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Ideas for good food and quiet conversation?

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I'm looking for a restaurant where my son and I can sit in a booth or quiet corner, not too loud, not too bright--and not at a tiny two top squeezed in among others or out in the main traffic area!--where we can enjoy a quiet, delicious, leisurely mid-week dinner and conversation. In the South End or Cambridge or en route between the two.

Entrees under or around $20, decent wine and beer, any cuisine but I'm picturing a French bistro type of a place. Any ideas?

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  1. How about Catalyst. Some entrees are over that price point, but you can find stuff under too. It's a huge space, so nothing is cramped. The dining room should be pretty empty during the middle of the week. I'm sure you could request a table off to the side.

    1. My suggestion would be Petit Robert.

      2 Replies
      1. re: RoyRon

        +1 for Petite Robert

        1. re: Chikkinlittle2

          Not the South End location though. My experiences there could very accurately be described as squeezed and very noisy.

      2. If Brookline will do, Cognac Bistro might serve.

        1. Metropolis in the South End or Hungry Mother in Cambridge -- both have terrific food and are great backdrops for quiet conversation.

          6 Replies
          1. re: ebaba

            agree about hungry mother. metropolis is so tiny i feel claustrophobic just walking in the door.

            1. re: hotoynoodle

              Metropolis does look tiny but I like the bistro-ey vibe: how about Gaslight, it seems to have some booths?

              1. re: cassis

                the din of noise has driven me out of there more than once.

                1. re: hotoynoodle

                  Thanks for warning me: I hope I'm not the only one for whom noise level and tiny tables crammed so close together you feel you are in your neighbors' laps are real turn offs. I guess it's inevitable with the price of real estate. I'll check out the other suggestions.

                  1. re: cassis

                    Gaslight is loud on weekends, but recently has been VERY quiet on weekdays. Went last week on a wednesday and restaurant was only half full and quiet. I think it's a good option (as is Aquitane).

                2. re: cassis

                  Metropolis is tiny indeed but I don't think I've felt claustrophobic there. And I am pretty sure there are booths along the right wall but my memory may not be holding up.

            2. Thanks so much for all your suggestions! I will try all of them next time. As my son had to go back to work, we went to Myers+Chang. I had never been and and I loved the food, despite the small crowded tables. We were able to converse, too!

              1 Reply
              1. re: cassis

                thanks for checking back in. love the food at m&c and just adore joanne.