Recommendation for nice family dinner spot in Framingham-Natick-Sudbury area
New York Hound coming to the Framingham area next month will be hosting several family members (about 15 in all) at a Friday evening dinner. Looking for a nice, moderately priced spot. American or Italian preferred. Chinese or Mediterranean woud be second choice. Thanks in advance for any suggestions.
Tomasso is very good, but relatively expensive, and a-typical Italian food, so I wouldn't necessarily recommend for a "Italian" food for 15 people.
For comfortable, relatively quiet, moderately priced Greek food, with a nice atmosphere, but just "good" food, there's the Aegean, in Framingham.
There's a branch of Legal Sea Food in Framingham, with very good fish dishes (and surprisingly good steaks), but it can be loud, and could also be expensive if people decide to order lobsters.
I just had a very good meal at The Cottage, in Wellesley. It's got sort of a California food style(its sister restaurant is in San Diego), with pretty good food, and a very nice atmosphere, and very reasonable prices. They have a smaller semi-private dining area off the main dining room which might work well for 15 people
They used to have absolutely sublime Chicken Parmesan. At least as good or better than Vinny's in Somerville. But the place was transformed 3-5 years ago. The prices went up by about 50%. The Chicken Parm was something like $11.50 and is now more like $17.00. And the quality of food went way, way down. I think part of the problem was money. I guess they felt they weren't making enough. So the chicken parm now only comes with a dab of cheese and a small amount of sauce and none of the former passion or spirit that you could taste in the balance of cheese and sauce and thickly breaded chicken. Nevertheless La Cantina may actually be one of the better restaurants in Framingham, which is quite sad for those of us who live here.
However they do still have the best tomato sauce I have ever had. Although that may only be because they make it fresh every day. Even that sauce used to be significantly better. With a richer and deeper tomato flavor. I think they may have just switched the tomatoes to something less expensive and you can taste it.
Strangely enough I know that at least one of the chefs is still there from the old days when their food really was amazingly good for the suburbs. I see him cooking in the kitchen and recognize him from the old days. It seems like everyone else in the kitchen is Brazilian.
Despite all this, if I absolutely had to eat at a restaurant in Framingham, La Cantina would be among my first choices. Overpriced and uninspired, but still at least somewhat edible, which is more than I can say for most restaurants in this area.
On Route 9 just over the Framingham line in Southborough is Tomasso Trattoria a moderately priced place offering solid Italian (at least for that part of MetroWest). http://www.tomassotrattoria.com/
My other suggestion would be Maxwell's 148 in Natick http://www.maxwells148.com/
154 Turnpike Road, Southborough, MA 01772
Maxwell's 148 has terrific food , serene setting , very professional service, and a loyal following.May be too pricey for you, but do check out the menu. Many people seem to also like the French Sel de la Terre in the Natick mall. I would guess its pricing to be like Maxwell's.There is a very CH raved Chinese Szechuan place out there but i can't remember the name.
you may also want to do a CH search for 'metro west' or 'natick/framingham'.
Sel de la Terre
1245 Worcester Street, Natick, MA 01760