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One dinner with great food and lively atmosphere

I will be in Boston visiting some relatives and I'd like to have one great dinner...unfortunately the relatives tend to throw back a few drinks and get a little loud so I can't pick anywhere too quiet.

Looking for:
- American, French, Italian, something mainstream (they're also meat and potatoes people)
- A la carte, no tasting menus
- within 20 minute cab ride of South End (don't know area well so if this doesn't make geographical sense let me know).
- price flexible but hopefully under $100/person
- not a steakhouse

So hopefully I can get some suggestions on a place with amazing food for both an adventurous eater and more meat and potato eaters who sometimes tend to raise their voices a tad too much.

Thanks for any help!

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  1. Within 20 minute cab ride of South End = nearly every restaurant in the Greater Boston area. :)

    Why leave the South End - there are tons of places that would suit you. Hammersley's for example.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Bob Dobalina

      Good to know about geography, staying in South End i'm sure would be nice, but we're open to traveling. I'll check Hamersley's out.

      Any opinion on Salts? I got that recommendation from a friend.

      1. re: PHXeater

        I have not been there but if you do a search on the board, you will find some recent reviews. Not the most exciting place and possibly outside your price range (or close).
        Consider Rendezvous in Cambridge, if you are headed in the direction of Salts (geographically).
        Coppa in the South End for Italian (I must have been reading Purple Bot's mind)

        1. re: PHXeater

          Salts is nice but I wouldn't want to be a loud group there though (it's a single small room). It's towards the top end of your budget plus wine list is pricey. Also, I'm not sure if they have a full liquor license.

      2. Coppa would be my recommendation. Also in the South End.

        1. Eastern Standard. I love Hamersley's, but I would not take loud relatives who like to drink there.

          1. I think Scampo would be a good choice too. Scampo has great food and a lively atmosphere along with an interesting location in the Liberty Hotel

            1. I have relatives like this. Are we related? Here's a vote for Eastern Standard. Make a reservation. And be prepared if you are going on the night of a Red Sox home game and you are dining around the edges of the start time or the finish. It gets busy then. Second choice is Hamersley's. We've been loud there- at least my relatives were- but we got a few haughty glances tossed our way.