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Birthday dinner restaurant

I'm a bit at a loss - trying to come up with a restaurant for husband & sis-in-law's birthdays.

Just to give you an idea of where we've been for "celebratory" meals in recent years:
Benatti (now closed)
The Blue room
Il Casale
Bergamot
Bondir
ICOB (Sun brunch only)
Lumiere
80 Thoreau

We don't want to splurge, so no Clio, O Ya, Menton etc. We like places that serve seasonal menus and preferably from local sources. Ideally entrees < $25. Not a big fan of small plates restaurants, nor trendy/noisy/loud "to be seen" spots. We prefer places in Boston/Cambridge instead of the suburbs (sis-in-law lives in Cambridge and doesn't have a car).

We are looking to dine on a Saturday - but we can do Saturday lunch too if there are places that have good food but too trendy for us at night. Thanks in advance.

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  1. I had a delightful meal at Rendezvous recently. It was superior to the much more expensive meal I had the following week at Oleana. (And definitely "not too trendy" for a weekend night; I'm just about anything but trendy!)

    1 Reply
    1. re: BrettLove

      I second Rendezvous and add Hungry Mother.

    2. I would definitely add T.W. Food to the conversation - They have a prix fixe option that is reasonable, and ordering ala carte, I think most entrees are in the 20s or so. Definitely seasonal, not a "small plate" place and it is exactly the atmosphere you are looking for.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Bob Dobalina

        I second TW Food and also add Harvest, which is open for lunch.

        1. re: Bob Dobalina

          Another vote for TW Food, especially if you liked Bondir and Bergamot.

        2. Lineage is right around the $25 mark for entrees, but it might be worth a look.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Duster17

            I had dinner there Sunday night. I thought it was kind of meh.

          2. I actually celebrated my birthday this past weekend with dinner at Rendezvous and it was wonderful. The food was great, the atmosphere was relaxed yet sophisticated. Good service, interesting menu and a delicious meal. I highly recommend it. Enjoy!

            1. Thanks all for your suggestions! I'll check the menus and forward the suggestions to my sis-in-law and see what she thinks.

              1 Reply
              1. re: y2000k

                Rendezvous is a great idea.
                My other idea is Union Bar and Grill in the South End.

              2. P.S. Anyone been to the re-opened Journeyman? Comments?

                1 Reply
                1. re: y2000k

                  I was just there a couple of weeks ago. I do not think it ever closed--it added a bar to a separate, but attached space. Journeyman is ambitious, but its dishes are both hits and misses. The level of service does not consistently meet expectations for a restaurant of its price level.