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Technique, Le Cordon Bleu, Cambridge

Has anyone been to the student restaurant in the Athenaeum building? Can't seem to find much information and would appreciate an opinion or two. Thanks.

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Bleu
11 Market St, Mashpee, MA 02649

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  1. Have not been - but your link is a little south of the mark. :)

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    Technique
    215 First St, Cambridge, MA

    1 Reply
    1. re: Bob Dobalina

      I tried it 3 times, it's ok. One time Ming Tsai was there after teaching upstairs. It's pretty variable as you might expect, even with the more or less same crew of instructors around. The manager there is very nice and covers the bases well. His name is Michael.

      The dining room is huge, it's rather unusual to have not just elbow room, but basically tables that are 20 feet away from each other.

    2. I went last year and had a pretty good experience. I knew going in that with a student waitstaff, the service would be a little slow and awkward, so that helped manage my expectations. Our server dropped some utensils, had to be reminded of our drink order, and neglected to tell us that one of the entrees was no longer available until 15 minutes after we placed our order, but she gave me an extra generous pour of wine to make up for it.

      I liked the open view into the kitchen, and the dining room is very spacious. It has a loft-like, industrial feel, and the tables are set very far apart in order to fill the space. I don't think you'll get as much elbow room anywhere else in the Boston area.

      We shared a duck appetizer and had a gnocchi entree and a flat iron steak/short rib entree. The food was great, although the presentation was a little sloppy (plates weren't completely wiped clean of stray sauce, veggies not cut uniformly), but again, nothing that really took away from the meal. Dessert was disappointing, however, I had a chocolate cake with hazelnut ice cream that was very ordinary and could have come from a supermarket bake shop. Nevertheless, my boyfriend and I enjoyed our dinner and felt that it was worth a repeat visit due to the price point and overall quality of the food.

      3 Replies
      1. re: ilovedessert

        What was the price point, if you recall?

        1. re: Bob Dobalina

          $8-$10 for appetizers, $15-$18 for entrees. Menupages' version is pretty reflective of the price range, although the menu items might vary: http://boston.menupages.com/restauran...

          1. re: ilovedessert

            Thanks everyone. Have no idea where the link in my post came from!

      2. Had dinner here last month and really enjoyed it so went again last night since they said the menu was going to change. Well, the menu changed but so did the dining concept.

        The menu is now divided into 5 courses. You have the option of choosing any 3 or all 5 of the selections for one set price. And the price is low! 3 for $12, 5 for $15. That's right, five courses for $15. The portions are not huge, it's like a tasting menu, but they were fine.

        We chose 3 courses each. Two of us had salad, entree and dessert. My other friend had salad, app and entree. The salads were fine, just enough. The shrimp app had two nice sized shrimp with sauce on a toast circle. The fillet mignon was probably a 4 or 5 ounce piece served on mashed potatoes with vegetables. The cod was served in a broth with some fava beans and pearl potatoes. Probably a 5 ounce piece of fish. We also tried the apple pie. A little more like a small tart served warm with ice cream. Brioche rolls and butter to start the meal. The three courses were fine for us but a big eater would probably want all 5 and for $15 it's a steal, really.

        I should have gotten a copy of the menu. From what I remember there were two soups in the soup course, an onion and a chowder. Three salads, three or four apps, five or six entrees and four or five dessert choices.

        We made reservations, but the place was empty. We arrived at 7:00 and we were the only people in the restaurant. Two other tables were occupied the entire evening. They do prefer reservations but I'm sure they would take some walk-ins as some reservations were canceled at the last minute.

        I do recommend the place. I will go again and suggest it to others. The things I miss with the new menu is no vegetarian option (although I didn't ask if they could prepare one for me) and no more pizza, which I really enjoyed.

        It's not the best restaurant you'll eat in, but the food was perfectly fine and the idea is to support the students in the kitchen and the dining room. From what I understand, if they are working in the restaurant they are near the end of their program so they deserve a dining room that is filled with more than just three parties!

        Go, support, dine. And remember, 5 courses for $15. Seriously. Try it.

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        Technique
        215 First St, Cambridge, MA

        13 Replies
        1. re: Jpan99

          Jpan99 -- this sounds like something we'd like to try! We'll be coming to Boston in a couple of weeks. I went to the link, but could not find a menu to the restaurant. Also, what are the hours of dinner and do they serve alcohol? Are patrons allowed to bring their own wine?
          Is the student run restaurant called LeCordon Bleu or Technique?
          We'd definitely like to try it and support the students.

