>> Wednesday, December 28, 2011
Have you been to Kendall Square lately?
Within 2 years it’s transformed from being an office-building heavy tech area that was dead at night, to one of the hottest spots for new restaurants! Being a Cantabrigian who went to MIT and used to work at One Kendall Square, I’m thrilled at these new developments.
Abigail’s is one of several new restaurants that has opened in Tech Square this past year. Abigail’s aims to serve familiar, American fare with a slight upscale twist - "blue collar bistro" as they like to call themselves.
Sweet Corn Bisque – jalapeño corn salsa, bacon crème fraiche (cup 4, bowl 7)
Abigail's is the culmination of a lifelong dream for couple James Ludwig and Sarah Murnane, who named the restaurant after their daughter Abigail. It hasn't been easy getting here. James (only 36 years old!) suffered an aortic dissection last year and was immediately rushed to MGH for open heart surgery, which left him paralyzed from the chest down. Soon afterward, his family moved to a wheelchair accessible building right next to the restaurant.
Despite all these pitfalls, the couple did not let this get in the way of their dream.
Gouda Fries – chicken gravy, bacon 9
The restaurant opened in August 2011 and so far things have been going strong. Even though James does not cook in the kitchen, he is very involved in planning the menus, executed by chef de cuisine Jason Lord (also from East Coast Grill).
During our first visit, we were immediately intrigued by the interesting appetizers. The gouda fries (topped with chicken gravy and bacon!) were a playful interpretation of Canada's classic poutine, and were very good. The sweet corn bisque sounded promising, but disappointed slightly with its watery consistency.
Three Grain Salad - light carrot sauce, medley of farm vegetables, greens 17
I like the fact that several of the entrees seemed geared towards those who care about eating healthy. I ordered a three grain salad that came chock full of kale and other grilled vegetables. It was nice - not amazing - but reasonably enjoyable, and definitely healthy!
Yellowfin Tuna – sweet corn sauce, heirloom tomato panzanella salad, fresh basil oil 25
Bryan liked his grilled tuna dish, especially the tasty sweet corn sauce.
Sweet Ricotta Pie – dark chocolate ganache, toasted hazelnuts 7
Dessert was fine. Nothing to write home about, but it was a interesting offering (something I've only seen in the North End) that was pretty enjoyable.
I think Abigail’s is a great addition to the neighborhood. If I lived close by, I could definitely see it becoming a convenient, local restaurant that I would visit for casual dinners. For seafood lovers, they have a raw bar with oysters, clams, crab claws, and more. The menu has several sandwich options, a few burgers, and a solid offering of dinner entrees.
The food's still not as good as places like Bergamot, Bondir, Craigie on Main, or Ten Tables, and I probably wouldn't call it a destination restaurant at this point. However, it’s still reasonably enjoyable, and I think it fits in quite comfortably amongst its new neighbors, such as Area 4, Mead Hall, and Catalyst (posts for many of these coming soon!).
I'm really excited to see how Kendall Square develops in the next couple of years!
291 3rd St
Cambridge, MA 02142