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Anyone been to Garden at the Cellar in Harvard Square?

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Read a good review a couple weeks ago in the Globe and am considering going before a show at the Regatta Bar. Should we just stick with Henrietta's Table instead?

thanks for any advice...

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  1. Haven't gone yet but I'd give the Garden a shot. I'd go early tho, when we tried to go at 7PM on a Fri., it was packed.

    We had a fine but unexciting meal at HT last Sat. It was very busy at 8:30 but cleared out quite quickly. Server was there at the beginning but as it got quieter, he wasn't around at all so water was left empty, took forever to get a dessert menu. And that was only cuz my friend asked another waiter. He got pot roast which came with mashed potato (only entree with a side) and that seemed fine if a little dry. I had the duck, a half portion and decent with a good sauce, but the skin wasn't crisp enough and I wasn't into the cranberry thing on the side. An order of brussel sprouts was pretty good, I didn't taste his wilted greens. Bread basket had a cranberry and a white, very hard butter. He got choc. bread pudding w/ banana, vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce. Very good but the caramel was overpowering. My apple strudel wasn't as crisp as it could be, filling was eh, ice cream was great but just a little scoop. Not nearly as good as the meal I had there a couple summers ago.

    1. I've been a few times. I like the food, but there are problems with the place. It's got a poor seating layout, awkward service, and the dumbest wine list i have ever seen. They have about 10 wines by the glass (a decent but pretty boring selection) but do not sell bottles. This would be excuseable at a brand new place with no liquor experience, but the owners have an adjoining wine store in the same building. There is no excuse for not selling bottles.

      I really love the potatoes with aioli, the short rib appetizer is perfect, and the soups are tasty.

      Once kinks are worked out it will be the ideal addition to the neighborhood, but right now it still has problems.

      As far as for dinner before the Regatta Bar, if you are driving it is fine, but it's a good 15-20 minute walk to the Charles Hotel.

      1. We went for dinner last week for the first time and enjoyed it quite a bit. The food and atmosphere were good. The service was a bit spotty, but they were friendly enough.

        We started with the beet salad and ceasar salad. Both were excellent. The beet salad with goat cheese, pistachio paste and herbs was particulaly good. The ceasar had plenty of reggiano. The conecpt of cooking with the various herbs grownig around the dining room seems to really work.

        My S.O. had the steak frites for an entree. The steak was flavorful but definitely undercooked (medium came out rare). The truffle were delicious, some of the best around. I got two smaller plates, the short ribs and the croquettes. The short ribs were incredible, easily the best thing we ordered. The croquettes were just OK. Much of the other food coming out looked good, and we will be back to try it soon.

        This place looks to be a great addition to the neighborhood.

        1. are they open for lunch?

          1. definitely a solid 15 minute walk from regatta bar. I live around there...i wouldn't consider the Cellar/Garden 'harvard square'..it's between central and harvard..and my vote would be that it's slightly more on the central square side. (i live in central..it's 5 minutes away)

            Regardless....we plan to go this friday night. Does anyone know if they take reservations? And no, they aren't open for lunch. I'm excited to to hear it could be a great neighborhood addition.

            1. I peeked at the meau for Garden a while back and have been angling to try it for a while now. Had a freind in from out of town last night (Friday) so we decided to give it a shot. We arrived around 8 and had to wait for about a half hour for a two-top. The manager was very accomodating and showed us to the "bar annex" to wait. The concept isn't bad--basically another strecth of bar that isn't connected to the actual thing, so it allows for more seating while people wait and takes advantage of the long, narrow space. The only think is that it feels oddly detached, and no one takes your order for drinks there (which didn't actually bother us much since the manager came over a moment or two after we sat down to let us know that, and make sure we were doing okay). Eating at that bar or the main bar was an option, but we were fine waiting for a table.

              Once we were seated we decided to share a few things. We had the croquettes, grilled meatballs, tater tots, and artichoke spread. It was more than enough food for the two of us. Everything was delicious--very flavorful and good sized portions. While we were there we also saw many other items go to nearby tables that looked wonderful.

              Since they opened they have started selling wine by the bottle, so that address the concerns of a few posters. I liked the ambience concept, but thought it could use a bit of fine tuning. The potted herbs is a great feel, and I really liked the copper tables and bar. However, I think they could do without some of the lighted beer signs and such.

              On the whole, I loved the whole experience, and can't wait to go back...I actually still had the food on my mind when I woke up this morning!

              1 Reply
              1. re: italyinmind

                Nice review - I had been wondering about this place, and your comments are definitely convincing me to get out there and try it!