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Best Italian/Chinese for dinner w/ 5 downtown Boston

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My best friend from Canada and her mother are coming up to meet us for dinner. The only issue is they are very particular about where they eat. They have specified that they would like Italian or Chinese, and that the restaurant shouldn't be too dressy, but not too casual. I was hoping that someone on here could help me out, because I can't take them to some of my usual favorites like Chili Garden or Francesca's kitchen, both which would freak them out. If the restaurant is not too far of a drive from downtown (like newbury street) that would be fantastic! Places like the south end and cambridge work too. Thank you chowhounds!!!

P.S- Since it's labor day, many restaurants are closed, oh no! My original thought was Trattoria Toscana, an old favorite... but alas, labor day strikes again

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Trattoria Toscana
130 Jersey St, Boston, MA 02215

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  1. You could give Gran Gusto in Cambridge a call. From your description, it could work well if it's open.

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    Gran Gusto
    90 Sherman St, Cambridge, MA 02140

    1. Jo Jo Taipei in Allston could be good too. I think the moving day hassle has settled down by now in Allston.

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      JoJo Tai Pei Restaurant
      103 Brighton Ave, Boston, MA 02134

      3 Replies
      1. re: Science Chick

        meyer and Chang? but really, there are many good chinese restaurants in Chinatown that seem acceptable to me including East Ocean and Peach Farm.

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        Peach Farm
        4 Tyler St, Boston, MA 02111

        East Ocean Restaurant
        3704 Washington St, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130

        1. re: Science Chick

          To me, Jo Jo Taipei is completely casual. Probably they'd be fine with it, but Myers and Chang could be a better choice for slightly higher end (while still not too dressy).

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          JoJo Tai Pei Restaurant
          103 Brighton Ave, Boston, MA 02134

          1. re: Dave MP

            Yes, it is certainly casual, but not in the way of, say, Shangri-La in Belmont. I like to recommend it as I think it has a much nicer aesthetic and overall gestalt to the decor than most local Chinese haunts. Plus the food's great and I think it meets the OP's request for not *too* casual, not *too* dressy. I think most places in Chinatown are way too casual for this request.

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            Shangri-La
            149 Belmont St, Belmont, MA 02478

        2. Giacamos in the southend? They take reservations. Great red sauce, seafood, chicken,veal parm picatta place at a good price and atmosphere? Or maybe Panza which is an affiliate in the Northend on Hanover street to get that neighborhood vibe. It's across from Giacamos NE which has become a tourist trap.