dinner meeting near wakefield
We're a non-profit group of 35-40 and need to find a restaurant in the wakefield-reading-stoneham-melrose-malden area to hold a banquet dinner and business meeting. Ideally, the restaurant will do the food - we don't want to have to find a separate caterer - and we would need a private room so that we can hold our business meeting. The upstairs at Harrington's in Wakefield is ideal, but they are not available for the night that we want.
It's been a while but when I was planning my sister's shower, I remember looking at Gaetano's in Stoneham, which I believe has a private room. I've eaten there and it's pretty good, standard Italian food.
We ended up at Ristorante Molise but they have a semi-private room and not big enough for a group that size. However I do think they mentioned that they may do private functions on the days they are closed, so that may be an option if you want to stick with Wakefield. I really like the food at Molise, but I've heard other opinions here.
Pearl Street Station in Malden has a private room that seats up to 100 and I'm always pleasantly surprised by the food there. Nothing fancy, but pretty good steak tips and very decent pizza. http://www.pearlstreetrestaurant.com/...
I could also recommend Corinthian Hall in Melrose as a facility. http://www.corinthianhall.com/ I held a function there and it's a lovely place for a party, but would also work well for a meeting or small show since it has a stage. They've brought the catering in-house now, and I don't know if the food is any good (when I was there it was under different management and I was able to bring in my own food.)
You didn't mention Saugus, but I'll mention a few places there.
J Pace & Sons opened Rosaria above their location in Saugus, http://www.rosariasteakhouse.com/ and I believe one of their specialties is functions, but I think it's pricey. I like a lot of Pace's prepared foods, and would assume they are probably using the same recipes, so you probably can't go wrong food wise.
People have told me the food at The Continental in Saugus is better than you'd expect, but I can't recommend it firsthand. They do host functions though. http://www.continentalrestaurant.biz/...
I've had cast parties for groups around this size at Prince Pizza in Saugus. http://www.princepizzeria.com/plan-a-... They have the Castaberti Room, which would be my recommendation, a "meh" back room (Arturo's Room) and I've also had a group in the Giggles Comedy Room, which may work well because of the small stage. I personally don't like the pizza at Prince that much, but people I go with (who were raised around here) always like it, and the price is right at $10 pp for pizza, salad and soft drinks.
re: Chris VR
Its a bit further out but Calitris in Danvers has a really nice looking private room and decent food and prices on their function menu. Bacci in Stoneham has a private back room but not sure if its big enough. The Sheraton in Wakefield obviously does meetings but I don't know how the price or food is but it would be convenient.
If you would consider Chinese I would suggest Szechuan Garden in Woburn. It's right of Rte 128/95 and they have a very nice private room on the 2nd floor of an old colonial house that could accommodate your group. The manager will work with you to select a menu that will appeal to a wide range of tastes from standard Chinese/American to more exotic Szechuan specialties. They also have a full bar.
The Continental in Saugus is very old school, but the food is quite good. I'm partial to the lobster pie myself.
Never attended a function there, but have had dinner there as recently as 4-6 months ago.
I have been to a few functions at the Lord Wakefield (now a Clarion Hotel). The function room is very nice and the food surprised me as well as other family members.
I agree the Continental is a good choice as is their sister restaurant Angelica's on Rte 114 in Middleton.
I am not a fan of Gaetano's, much better choices in the area for Italian. Saying that reminds me of Anthony's in Malden run by the Spadafora family. Parking and flexible with groups.