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Steak Frites in Cambridge??

Rabbit Apr 3, 2009 11:50 AM

I'm craving steak frites. We're going to be staying in Cambridge tomorrow night (from Toronto) and I'm wondering whether anyone has a recommendation for a satisfying spot someplace that side of the river?

Note: I'm not looking for a steakhouse, rather someplace bistro-ish (whether French or American).

  1. Rabbit Apr 5, 2009 06:49 AM

    Thanks to everyone for the recommendations. We ended up at Central Kitchen. We had dinner at CK about two years ago, and the spot is just as charming as I remember. Atmosphere was ideal for date night, and the menu is interesting and nicely crafted.

    Great sidecar - a little orange-y-er than we make at home, but I liked CK's variation (bonus points for the sugar rim). I loved the crusty bread (where do they source that stuff) and the supersmooth bean dip. Mr. Rabbit had an octopus salad to start, with ham and chunks of potato. He raved about it, and I had a small taste of the octopus, which was very tasty. I skipped a starter because I was saving myself for the steak frites.

    Unfortunately, my main was actually the low point of meal. The portion is huge, a bit disconcertingly so, and it comes with a salad in addition to the frites. The steak is a rib-eye, and I probably should have recalled that this just isn't my favourite cut of meat. I find it too fatty and a bit icky on this count. As for the frites... they were delicious fries, but not frite-y, if you know what I mean. I recognize this debate is probably a downward spiral, but some of you will get where I'm going and why I registered slight disappoint. Again, great fries... but not what I was looking for.

    Mr. Rabbit had the lamb skewers with a tagine of couscous, fresh peas and tomatoes (I understand this is a new menu item). The couscous was the big, pearly type and the tagine had a fresh, bright taste. A great dish, and I had envy.

    Tart tatin was a respectable finish with a smooth and delicate vanilla ice cream - nicely done.

    Service was good... sometimes a bit slow, but they were very busy and the company was good so no big complaint. A pleasant experience overall and I'd definitely go back, although I'd order differently next time around.

    1. MC Slim JB Apr 3, 2009 06:58 PM

      Ten Tables does a bavette steak with pomme gratine instead of frites, a nice use of flap steak, normally seen locally in steak tips.

      Garden at the Cellar sells a ton of grilled prime skirt steak (which I love) with rosemary-truffle fries.

      Green Street does a nice sirloin, no frites, but you could get a side of fried yuca there, nearly as good, especially with spicy aioli.

      Craigie on Main does a fancy hanger steak ($36) in a frying pan with amazing accompaniments, but no frites. Maybe you could get that potato galette with it (hash browns, yes!)

      I'm surprised that Rendezvous doesn't have one on their current menu.

      http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

      1 Reply
      1. re: MC Slim JB
        y
        youngho Apr 5, 2009 04:32 PM

        Rendezvous does, including their Sunday prix fixe. It's excellent, as are the fries, which are thick (steak cut) but crispy, stacked into a little ziggurat reminiscent of the game Jenga.

      2. a
        avial Apr 3, 2009 12:43 PM

        Dante's at the Royal Sonesta has an awesome Italian version, lombatello, that I really enjoy.

        1 Reply
        1. re: avial
          w
          winecafe95 Apr 3, 2009 05:03 PM

          Gaslight is a French gastro-pub in the South End...about 3 miles from Cambridge.

        2. d
          dulce de leche Apr 3, 2009 12:26 PM

          Central Kitchen, for sure. It's one of the best things they do. The fries are especially good.

          I would also check on Garden at the Cellar to see if it's on their menu.

          1 Reply
          1. re: dulce de leche
            t
            twentyoystahs Apr 3, 2009 08:20 PM

            I think Chez Henri & Central Kitchen are both great choices; if you are looking for someplace a bit more 'trendy' and "new on the scene" I'd go for Highland Kitchen. A casual, relaxed spot with great food.

          2. LindaWhit Apr 3, 2009 12:06 PM

            Highland Kitchen in Somerville....here's my review from last month:

            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/4836...

            1. Small Plates Apr 3, 2009 11:56 AM

              Chez Henri on Mass Ave - north of Harvard Square has a decent steak frites. The bar is cool too. Also renowned for the Cubano. And the good bartending. Nice atmosphere in the bar and I am pretty sure they will let you order off the dining room menu.

              http://www.chezhenri.com/menus.php

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