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A Boston, Cambridge, Somerville, Arlington Brainteaser

Hi Chowhounders,

Hoping you can help me solve this brainteaser. We have two sets of visitors coming into town over the next week, which means lots of dinners and lunches out. Normally, this is no issue. We love using this opportunity to dine out at places we've been wanting to try. This time, it's a little more complicated, as there are some new dietary restrictions in place due to one of our diners having a bun in the oven and another not being able to eat red meat or dairy. This significantly impacts the places we desire to go, as we prefer not to be extremely limited in the choices or have to ask for drastic menu changes to make it work. If we're going to go to great places, we want to be able to try everything!

So that's the situation.

Here is the brain teaser:

Looking for 4 dinner places: 2 in Boston and 2 in the Somerville/Arlington area.

Also looking for 3-4 lunch options in the Somerville/Arlington area.

Dinner entrees should be in the $18-28 range. Bonus points for a lower price point for 2 of the dinners. Lunch in the $8-$15ish range.

Menu items should not rely on soft cheeses, beef, undercooked eggs, any sort of terrine, smoked fish, fois gras, sausage, homemade mayo, etc., but should feature flavorful food.

No one likes salad. Can only do a seafood only restaurant 1 time.

Yesterday, we went to Highland Kitchen, which went over well.

Here are places we are planning to go to: Legal Harborside, Menotomy Grille and Tavern. Was hoping to go to Bronwyn, but the chicken seems to be off the menu, so that may be out. Looking for at least 2-3 more in the Boston area and 3 or more places in Somerville, Cambridge, Arlington.

Here are places we have ruled out due to the menu, but would normally want to try: Blue Dragon, T.W. Foods, Strip T's, Park (or whatever it's called in Harvard Sq), Puritan and Co, Bondir, West Bridge, Painted Burro, etc.

Thanks in advance for your help and creativity.

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  1. In Cambridge for Dinner: Rendezvous and/or Green Street Grill should fit the posted requirements.

    1 Reply
    1. re: FeeFiPho

      area 4 over there too.

      i would take a complete pass on legal's and go to island creek instead.

      lala rokh doesn't get much traction on here but i always enjoy myself there and there are many veg-oriented dishes.

      unless we're talking some place like belly wine bar, i don't know of many places that serve meat that don't also offer poultry and seafood options. even coppa has great options for seafood and vegetarians, so this seems kinda like a non-issue to me. the current west bridge menu (on-line) has 7 entrees, 3 of which are "to share". only 1 of the 7 is red meat and none contain dairy.

    2. Myers & Chang is my go to option when there are dietary restrictions. They are super accomodating.

      1. It might be worth looking into whether the chef is able/willing to get creative or provide more information. For example, the chicken with cheese pancake at Oleana is unbelievable, but I don't know whether Turkish cheese would be considered a soft cheese.

        Two dinners in Cambridge: EVOO and Oleana. Both generally have very creative and filling vegetarian options, which should fit your category. East Coast Grill, too, does a great vegetarian platter that's still quite flavorful.

        I'm less knowledgeable in Boston. I would maybe suggest Myers + Chang, which is unbelievably cognizant of allergies and similar issues.

        1. Maybe The Helmand? There's a lot of lamb/beef but there are also a lot of vegetarian options and also chicken and fish. Food is certainly flavorful!

          1 Reply
          1. re: pemma

            Yes, my veggie friends love Helmand. Great place that gets surprisingly little love here or at least surprisingly few posts. Busy though, so make reservations.

          2. I always take my pregnant and/or vegetarian friends to flora on Mass Ave in Arlington because they are very accommodating to food requests. Not only that - there are often 2-3 nice veg courses on the menu. They have medium plates (which serve well as a main for me) that are $13-$15 and main courses in the $23-$27 range with one $30 lamb dish. The menu options are varied and delicious.

            http://www.florarestaurant.com/index....