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Great, but not too expensive restaurant for 70th Birthday

toddkoko Nov 11, 2012 01:14 PM

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.

  1. k
    katzzz Nov 11, 2012 01:53 PM

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

    4 Replies
    1. re: katzzz
      teezeetoo Nov 11, 2012 04:51 PM

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

      1. re: teezeetoo
        hotoynoodle Nov 12, 2012 11:51 AM

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

        trattoria toscano?

      2. re: katzzz
        treb Nov 12, 2012 10:40 AM

        2nd Rendezvous.

        1. re: katzzz
          smtucker Nov 12, 2012 06:02 PM

          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. Prav Nov 11, 2012 05:35 PM

          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. k
            KevinJF Nov 11, 2012 06:15 PM


            3 Replies
            1. re: KevinJF
              total13 Nov 12, 2012 08:07 AM

              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
                KevinJF Nov 12, 2012 08:20 AM

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

                1. re: KevinJF
                  KevinJF Nov 12, 2012 08:49 AM

                  I offered bad advice; prices have increased @ HB.

            2. a
              AaronInBoston Nov 12, 2012 07:46 AM

              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. d
                David_A Nov 12, 2012 10:57 AM

                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
                  Blumie Nov 12, 2012 11:02 AM

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

                  1. re: Blumie
                    cassis Nov 12, 2012 02:50 PM

                    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. ChinaCat Nov 12, 2012 11:08 AM

                  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
                    hungrytommy Nov 13, 2012 08:47 PM

                    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.

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