I need help selecting a special dinner for a milestone birthday.
On my short list are, in no particular order
Tasting Counter, Somerville
Brassica Kitchen, Boston
Table at Seasons To Taste, Cambridge
Bar Mezzana, Boston
Some combination of the diners have already enjoyed Sarma, Cultivar, Oleana and Sorellina
Any of the above suggestions stand out from the others?
Thanks for your help narrowing down my options
When is this dinner?
If it’s when it’s warmer, I strongly recommend Oleana, if you can dine early, or can wait, if you want to dine late. Their garden is splendid.
I’ve eaten at some of the other places you mention, but many suffer to me – as special occasion places – as being inelegant as physical spaces (Guilia, for example). To me that’s important – not as important as the food, by far, but important, nevertheless.
1st week of May.
Oleana is one of my all time favorite restaurants in the area especially the outdoor dining but I was hoping to try one of the other outstanding restaurants locally that my crew hasn’t tried yet.
In addition to the above “already tried” list we’ve eaten at Alden & Harlow and Craigie on Main
If you can book The Season To Taste, I would do that. It’s so good, and you’ll have stuff there that no one else is quite doing.
We haven’t eaten at The Table at Season to Taste (awkward name, that) but have eaten a meal at the dinner service at their sister, NOCA (some of the food is prepared at T T at S to T, and brought over). It was excellent.
I would go with The Table at Season to Taste. Our visit there this past fall was really exceptional. The Tasting Counter was great, too - much fancier (and more expensive), but you do sit around the counter which, while very interesting, might not be what a group would want to do since you wouldn’t really get to talk much with anyone sitting more than a seat or two away from you.
Good to know about NOCA. I had coffee and an egg dish shortly after they opened (very good) but haven’t been back. Have you gotten any of their prepared dishes for takeout?
No, I haven’t. We’ve had breakfast and lunch there a few times and taken out pastries and coffee. They have good bread as well, although at an eye-popping $9/loaf.
Yikes! Although I looked at my receipt at WF and saw $7.99 for a loaf of Pain D’avignon cranberry (or raisin?) pecan bread the other day.
Many good choices on your list, I’s say you can’t go wrong with any of the following. Do you want a tasting menu or italianish? If you search you can find threads and commentary on most of these places:
Tasting Counter - great for a special occasion, a truly unique dining experience that can’t be found elsewhere in the area. Chef and staff are warm and lovely. I would actually think this place would be great with a group. Even though a counter, it is 3 sided and the room is rather intimate.
Table at Seasons To Taste - also a unique and personal experience, and a good value to boot. as choices are limited. Ditto on the wonderful crew working there.
Pammy’s - have been here a lot as it is closeby and have never had a bad meal, let alone a bad dish. nice cocktails and atmosphere as well. Yet another place with top notch hospitality.
Giulia - another place I love and the best pasta in the area. for a special occasion you can take a look at Benedetto as well. similar menu in a more upscale atmosphere.
The following I would not recommend for your meal:
Asta - only went once and many things were off with the meal and service. based on that experience I’d say there are better options for this type of meal.
Waypoint - have given them many chances as they are local and friends ask to meet there if they have never tried it.l the food is just too overdone for seafood for my tastes, not a good value and inconsistent. i am in the minority as most I know like it. cocktails are the highlight here. last time there was a huge cockroach on the wood wall behind my dc’s head. i know most places have them, but it was a turn off. done for good other than a drink at the bar.
Erbaluce - the space/atmosphere is anything but special occasion.
Bar Mezzana - it’s OK, but nothing special. there are better options for this type of meal (e.g. SRV)
I’ve never been to Brassica Kitchen so I can not comment on that one.
Can’t comment on your list but the Arsenale (tasting menu) at SRV would sure make me happy for a milestone birthday.
I have experience with about half the places on your list. I wouldn’t warn you away from any, but for a milestone atmosphere, my pick would be the Table at Season’s to Taste. Appropriately elegant, great food, not loud.