Harvard Square rehearsal dinner restaurant?
I have to organise my son's rehearsal dinner to be in Harvard Square. I live in England, so this is a challenge. First, we don't have the custom of rehearsal dinner in the UK, so I'm not really sure what the vibe should be. Second, I've never been to Boston or eaten in Harvard Square.
Please can I have some restaurant recommendations that would be suitable for an occasion like this. It will be a group of 23. My budget is moderate, not too up-scale. I would like something relaxed and fun, maybe a bit quirky - is this appropriate? The wedding the next day is a very big, fine-dining affair, so I think a contrast would be good.
We are quite a foodie bunch, so quality of food is important, but pretentious fanciness is definitely not.
Trina's Starlite Lounge has consistently great food and drinks. It's a funky vibe with traditional updated American fare and the staff is really great. The chicken & waffles are awesome (with the Gentleman cocktail especially) and you can never go wrong with their mac and cheese. I've never been disappointed here and It's totally laid back. Not saying you'll want to do this after the rehearsal dinner, but you could totally pop over next door at Parlor Sports and catch any game and a brew on one of the 8 tvs in there.
Russell House Tavern is great too- a bit more upscale but still laid back and completely accommodating. Brussel sprouts and grits are great and the British Bee and Moscow Mule cocktails are go-to's for me.
I had my rehearsal dinner at EVOO in Kendall Square, and would recommend it. Just two miles down the road or two subway stops from Harvard. They have a private room that would be good for 23 people (we had 27). Their focus is on local ingredients and slightly quirky ingredients or presentations.
Oleana and East Coast Grill are also good ideas. For places actually in Harvard Square, Russell House Tavern would be one of my first choices.
Trina's is very casual and is known more for their drinks than food (I have never ordered food there myself).
The rehearsal dinner is hosted by the parents of the groom, and usually takes a more casual, fun tone. Your intuition is spot on.
In terms of recommendations, you will get Harvard Square recommendations, but also consider other restaurants in the Cambridge area - it's all fairly close by (within 10 mins driving) so consider:
Trina's Starlite Lounge, East Coast Grill (the Lava Lounge room I think can be rented out), Oleana (may be able to rent out the outdoor patio).