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Retirement party for 50 near Government Center

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A distinguished Swank relative is retiring in November. We are trying to come up with a place for a retirement party. The bill is being covered by corporate, which is nice, but it also means we can't splurge too much.
Not looking for high-end, adventurous elegance. Basically seeking:
1. A comfortable private room
2. Quality food that appeals to a broad range of people of various ages and tastes
3. Excellent service (good with groups, possibly offers group menus)
4. Easy walking distance from the Faneuil Hall/Government Center area (North End is fine).

It's a bit of a puzzler. Ideas?

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  1. Not sure if this will fit, but my office held a retirement party lunch last summer on a harbor cruise. It was around $50 per person. The food was just ok but everyone had a great time out on the water for a few hours.

    1. McCormick & Schmicks in Faneuil Hall might fit your criteria:

      http://www.mccormickandschmicks.com/L...

      My other thought was the Hampshire House but I'm not sure what the costs would be...I'm guessing not cheap.

      1. Not sure of its current status or budget, but the dining option on top of 60 State St that was the The Bay Tower Room a long time ago is a stunning space, and I think they may even specialize in this type of event now.

        1. I don't usually recommend chains, but I have used Maggiano's LIttle Italy for this purpose. Reasonable, crowd-pleasing, good service, nice private room downstairs.

          http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

          3 Replies
          1. re: MC Slim JB

            I used to be a Maggianos hater but my past few experiences there including a group dinner have been much better than expected.

            Not that close to FH or NE though

            1. re: MC Slim JB

              Yeah, attended a rehearsal dinner at Maggiano's recently and was skeptical. The food was much better than expected, and the service well facilitated in the downstairs area. More importantly, the guests less picky than me (pretty much everyone else) universally loved the food. Sounds like it is right in the sweet spot for the OPs budget even if alcohol is involved.

              1. re: black_lab

                Maggiano's has one of the best spinach artichoke dips I've had. Wasn't wowed by the rest of the food, but that was a while ago, and it seems to have improved. That said, it would be perfect for this type of event where you're more likely to have some diners for whom food that we we hounds would love would be seen as "too exotic" or "weird".

            2. If the North End is OK, what about Mamma Maria? They have a private room that does seat 50+ people.

              1. I haven't used it yet, but the Merchant has a lot of private space. Also, Petit Robert Central has a large private space - not sure what size you're looking for.

                1 Reply
                1. re: addiez

                  I'd try Les Zygomates - they have a private room that seats up to 50 and they'll cater most things to a reasonable budget.

                2. What about Scampo in the Liberty Hotel at Charles St+Cambridge St.? The invitations could play on the retirement/freedom theme, in a former jail :-} Pretty easy walk from City Hall; Faneuil Hall maybe closer to N.End.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: opinionatedchef

                    they don't have a private room big enough for 50.

                    1. re: hotoynoodle

                      Depending on the style, they do - I went to a cocktails/standing up event there for about 60 and they closed off a room in the corner that seemed to have sliding doors where they usually seat people. If you're looking for a seated event though, that room wouldn't work.

                      1. re: addiez

                        Yes, I did as well.

                  2. How about the Oceannaire?

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Bob Dobalina

                      I think they do events well, but the prices are definitely high-end.

                      http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                    2. What about the "Chez Freddie Lounge," the back room in Silvertone? Should meet all your criteria.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Canadian Tuxedo

                        That's a decent room but I don't picture it for someone described as "distinguished".

                      2. Maybe Marliave?
                        Carrie Nation has a front area that I have seen blocked- off for private events.

                        1. The State Room at the top 60 State used to be the Bay Tower Room and is only used for private events now. It would be perfect. I think they have different sized rooms.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: pemma

                            They do have numerous rooms that can be configured to suit but it is spendy.

                          2. I attended two functions at Ned Devines in Quincy Market. It is not a place I would go to otherwise but the food was fine, the room was nice and the service was good.