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“Consistently Excellent”

Russell House Tavern
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Ranked #5 of 641 Restaurants in Cambridge
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $30 - $30
Cuisines: American
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Restaurant details
Good for: Bar scene
Dining options: Late Night, Breakfast, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Dining
Cross street: Brattle Street
Description: Through the red-brick sidewalks and hidden back alleys of Harvard Square rises the latest neighborhood tradition: Russell House Tavern.
Reviewed January 30, 2013

Minus their burger, they like to serve burgers on the rarer, and on the redder side when you order medium. I either use the words "pink" or, only order medium well now. The brunch is always excellent and a step above a normal breakfast fare.

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Thank Kipp7272
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviews (689)
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532 - 536 of 689 reviews

Reviewed January 23, 2013

Menu was OK with selections. Good local oysters, but no real theme to it, and seemed to be very touristy and decore was a bit beaten or warn. Service was average, they make getting a free water a big deal.

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Thank JMAiken
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 8, 2013

It was a Sunday afternoon--an odd time of day, no doubt, to find a place to eat in Harvard Square, but, with reservations for 3pm, we found ourselves at Russell House Tavern. The staff was very nice and we were seated promptly, downstairs in a very tavern-feeling, dimly-lit dining room. In spite of the name, we were surprised, as we had walked by dozens of times and had not expected what we found.

The ambiance didn't quite match the menu. Technically, we were there during their brunch, so the menu was, only naturally, a hodgepodge of breakfast and lunch items. Amongst the table of five, we ordered two pork loin sandwiches, two stuffed brioche French toasts with nutella, and an omelette. The pork sandwiches were good enough, as was the omelette and delicious home fries on the side. When one of the sandwiches came with cheese (after it was requested without cheese), the waitress gladly returned it and had a new sandwich made. The French toast was definitely more along the lines of a dessert--a bit too over the top for a meal at 3pm. It wasn't that it was not tasty, it's just that it was far too sweet and a bit undercooked. Not that we were looking for "torched bananas" (as advertised on the menu), but the bananas on top of the French toast were certainly not torched, and clearly had not seen the sun in quite some time!

The menu could be spruced up--as can the lighting--with some more vegetarian options and, overall, a bit more excitement. All in all, most everyone thought it was fine but nothing we would rush back for.

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1  Thank YumFoodie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 8, 2013

We had an early before-theatre dinner here. The menu is a little quirky, with entrees like a shredded lamb's tongue pizza and a crispy pork belly sandwich (neither of which we tried), but also more traditional main courses like steak frites and seared sea scallops. Everything we had was elaborately concocted and perfectly prepared. The wait staff was attentive and informative. They can and will tell you where the food was produced and how it is prepared. A fine evening.

Thank wcorkern
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 2, 2013

We went here on New Year's Day for a late lunch after the thought of cooking/cleaning one more thing was just too much handle. Wanting a quiet low-key place, we tried out Russell House Tavern and are so glad we did. The small upper bar area with common tables was packed but we were pleasantly surprised that the downstairs dining room with full seating also had a full service bar with plenty of seats available. The decor is very clean and simple and has that relaxed 'Restoration Hardware' feel to it.
Cocktail Menu: Of course with a full bar you can get the basics but their cocktail menu had some interesting concoctions for all tastes. If you like tangy and refreshing I recommend the Always Sunny. Average cocktail prices were around $10.
Food: Starters were an eclectic mix with everything from the salads to Deviled Eggs and Steak Tartare. We went for some Fried Oysters which were light and wonderful, and raw oysters with a pickle mignonette (yum!)
Mains for lunch were an assortment of hearty dishes, sandwiches and pizza. We went with the most amazing pizza I've had in a very long time. The House-Made Cotechino Pizza with Linny’s Tomato Gravy and House-Made Ricotta was sublime. The sandwiches being ordered by patrons around us looked very good too and the average lunch prices is $12.
Service: Although we didn't sit at a table, the bartender was friendly and attentive.
The atmosphere here is definitely a different vibe depending on where you eat. Upstairs is smaller with about a dozen seats at the bar and then large common tables. Lots of energy and buzz. Downstairs is a warm, cozy spot and a bit quieter. Overall some wonderful and exciting menu options and zero attitude. We can't wait to go back!

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Thank Reservationfor2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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