Ask the Local:

Dear Local: I have a hot date with a sophisticated second year. I want to impress her by taking her somewhere she hasn’t been. Any thoughts?

Dear Clueless –
This is the type of question I get asked most often, so I have a couple of great ideas for you.

The first is a somewhat unknown – Gargoyles, in Davis Square (219 Elm St,617-776-5300, They have a fun bar in front with very good bar food (the burger is excellent), and a surprisingly good margarita. The dining room in back is more upscale, as is the food – things like Grilled Cervena Venison are typical. However, the space is both sophisticated and comfortable. One of the big advantages of Gargoyles is the location – not only is Davis Square T-accessible, but there are good options for after your finish dinner. If you’re in a drinking mood, head to The Burren (247 Elm St, 617-776-6896, for a fun Irish pub experience with some kind of entertainment every night. If it’s a school night, on the other hand, go to The Someday Caf‚ (51 Davis Square, with an amusing website at for the usual assortment of caffeinated treats and baked goods and a variety of seating that recalls the eclectic Davis Square before all the yuppies moved in.

My second suggestion is a little more adventurous – a relative newcomer to Cambridge is Aspasia (377 Walden St, 617-864-4745). There are potential downsides – a strange location in a residential neighborhood, the requirement of driving there (unless your idea of sophistication is the #77 bus), and the lack of nearby post-dinner alternatives. However, the intimate dining room and tasty food combined with the likelihood that she hasn’t been there make this a certain winner. And, if the conversation stalls you can always talk about the people you saw on the bus on your way over…

Have fun – with either place you can’t go wrong.
-The Local

April 9, 2001
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