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Kitchen on Common (Belmont)

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For folks who live in Belmont or Watertown, I just wanted to put in another little plug for Kitchen on Common (http://www.kitchenoncommon.com/). Disclaimer: I went to high school with the chef/owner. Really, though, we didn't ever really hang out.

I wonder whether the Boston Globe review last year might have generated too much of a good thing for a while, but things seemed to have settled down by the time we went last night. For those who don't know, Kitchen on Common is a small, modest restaurant in what appears to have been a former store or sandwich shop. The emphasis is on seasonal, fresh, local ingredients. There is no liquor license, so customers can bring wines or even purchase them nearby at the Spirited Gourmet. The chef's adorable mother anchors the front of house, and the restaurant appears to have added another waitress and another cook since the last time we were there in December.

We were provided with a bottle opener and stemless glasses for the Portuguese rose that I purchased two doors down. Bread seemed to come from Iggy's (several slices each of a sourdough and a whole wheat, if I recall correctly...it seems like you can almost never go wrong with Iggy's!). I had a special smoked salmon appetizer with toast points and a bit of arugula salad with vinaigrette dressing, and my wife had the roasted beet salad with Vermont goat cheese and candied pecans, which also came with a little arugula. Despite my wife's usual aversion to horseradish, she managed to eat 90% of it (my mother had the remaining 10%). My wife and my mother both had the curry-roasted pollock (and the kitchen accomodated my mother's request for half as much curry as usual) with roasted parsnips and DuPuy lentils. I had the grilled lamb steak, which was well-seasoned and nicely cooked to medium-rare as per my request and sliced, served with parslied butter, sliced Yukon Gold potatoes, and garlic-creamed spinach.

Honestly, I think this place is a great value. They serve local fresh ingredients according to the season, prepared relatively simply but with good flavor, served in portions that are healthy and not excessive (and believe me, I can eat a lot...as much as five plates of Indian buffet or even 27 pieces of nigiri and 60 maki at a Japanese all-you-can-eat-sushi once upon a time), priced affordably and extremely reasonably--and you can bring your own wine! If I lived a little closer, I think we would eat here quite often. I really wish there were a place like this in Central Square. Don't get me wrong--we have some good places nearby, but they seem to end up costing 50-150% more at the end of the night.

Anyway, thanks for reading.

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  1. I agree. We went to Kitchen on Common for dinner last week and the food was exactly as youngho described. While the service was not for the impatient, the chef's mother and the waitress were very accommodating and friendly. I had pan seared duck breast with spelt and butternut squash and my husband had the lamb---both were excellent. My husband especially enjoyed the appetizer of maple roasted carrots. We didn't bring any wine, but I had a small bottle of a pellegrino lemony seltzer that was just right with my meal. The lemon cookie we shared for dessert was cake-like and passed this baker's fussy standards. I agree that this is the kind of place that should be supported. It's a small, casual space with thoughtfully prepared fresh food. I look forward to seeing what the chef prepares in the summer/fall.

    1. Just tried to make a reservation based on the great feedback, but discovered that they do not seat after 8:30pm - on a Saturday!!

      3 Replies
      1. re: emeboston

        Sorry to hear about your difficulty. The hours are listed on the website, and although some restaurants in the Watertown/Belmont/Arlington area do close earlier than in Boston or Cambridge (for example, the Andros diner closes at 9, and even Savino's Grill across the street from Kitchen on Common is only open from 5-10), I believe that the chef now has two small children, so I assume that opening for lunch every day does limit the business hours. In any case, perhaps you might stop by if you're in the area and let us know that you think.

        1. re: youngho

          Yes, after hearing great things about kitchen on common, I will definitely make a point to stop by at one point (now knowing the time restrictions) - probably on a week night. I think it is great that the chef is setting his own hours and making sure he has time to spend with his children, I was just surprised that he stopped serving so early on a Saturday evening, but clearly he has a better idea of his market than I do!

          My husband and I ended up at Harvest instead and had a lovely meal - especially since we were able to put a gift certificate to good use!

          1. re: emeboston

            I would like to try Harvest some time, although it is a little more than I usually spend. If you ever find yourself with a gift certificate that you can't use for whatever reason, please let us know!

      2. We had dinner at Kitchen on Common about three weeks ago. It is such a great concept to serve local foods at reasonable prices that I don't have the heart to review the meal in detail. Let's just say that they need some work on service, should figure out a way to deliver orders in under an hour, and make the food seem fresh cooked even if it has been "started" earlier. One interesting note: No response was received from Kitchen On Common to a detailed email about the problems with our meal.

        1. Three of us dined there last night. The food was terrific and a tremendous value. I had lamb with creamed spinach and yukon potatoes. Very tasty and seasoned just right. My appetizer of mussels in a garlic wine stole the show though. It is BYOB, no corkage fee, and there is a terrific wine shop two doors down -- The Spirited Gourmet.