the heads-up!

                2. b
                  bostondiner May 23, 2011 07:35 AM

                  I'd call the restaurant and see if you can do a price fix type menu for the event. Do you want one big table or are you ok with being seated at adjoining tables?
                  I'd recommend looking into Stella (south End), Bin 26 Enoteca (Beacon Hill) and maybe Tico (tapas-- not sure about your price range though) or Bistro du Midi (I know that they have a bigger table that is still part of the dining room but kind of separate but not sure how many it seats and if it would work with your price range).

                  -----
                  Bin 26 Enoteca
                  26 Charles St, Boston, MA 02114

                  Bistro du Midi
                  272 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02116

                  Tico
                  222 Berkeley St, Boston, MA 02116

                  1. BostonZest May 23, 2011 06:02 AM

                    If my math is right, you are looking to spend under $40 per person on food and drink and this will be hard. ( Boston has a .075% tax on top of the state .0625% tax. Most places will add at least an 18% tip to a group like yours. )

                    Gaslight has a $35 pp menu without drinks.

                    http://www.gaslight560.com/group-dining.php

                    I'd suggest calling ahead and working out a set menu with a restaurant. Most of the places with really great food that might work for your price point are not hip or a scene. Asian restaurants with shared dishes would be the easiest way to keep the price down but I'm not coming up with any that fill the rest of your wish list.

                    Penny
                    http://www.bostonzest.com/

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: BostonZest
                      f
                      Fly May 23, 2011 06:10 AM

                      To be clear, Boston has a .75% tax on top of the state 6.25% tax, for a total of 7%

                      1. re: Fly
                        p
                        pemma May 23, 2011 06:16 AM

                        Take a look at Market in the W hotel.

                        http://www.marketbyjgboston.com/

                        It could come close. Just don't let anybody order the steak! The food is good, the service very good, the decor comtemporary.

                        1. re: Fly
                          BostonZest May 23, 2011 03:35 PM

                          Thanks Fly, I was half asleep this morning. I appreciate the assist.

                      2. p
                        pollystyrene May 23, 2011 12:56 AM

                        I think Gaslight is your best bet. It's at the outer edge of the South End and owned by the same folks as Aquitaine. Your budget is tight, but if everyone sticks to just two courses and one drink, you might squeak by. (Bonus: free parking lot.) I like everything about it: food, cocktails, service, and the great atmosphere. And they're set up to handle large parties.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: pollystyrene
                          n
                          naturedr May 23, 2011 08:59 PM

                          Thank you all so much for the replies- I am checking them all out- all great options!
                          Can't wait!

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