what are your (reasonably priced) standbys?
I know similar questions are asked occasionally, but I dont see anything really recent.
I'd mostly like to know what your standby / fallback restaurants are. That is, the places you go for a fun, delicous, and casual night out when you don't have any special plans. Preferably under $100 for a dinner for two.
I'm mostly interested in Cambridge / Somerville / Boston, but I'd go to Arlington, Brookline, Newton, or towns north of the city for something really great.
We currently frequent Blue Fin sushi in the Porter Exchange, Myers + Chang, East Coast Grill, Flatbread / Sacco's, the Painted Burro, Za, etc.
I personally love places where you can eat at the bar or don't need reservations, places where you can order a bunch of small plates / appetizers, and places with great cocktials or beer. What are your 'musts' for a casual night out?
Clover in Harvard Square. The great, cheap beer they serve turns it into a worthwhile destination for an actual fun sit-down dinner. That's especially true on Friday Nights, when they serve whoopie pies.
Lately -- The Painted Burro, Bergamot, Solea, Strip-T's, Saloon. If there's time for a drive, Cafe Polonia, especially in mid-winter.