I'm going to be in Boston in a few weeks for a visit, and am looking for a place for a group dinner on a Saturday night. I have some specific requirements (most are not deal-breakers, though), and I'm having a hard time thinking of where we should go. I'm hoping that someone will suggest some places that I haven't thought of, or that have opened in the past 6 months (and thus I don't know about them).
I think there will be 7 or 8 of us.
I'd like a place that:
1) Takes reservations for a party of 8
2) Accessible by public transit/walking and pretty central. I'm really looking mainly in Downtown Boston, South End, Cambridge (including anywhere from Harvard to Inman to Kendall). Probably we'll be heading to Kendall area afterwards, so within a 2 mile radius of Kendall Square might be best, and the closer the better). Probably want to avoid the Green Line and the Kenmore area because there's a Red Sox game that night.
3) Has good food, preferably something that isn't as good in SF. Chinese and Vietnamese could be okay, but they are both representative of cuisines that I can get better out here.
4) On the lower price range....not including alcohol, I'd want the total price per person to be under $20.
So, any suggestions? Ideas I've considered are:
Dumpling Kitchen (probably the Chinese option I'd go for if I did Chinese, though I might rather not, but they do take reservations...)
Temple Bar (on the pricy side, and reservation for that number of people could be tough on a Saturday?) But I liked it the one time I ate there.
Moqueca (maybe similar problem with reservation?)
East Coast Grill (do people like it there these days?)
The Helmand (Maybe too expensive? I haven't been in 10 years, not sure if it's still good)
Sichuan Gourmet (totally breaks my rule of avoiding Fenway, but could work as a different Chinese option)
Greek Corner (has been my default for group dinners in the past, and could be good, even though it's a bit farther out than I want, and they don't exactly take reservations during peak times)
Based on the things I'm considering, let me know if there are other good places (particularly in Central or Kendall or downtown) that could be good instead.
Looking forward to my visit, and thanks in advance!