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Mar 25, 2014 06:20 AM

Don't see much about The Blue Room in Cambridge Lately?

Any recent dinner experiences to share?

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  1. We were huge long-time fans and regulars. When Jorge and Reggie left (at about the same time)... the bar service went down hill, and the food changed course - unfortunately, it did not stand up to Jorge's flavorful creations. I hear Jorge's replacement has since left. But I wouldn't know this first hand - because after several post-Jorge disappointments, we gave up on our formerly beloved Blue Room. Very sad. :(

    3 Replies
    1. re: Small Plates

      There was definitely a good run at the bar after that. They brought in Cali Gold (between her time at Drink and Spoke) to fix up the program. After she departed, Matt Schrage (No. 9 Park, now Brick & Mortar) made great strides and trained his successor Chris Danforth (Eastern Standard, now West Bridge). Lost track of the program after Chris left and would visit Belly instead if I was in the area.

      I have seen Fanny Katz (usually works/manages at Belly) doing a few shifts at Blue Room -- info gathered by the OnTheBar app.

      1. re: Small Plates

        I used to love the Blue Room but admit I have not eaten there in several years. Where did Reggie go? He is one of the best bartenders ever and was a fixture there for years.

        1. re: JudyHP

          I was a big fan, too. I believe he finally retired. He's 73 or 74 now.

      2. we gave up on blue room long ago. the other options in that area- don't appeal to you?

        1 Reply
        1. re: opinionatedchef

          Just checking in on a once popular and successful restaurant that seems to have all but disappeared from the Boston foodie ovuere.

        2. Had anyone else experienced an owner with a certain air of arrogance? Made me want to bring my schillings elsewhere.

          1. We really enjoyed the pork belly appetizer and branzino entree on our last two visits there. The pork belly must be roasted slowly like at Momofuku, with the fried yucca cake providing a little crunch, the sambal a little heat, and the ginger a little zing. The grilled scallions were perhaps superfluous. We thought the branzino was one of the best fish dishes we'd had in years, beautifully balanced with the cubanelles adding a touch of welcome capsaicin. The one minor quibble was that the first visit had a larger piece of fish, the second occurring during Dine Out Boston weeks.
            The rabbit tagliatelle on the first visit was delicious, but I found the fresh pasta itself to be a little gelatinous in texture, though I also had the same issue with a tagliatelle special at Puritan & Co, so perhaps the issue is with me, rather than the pasta itself. My hanger steak on the first visit was a little rare for my tastes, the lamb shoulder on the second was spot-on.

            I see that there have been a number of chefs who've come through Blue Room over the years (, so it's not surprising that experiences there have been varied over the years. I think the current exec chef Andrew Bonner was a sous chef for Jorge Lopes for a number of years before the last exec chef, who seemed to have some ambitions about taking Blue Room in a different direction than previously. I felt like the lamb shoulder was totally something I would have eaten in the Lopes years.

            Business has seemed to be good at our visits there, even though we have tended to eat on the earlier side since our first and now second children were born (we once waited more than hour at Strip-T's with our daughter, who was less than two at the time, but we try to plan around issues like that now). We do find that there seem to be more restaurants in the area that are interesting than there used to seem to be.

            We think the owners are lovely. We also really like Steve Johnson, incidentally.

            1 Reply
            1. re: youngho

              Steve Johnson sold it y-e-a-r-s ago to Liz Vilardi and husband Nick Zappia. Oops - sorry just reread your sentence. My bad.

            2. I had a really poor experience there a few months ago, after being a longtime fan. The two lowlights: service that didn't seem to understand, "No, we're not in a rush to make a movie," (seriously, it was like eating at a diner) and two $11 side salads that contained nothing but tough and some rotting lettuce. It was a very expensive meal and felt mediocre at best.