Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Greater Boston Area >
Nov 4, 2009 04:15 AM

Looking for a nice bar with cured meat/cheese options in Cambridge

I'm looking for a place like Tria in Philly or Bin 71 in New York... ideally in Cambridge. Does it exist?

I recently moved here from Austin, TX and my husband and I used to have a standing weeknight date at a wine bar with fantastic artisanal cured meat and cheese options. The bill for 2-3 meats and 2-3 cheeses and a bowl of olives was usually less than $40 [we always got brooklyn lager on tap]. I'm sure with all the great cheeses coming out of this area, someone must serve it with alcohol somewhere.

Maybe it's a matter of lingo, but I've sought out every place in Cambridge that serves charcuterie (Craigie, Garden at the Cellar, a disaster at CBC) and it's always a collection of terrines and pates. Should I be looking for specifically Italian places with antipasto? I'd like to be able to pick which types, but I'd settle for a well-executed composed plate.

It can be a restaurant bar or a bar-bar, as long as it has a good vibe. I'm thinking of trying Green Street or Blue Room next... but I'd love some guidance.

Blue Room
1 Kendall Sq Ste B2001, Cambridge, MA 02139

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Harvest comes to mind, but their charcuterie is always on the menu. I'd give them a call to see if they have it.

    1. We always order the wonderful antipasti at the BR w/it's cured meats, roasted veggies, crispy grilled flatbread easily feeding 2, along w/whatever other eclectic apps that catch our fancy at the bar w/a big plus if Reggie's bartending & making his magic.

      4 Replies
      1. re: Taralli

        To Taralli: I assume that the BR refers to the Blue Room (Kendall Square). (The OP may not have known that---better not to abbreviate.) Another option, not in Cambridge, is the Butcher Shop (Boston, South End), which has a good selection of salumi and cheeses. Does anyone know if the bar at Rendezvous (Cambridge) have a salumi and cheese plate? That would be a nice place to try. I'm also guessing that if you asked for a salumi plate at Craigie they might be able to put some good stuff together for you. Just don't call it charcuterie.

        Blue Room
        1 Kendall Sq Ste B2001, Cambridge, MA 02139

        1. re: bella_sarda

          Rendezvous has a charcuterie plate (it included chicken liver pate, mortadella, and speck the last time I was there) and a separate cheese offering. For the cheese you choose one, two or three types.

          1. re: bella_sarda

            Bella, OP specifically referred to BR in their last line, so figured they'd get it, but thanks in case not: "I'm thinking of trying Green Street or Blue Room next... but I'd love some guidance."

            Blue Room
            1 Kendall Sq Ste B2001, Cambridge, MA 02139

            1. re: Taralli

              Oh, duh, I didn't see that. Sorry! Abbreviation is one of my PP's (pet peeves, ha ha) so I jump on it a bit.

        2. cured meats are more often referred to as salumi. not cambridge, but bin 26 has very nice selections of both cheeses and meats with a quirky reasonable wine list.

          beware antipasto plates which may just mean salami and hard cheese and roasted peppers.

          2 Replies
          1. re: hotoynoodle

            Bin 26 was my first thought as well- though not in Cambridge. Probably no Brooklyn lager there either ;-) but they do a great job on cheeses

            1. re: fmcoxe6188

              3rd Bin 26 as my first thought. Not Cambridge, but depending where you are, maybe not a bad walk either.

          2. Nothing really fits this bill in Cambridge or Boston unfortunately. Recently back from Italy and dreaming of bagging the current business and opening one up though. Bin 26 in Beacon Hill comes closest, and the food is pretty good, the atmosphere doesn't hit the mark for me though.

            1. Craigie on Main has great charcuterie, it varies over time though so if you are looking for something in patrticular worth calling them to see what's on. Less focus on the "cured" meats I think and more on terrines and pates. nice cheese too of course. And then there are those pig tails!

              Craigie on Main
              853 Main Street, Cambridge, MA 02139

              1 Reply
              1. re: Zatan

                let's be more clear on nomenclature: the french do charcuterie, which are meats processed mostly as terrines and pat├ęs to preserve their shelf-life.

                the italians do a dizzying array of cured meats, which is salumi, and the spanish do some ambrosial cured pork products too. the germans, alsatians, and belgians have a way with sausages and forced meats also.

                sel de la terre does a charcuterie plate, but i've been disappointed it with it, however their cheese selections can be killer.

                eastern standard also great on charcuterie and coppa, not yet open, should also rock the salumi.