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Sep 5, 2008 07:45 AM

Brunch near Wellesley, MA

I'm looking for a nice, funky/eclectic brunch recommendation in or near Wellesley, MA. My parents are celebrating their anniversary and want to return to the town where they were married. Something along the lines of a Blue Room (Cambridge), East Coast (Cambridge), Tremont 647 (South End), Aquitaine (South End), Bee Hive (South End), Parish (Boston), etc. is what we're looking for.

Someone suggested The Cottage on Linden St., anyone been there?


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  1. Been there many times...Cottage can be good but inconsistent...I wouldn't call it funky or eclectic although they do at times have dishes that could be described as such. It may just be me but it doesn't strike me as a celebratory venue.

    1. The Cottage is not remotely like those others. It is more like a Marriott Hotel dining room with views of either a construction site or a parking lot.

      In Wellesley proper, Blue Ginger or Alta Strada would be better for lunch, tho neither has a "brunch" capability.

      1 Reply
      1. re: terrycatch sort of reminds me of one of those breakfast restaurants at the nicer Disney resorts...without the occasional Disney character walking thru....That said I do like their deep fried artichokes and they can make a killer buffalo chicken soup.

      2. I can only echo pondrat & terrycatch's comments on The Cottage.
        Here's are a few more with upscale aspirations for your consideration.
        This, with an advisory that none of them are without their pats & pans.
        That just seems to be the nature of the Wellesley dining scene :

        Chinese - China Sky & CK' Shanghai

        Italian - The Vela Restaurant

        Turkish/Mediterranean - Cafe Mangal

        I've had very good to excellent experiences at both China Sky & CK's but also meh.
        Vela is an under-appreciated gem of a restaurant, IMO, as is Cafe Mangal but it gets some mixed reviews on this Board. Blue Ginger, superior to Alta Strada, is the best resto in town, again IMO, but even it has it's detractors. Good luck!


        Blue Ginger
        583 Washington St., Wellesley, MA 02482

        Cafe Mangal
        555 Washington St, Wellesley, MA 02482

        The Cottage
        190 Linden Street, Wellesley, MA 02482

        Alta Strada
        92 Central Street, Wellesley, MA 02482

        Vela Restaurant
        312 Washington Street, Wellesley, MA 02481

        C K' Shanghai Restaurant
        15 Washington St, Wellesley Hills, MA 02481

        China Sky
        11 Forest St, Wellesley Hills, MA 02481

        9 Replies
        1. re: Harp00n

          BTW, all of these "Links to a place" have the restaurants websites included, either previously added or by myself. Alta Strada's website is totally useless, unless photos of food porn accompanyed by cheesy elevator music is your thing. Nice touch for any scale of resto Michael Schlow! Give us a report back bgraves, please. :-0)


          1. re: Harp00n

            Actually as unintuitive as it may be, if you click on the word "Wellesley" you experience food porn and Buddha Bar interruptus and you are transported to another page with menus and other more mundane but useful info.

            Schlow apparently limits his user interface testing to items like forks and spoons.

            1. re: pondrat

              Okay pondrat, red-faced here.
              Thanks for pointing that out to the Hounds and myself.
              I didn't SEE the Wellesley & MGM Grand links for some unearthly reason.
              I guess, even though I'm better looking than Indy Jones, that I'd pretty much suck as a Tomb Raider!


          2. re: Harp00n

            Thank you for this, Harp. I've bookmarked it so I know where to eat, for once, in Wellesley.

            1. re: SSqwerty

              Harps list is great- pretty much inclusive of what there is in wellesley. Just fyi- Vela (excellent) has brunch on Sundays and your parents may get a kick out of it- it is in the location of the Berkeley Restaurant- a Wellesly landmark for many years and they may remember it.

              1. re: Harp00n

                For what it's worth...Have only had lunch at Mangal, and it was hit or miss and pricey. Vela has huge potential (could be another Cragie Street Bistrot), but quality varies and its lack of patronage is a real downer in this subterranean setting. China Sky is boring in terms of ambiance, decor, and food. Alta Strada is a fun scene with good service, and the best advice is to go with their pasta dishes. Blue Ginger is the best - including the new bar/ lounge area.

                1. re: terrycatch

                  Your comments, LOL, obviously bear out exactly what I've been saying.
                  Regarding Cafe Mangal; I've only been there for diner and have had nothing but good experiences here in 3 or 4 fairly well-spaced visits. Yet I know Hounds are not all in agreements with my estimations. As far as I'm concerned; we're in total agreement on Blue Ginger being the pick-of-the-litter. But I'm sure some will chirp-in that it's not-all-that.


                  1. re: terrycatch

                    Perfect description of Vela...It was a culinary bunker (in all ways) that got more depressing as the meal went on...After I left I had the same feeling as when I came out of theater after a matinee...."Hey's it's still daytime". reminded me of some of those places in Tokyo where you seemingly take a mining elevator into the earth for dinner.

                    Been to Blue Ginger 4 times in last 90 days without incident.consistently good..Totally hooked on the Foie Gras Shumai.

                2. Thanks for the recommendations!! You guys are great - I love this community. I think I'll leave it up to my parents to try Vela or Blue Ginger (which I've been to many times - I agree with all the comments). I will definitely post a review once we try it out. Thanks again!

                  2 Replies
                    1. re: michela

                      No, apparently they offer a lunch menu. Sorry for the confusion!