I love music. All genres- all types- but especially live music. In order to sort all of the types of music I listen to, I create play lists that given a mood can help pull me out of a funk, pump me up, or help me relax. My hot pink iPod, iPhone, and iPad all have their own unique lineup of music that are on the ready at any time. Being a planner by nature I figured that I should do the same for all of the restaurants I have been wanting to try. My first foodie playlist is centered around the different culinary experiences available to me in my new neighborhood, Cambridge. Since I moved across the bridge, I have had limited opportunities to branch out and try new restaurants and types of cuisine. After intense Open Table, Food and Wine, Grub Street and different food blog searches I have developed my top list of places that I must try.
Garden at the Cellar
I certainly am a huge fan of the small and quaint gastropub with great drinks and even better food. I am dying to try the Foie Gras & Doughnuts, Cod Fritters with citrus infused rémoulade, Chickpea Fries with green goddess dressing and fried artichokes and my favorite item on the menu which have rave reviews from one of my favorite local blogger Jen from Tiny Urban Kitchen; THE ROSEMARY-TRUFFLE FRIES. No explanation needed.
Another outstanding gastropub, which serves my favorite Pretty Things on tap, Lord Hobo also has a massive list of specialty hard liquors and specialty cocktails. Serving a fabulous brunch with a to die for Bacon Bloody Mary and fresh Bellini you can find unreal gems like the pork belly hash with sunny side up eggs, the Grafton cheddar omelette with all of the fixins’ and the grilled sirloin sandwich with caramelized onion and bleu cheese.
Even better than brunch however is their AMAZING dinner. From the Mac & Cheese with veggies, bacon, or Maine lobster to the unreal duck confit sandwich topped with melty gruyere, mustard, and side baby greens.
Mr Bartley’s Burger Cottage
A tried and true winner of the Best of Boston award via The Boston Globe, Mr. Bartley’s Burger Cottage has be a Harvard Square institution for over 48 years. This place really is as great as the rave reviews they have been given by The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Esquire, and The Food Network. The laundry list of celebrity customers and fans includes Johnny Cash, Jaqueline Onasis, Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Bill Belichick, Al Pacino, Adam Sandler, Tom Werner, and Katie Couric who all have pictures hanging on the walls.
Unreal onion rings, massive burgers, and delicious sandwiches are just a few of the true treats on the menu. With a literal boatload of burgers to choose from as well an abundant build your own menu, Mr. Bartley’s is a definite must for the Boston area.
Healthy and delicious, Cafe Luna offers the best brunch and lunch in Central Square. With unique and gourmet twists on traditional items like the Monte Cristo Breakfast Sandwich (two thick slices Brioche French toast grilled with ham and swiss cheese and a little Dijon. Syrup and jam for dipping), Berry Stuffed Belgian Waffles, Lemon and S’Mores French Toast, Blueberry Pancakes, Specialty Omelets (try the Asparagus, Leek and Goat Cheese), Home Made Corned Beef Hash, Lobster Eggs Benedict with hollandaise made fresh in small batches throughout the service.
The drinks here are also amazing. Awesome espresso, fresh fruit and OJ smoothies, frozen hot chocolate or mocha, fresh and REAL pumpkin spiced chai latte’s and J’s favorite the gross sounding but truly amazing make you a fan for life Sake Bloody Mary. You will never go back to vodka again.
The Friendly Toast
I don’t think words can describe the mouth watering items that comprise this Cambridge favorite’s menu. Pumpkin pancakes and Drunkard’s French Toast with creamy Grand Marnier and rasperry sauce makes my sweet taste buds start to water. Smoked Salmon Eggs Benedict, homemade breads, and bacon, egg, and cheese sandwiches on buttery and flakey homemade croissants almost sound too delicious.
Cragie on Main
Everyone I speak too and any food publication I pick up is raving about Chef Tony Maws and Craigie on Main. With the motto, Eat out and feel at home; Chef Tony Maws – three-time James Beard Nominee for Best Chef, Northeast – combines French-inspired “nose -to-tail refined rusticity” with ”no exceptions” local, seasonal, & organic or natural ingredients. With accolades such as Food & Wine’s ”Top 100 in US”, GQ’s #2 in 10 Best New Restaurants in US, Food Networks “Best Breakfast in MA” (for our cooked-to order-Brunch doughnut), Boston Magazine for 2010 “Best Bigtime Chef” and Boston Globe ”The 10 Most Influential Restaurants” of the decade, Craigie on Main is not a restaurant to miss out on.
I find the way that Tony Maws prepares his menu intriguing. You can see a sample of what may be offered but you will never truly know until you arrive. I think the surprise and the quality of ingredients is such a rare and fascinating quality of the restaurants dynamic. Stand outs from the sample menu are House-Made Rye Flour Garganelli Pasta, Crispy-Fried Nova Scotia Smelts and Vermont Organic Veal Two Ways: Bacon Wrapped Loin or Slow-Roasted Short Rib.
Upstairs on the Square
With two refined dining rooms in a great location in Harvard Square, (the Soiree Room and Monday Club Bar) Upstairs on the Square offers something for everyone. I am partial to the menu of the Monday Club Bar but I certainly think the Soiree Room would be a wonderful culinary experience. I am salivating over the Sweet Corn & Lobster Chowder, Rosa Bianca Eggplant Melanzane, SBT Club: Thin-Cut Salmon, North Country Bacon & Heirloom Tomato, Tuscan Style Melon & Prosciutto de Parma and the Lobster Omelette.