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Seeking Quirky (but special) Restaurant for 15-20

I'm hoping I can mine the collective mind of Chowhound.

I'm in search of a restaurant/location to hold an anniversary dinner for 15-20 people.

Requirements:
- really good & interesting food
- preferably somewhere that has a farm-to-table kind of ethic
- has a space where this group can be at least semi-private
- not a seafood restaurant (allergies)
- needs to be within about 15 miles/40 minute drive of Boston

We're looking to spend around $100-$120/head. I don't want something that's just a sit down dinner, I want something that has atmosphere and imagination.

What I really want is somewhere like Hen of the Woods at the Grist Mill (http://www.henofthewood.com/), but somewhat closer than Waterbury, VT. Alternatively, the other thought I'd been noodling around with is of having a dinner in the fields kind of thing (this event will be in the summer sometime, so outside is possible), but I'm not sure how I'd go about arranging that.

Does anyone have any ideas?

Thanks in advance.

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  1. Semi-privacy may be a sticking point, but otherwise: Erbaluce, West Bridge, Bergamot, Masona Grill, Monday Club at UpStairs on the Square, Russell House Tavern, Journeyman, Catalyst, Area Four, T.W. Food, Rendezvous in Central Square, Hungry Mother, Green Street, Strip-T's, Hamersley's, Craigie on Main.

    http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

    2 Replies
    1. re: MC Slim JB

      plus EVOO, which I think does have a separate room

      1. re: MC Slim JB

        Hmm, the semi-privacy is one of the more important things for this particular function - I don't want to get lost in a restaurant scene. That said, I hadn't thought of Hungry Mother. We've eaten there before and love the food, and the way the restaurant is set up might allow us to kind of take over a corner or something. Thanks.
        - Calpurnia76

        1. Two ideas for your farm to table or table at the farm.

          Chef JJ Gosson at Cuinine En Locale had the farm connections to pull that off for you if she has an open date in her schedule. There also could be a scheduled event you could join.

          http://www.cuisineenlocale.com/about-us

          And, the Herb Lyceum in Groton Ma, has a restaurant on the farm with a farm to table meal schedule each weekend and they also do special events.

          http://www.gilsonslyceum.com/gilsonhe...

          EDIT: A third choice is Frank McClelland's Summer Dinner Series at his Apple Street Farm.

          http://www.applestreetfarm.com/

          This is the Chef/Owner of L'Espalier, always listed as one of the top restaurants in Boston.

          Penny
          http://www.bostonzest.com/

          1 Reply
          1. re: BostonZest

            I'd run across the Herb Lyceum in my research and been intrigued. Have you been? I can't find many reviews from people, but the menus certainly look excellent.
            - Calpurnia76

          2. So it sounds like what you really want is to eat at a farm. There was a recent Boston Globe article that might give you some ideas: http://articles.boston.com/2012-07-24...

            Just Right Farm in Plympton
            One Long Table Dinners at Bay End Farm in Buzzard's Bay
            Volante Farms in Needham
            "field to fork" dinner at Verrill Farm in Concord
            Green Meadows Farm in South Hamilton

            3 Replies
            1. re: nickls

              Redd's in Rozzie has a great farm to table menu. The food is delicious.
              www.reddsinrozzie.com

              1. re: efbake

                Hmmm, that's maybe a little more casual than I was thinking, but it looks tasty and I might go for some other dinner just because the menu looks yummy. Thanks.

                - Calpurnia76

              2. re: nickls

                This is kind of exactly what I was searching for - thanks. The Verrill Farm dinner is maybe a little more casual than I was hoping for, but the Just Right Farm and the One Long Table Dinners look pretty spot on. Have you ever been to any of them?

              3. For your idea of the "dinner in the fields kind of thing" the girls at Chive Catering do a really phenomenal job. I would definitely recommend giving them a call.

                http://chiveevents.com/ChiveEvents/ho...

                1. You could consider the small room at Hamersley's.