So like what’s up with slacking on the restaurant posts, right? I looked back and realized that my last post about any restaurant outing was way back on July 29, 2013. Say what??! It’s not like I haven’t gone out to eat since then, but I partially blame things like Instagram and mobile phone updates because well, let’s just say they make it easier to share sometimes.
Anyway, I went out last night with another mom friend and it was awesome. We’ve been friends for almost eight years now and met through crafting channels, yet we’ve never been out on a one-to-one outing before. With family responsibilities, job duties, and all the other crazy life stresses we just were never able to make things work out until last night.
I wanted to check out a restaurant called Catalyst in Cambridge (Kendall Square) because a) it’s new to me and b) I haven’t been out to a restaurant in that area in a long time. The bonus was that neither had she so we could check out a new place together.
We didn’t have a reservation and there was going to be a wait for one, so we decided to go ahead and sit at the bar since they offer their full dinner menu there too. This place is gorgeous. And huge. It was bustling and busy on a Thursday night. And did you see these hexagons? Lately I have been obsessed with hexagons (future card posts coming soon, oh don’t you fret my dear) so of course I had to take the obligatory photo.
Because of my food allergies, I tend to look at a restaurant’s menu online before visiting to make sure there is at least one thing I can eat. I was really looking forward to trying their mushroom ravioli dish but was bummed out when it didn’t appear on the menu that night. Unfortunately there weren’t other things I could order without needing to ask for major omissions or substitutions, so we decided to stay for a drink and an app. But let me tell you, I would’ve eaten anything on that menu if I could have! (And my friend will definitely need to head back there to get that rabbit dish someday!)
We shared the daily selections of cheeses and house made bread ($15) which is listed on their bar menu. The bread was deliciously charred in some places, and the cheeses were excellent. I let her eat all of the nuts of course and she said they were seasoned with spices. I enjoyed a glass of the 2011 Punto Nino Cabernet Sauvignon and she the Wolaver’s Oatmeal Stout. Yummy yummy.
We walked a little ways down Main Street and ended up at Area Four, which is literally only a few yards away. We lucked out and were seated without a wait and took in the aromas of the wood burning stove as we walked to our table.
I had been to Area Four way back in 2011 when they first opened and had a mixed experience. Since then they have drastically changed their menu and now focus on pizzas and things that do well in a wood fired oven. The decor and atmosphere are still the same which are great, so I was excited to try the place again.
We shared an order of the grilled asparagus from the “not pizza” section of their menu (which of course is not listed online right now) and it was excellent. The waiter explained that the sauce on top was sort of like a salsa verde with things like onion, garlic, lemon juice, and a hard boiled egg chopped up.
We decided to split a small caramelized onion and gorgonzola pizza ($15) which usually is made with peppered walnuts on top. They were kind enough to serve the walnuts on the side for my friend to enjoy. The pizza had a really nice smoky flavor to it and the scallions added a tiny bit of texture and bite. It was a very delicious pizza!
We somehow managed to squeeze a dessert in and I’m so very happy that we did. We shared the house specialty soft-serve ice cream sundae special of the day which was vanilla and chocolate served with sea salt caramel, ginger cookies, and chocolate jimmies. Oh. My. Goodness. That was awesome! Well worth squeezing in at the end.
So here you have it. A new restaurant review post and covering two places too. It was the first time I’ve brought the “good camera” out on a dinner adventure so I realize I need to work on my camera skills again. Let’s hope it’s not this long before you see another restaurant based post from me again!
300 Technology Square
Cambridge, MA 02139
500 Technology Square
Cambridge, MA 02139