Garden At the Cellar (update)

I first reviewed this restaurant back in 2007 soon after it had opened. It has now been two years and I still think the food is just as incredible. Bryan and I probably come to this restaurant at least once a month, if not more. The only reason we don’t go more often is that the small “gastropub” fills up quickly – often the wait is longer than 40 minutes on weekends.

The prices are great, the ambiance is relaxed, and the food . .the FOOD!

Here are some pictures for your pleasure. :)

Spring Dug Parsnip Soup, black truffle and thyme $9
I really like this soup – I’ve ordered it at least twice since it has appeared on the menu

Hand Rolled Ricotta Gnocchi braised rabbit, parsnips, mint, English peas $20
Bryan really like to order this dish. The texture of the gnocchi is good, and the flavors work really well together.

Rosemary-Truffle Fries $5
You absolutely have to order this if you come here. This is my all time favorite item on the menu. It tastes *especially* good if you order it as a separate side because it’s SUPER fresh when they bring it out – really hot and crispy! It’s still good when it’s part of the steak frites entree, but sometimes I think those fries sit for a while longer (maybe waiting for all the dishes at the table to be cooked) and therefore they aren’t quite as hot when you get them.

Order the side dish ($5) and you’ll enjoy the friers at the peak of their freshness in all their truffled glory! YUM . . . .

oh . .and I totally skip the ketchup when eating these. How could you pollute the elegant marriage of truffle oil, rosemary with ketchup????Other dishes that we often get are:

Steak Frites – grilled Prime skirt steak, garlic spinach, parsnip purée, rosemary-truffle fries.
Bryan likes to order this rare, and they cook it perfectly. The spinach is flavorful, the parsnip puree is sweet and fragrant, and the fries .. THE FRIES! They are still really tasty!

Grilled Flatbread
I think all of their grilled flatbreads are really good. I like to order them if I want something a bit lighter that will reheat well if I want to take it home. The crusts are thin and crispy, and the topping are fresh and unique.

On tiny side note amidst this glowing review – I did order the Free Range Chicken with asparagus, bacon braised pea greens, celery root purée and was disappointed.

It was really the first time I was ever disappointed there. The chicken was fine – well crisped skin with moist meat. The problem was the pea greens. I guess I’m used to pea shoots since I often eat them in Chinese restaurants. Pea shoots are really tender and are one of my favorite vegetables.

These pea greens were really tough! It felt like I was eating weeds. I had to spit out about half the fiber from the vegetables because I could not swallow it. I also found the celery root puree to be only OK, especially compared to his parsnip puree (which comes with the steak frites – an excellent dish, btw – and is absolutely delicious).

Anyway, please don’t let that stop you from coming to this restaurant. Truly, we still love it and go all the time – just don’t order the pea greens unless you want to chew all night.

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  1. says

    Love your reviews! I have also been to Garden on the Cellar many times and agree with everything you say. The tomato soup/grilled cheese combo is fantastic as well as the homemade “tater tots” – if only I still lived in Cambridge!

  2. says

    My sister and I just got back from visiting my daughter in Cambridge. It was my first trip to Boston. The Garden at the Cellar is just 2 short blocks from her apartment; I remembered your review so we tried it on our first night. Fantastic! We shared some small plates including the Bacon Wrapped Dates, Crispy Lobster Tempura, Char Grilled Baby Octopus, Seared Scallops, and, of course, the Rosemary-Truffle Fries. Fantastic!! Thanks so much for your review.

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