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, gargoylesonthesquare.citysearch.com). 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, www.burren.com) 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 www.51davis.com) 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.