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The Cottage Wellesley MA

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Has anyone been to this new restaurant on Linden Street in Wellesley? They serve breakfast, lunch and dinner. Several people reviewed in in Zagat online. It sounds interesting.

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  1. I've seen mixed reviews on the place. Some folks think it's a refreshing change from the upscale places in town, while others say the prices are too high for what you get.

    I guess it's part of some major renovations that have come to Linden Street over the past couple of years. I used to play softball at the Middle School around the corner and remember Linden Street as being a road with little to offer unless you needed to buy a car or get some groceries, but I guess that's changed.

    4 Replies
    1. re: hiddenboston

      There was a chain previously. Suggest doing a search.

      1. re: terrycatch

        Yes, Linden Street is making major changes with a development called Linden Square. There are various businesses going in there including a Starbucks, Cold Stone Creamery and Qdoba. Next year a California Pizza Kitchen is going in.

        The Cottage is not a chain. It is described as an upscale, family owned restaurant owned by a Wellesley native, Laura Wolfe and her husband. They do have a Cottage Restaurant in California but have just come back here,

        I should have shared the info I had when I asked the question but I really wanted to see if anyone had been there. I have to go to Wellesley VW to have my car serviced on Monday. It's right across the street so I will check it out.

        1. re: edgewater

          I could be wrong but I believe that terrycatch meant by "chain" that there was a recent discussion on this board, not that the restaurant was a "chain".

          1. re: bakerboyz

            Correct: "Chain" as in "discussion chain." Between posters. On Chowhound.

    2. I ate there a couple of weeks ago with my wife and our baby. It was unremarkable to say the least. We started with the calamari which was average and may have been the highlight of the meal. We also tried the "fresh" guacamole which may have been the worst guacamole I have been served in a restaurant. It literally tasted like it came out of a can/tub. For dinner I had the burger was was just ok. I have had burgers just as good at Chili's. My wife had a salad for dinner with warm goat cheese which ended up being two bites of goat cheese that was not warm at all.

      This place will do well because there are so few restaurants of this type in the immediate area. But I certainly won't be running back for what I thought was average food.

      1. I did another post on this subject- do a search. Went twice- will not go back. Less than mediocre food, small portions, horrible bartending, very crowded and noisy.Ugh.

        1 Reply
        1. re: emilief

          Where to eat in Wellesley? Try Tian Fu next to Star Market. They have recently redone their menu with specialties from the Shanghai area which is where the owners are from). They will modify for any dietary needs. Don't have the standard American Chinese dishes but the specialties. The owners are always there and are eager to help. You won't be disappointed.

        2. So I'm out of touch with Wellesley's dining options. If this place is a no go, where is there to go in Wellesley (other than Blue Ginger of course, which many people on this board love, and many people on this board hate!)?

          6 Replies
          1. re: Blumie

            I did find the original "chain". I usually think of it as a link so sorry terrycatch if I appeared dim to you. I had looked before I asked the question but guess I looked too quickly since all the posts I noticed at the time referred to the California Cottage. Anyway, I am really disappointed to hear that it is so bad. I think I will try it for breakfast.

            1. re: Blumie

              Well, not many places to go. There is Vela which we find to be quite decent. Went there last night and they have many new menu items including a crispy chicken liver primi and a rabbit leg confit primi. They have added a ceasar salad which is excellent and the homemade fettucini with seafood is very good. Someone on this board complained about it being very dark but I don't find it so ( I took special note of this last night and I thought it was well enough lit- no problem reading the menu etc). Yama, a Japenese place across from Whole Foods (upstairs) is quite good.I have only had their cooked stuff, not sushi: tempura etc is very good. It is BYOB. Alta Strada, Michael Schlow's restaurant, is a big disappointment but there are a few (very few ) things on the menu that are ok.
              There is a very popular place called Jimmy's cafe on Linden Street- BYOB and captain Marden's reataurant where the fish is excellent and the sides are not very good. Maugus is good for breakfast and lunch. Amarin- which has been horrible the last few times we tried-and several Chinese options- China Sky, CK's which are ok depending upon what you order.

              1. re: emilief

                Good roundup, emilief. Share your support for Vela - this place could conceivably be a suburban equivalent of Cragie Street, and not only because they are both belowgrounds. They just need to keep pushing the envelope and perfecting what they have. Our absolute favorite in the area is still Oga's, just five minutes down Route 9 from the Wellesley line, in Natick. After four or five years of going there at least once a month, have yet to be disappointed. Lovely people, too.

                1. re: emilief

                  Jimmys is a solid option
                  China sky is $$ but ok service is so so
                  Yama is always good but is across from the whole foods
                  CK Shnaghi is very good down in the lower falls section by 128 on 16 but may not be open on Mondays
                  Paparazzi is consistent across from CK Shanghi
                  Heard Vela was good
                  also heard Vidalias has gone out
                  There is Blue Ginger which is AMAZING and $$ plus you need reservations
                  Captain mardens is ok but styrafoam plates in the norm here

                  Otherwise you are left with local pizza joints and bertuccis :-(

                  1. re: iguanachef

                    oops forgot about Coconut Thai. On 16 across from College Square Pizza on Washington (near library. Solid Thai reasonably priced (personally I like it better than Amarin. There is also an indian place next to it but I have never eaten there.

                    1. re: iguanachef

                      Actually it's LEMON Thai that is across from College Square Pizza on Washington St. near the Library. Coconut Thai is across from Whole Foods on Rte 16/Washington St. in Wellesley Hills. Both are good; Lemon Thai can be VERY good. Coconut Thai is a little more geared to takeout than to eating in, Lemon Thai is a real restaurant. So Wellesley has 3 good Thai restaurants. Needs a Korean one.

