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Jul 28, 2007 08:36 AM

Garden in the cellar-Cambridge

After the Harvard yard farmers'market we stopped for lunch. We had crab cakes and a chevre salad. This week's Phoenix gives their dinners a wonderful review. Can't wait to return. It's run by the son of the farmer of Gilson farms who sells his herbs at many of the farmers'markets.

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  1. Been there a few times, and think it just keeps getting better. The chef definitely has a judicious way with herbs and spices. The servers can be a bit overeager and underprepared, but they mean well. Overall it's just a feel-good little place.

    4 Replies
    1. re: tatamagouche

      That's funny. I love the place, but "judicious" is about the last word I'd use to describe Gilson's Herb Lyceum-bred fetish with herbed everything. Maybe he's tamed it some since I last went. (I tend to like powerful flavors, but a few of the dishes I tried were off the charts....)

      I really like the chicken croquettes, though some food enthusiasts I go there with find them too wet. Tater tots are great, and most of the entrees I've sampled were delicious.

      It's a real hidden gem. Not to be too Phantom-like....

      1. re: wittlejosh

        4 stars out of 4 from Nadeau just bumped it up my to-try list.

        1. re: wittlejosh

          I think, in fact, he has lightened up slightly. I mean, their presence is felt, b/c that's his schtick; but it's not at the expense of the other ingredients. Even simple little things like the spiced warm almonds and olives are cases in point.

        2. re: tatamagouche

          The burger I had there was balanced (meaty and juicy but not gushing) and well made. Just the right amount of aioli on the fries. No complaints from me.

        3. where is this "Garden in the Cellar?" Address????

          2 Replies
          1. re: ChefJune

            I assume you ask b/c you had trouble Googling it. It's actually Garden *at* the Cellar. gives you all info.

            1. re: tatamagouche

              Place link:

              Garden At the Cellar
              991 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02138

          2. The chef did a cooking demonstration at the Flower Show that was quite good. He has a talent with herbs. Growing up on the farm has stood him in good stead. Maybe it is the vegetarian in me but I say bring it on. I must make an effort to get to the Cellar.

            1. i love this place and wrote an earlier post about it in the fall. i'm always surprised not to see more posts about it on this board. the food is adventurous and a really good value to boot--a hard combo to find in cambridge.

              1. I go quite often and really enjoy it; great neighborhood spot. My main criticism is that many of the dishes are too rich, they could use something, maybe some heat or acid to cut the richness. The short ribs are fantastic but also suffer from extreme richness. I really like the roasted potatoes, but the amount of aioli used, which really makes the dish, has been inconsistently applied on a number of visits.

                The chef did a stint at Oleana before opening the Garden. I would love to see the influences and interesting spices of Oleana make their way onto the menu a bit more.

                They really need to lose the painted glass beer signs hung on the walls.

                Not having dessert is fine, but not offering coffee just seems like a dumb business move.