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Great, but not too expensive restaurant for 70th Birthday

My brother and I are taking our parents out for their joint 70th birthday celebration later this month. We had initially wanted to take them to Rialto or Harvest, but we've already purchased expensive gifts and will need to hire babysitters and taxis for the evening, so we're looking for a slightly less expensive restaurant for the dinner. Any suggestions? Someplace with great food and wine that isn't too noisy. They love French food, but would probably be just as happy with Italian or American.

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  1. Bergamot and Rendezvous immediately come to mind. Both lovely, both not terribly far from Harvard Square.

    4 Replies
    1. re: katzzz

      EVOO or Catalyst and a 2nd vote for Rendezvous. Gran Gusto if they like Italian.

      1. re: teezeetoo

        evoo is lots of hard surfaces and can be very loud indeed.

        trattoria toscano?

        1. re: katzzz

          After a lovely birthday dinner at Rendezvous last month, I am a believer. The room isn't too very loud, and the food was creative and delicious. The price point is reasonable especially when you consider the quality of the service and food.

        2. I took my 70-year-old dad to East Coast Grill (Inman Sq, Cambridge) for his birthday last year, and everybody loved it. It was a little on the louder side, but I think if you go on a quieter weekday it shouldn't be as bad.

            1. re: KevinJF

              Is Hamersley's any cheaper than Harvest or Rialto?
              I agree with PRB and Bergamot. Also La Morra in Brookline Village, Cognac in Brook almost Allston, 10 Tables in JP and Camb, Dbar in Dorchester, Gaslight in the south end (has its detractors but can be great, though loud).

              1. re: total13

                It is if you order the famous roasted chicken.
                I think Rialto is the priciest of those three.

                1. re: KevinJF

                  I offered bad advice; prices have increased @ HB.

            2. Some people may scoff, but we've always been happy with Petit Robert Bistro. Prices are very reasonable and portions are very large. They have superb beef and duck dishes. Their desserts are also excellent.

              1. All of the places other people have recommended are what I consider to be expensive. I guess I am very poor next to the average chowhounder.

                2 Replies
                1. re: David_A

                  OP didn't ask for inexpensive, but rather "slightly less expensive" than Rialto and Harvest.

                  1. re: Blumie

                    Gran Gusto was suggested up thread, and it is not expensive. The atmosphere can be very festive, service is very warm, and I have always found the food to be authentic but stylish.

                2. What about Sandrine's? I think that's a little less pricey than Rialto/Harvest, and its reasonably quiet. We had a very nice meal there a couple of months ago.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: ChinaCat

                    I think if they love French food, Sandrine's is a great pick. There is something very charming about it. The food is a little less creative than some of the other places mentioned but solid.