- Matt H Jun 10, 2011 09:50 AM
Stopped by Area 4 for lunch today and enjoyed myself thoroughly.
First off the space is very nice. Very open, floor to ceiling windows overlooking the courtyard at Technology Square nice exposed ductwork also.
Started off with a Black Ice Tea and asked for some simple syrup to sweeten it. Honestly if anyone has spent any time in Florida the Tea when sweetened tastes exactly like Publix sweet tea, which is a very good thing in my book.
For my lunch entree I ordered the Clam and Bacon Pizza. Nice Chewy dough, medium sized but plump clams and extremely salty bacon. If you are not a fan of salt this may be a bit on the salty side for you, but for me I am addicted to salt so it may just be my favorite Clam Pizza I've tasted in the area.
Afterwards I picked up an Americano from the Cafe for the walk back home, very good. They have a nice assortment of in house baked goods which I did not try but looked interesting.
Service was excellent from the front of the house to my server. The staff stopped by quite often (mainly because I had my baby with me and they wanted to see her) but was not overbearing in the least bit.
Definitely look forward to trying dinner in the coming weeks, another nice addition to a blossoming neighborhood.
I had dinner last night with three others at Area Four. We tried several things on the menu. Overall I enjoyed the experience, but probably would only return if I lived nearby.
Cocktails were hit and miss.
White Boy Manhattan- this uses Bully Boy's non-aged whiskey, which is mostly remarkable because they are able to sell non-aged whiskey. But it was a nice application and a fine drink. The execution on this one was good.
(Can't remember the name of this one)- Another cocktail with red vermouth, bourbon, orange juice and grapefruit juice was oddly watery and seemed like something you'd get on a booze cruise or at a work function.
Beers- nice, smallish beer selection; I moved from cocktails to a Harpoon Czech Hop ale something-er-other that was great. I don't recall the price point, but it didn't stand out one way or the other. One thing I liked was that they had three sizes, 9oz, 16oz and something bigger..
Wine- I didn't have any of the wine, but Area Woman commented that the list was (again) nice, small, good value.
KK Bacon and Sea Salt Pretzel Nuggets- These were really yummy and would wow at a yuppy super bowl party. Each is a bit smaller than an egg, and were salty, sweet, smokey, and chewy. The pimento was solid and was great for dipping the pizza crust in later. Good portion for $8.
Maine Mussels, Smuttynose Star Island Single Ale, Roasted Tomatoes & Gremolata- Plump, perfectly cooked mussels in a thick, under-seasoned sauce. Not bad, but the dish was difficult to manage as it overflowed the wee pot provided. There are better mussels dishes in town at a better value.
Smoked Local Swordfish Pate- This was universally liked and praised. You get about 3/4 cup of a well-balanced, smoky pate that was not too oily. The taste was distinctly swordfish (I'm looking at you, Boston Globe ;) ) and the crostini played their part well (like a bass player). Good value at $6.
Muhammara, Parsley & House Made Pita- This was really nice. About 1/2 cup or so of tasty (again, a bit under-seasoned, though) somewhat broken muhammara. The pitas were really nice. Good value at $6.
Fennel Sausage & Pickled Banana Peppers - A4 Mozzarella, Pecorino & Parsley- This was my personal favorite. Unfortunately, we decided to order the small size, which I think resulted in a less-than-perfect crust:toppings ratio. The peppers were nice and spicy and the sausage flavorful and salty. The crust is chewy and flavorful, but a bit soggy under the toppings (probably a large would do better). The small is 10" with 6 slices.
Wellfleet Cherry Stone Clam & Bacon - Clam Sauce, Pecorino, Hot Pepper & Parsley- This was great, though the clams were a bit rubbery. I suspect we got 30 seconds too much time in the oven. Very salty, bacon, clam flavor. Nice sauce. Again, 10" small with 6 slices.
Local Apple & Pear Crisp for Two- Delicious, not too sweet with thick apple chunks. Generous portion for two.
Olive Oil-Chocolate Cake, Creme Fraiche, Salted Caramel Sauce, Cookie Crumble- This was fantastic. Wonderful, dense-smooth texture with a rich, chocolate flavor. Not very sweet. This is a great desert for those that far prefer savory to sweet. Small size, but it's very rich. Big hit with the whole table.
Soft Serve of the Day (Carrot Cake)- this tasted more like pumpkin pie, so much so we think we misheard the server. This was presented in a silver sundae dish (I miss you, Bailey's Ice Cream in Coolidge Corner). Pretty good, but didn't stand up to the other two deserts.
Very friendly and happy to answer questions. We didn't have any substitution requests or food allergies, so I can't comment on that.
The menu was a bit eclectic for two couples coming into town for dinner, but is great for locals looking for a variety of nibbles after work or before going out for drinks elsewhere. The use of local food sources at these price points in this location is very impressive.
500 Technology Square, Cambridge, MA 02139