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I'm looking for a special place to go with my family on the Sunday before my graduation. Ideal price point is under $55-60pp (with no drinks as my parents have to drive), preferably with less expensive options for my much younger sibling.
I would like for the ambience to feel special, but it's much more important that the food is memorable. A small plates format is ideal, but the typical coursing may work as well.
My parents strongly prefer bolder flavors and the liberal use of spices. The freshness and quality of ingredients, especially fish, is also paramount. Offal or grilled meats could be good as they enjoy rich flavors (maybe Craigie on Main?). They both have pretty high standards, mostly due to the quality of their own cooking, so I'd really like to surprise them this time.
As for my own tastes, some of my favorite meals recently have been at Helmand, Coppa, Ribelle (pre-change), and Mistral (for brunch), all of which may work for this purpose. I also like Sichuan cooking (Mala is pretty good, as was Red Pepper when it was still in Framingham, and Flushing's Hot Kitchen), but can't think of any good, non-fusion Asian restaurants with the right ambience.
Although I'm open to most locations, hassle-free parking would be a big bonus. Alcohol is not a factor, and nor is dessert.
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