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Nice restaurant for a 16th birthday party?

Planning a birthday dinner for me and my friends. Party of 10+. Diverse menu with a good, classy atmosphere. We want to eat somewhere where we can dress up (dresses, heels, etc.) so nothing too casual and stuffy. Some of my friends are picky eaters so a basic American or Italian menu would be ideal- burgers, pasta, salads, soups, etc. Nothing extremely expensive, entrees in the $10 - $30 range is preferred. Thank you for the help!

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  1. Well first, happy birthday!

    This sounds kind of tricky - dressy and fun for 16yos, but not stuffy or casual. And safe menu.

    Maybe Carmen in the north end, though the dining room is small and you may end up renting out the whole place. This could be a good thing (it's all yours, nobody to bother if your friends are rowdy). Since they serve wine, though, renting out the whole place to non-drinkers might be tricky. Nonetheless, the entrees are in your (upper) price range, and Italian, and it's one of the few places in the North End that Chowhounds seem to like (we are opinionated).

    If you're able to help calm your twitchy friends about the food, maybe consider Dali, which is tapas. The menu is actually pretty safe, flavor-wise - translate the fancy names and you have garlic shrimp, fried cheese balls with honey, fried chicken bites, pork sausage with figs. Since it's tapas, it's also a good chance to try new things - if you've never had pheasant or rabbit, you can order it - and if you don't like it, it was only a small plate and $6. The room is decorated, the atmosphere dark and classy, and dresses/heels would fit right in.

    I'm having trouble thinking of a place that fits the burger + dresses/heels idea without breaking the bank. Fortunately, this board is active, educated and enthusiastic, so someone else is likely to chime in!

    1. Eastern Standard?

      (Nothing wrong with being the "dressiest" people in any restaurant...)

      1. Davio's fits this need I think. You can certainly dress up and the menu fits the bill for everyone, both options and pricing.

        1. Just had a group of 16 yr old girls for a birthday dinner at Eastern Standard. It went really well, and the Mac and cheese and grilled cheese satisfied the picky eaters, with plenty of adventurous choices. Mock tails are good for this crowd, I'd recommend a round of Sophisticated Ladies to toast with. Call ahead and you might be able to arrange a cake

          3 Replies
          1. re: justbeingpolite

            Did you book a private room or just reserve a table?

            1. re: wallflower297

              the private room at esk holds only about 12, but they have plenty of dining floor space for larger groups.

              1. re: wallflower297

                There were only 8 of us, so just a table. It was great!

            2. You might try EVOO in Cambridge; they've got a prix fixe (app, entree, dessert) for $42/pp, and the menu always has some safe options for the pickiest, plus some interesting things for the more adventurous. They have a few different size private rooms, and last time I was there, there was a party of about 20 dressed up teenage girls who seemed to be enjoying themselves immensely. Happy birthday!

              1 Reply