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“A totally unique food experience.”
Review of Craigie on Main

Craigie on Main
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Ranked #19 of 634 Restaurants in Cambridge
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $40 - $60
Cuisines: French
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Special occasions, Local cuisine, Bar scene, Romantic
Dining options: Dinner, Breakfast, Late Night, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Cross street: Main St. and Mass. Ave
Transit: Central Square T Stop, the No. 1 bus at the Main Street stop
Boston, Massachusetts
Level 4 Contributor
38 reviews
15 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“A totally unique food experience.”
Reviewed December 12, 2012

We won the food lottery that night. We showed up without a reservation at 5:35pm on a Sunday night. There had been enough people in line when the place opened at 5pm to fill the bar. They were fully reserved. We got the one open table in the house, which was a high top with a view of the kitchen. We were celebrating, so went all out with the "Craigie Experience" eight course menu. Everything was a new adventure. Everything was fantastic. Some of it was simply the best of whatever it was (fish, veal, scallops, etc.) we had ever had. And we're foodies, so that's actually saying something. The wine pairings were perfect. All in all, a completely memorable experience made even more perfect by the chance of it all. But make reservations if you want to be able to count on the evening!

  • Visited December 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank BOSbizgal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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486 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    288
    114
    55
    19
    10
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Boston, Massachusetts
Level 4 Contributor
25 reviews
24 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“perfect dinner”
Reviewed December 9, 2012

I had been to Craigie on Main once before, a couple of years ago, when T & I were in the midst of becoming sick. Neither of us had happy memories of this dinner, as we were both in a sickness-induced fog of miserableness. I never had any interest in returning to this restaurant, but when I set out to visit each of the highest rated #-Z restaurants in Boston, I realized Craigie on Main would be mandated to be re-visited. We headed over with minimal expectations...and we were blown away by the experience.

Located between the Central and Kendall/MIT T stops, Craigie on Main is also car-friendly, with some street-parking as well as valet available. An interesting mix of local seasonal New England cuisine with French techniques, Craigie on Main has moved towards the top of my Boston-area favorites.

We arrived (a bit late) for our reservation, and were told that there was a recent cancellation for the chef's counter, and were asked if we would like to sneak on in. We snatched the opportunity to peek into the kitchen, and plopped ourselves front and center.

The whole restaurant is focused on the open kitchen, which is a nice change, but does create a bit of a bustle for those that don't have front-row seats like we did. Fortunately, there are many mirrors placed throughout the dining room so diners are able to see bits and pieces of the cooking.

Every night the menu may change, but there are always prix fix menus along with tasting menus of 6- or 8-courses available. T and I went with the prix fix as we had our eyes on certain items already. After ordering, we were surprised with one amuse bouche each, for T, a mussel, and for me, a beef heart pastrami with spicy mustard.

As an appetizer, T went with the house-made farro flour spaccatelli with wild boar and forest mushroom ragoût. T reported this was very savory, and I stole a piece of the spaccatelli which I can report was very rich & tasty. I went with the grilled Spanish octopus with grilled cipollini onion, green olive & lemon salad, bulgur wheat, and chorizo purée. Soft, delicate, and delicious, this was the perfect light appetizer. We were also amazed by how large our appetizers were.

For entrees, I chose the slow roasted chicken breast (since I love restaurant chicken so much) with chicken sausage, dried apricots, forest mushrooms, spring-dug carrots, and a scotch whisky jus. This is the dish that single-handedly blew me away. This chicken has undoubtedly moved to the top of my Boston-restaurant-chicken list...a hard list to even get near. Moist, tender, and flavorful, the combinations on the plate were unbelievable.

Travis went with the Vermont pork three ways: suckling confit, spice crusted rib, smoked & grilled belly with russett apple purée, turnips, port-soaked pruned, and maitake mushrooms. The confit melted in his mouth while the rib was crispy and moist. The grilled belly reportedly paired well with the mushrooms. We also split a side of duck-fat roasted brussel sprouts, which were fresh, crispy & scrumptous.

As T was stuffed and out of commission for dessert, I took control and ordered for us (....me, really). I have always loved anything malted, and the moment I read those four little letters on the menu (m-a-l-t) it was decided. We got the malted milk parfait, with honey roasted peanuts & a chocolate sorbet. I allowed T to have 2 bites, but then after tasting this dish, I hoarded it for myself. This dessert is easily in my top-2 desserts in Boston. Unbelievably tasty, the contrasting textures harmonized into an amazing flavorful bite. Bits of chocolate brownie, a small almost peanut-buttery-caramel textured bit, with crunchy pieces resembling cocoa crispies and the salty honey roasted peanuts...I was in food-heaven after bite one.

We will most definitely be back to Craigie on Main. I now have the Chef's Whim's tasting menu on my to-visit list. Every Sunday after 9pm, chef Tony Maws will cook up a discounted 4- or 6-course tasting menu on a whim.

More here: http://molltk3.blogspot.com/2012/10/boston-restaurants-c.html

  • Visited November 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank molly k
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, Massachusetts
Level 4 Contributor
33 reviews
20 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Delicious Spot for a Special Occasion”
Reviewed December 5, 2012

Came here for our 5th wedding anniversary and couldn't have been happier with the service or the food. It was on the pricey side, but definitely worth every penny. Make reservations well in advance, and be prepared for a parade of delicious dishes off the customized tasting menu. For a special night in Boston/Cambridge, it would be hard to go wrong here.

Visited August 2012
Helpful?
Thank Blyfong
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
LexGSR
Level 6 Contributor
120 reviews
84 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
“Rustic food; luxury price”
Reviewed November 30, 2012

My wife and I had a "date night" dinner here. In general, the restaurant is good... well-prepared food and great service. However, the menu was a bit too rustic for my taste, with a lot of pork and bone marrow etc., and the plating, while done very nicely, was not quite what is expected at the price. I rated it "very good" and it was, but it was not incredible.

  • Visited November 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank LexGSR
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Berkshires, Massachusetts
Level 6 Contributor
79 reviews
73 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
“High end food prices without the high end food.”
Reviewed November 21, 2012 via mobile

I should have stuck with my gut. The whole reason my wife and I went here was to get the chicken for two. Unfortunately something went terribly wrong. We ended up getting the 8 course tasting menu, and some wine by the glass.

My wife put it best when she said "I don't know if this is good or bad, but I kept eating the plate in front of me hoping the next one was going to be good."

That pretty much summed up our experience here. Dinner for two, the 8 course tasting menu and wine, was as expensive as our dinner at Gramercy Tavern in NY, and no where near the same quality in food and preparation.

Can't say I would recommend of go back.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Vnegs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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