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Post Baptism Brunch/Lunch Ideas?

We are starting to plan a date for our new baby's baptism, should be mid-October (near Harvard Sq)

Thinking about Parking (nightmare for out of towners) and cost - do you have any recs on places near by? I am hoping to keep costs fairly cheap considering we're footing the bill... but for this post, let's say space for 20-30 people (private room not necessary) and maybe passed apps or moderate off the menu ordering ... Excluding booze

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  1. I should add - the address is 11 Garden Street for the event - but for the Brunch/Lunch - if driving somewhere close works best, and if parking is an option, that works.

    1. I think the closest place would be NuBar in the Sheraton Commander, or maybe a smaller event room in the hotel?

      1. not super chowish but cambridge common is nearby and should be able to accomodate your group. If you want to get more expensive you could try Harvest or Henrietta's Table but those two could add up. Grafton St could also be an option

        1 Reply
        1. re: cambridgeMike

          Cambridge Common is a personal favorite - was thinking that originally - just not sure if it looks the part. BUT I can break the conventional thinking and make it more fun for everyone. Menu is priced right, drinks are cheap enough etc...

          1. re: hotoynoodle

            I dont want to be buying $20 plates for everyone. Was hoping to get into a prix fix brunch/lunch, or keep it to a small under $20 menu. They can get their own drinks

            1. re: meeps2002

              It's not me trying to be "cheap" but typically if I owned a big enough house, it would be a party afterwards. I don't love the idea of a celebration ending with a $1500 tab for us new parents.

              1. re: meeps2002

                That makes perfect sense; you're not coming off as cheap at all. Having the dollar value just allows us to rule out places that would be too expensive.

                1. re: TimTamGirl

                  ^^^^totes this. so nobody will recommend rialto. :)

          2. Depending on the day of the week (not Thurs., Fri., or Sat.), Park validates for free parking in the Harvard Square Parking Garage for guests who dine there. You could check and see if that policy holds for guests of events at the restaurant. They do have a room that holds a decent number of guests and some nice apps on the menu.

            7 Replies
            1. re: bear

              i really like Park; diverse menu, v. good food. I also wondered if the Ten Tables people might do something for you in their space.

              1. re: opinionatedchef

                Park looks like a solid find. Thank you - never even knew it existed

                1. re: meeps2002

                  fair warning: we had a very meh experience as a party of 7 at park. of the table, only one of us "loved" their dish and we had a challenging evening with the server.

                  i will not return.

                  ymmv.

                  1. re: hotoynoodle

                    Yeah, I have to agree: I really wanted to like it, but... no. The food was fairly average and the space felt oddly laid-out. I'm actually not sure they'd be able to accommodate a group that size too easily, though it's been ages so I could well be wrong about that.

                    I'm not a huge fan of East Coast Grill in Inman, but they have a lot of devotees on this site and their brunch is particularly popular. I think they're pretty used to larger groups, and if it's a Sunday the resident parking spaces will be available to everyone.

                    1. re: TimTamGirl

                      ECG has parking for $5 across the street after 5 and on Sundays (or at least used to, can't find that info on their web site). Their lava room might work for this occasion. Personally I think the brunch food has gone downhill in the last year or so but it could still work with a planned menu.

                    2. re: hotoynoodle

                      I agree as well and feel all the Grafton Group (Grafton Street, Park, Russell House, Temple Bar) restaurants range from OK to meh, and they are not a particularly good value. Russell House was good when it opened, but has definitely tailed off. They are they type of places that are good once in a great while. I can walk to all of them, but haven't been into one this year other than a quick drink at Russell House.

                      For the OP, since you are set on budget, Cambridge Common is probably good bet. If you want a nicer atmosphere, you are going to pay in this area. It's the company that makes the gathering anyway, so the casual atmosphere there will be fine. Also, if it is a nice day, people can park once and walk to both places.

                      1. re: black_lab

                        gah, grafton group. <<rolls eyes>> my last lunch at r/h was a tad better than disgusting and the wine list is terrible.

                        just remembered, mead hall in kendall has an upstairs which might work for you. food is way better than grafton group's and they have a billion beers on tap. worth a look.

                        kendall also tends to be easy parking on a sunday.