As a UCLA and Caltech alum, I'm jealous of the Harvard students. They have so many great restaurants right outside of their campus! One of the hottest restaurants right now is Alden & Harlow, named one of Bon Appetit's Best New Restaurants in America.
This restaurant under a movie theatre looks deceptively small from the outside and when you first walk in, but it actually has a large dining area in the back.
Menus are divided between snacks that are $8 each, including Pistachio crusted halloumi cheese, roasted cherry tomatoes, warm bread
Pickled green beans are served at every table to start
A must order, the tuna belly had a strong flavor and melts like butter. If a whole plate of fatty tuna belly and creamed corn sounds too rich, rest assured that the fresh cherry tomatoes are a good counter.
Pat Woodbury's clams, smoked pig's tail, parsley, chili toast ($16)
Whey braised veal breast, sweetbread, eggplant, black eyed pea vinaigrette ($19)
For dessert: Smoked chocolate bread pudding, Jacobsen salt ice cream ($9)
They have a great cocktail selection, including some draft cocktails and house made bitters. I tried the "Alpine-style" house bitters made with madeira and a blend of herbs, barks, and spices.
That wasn't my only visit to Alden and Harlow. One of the items people keep talking about is their Secret Burger, made with 8 oz Creekstone grind on housemade roll ($15)
The patty and bun were outstanding. They don't list the other ingredients, which all only listed under "your faith". What I managed to identify were lettuce, pickle, and a crisp of baked cheddar that adds a nice crunchiness!
I wanted to try one of the more unusual cocktails using local ingredients: Amazing Grace (Fighting Cock bourbon, poblano, local corn puree, Vermont maple liqueur, lemon, $12)
It was a great, well balanced cocktail, though I had hoped the corn flavor would come out more strongly. I do love my corn.
My third visit started with another snack: Charred broccoli, squash hummus, bianco sardo, cashew crumble ($8)
Followed by: Sweet corn gnocchi, zucchini and blossom ragout, serrano crumbs ($17)
Did I mention I love corn? Just in time nearing the end of summer, I loved the pillowy gnocchi combined with the sweetness of corn.
Chilled and shaved pork loin, tuna conserva aioli, herb grilled potatoes ($13)
There are still more dishes people rave about at Alden and Harlow, like the chicken fried rabbit, and my three visits to Alden and Harlow were consistently good. It is so far certainly one of the top restaurants I've tried in Boston.
Alden & Harlow
40 Brattle St
Cambridge, MA 02138