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          Bleu
          11 Market St, Mashpee, MA 02649

          1. re: shopgirl

            I'm glad you asked. The school is Le Cordon Bleu, the restaurant name is Technique.

            I just checked and they have a new website with menu. I was told the new menu changes were part of a decision to serve the same menu at all the Le Cordon Bleu school restaurants. Here is the website with menu and hours. Only Monday - Friday. We had a 7:00 reservation and left about 9:15 as they were cleaning up everything, we were the only ones there! Looks like 8:00 is the latest reservation time they accept. I made a reservation through Open Table and had no problems. They serve beer and wine only.

            http://www.techniquerestaurant.com/lo...

            1. re: Jpan99

              Thank you for the link and the info, Jpan99. And is the wine as reasonably priced as the dinner?

          2. re: Jpan99

            Here's a fun idea I have no time to put together myself - an end-of-the-year chowdown at Technique, when the graduating class can cook dinner "chowhound-style."

            1. re: Bob Dobalina

              Drats! I just called them and they are closed Thanksgiving week and probably the week after (it is a school, after all). Probably the same deal for Christmastime.
              I was so looking forward to it. Guess we'll have to plan our yearly trek to Boston at a different time next year!

              1. re: shopgirl

                Too bad with the bad timing. On the wine question, I don't drink wine but my friends had some, something red for $10 a glass.

                1. re: shopgirl

                  i just called and the woman said they were closed thanksgiving weekend, but would resume their regular schedule on monday, the 29th.

                  she also said she wasn't sure about the december schedule.

                2. re: Bob Dobalina

                  Yeah, who has time this time of year!

                  1. re: Jpan99

                    In case $15 for a 5 course meal was a bit steep for you, Open Table has a deal going until noon today. $25 for a $50 certificate. Bought 3 for kids I know in college in Boston. Great stocking stuffers.

                    1. re: bobbert

                      Darn. The deal ended at 9:00 this morning and I missed it!

                      That's three people eating 5 courses each (no drinks) for $25! I think that's called stealing! :-)

                      1. re: Jpan99

                        Actually it's only $22.50 for 3 people.

                        1. re: bobbert

                          Maybe Jpan99's a big tipper.
                          Either that, or embarrassed to ask for change from their $50 certificate.

              2. We finally turned in our $25 for $50 coupon last evening. As others have stated, I've had better meals in Boston, but I've certainly paid more for worse. 3 course tasting for $12 each. Wine bottle prices were all under $38, most under $30. I gave the waitress the coupon plus my credit crad, figuring I'd be paying $32 for the wine we got. She gave it back to me and said that the coupon covered everything. I wasn't about to complain, so I left a nice cash tip. The bill said $52 and change, but they charges only $50 for the meal. The wine came out on the bill as $25 as well. Not sure about how they're running all that, but at $36 ($25 groupon and $11 tip), it was certainly the cheapest three course meal plus bottle of wine, I've ever had in Boston! I would try it again, one just needs tempered expectations.

                Meals: My wife, fried frsh mozzarella/tomato salad (would have been better w/fresh mozz), Braised veal shank w/risotto, very good, best entree we tried, salted caramel pot de ccreme. tasted little of salt or caramel, more like a vanilla pot de creme.
                My meal: seared fresh tuna nicoise salad (three small pieces of seared tuna - could have been on a hotter pan to get more color in the fish, excellent warm green beans, olives, Romaine lettuce, tomato, vinegrette Filet Mignon w/fries, fries OK, filet a bit tough, and a little flat in taste (helped by salt and pepper) cooked a little under med-rare (ok by me). Nice mushroom based suace, and zucchini. My dessert was a very nice apple/pear crisp with vanilla ice cream, and we had two excellent (really excellent) cups of coffee. No bad at all for the price, which even if w paid full price would have been $65 with tip.

                1 Reply
                1. re: kimfair1

                  I went to the Cordon Bleu Website for the Boston (Cambridge) school and found the restaurant. It was very difficult to find a reservation! Can they possibly be that busy, given that someone posted here that the place was practically empty when they dined there? I finally got a reservation mid-December.

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                  Bleu
                  11 Market St, Mashpee, MA 02649