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Like Hamersleys, but not Hamersleys?

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  • ljw7 Oct 16, 2008 07:05 AM
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The roast chicken is beckoning, but I feel like I should be trying some place new. Can anyone recommend a place with the same kind of relaxed, welcoming feel and soul-satisfying chow?

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  1. I feel that way about Harvest, in Harvard Square. they were even great during restaurant week this year (AND last year). I find them to be relaxing although not super casual, with wonderful food and wonderful service. Was just there last weekend.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Lucymax

      never heard of harvest but i just checked their website and it sounds fabulous. Another definite possibility.

    2. Maybe the Blue Room is kind of similar? Rendezvous? Henrietta's Table? I know people rag on the Fireplace in Brookline but they're somewhat on the same wavelength and the room has a similar feel.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Joanie

        Henrietta's is a good choice for the food. A definite possibility but not quite as homey though. I've been underwhelmed my last few visits to the blue room and can do without that bartender. Don't know rendezvous but I'll check it out. Thanks much.

      2. I'm a fan of both Hamersley's and Icarus - they're not identical, but both have that "good enough for a special occasion but not stuffy" feel.

        1 Reply
        1. re: BobB

          I agree about Icarus. It's special, but not stuffy, there's much more elbow room, and the seats are more comfy. It doesn't have the bustling vibe that Hamersley's does, though. It's not staid, but it's quieter. They do have a roasted chicken breast, so it might be interesting to compare. Note: if you want the dessert--a souffle--you have to order it with your meal so it'll be done in time.

        2. I'd highly recommend Salts in Cambridge. You might think of it as a smaller, more Cantabridgian version of Hamersley's. It may also well be my favorite upscale restaurant in the city.

          In addition to the highly manicured items that comprise the majority of the menu, you have two more laid-back poultry items:

          * The ballotine of chicken is without a doubt the most tender, flavorful poultry dish I've ever had out.

          * The signature boneless duck for two is at once a romantic and rather atavistic experience. I've become a bigger fan of the more refined dishes at Salts of late, but I believe the duck continues to be the most popular item on the menu by a considerable margin.

          The atmosphere is warm and cozy, made all the more so by co-owner Analia. The similarities in feel to Hamersley's aren't by chance; she used to work there.

          1. I wholeheartedly agree with both the Harvest and Salts recommendations. Both are great.

            1. I think we've decided on Harvest. (Still have to find someone who wants to go to Salts with me.:-) Thank you for all the great suggestions. I'll post on Monday to say how it goes.

              1 Reply
              1. re: ljw7

                Report on Harvest: Had a very good dinner - Seafood Cerviche appetizer and the Pork - ala "Organic Vermont Pork, Butternut Squash, Braised Chard, Date-Orange Chutney & Cider Gastrique". The pork dish was excellent. There was nothing wrong with the Cerviche but it wasn't especially memorable either. My friend had the "Verrill Farms Celery Root and Apple Soup" which he liked a lot and the Monk Fish which he thought was good but not great. We split a bottle of Pinot Noir - Hitching Post for $60-odd bucks that was not bad but not much better than that. Overall, neither one of felt like we'd rush back but neither did we feel it was a mistake to try it. Still looking for my 'backup Hamersley's" but Harvest was pretty satisfying overall.