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quick but nice lunch in Cambridge for New Yorker

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Meeting a friend for lunch in Cambridge on Friday and have a very limited time-frame (have to do a big drive and need to get going early). Would like something nice -- since it's about seeing a friend -- but something that could get us in and out quickly. Any ideas? Thanks!

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  1. Sandrine's, Dante, the Monday Club at Upstairs on the Square.

    1 Reply
    1. re: pollystyrene

      Sad to say that lunch @ Upstairs last week was painfully slow, though delicious. I think it is b/c they are doing RW most of the month.

    2. Where in Cambridge? If Harvard Square or over by the Science Museum, see above. If near Route 2 (Alewife), Gran Gusto.

      2 Replies
      1. re: GretchenS

        I was thinking of Gran Gusto, too, Gretchen, but I've read reports of leisurely service. Maybe that's not the case at lunch, though.

        1. re: pollystyrene

          Hmmm. Had two lunches there in past few months and didn't notice that it was slow. They're so nice that I'm sure if a guest mentioned being a bit under time pressure they would accommodate. I went with an 85-year-old friend who is TINY and they hunted up a cushion for her chair -- they are all about keeping guests happy!

      2. A lot of my business colleagues have gone to Henrietta's Table at the Charles Hotel for lunch hour meetings. They seem to like it and say service is good and not drawn out.

        1. Garden at the Cellar, Central Kitchen, Gran Gusto.

          I'm probably the one you remember commenting on Gran Gusto being leisurely. I don't think it's a limitation of their kitchen or service, I think it's their style--the style of service is slower than the US usual. I expect that they could accomodate you, maybe with a raised Neapolitan eyebrow, if you're in a hurry.

          1 Reply
          1. re: dulce de leche

            I was going to say Upstairs, and sit at the bar. Let the bartender know you have a tight schedule. Probably would be best if you are eating early. I have been so disappointed by Henrietta's Table that I think I'm done. Too bad, since that is where I first met the man who is now my husband.