Gosh, this is such an odd question, and I am not sure if I could have answered it if someone asked it in my home board, but lets try...
I will be heading off to Boston soon for a work related function. I will dine out by myself one night or two based on the information I gathered at this board here (Looks like Via Matta and Union Oyster House for now, but we'll see). For lunches, I have a local friend from Cambridge and he will show me around. So all is set, or it seems; I have a dinner dilemma: We need to go out to eat one night with the colleagues. And here is the catch: we won't know how many people will tag along, and this is a major problem since I cannot make reservations for unknown number of people between 4 and 15.
The conference hotel is around Park and Tremont. So unless it is absolutely necessary no-one will take a cab, to, lets say, Cambridge. We are not talking about chowhounders here. They would be OK with most mid-range restaurants and cuisines, but they won't travel for food. I, on the other hand, don't want to waste a meal in this city and would like to get the best possible food I can get for this dinner.
Let me emphasize the seriousness of the situation by giving examples of where we previously ended up at similar meetings: A Chinese restaurant that also served sushi in Orlando, a faux Italian joint in San Antonio riverwalk, and (cry) McDonalds in Goteborg. The last one was the most painful. I got my revenge by bingeing out on meatballs and really stinky herring the next day; but I think I still have some scars left from this instance. So I guess I'll be OK for anything better than McDonalds, but if I channel all my good energy, what is the best place that I can go with my unspecified number of colleagues, by calling an hour before, or just showing up? No specific cuisine restrictions. Anything is doable, well unless it involves balut or live octopus.
So here is the summary of my constraints: The place needs to be close to Park and Tremont, price needs to be mid range (or less), and most importantly it should easily accommodate drop ins of potentially large parties. So given the parameters, where should I head my peeps to to have the least "wasted" dinner?