Catalyst, Kendall Square, Cambridge
Back in 2012 I spouted the wonders of a new restaurant called Catalyst. I loved this new place for its genius and experiential menu. I loved the chic dining space with two main dining spaces, a large bar area with high comfy seating and a loungy, retro casual area in front of a large blue flame fire. The ceilings are high and the tables are spaced far enough away from each other so that you don’t have to hear the conversation from those close to you. In the warmer weather you can sit on their outside patio, which looks perfect for those long leisurely summer evenings.
I recently revisited Catalyst with my friend, Kathryn after a tour of the new Google offices, which are amazing by the way, and was thrilled to see that Chef and owner, William Kovel who hails from Mistral and Aujourd’hui is still coming up with creative ideas for his menus and Catalyst is as strong as ever. It was time to do a revisit post.
The restaurant was relatively quiet on this particularly hot and humid evening so we made way for the spacious bar instead of sitting in the dining room or outside.
Waited upon by friendly bartenders our evening started with a glass each of a phenomenally dry and crisp Pierre Sparr Pinot Noir Rosé, which is kind of my summer obsession right now. We took some time to catch up and peruse both the bar and dinner menu.
We thought we would share a few items and make some later decisions on whether we wanted more. Our evening started with juicy roasted beets paired with a fantastic goat cheese mousse, which tastes great slathered onto biscotti, which I initially thought was odd but I couldn’t be more wrong.
Next up was the Sweet Soy Glazed Pork Ribs, which I seriously could not get enough of. We both raved about these sticky, sweet and messy to eat pork ribs. A side of green papaya coleslaw gives this dish a super freshness, which compliments the ribs really well.
One of the specials of the evening was a Rigatoni with Lobster, which sounded delicious so we ordered the appetizer portion to share. Al dente, fresh made rigatoni lightly mixed with chunks of lobster, mushrooms and pea tendrils in a tasty miso butter broth. This dish turned out to be far more filling than we realized leaving us no room for more food, which was a shame as I had my eye on so much more.
Hanging out and catching up we ordered another glass of Rosé and enjoyed the quiet evening and discussing my envy of Google’s barista lounge.
Throughout the evening one of our bartenders kept moving pretty orchids to our area, which I thought was very cute.
Towards the end of the evening he brought over a little after dinner drink for us to taste. A basil infused vodka with a splash of milk giving it a bit of an eggnog taste. It was interesting but not something I particularly enjoyed. I do applaud the creativity though.
Still a huge fan of Catalyst and William Kovel’s creativity.