Looking for a recommendation for an Italian restaurant to take a group of out-of-town family to.
Specifically, I'm looking for something
-- can handle a group of eight
-- better and more interesting than Vinny Testa's or Olive Garden or a generic "red sauce" place
-- but, not a totally wild menu either (Taranta's Italo-Peruvian might be a bit much)
-- managable level of noise and crowding (the group will be mostly 55-65 year olds, not 30-somethings looking to mingle)
-- ideally, takes reservations and actually seats parties vaguely near to the reservation time
The North End would be a great setting, but I'm not sure finding a place with both good food and no hassles is feasible there. Something like Massimino's would be fine for food, but that can mean a long wait standing outside.
I'm thinking about Marino's in North Cambridge -- doesn't have the North End ambiance, but doesn't have North End crowds or attitude, either.
Thanks in advance -- any suggestions will be much appreciated!!!