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“Neighborhood bistro, world class” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Garden At The Cellar

Garden At The Cellar
991 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02138
6174750045
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Ranked #44 of 552 Restaurants in Cambridge
Price range: $10 - $40
Cuisines: American, Bar, Bistro, Gastropub
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch
Cambridge, Massachusetts
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Neighborhood bistro, world class”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 8, 2012

Garden At The Cellar is truly world class -- like a neighborhood bistro in Paris where you can't believe how flavorful and perfectly prepared each and every item is. Reasonably priced for the quality of food and preparation. Also, reasonably priced drinks, including a competent wine selection. The restaurant has gone through several iterations of "steak frites", and the current one might not even come with the delicate truffle oil fries, but a reliably standard. The duck is a revelation -- you might think you don't like duck but you're unlikely to have had duck like this!

The Garden has one quirk you should know about -- no dessert. If you want a post-dinner sweet, there are plenty of options in Harvard and Central Square. E.g. Toscanini's outside Central Sq. or Finale in Harvard Sq.

My only hesitation in writing this review is that I don't want my favorite spot swamped! But they deserve success.

  • Visited November 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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66 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    34
    28
    2
    2
    0
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Boston Area, MA
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“Tremendous quality at a reasonable price”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 11, 2012

I couldn't have been more impressed by the food I was served. The lobster may have been the best i've ever had: it came with poached duck egg, and other spices and that came together perfectly on the tongue. Our other dishes were also perfectly compositions with simple ingredients: grilled corn with a chipotle aioli, a peach gazpacho, and bacon wrapped dates. The chef's work was just fantastic.

Our service was also wonderful, and our attentive, friendly and knowledgable waiter we tout of his way to determine what was appropriate to my gluten-free diet. (No gluten free menu, but about a third of the menu could be prepared gluten free.)

Overall, this was a great place to get top tier cuisine Ina casual setting. I'm going back.

  • Visited August 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cambridge, Massachusetts
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Good Food, Tiny Portions”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 6, 2012

I went to the Cellar a few coworkers. I wasn't very hungry so I ordered something off the "little eats" menu (distinct from appetizers) while the others ordered off the substantial portions menu. Everyone else's dishes came first, and I was shocked when I saw the size of the "substantial" portions. They were only a few bites! Mine finally came and it was about half the size; I would say I had about 3-4 small bites and that was the whole meal. Another in our group ordered a steak medium and it came out rare. Other than that, everyone said the food was excellent. We would have very much liked to eat 4 servings of what we had.

  • Visited August 2012
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, Massachusetts
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
17 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
“It's like eating a garden!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 20, 2012

Oh my goodness, the food here is exquisite! It's like someone walked out back, went into the garden, pulled a few plants, and made them into heaven. I have no idea how the chef works his magic, but he is able to structure the food in a way that you taste -- really taste -- the origin of the food, whether it's vegetables or herbs. Many other places put the focus on fillers like heavy spices and distract you with complicated tastes. Garden At The Cellar knows the wisdom of highlighting fresh produce and making it stand out on its own. Now, that's not to say that the food is simple -- it's not. You are guaranteed to eat something very special and memorable here.

Some tips: this is a good date place and has a nice, soft romantic vibe. The drinks are just strong enough and so tasty. If you can get the tomato soup or any soup with truffle oil, do it. The menu is always rotating according to what's in season, so don't rely on being able to eat what you had last time. Also, there is a downstairs section that has more of a bar feel but you can order some of the stuff off the menu from upstairs, if you'd like.

  • Visited March 2011
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Top Contributor
67 reviews 67 reviews
45 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
49 helpful votes 49 helpful votes
“Disappointed. Nothing that special about this place.”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 30, 2012

We thought the food would be really excellent after reading the reviews. It was ok, but the portions were small and it was no big deal. The special of a taco with lime cabbage was not appealing. The service was good, but it did not make up for the overall experience. Perhaps we were there on an off night; I would go back and give it another try.

  • Visited January 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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