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Not feeling the high price point.....

I am trying to plan an anniversary dinner and my first thought was the 7 course tasting with wine at Clio.

But the more I thought about it, I'm not sure I dig the idea of dropping the kind of money at this time. Partly because I think we've seen a number of very good quality restaurants pop up that could do an admirable job for a fraction of the cost.

can you give me some alterntives that would make just as memorable night? or perhaps Clio is my best bet and is worthy of the price?

For referrence, I've done tastings at No.9 and love it. My experience at L'Espalier was a little underwhelming.

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L'Espalier
774 Boylston St, Boston, MA 02199

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  1. You looking for a tasting menu meal? Or just a good meal?

    Just thinking out loud here...on the Cambridge side...
    Chef's Whim at Craigie on Main (Sunday after 9pm; $55/6 courses)
    Bergamot (nice atmosphere, excellent service; ~$40-50/3 courses)

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    Craigie on Main
    853 Main Street, Cambridge, MA 02139

    3 Replies
    1. re: emannths

      a tasting menu would be ideal but not necessary. I always liked not having to spend a lot of time and effort on the menu when I'm celebrating a special occasion. I'm also incredibly indecisive when it comes to ordering food- which is strange because I'm not like this in any other area of my life.....

      1. re: cannedmilkandfruitypebbles

        A good server can solve that problem for you. Just tell them what you're in the mood for and follow their recommendations.

      2. Bondir. Do a bunch of the half-courses, and spend some money on wine. Memorable in a completely understated, unshowy way.

        http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

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        Bondir
        279 Broadway, Cambridge, MA 02139

        2 Replies
        1. re: MC Slim JB

          Second this. We had a lovely anniversary dinner there- perfect, understated service, excellent food. Your dollar goes a long way on their wine list.

          1. re: bobot

            Third this idea. Bondir is very romantic and reasonably priced to boot.

            However, it is much simpler than Clio.

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            Bondir
            279 Broadway, Cambridge, MA 02139

        2. After my wife and I and another couple combined to drop almost $1000 on a totally underwhelming NYE tasting menu at Arrow's, I swore off that kind of dining for the forseeable ; future. It used to be fun, I think'I have great memories of tastings at L'Espalier and Arrow's...but now it just makes me sick, and the disappointments come to mind more than the successes (Jean Georges, No. 9 Park, the aforementioned Arrows). I can't even enjoy it when I think about the money that is being spent. Add to that that Portland, ME near my new home has fantastic restaurants that are far more reasonable (Street and Co., Petite Jacqueline, Hugo's, 555, Fore Street, Bresca, Primo in Rockland, etc.) and I'm just done with it for now.

          In Boston, before I dropped the bank on Clio, I'd try La Voile. It's not a tasting menu, but it is Romantic, fun, and dependably delicious. And you can definitely come out without feeling soaked.

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          L'Espalier
          774 Boylston St, Boston, MA 02199

          La Voile
          261 Newbury Street, Boston, MA 02116

          3 Replies
          1. re: tamerlanenj

            Funny you mention 555. We did the tasting menu there ($60 for 5 courses) over the winter, and it was one of the best meals we've had in a very long time.

            1. re: mkfisher

              So maybe the answer is for the OP to take a romantic trip to Portland's Old Port! :) An easy ride on the Downeaster or an 1:45 drive!

            2. re: tamerlanenj

              Tam, we alo had a very disappointing experience at Arrows last summer. What a lot of ridiculous affected hooey. Must have been? great at one time; like Radius and so many others. I also v much like 555 and Bresca, but neither Fore St. or Primo has ever wowed us, so we stopped going there. The one time we ate at La Voile last winter, it was mediocre, and that is putting it nicely. I still have a $12 coupon for there ; no one wanted it before but i'll happily send it to you or anyone who'd like it.............

            3. was just talking about this on another thread but East by Northeast is doing an 8 course tasting menu for $35 which I really enjoyed... it's not as fancy as the other places mentioned in this thread but it's really good and and I didn't feel like I was throwing my money away. maybe not a celebratory dinner kind of place for some, but for me, it works well.

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              East by Northeast
              1128 Cambridge Street, Cambridge, MA 02139

              1. The Vegetarble Tasting Menu at Oleana is outstanding and not that expensive. if you want to have some meat, add a side order of the Moussaka. Great wine list too.

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                Oleana
                134 Hampshire St., Cambridge, MA 02139

                2 Replies
                1. re: Delhiwala

                  I had the vegetable tasting menu at Oleana on my birthday this year and, sorry to say, it was really disappointing, and I am a big vegetable lover. Sadly, everything had too many flavors and moving parts, but without coming together in a nice way. There were hardly any recognizable vegetables on the menu either, and everything was mushy.

                  I'd love to try the East by Northeast tasting menu however, and it sounds like a great bargain. I love their food.

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                  Oleana
                  134 Hampshire St., Cambridge, MA 02139

                  East by Northeast
                  1128 Cambridge Street, Cambridge, MA 02139

                  1. re: bella_sarda

                    oh phooey i hate hearing that. darn.not my experience there but so sorry it was yours.