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big birthday, big night

Hi all - I suspect this will unleash opinions, which is what I am after! I hit a big birthday this fall and my s.o. and I will celebrate as we usually do, with a very nice meal. But the landmark suggests something a bit more extravagant than usual. So what are your votes? We live in Cambridge and are happy to go to Boston, Brookline, Newton, etc. but not into the further 'burbs.

He has put No 9 Park, L'Espalier and Menton on the list...


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  1. If you want great wine, I recommend Troquet. Otherwise, i could add Rialto, Craigie, Uni Bar. For something further down scale, Toro and Coppa.

    1. No 9 park and L'Espalier are both great (and I haven't tried Menton to weigh in). If you want a true special occasion restaurant, I would go for L'Espalier - their service is second to none and they have a wonderful wine selection and great cheese options in addition to fantastic main courses. I LOVE the duck entree at No 9 Park and they also have excellent cocktails, but I think overall I like L'Espalier slightly more. Caveat - I was at L'Espalier within the past couple of months and have not been to No 9 Park for a couple of years.

      1. i suggest pulling up the menus at menton and l'espalier, deuxave and craigie- and see what wows you. btw, Happy Big Bday in advance!

        1. I always feel like Salts deserves a little more love for these types of events.

          1 Reply
          1. re: mkfisher

            me too - love it - but was thinking about someplace new

          2. A bit more casual, but with fabulous food, is Oleana.

            1. I was pretty disappointed with No 9 Park. It was fine, not spectacular. We ordered all the well known dishes, and it was just so-so. For those prices, I would prefer spectacular! L'Espalier is fun and has that special night out vibe, and agree-the cheeses are great. Also, second Toro for a step down the price ladder. Actually celebrated a landmark anniversary there instead of something more fancy and we loved it.

              1. thank you all... I am rethinking the evening - perhaps inviting a few friends and going a little less pricey, so will definitely look at Toro as well as the new places in Kendall Sq.

                4 Replies
                1. re: LauraBear

                  if you go to Toro, def. get "The Corn"!

                  1. re: LauraBear

                    Since you're thinking new places in Kendall, I'd suggest looking at West Bridge. We've been half a dozen times at this point, and it's been consistently good.

                    1. re: mkfisher

                      mk, might you add some more recs to the westbridge thread? we went and found the small plates too expensive but you and other CHs and devra are raving, so we'd like to try it again and get entrees this time too.thx!

                      1. re: opinionatedchef

                        We had the halibut with chorizo and peas last week. It was excellent. That was the only entree we've had off the current incarnation of the menu (except for the large roast chicken which was quite good, but I can do something similar at home). The couple next to us had the duck which looked fabulous.