Ask the Editor: A Special-Occasion Restaurant around Arlington
This family wants an upcoming lunch to feel special. Is that possible in this north-of-Boston suburb?
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We are holding a confirmation on Saturday in Arlington and want to go to a lunch afterwards. We are always looking for a good atmosphere and good food. Italian, seafood, Japanese are our typical preference. We will have two adults and two teenagers. We want it to feel special. What would you recommend in that area, and even into Cambridge?
Congratulations! A celebratory lunch in Arlington is quite a specific ask—the community has many enjoyable restaurants, but they tend toward the casual end of the spectrum. If casual lunch was the question you had asked, I’d suggest perennial favorite Blue Ribbon BBQ, or trying out the new, Arlington Heights location of Home Taste, for hand-pulled noodles. If you were seeking dinner, you could put the cozy, European-inspired favorite Scutra on your list, too; along with Italian stalwarts Il Casale in Belmont or Lexington, and Osteria Posto in Waltham.
But you asked for Saturday lunch. Luckily, especially for your cuisine preferences, there are a couple great options in and around Arlington. Consider a reservation at Arlington’s Twyrl Pasta Bistro for your special-occasion crew. It opened last summer to showcase first-time chef-owner Anka Bric’s handmade, Venetian-inspired pastas. The small dining room is overseen by Bric’s brother-in-law, Chris Furlong—nothing better than celebrating a family milestone at a family business. Alongside mix-and-match noodle shapes and sauces (including gluten-free options), there are also grilled sandwiches on local breads, salads, and a curated selection of small-vineyard wines, beer, and packaged craft soft drinks. Twyrl opens daily (excluding Mondays) at 11:30 a.m. (315 Broadway, Arlington Center, 781-859-3123, twyrlpasta.com)
Or, head into Harvard Square for lunch at Café Sushi. This top restaurant has been the place to go for relatively affordable, fresh, inventive, and high-quality sushi for more than 30 years, but thanks to a recent makeover that replaced its drab carpeting for serene woods and whites, dining there finally feels as special as it really is. Share chef Seizi Imura’s selection of nigiri and sashimi, and round out the meal with steamed gyoza, salads, miso soup, grilled fish, and more expertly prepared Japanese fare. It’s open every Saturday for lunch from noon-2:30 p.m. (1105 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, 617-492-0434, cafesushicambridge.com)
For seafood, take the family out to Burlington, where a large and lively location of Island Creek Oyster Bar is among the many dining options. The newer, bigger sibling to the Kenmore Square favorite offers private and semi-private rooms for intimate events. It also boasts a bigger menu, with more refined crudo and raw bar offerings. Lunch provides loaded lobster rolls, bisques, desserts including Island Creek’s famous banoffee pie, and more. The mid-day meal is on every Saturday from 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. (300 District Ave., Burlington, 781-761-6500, islandcreekoysterbar.com)
Best of luck treating the family to a fine feast around the town of Arlington.