              2. its a pretty place but the food is lack luster....

                3 Replies
                1. re: charolotte

                  Besides Tian Fu which I described in a post above, do go to Cafe Mangal, right in Wellesley Square. The owners are Turkish. Dinner is very different from lunch, more upscale, but both are excellent.

                  1. re: rabddoug

                    ewww last time I was in wellesley I went to tian fu and the food was gross, the place was dirty including the table cloths as well as the plates and glasses, when brought to the waiters attention he gave me a shrug of so what and did nothing to fix the situation. The older owners that I have seen there forever prior to this particular meal were absent and was replaced by a twenty something with an attitude of you are intruding on my texting by wanting a meal at this restaurant was at the main desk/counter. after crab rangoons were delivered to the table that were burnt and lacking any concept of crab inside (was an ode to philly cream cheese) I paid for the food which had arrived at the table and cut our losses and left. I had eaten at Tian fu for 5-6 years with no problem but this all stacked up was too much. Run and run far far away from this eatery.

                  2. re: charolotte

                    We love Cafe Mangal. It's at least as interesting as Blue Ginger (with a cuisine that is less familiar to most Americans), and the prices are better, probably because it's BYOB. You definitely need a reservation for dinner, though.

                  3. We went to the Cottage for lunch earlier this week and loved it. The fish tacos were very good, very fresh, if not exactly authentic (the fish was grilled instead of fried, but since this is healthier, I'm not complaining). My friends had grilled vegetable salads and loved them--one salad easily fed two people. The prices were about average for lunch. The space was very clean and contemporary, but it wasn't noisy in spite of all the hard surfaces. There was a table with four little children opposite our booth, but we could still have a conversation without shouting. For families with children, there is a children's menu. I didn't see it, but was told it had the usual kid-pleasing foods, such as burgers and chicken fingers.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Isolda

                      I went to the Cottage twice this month for the tortilla soup!! Excellent tortilla soup!!!

                    2. I ate there a couple of weeks ago. My dinner was 'bland', the place was noisy and my glass of wine was barely 1/3 full. Depending on when you go, parking can be a problem.

                      Other than that, it was fine

                      1. Ate lunch there yesterday. It is a beautiful restaurant, but yes very, very noisy.

                        Had sandwiches- Eggplant Panini and Cottage Club and both were very good.

                        Service was friendly, but fast..almost too fast...Our food was out about 5 minutes after we ordered-which could be considered a plus if you are dining there with children.

                        1. We went on a Saturday night a couple weeks back. I ordered grilled swordfish and it was actually pretty good. A caeser salad before that was ok. Bartending wasn't super, plus my drink had the flavor the soda gun's rubber hose. The place was buzzing with kids and strollers and the vibe is not relaxing. If that turns you off plan to go later in the evening, I guess. A California Pizza Kitchen is going to open across the street. That may siphon off some of the family trade.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: wontonton

                            In addition to California Pizza Kichen, a Qdoba Mexican Grill is opening there also. I have not heard great things about that chain, but at least there is an alternative to the horribly loud, noisey nursery school with the lousy bartending that is the Cottage.

                            1. re: emilief

                              Qdoba is twice the price as Ana's and Boca Grande and the quality of the food does not justify the doubling of the price. I was very disappointed to read that they are going into Linden Street. Is there room for more restaurants beyond Qdoba and California Pizza Kitchen?

                              How about a decent pizza and sandwich place in Wellesley (think the Brookline Spa, for example)? The Linden Deli is good but closes at 3:00 or 4:00pm and is closed on Sundays.

                              1. re: Gordough

                                I was very disppointed at what is taking up this new space, especially since Alta Strada is a disappointment vs. Figs and other places are so so. For sandwiches, Tutto Italiano is ok, even good. Linden deli is an old favorite. I had high hopes for the Dorset Coffee and Tea but had the worst sandwich I have ever had from there. 1 piece of roast beef between two pieces of unremarkable bread. If I had been sitting there instead of doing take out I would have returned it. Alta Strada has a marketplace on the lower level, which I believe has sandwiches at lunch. I have not tried them since I am not a fan of the place. I have not tried the sandwiches at Rosie's Bakery. I understand there is a new place opening where the Truck Stop was. Hopefully it will have better than average food. People like Cafe Mangal butI have never been there for lunch. In the summer, Carol- the owner of the Cheese Shop- makes delicious curried chicken salad - good for making sandwiches at home, although I have a hard time not eating it striaght from the container.
                                As far as I know there is no room for any other place to open on Linden Street.

                          2. I'll chime in on the "likely not to revisit" side of this coin.

                            My wife and I had dinner there last Saturday, without reservations we expected a wait, but the 20 minutes we were told turned into 45, without explanation or apology.

                            The services was abysmal, and even if it was just an off night, the virtual neglect of our waitress coupled with each course being rushed by the following arriving within minutes didn't create a comfy experience. I appreciate the concept of wanting to flip a table as soon as possible, but not in a restuarant that is trying to be pseudo upscale...

                            The food did not compensate for the service: we shared a appetizer of spicy shrimp that started us off with high hopes, which were dashed by the salads that came before we'd finished two shrimp apeice... the warm goat cheese salad, while the greens were tasty, had cold and very grainy goat cheese... The entrees (flatiron steak frites and Stirfry Primavera), had us split: the steak was tasty and well prepared, the Stirfry, per my wife, not as described, and totally disappointing.

                            To top it all off the restaurant was beyond noisy, feeling more like a crowded sports bar then a mid-range restaurant...

                            I would not NOT recommend this restaurant, as food/atmosphere are so personal, and everyone has different tastes and opinions, but in summary: the food was 50/50, and perhaps we just caught them on a bad night, or just had a bad waitress, but the service was way below par.