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Comfy cozy resturant for dinner Watertown, Belmont, Lexington, Arlington?

Need ideas as dear friends just blew into town! We want to visit so nohting too loud or too fast. How hard is this? Thanks.

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  1. What do you think of Menotomy Tavern in Arlington?

    1. Il Casale in Belmont (though it can be loud)... Flora or Tryst in Arlington.....L'impasto in North Cambridge

      1. Not sure what you price range is but Artistry on the Green just opened in Lexington about a month ago. Should fit the bill for a relaxed meal that is not too loud and won't feel rushed.

          1. re: antimony

            That was my first thought. Dinner there can stretch as long as you want and no one pushes you from your table. The music is pleasant without being obtrusive, and there are lots of meze to share as you catch up on old and new stories.

            The chairs are not particularly comfy though, but they aren't uncomfortable either. They are happy to take a reservation by phone for a Saturday night.

          2. I think Kitchen on Common in Belmont fits the bill.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Pia

              Kitchen on Common is a hidden gem. I think of it as a place that's perfect for a meal when you just are too tired to cook but want something nice and reasonably priced. Parking is on-street but rarely is a problem. You can even take the T (#73 bus). The menu is short but sweet. The ambiance is nothing special, so maybe not a great place to take a date but definitely in the zone for dinner with old friends.

              1. re: PinchOfSalt

                They also allow BYOB or they did a few years back when I ate there). I really should go back, it was a very nice meal.

            2. I love Istanbul'lu in West Somerville, right at the Arlington line outside of Davis in Teele Square. It's small but from my experience, you can stay as long as you like with unobtrusive service. Tapas style to share, beer and wine.

              3 Replies
              1. re: Madrid

                I would love your thoughts on "first meal at Istanbul'lu." What would you recommend as a menu for two people with modest appetites? Wish that they offered a sampler plate for the mezes.

                1. re: smtucker

                  I've only the breakfast dishes, which were excellent. The platter of Turkish morning or something like that was excellent (except for out of season tomatoes). I was pleasantly surprised by the dried beef. I almost never get pancake type dishes, but once I got their thin, lacy pancakes (can't remember the name and for some reason I can't access the menu on line now), and they were wonderful with the honey and homemade jam.

                  I did get the homemade bread and the roasted pepper spread each time they give you when you sit down...great!

                  I too wish they had a meze platter....maybe you could ask for an assortment?

                  1. re: smtucker

                    we usually share two mezzes and a main: we love the coban salad and the white bean and we often share a lamb dish like the Askun dorugu (?) though we also like everything "eggplant" here. More than enough food.

                2. Stellina in Watertown Square is very pleasant. They even have a little nook for a little quieter meals away from the rest of the dining room. I especially like the warm tomato salad, even off season.

                  1. We ended up at Vine Brook Tavern for a few reasons. Everyone wanted burgers, friends brought children and service dog (Great Dane) so we needed room and it was close. Food was good - burgers cooked to everyone's liking. They had a salmon burger the oldest child liked; and we shared 2 salads which were good: faro salad with dates (would prefer dates to be cut up a bit more) and I can't remember the other one. Racatore's ice cream across the street was also a draw. I know reviews have been 'meh' but it worked out well for us.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: nutsallaround

                      Thanks for reporting back! We hit it up shortly after it opened and thought it was okay, but have wanted to give it a try again. Glad you had fun.