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Keeping up with Kendall Sq

beforesunrise Dec 27, 2011 11:57 AM

I have gotten waaaay behind on the new restaurants in Kendall Sq (and I work near there too!). I need to "catch up" and get to:
- Area Four
- Catalyst
- Fuji
- Kiki Tapas
- Firebrand Saints

Are there any of these you'd get to before others? Any to pass on entirely? Thanks!

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  1. hiddenboston RE: beforesunrise Dec 27, 2011 01:21 PM

    Area Four is outstanding--I'd say it's probably my favorite new restaurant in the Boston area.

    2 Replies
    1. re: hiddenboston
      teezeetoo RE: hiddenboston Dec 27, 2011 01:42 PM

      I'd say you should add Abigail's which is my current favorite of the Kendall Square locals.

      1. re: teezeetoo
        beforesunrise RE: teezeetoo Dec 27, 2011 02:15 PM

        Thanks Teezeetoo. I've made it to Abigail's (and Meadhall too, for completeness) and then disappeared in deadlines while the others opened. I liked Abigail's for lunch but then went back at night and it was totally dead. Totally surprised me.

    2. m
      mvi RE: beforesunrise Dec 27, 2011 04:46 PM

      My first experience at Abigail's was good. The second, not so much. I was very disappointed with both the food and the service. Fuji is still pretty new and finding its way. I have only been once and liked it but happened to be there on opening night so it was all a bit edgy. They are very friendly and it is just great to have sushi in this neighborhood. I loved Area Four, too, but have only had a drink at the bar, no food. I have not been to the others yet. I poked my nose into Firebrand Saints one evening and it was totally jammed. Let us know where you go and what you discover. I am so glad that there are so many new places in the area and look forward to spending lots of time in all of them.

      3 Replies
      1. re: mvi
        kobuta RE: mvi Dec 27, 2011 07:12 PM

        I was at Abigail's for lunch last week (my first trip) and enjoyed both the food and the service. My friend and I both indulged in an order of the gouda fries that were delicious (though I was a bit confused with the chicken "gravy" that was more like chicken fat/broth). I also had their oxtail pot pie. Tasty but so rich -- definitely can't have more than an appetizer size.

        We also stopped by Kika the day before for lunch and wrote a quick report on a different thread. If I were to compare the two, I favor the food at Abigail's more. Kika definitely warrants a 2nd try, but the first round of food didn't exactly wow me.

        I've only had Fuji for takeout, but the bento box I got was solid. Definitely interested in going back for the full sit-down experience.

        1. re: kobuta
          Swankalicious RE: kobuta Dec 27, 2011 07:54 PM

          Area Four is quite tasty, though the atmosphere is more coffee shop than dinner destination. The pretzel nuggets with pimiento cheese are quite tasty. I'd visit for lunch, though, not dinner.

          1. re: Swankalicious
            Sugar RE: Swankalicious Dec 29, 2011 10:49 AM

            Did you eat on the restaurant side of Area Four? I can't see what about the dining room you would have thought was like a coffee shop.

      2. c
        cpingenot RE: beforesunrise Dec 28, 2011 07:51 AM

        I'm a big fan of Area Four- have really enjoyed everything I've had there.
        I had a very "meh" experience in the dining room at Catalyst, but have heard better things about the bar feeling less sterile, and being less pretentious.

        1. libertywharf RE: beforesunrise Dec 29, 2011 06:11 PM

          The Friendly Toast
          One Kendall Square

          1. u
            umeditor RE: beforesunrise Jan 5, 2012 08:38 AM

            In the minutes from the most resent East Cambridge Planning Team's meeting, there's some tantalizing information about a new restaurant coming to Kendall"

            "New restaurant: Alexis and Mack, co-owners/chef will be opening a moderate-priced
            French restaurant in the long-vacant Pompanoosuc Mills store in Kendall Square. They
            anticipate about six months to complete renovations, get all permits and inspections, and

            Google indicates that the Pompanoosuc Mills space is in the One Kendall Square complex. Anyone know anything else?

            8 Replies
            1. re: umeditor
              mkfisher RE: umeditor Jan 5, 2012 08:53 AM

              I'm assuming that's the empty corner space (across the courtyard from Tommy Doyle's) that's had a for lease sign in it for quite some time. I've been hoping someone opened a Central Bottle like wine shop in that spot, but I'd take anything at this point.

              1. re: mkfisher
                Madrid RE: mkfisher Jan 5, 2012 12:01 PM

                I'm probably the only person who remembers that there used to be a Daily Catch there....or on the other end of the building,long before Kendall had anywhere else to eat beyond the Legal there.

                People who know...do you think Kendall can support such a large expansion? I haven't tried any of the new places, but I'd had to see EVOO for example go under. I am sure the Legal there will become much less popular for the MIT and biotech crowds.

                1. re: Madrid
                  Jenny Ondioline RE: Madrid Jan 5, 2012 12:18 PM

                  My friends who work in Kendall Square -- not just MIT or biotech, remember that Google, ITA and other big firms are in the neighborhood as well -- have long complained about the lack of lunch and dinner options, so I'm thinking the more the merrier, at least until they hit market saturation.

                  1. re: Jenny Ondioline
                    emannths RE: Jenny Ondioline Jan 5, 2012 12:33 PM

                    The challenge will be *keeping* people there for dinner, especially for something more than a I'm-working-late-and-I'm-starving meal. There's still not a ton of residential space in the area, and I feel like the wide streets and office buildings don't lend themselves to a convivial nighttime atmosphere like other nearby neighborhoods.

                    I hope it works. There are some very good places there, and making the Main St area between Mass Ave and Kendall more vibrant will be great for Cambridge.

                    1. re: emannths
                      Jenny Ondioline RE: emannths Jan 5, 2012 01:02 PM

                      We're certainly not the only ones always looking for a bite either before or after a film at the Kendall, which is one of the busiest movie theaters in town, though. I get what you're saying, but I think the market is there.

                      1. re: emannths
                        jgg13 RE: emannths Jan 5, 2012 01:56 PM

                        I live on the harvard end of central and it's just a short walk over to a lot of these places (20-25 mins). Also, there's all of the new residential buildings on 3rd street not to mention all of the gut jobs throughout east cambridge & area iv bringing in people.

                        1. re: jgg13
                          Madrid RE: jgg13 Jan 5, 2012 02:02 PM

                          I really hope this works out. Kendall 25 years ago was a scary wasteland at night. This is one of the major urban renewal areas of Greater Boston that perhpas doesn't get mentioned as much as others. People living there...especially those who want to live in East Cambridge and Kendall...want to eat well and fun. Central had obvious ladies of the night around 25 years ago as well. None of this is as dramatic as the changes where the strip clubs in Boston used to be....but maybe they are, in their own way.

                          1. re: Madrid
                            jgg13 RE: Madrid Jan 5, 2012 02:16 PM

                            Kendall is like fort point and 3D movies where one constantly hears that it's "up and coming" and every push seems to fail. I was skeptical for a long time on this current push in Kendall but I'm starting to buy into it now.

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