So once upon a time, I came up with a list of rehearsal dinner locations and we started going through the list for things to try. The first place we tried was very underwhelming to say the least and then my mother vetoed a second place .
Because these places aren’t exactly cheap, we decided to go to our next choice on the list for Restaurant Week. So, we tried a place that I had originally vetoed, before our rehearsal dinner budget crept upwards. It was getting nearly impossible to find a restaurant that could hold us with a private room in the admittedly limited price range, and in the immediate walking area of the venue, so I thought the best thing to do was to increase the price range.
We first tried their oyster bisque with herbed parmigiano croutons and their classic panzanella salad. The oyster bisque was amazing. The bisque was very strongly oyster flavored, even without the huge chunks of oyster inside. We mopped up all of the soup with their delicious bread and wanted more. So tasty. Their panzanella salad, though, was a bit of a disappointment. It was two pieces of lettuce, with a couple of mozzarella balls and vegetables on top with a light dressing. It just didn’t come together as much as I would have liked.
Their pea ricotta ravioli with garlic and greens was okay. I had been really looking forward to this dish, since I really love the use of peas in ravioli. Unfortunately, I found the whole thing to be too ricotta-y and not enough pea flavor (I can’t believe I said that, my mother would be so proud). The sauce was a bit underwhelming as well.
Their pan roasted chicken with wild mushroom risotto was really good. The chicken was well cooked and even though PBear hates mushrooms, he really enjoyed the risotto.
For dessert, we had their panna cotta with fresh berries and a chocolate semifreddo, which were both solid desserts.
Ultimately, we had a pretty good solid meal. However, I had a few qualms about the place and if it was right for us. The place was very dim (as you can tell by the super grainy pictures), and loud. I know we’d have a private room, which would help, but it’s atmosphere wasn’t really what I had in mind.
After our frustrating experiences with the restaurants that we had tried and the insane number of restaurants we looked at in the region, and our meeting with the venue, a couple things changed.
1) We agreed to have an early-ish rehearsal at the venue, 3:00 — 4:00 pm so they wouldn’t charge us for it.
2) I got scared at just how much money we were spending on a rehearsal dinner if we maintained the small radius around our venue.
Because there are so many great restaurants around Boston/Cambridge that would be more reasonably priced if we just headed a little further out, we decided to expand the search space to include a lot more restaurants. Yes, it’ll be more of a pain to get people to the restaurant, but we shouldn’t have that many people. I’m thinking that we could travel together and it should be okay. I have a couple of restaurants that we love in mind, but I have to see what their options are before I start blogging about that.
Did anyone have a more difficult time finding a rehearsal dinner location than a wedding venue? Are people as picky as we are?