business dinner ideas Lexington, Burlington, Waltham (ish)? [MA]

Have to think of two places for dinners next week with 6 to 8 out-of-towners in the office. Sadly, they need to be reasonably priced, gone are the spendy business dinner days.

So far, I have come up with Del Frisco’s Grille (borderline on price), Osteria Nino (decent food, zero atmosphere), or Legal Seafood in Burlington; Red Heat Tavern or Waxy O’Connors in Lexington (proximity to the office being the big draw for these); Summer Shack or Gran Gusto in Cambridge; Naked Fish in Waltham (but haven’t been there for years, maybe a bad idea). Surely there are other places I am just not thinking of. We used to go to Il Casale in Lexington Center but the last time was such a bad experience I doubt we will return. For reference, what would make this group the happiest is if L’Osteria in the North End were only 10 minutes away. I so miss Café Luigi in Bedford for that reason!

Flatbread in Bedford? Or Tavern on the Square in Burlington?

if they are adventurous you could head toward Woburn for Pinxto Pincho for tapas or
Sichuan Garden.

Sadly, not adventurous but those are great suggestions for when we get some visitors who are. However Tavern on the Square is an excellent suggestion, thanks.

Amuleto Mexican Table (Waltham, Moody Street) is quite civilized, and probably within the comfort zone of less-adventurous eaters. Border Cafe (Tex-Mex, Burlington) is very reasonably priced. It is large and the main room can be noisy, but they have a side room where the decibel level is more amenable to conversation for a group of 8.

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How deep into the wilds of Cambridge are you willing to penetrate? A short distance from Gran Gusto is Trattoria Pulcinella, which, in my view, is better. I was in a minority of 1 in this opinion on chowhound, though, and am probably in the same minority here.

Once you even contemplate Pulcinella, however, you’re mired deep enough in Cambridge to consider Toscano in Harvard Square or (digging deeper) the various restaurants of Inman Square.

Don’t know much (sorry!) about the restaurants closer to your main area of exploration, though.

Yeah, those places would make me happy but we are all going to be tired at the end of a couple of long and possibly fraught days and they are staying in Burlington so think we need to stay closer to the office. I think Gran Gusto is probably off the list for that reason.

Ugh…this is our usual corridor of eating and I can’t think of any place except ICOB (love it but too $?) or Tuscan Kitchen (never been) in Burlington. How about Osteria Posto in Waltham (also never been but I love Posto in Davis)?

Hubby B likes Red Heat Tavern and I just think it’s OK. The only reason why we go to Waxy’s once in a while is because it’s on the Minuteman bike path. The last time we were there even B thought the food was not very good. B thinks I should open a coffee shop/pub with great food/bookshop in Bedford at the end of the bike path in Bedford. If it weren’t so much work I would concur.

I wish you would!!!

Did not realize Waxy’s had gone downhill, we go for work celebrations very occasionally but maybe no more. I find Red Heat fine, the options nearby are (as you know) so limited. Looked at Osteria Posto, very spendy.

My husband just came back from a work dinner at Tuscan. He thought it was a little pricey but fine. There were 20 attendees, plenty of options, reasonable wine list.
He split a salad and did a half portion of pasta. A safe choice, well done.

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Tuscan Kitchen seems to make sense since they seem to like Italian. I have not been there, but people I know who have been are fine with it. Is Winchester too far? If not, you could consider Lucia in Winchester Center. There is also the smaller, less red-saucy A Tavola there which is very good.

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@Pemma, thanks, neither was on my radar, both look like good possibilities.

Funny we stopped by Waxy’s this afternoon. We had an accidental death in our family yesterday and we just needed to get on our bikes and ride to someplace on the bike path with beer. We sat on the patio and asked for a specific college football game to be turned on and for the music to be turned down a bit. The staff didn’t bat an eye. Service was kind and our food was quite decent as well (burger, chicken curry, cheese quesadilla). We left a hefty tip and expressed our gratitude for giving us just what we needed today. After a great trip to Iceland last week, this death reinforced our thinking of late that we need to work less, travel more, and spend more time with family and friends. And, of course, to eat well.

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Please accept my condolences. And yes, waiting to live is not a great plan. Do as much of it as you can, while you can.

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So beautifully said. Adding my condolences to you and your family, digga.

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I’m so sorry for your loss, digga, and am grateful for the gentle and timely reminders to savor our loved ones and our lives. Healing thoughts and healing to you and yours.

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Very sorry for your loss and endorse your thoughts about living, beautifully expressed.

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I think this is important for all of us; thank you for the reminder, digga. I’m truly sorry for your family’s loss.

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sorry to hear that, digga. Glad you could get out for a bit and have a bit of food on a nice afternoon, at least.

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We ate at Osteria Posto in Waltham just last night and it was one of the most underwhelming dining experiences we’ve had in a while. Wines by the glass were completely unremarkable, salads were overdressed with overly acidic dressings, fried calamari appetizer tough/chewy (clearly previously frozen) . Really, the only reason I can imagine that they stay in business is that they are catering to the large, nearby, captured business/hotel crowd, who probably don’t realize they could Uber 5 min away to Moody St. for decent food.

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Thanks for taking one for the team, sci chick. I have to wonder if all of the new steakhouses in Waltham will survive.

“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold