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Aug 20, 2014 09:02 AM

Bar & food in Cambridge/Boston?


looking for a nice place with bar, cocktails and good food.
Celebrating a friend's birthday and we are 3 mommies (have not been out for a girls night in a couple of months...)
I know it is a lot to ask, but also need a good atmosphere (I am not into having a TV screen in front of my face when I finally get to have a night off...)


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  1. P.S
    I liked Alden&Harlow as a reference...
    please tell me there are other cool places around here

    5 Replies
    1. re: Owlette10

      belly, west bridge and hungry mother. although the bar at hm is tiny.

      while the season holds, the patio at oleana is one of the nicest places to dine outdoors.

        1. re: Bugsey34

          i offer wb with the caveat that it can be insanely noisy, but moms deal with crying babies so maybe it won't bother them as much as it sometimes does me, lol.

          1. re: hotoynoodle

            I have been to west bridge & don't remember it as very cool, but will check it out again. thanks.

            1. re: Owlette10

              i guess "cool" is in the eye of the beholder, so i have no idea what that might mean to you.

    2. I haven't been to Alden and Harlow so maybe I'm missing the reference, but are you looking for a bar that has food or a restaurant where you can sit at the bar? Any particular price point or type of food?

      If you're looking for a place without TV's, there a thread for that on here.

      2 Replies
      1. re: addiez

        a restaurant with a bar will also work, as long as there's music and a bar atmosphere...

        1. re: Owlette10

          I haven't been, but Cuchi Cuchi might fit that bill. Otherwise, Matt H makes great recommendations below.

      2. Brick n Mortar, Back Bar, Drink, Tavern Road, JM Curley and Wink & Nod all come to mind.

        4 Replies
        1. re: Matt H

          I have to disagree with Wink & Nod. It was super-expensive, and neither the food nor the drinks were worth it. The decor is also... off. They were going for too many things, and I don't think their choices work very well together.

          These other suggestions are all on point. I especially love Back Bar, but know that the menu is fairly limited; it would be fine for snacks but might be tough for a full meal. I also hear great things about Casa B, which is just around the corner from Back Bar; maybe dinner there and drinks at Back Bar after? (Casa B's bar is supposed to be good too, but if you're in that area and want craft cocktails, I think you'd struggle to find better than Back Bar.)

          Catalyst (mentioned below) has good food and drinks, and feels a bit... I don't know, glitzier? It's not a formal place, but there's a bit of shininess in the air there: big open space, lots of glass, modern/minimalist decor, etc. If going out is a rare occurrence, Catalyst's vibe might help the night feel more like a big-E Event than a lot of the other suggestions so far.

          1. re: TimTamGirl

            I too found the food at Wink & Nod very expensive. Especially the $17 3oz steak frites, that came on an 8 inch by 2 inch plate. I found the cocktails fine, but after enjoying bar service at most of Boston's best craft cocktail bars, I found the actual bartenders to be free of any personality or obvious enjoyment of what they were doing.

            1. re: TimTamGirl

              The food and drink at Casa B are rather good and Taso is a good barman that I enjoy visiting. There are only 4 barseats though -- which would be perfect for your group, but not always all available.


              1. re: yarm

                I like the little "parlor" area at Casa B (as well as the food and Taso's bartending). Not sure it can be reserved, though.

          2. Tried Bastille the new restaurant in Fort Point recently; sat at the upstairs bar and the apps were excellent and the decor was very nice. There is also a more serious downstairs bar that is probably more of a happening scene (did not explore it). Be aware though that the prices are a little high; the apps are generally in the $15 plus range. We tried the seafood sausage and the escargot.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Fort Point

              Row 34, Ribelle, and Catalyst all come to mind. All are excellent and I'm a fan of Alden and Harlow's too.

            2. I'll add Eastern Standard into the mix.

              2 Replies
              1. re: mvi

                if the sox are playing at fenway, their tvs are showing the game.

                1. re: hotoynoodle

                  if the weather is nice try Deep Ellum's patio. No TVs. Good food, good drink, especially if you like beer.