Sunday, September 28, 2014

Alden and Harlow (Cambridge, MA)

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
My favorite dish from that night: Oil cured tuna belly, buttermilk creamed corn, lemon, cherry tomato ($17)
Alden Harlow

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)
A great clam dish, albeit a little salty.

Whey braised veal breast, sweetbread, eggplant, black eyed pea vinaigrette ($19)
Alden Harlow

For dessert: Smoked chocolate bread pudding, Jacobsen salt ice cream ($9)
I had high expectation for this dessert, being a bread pudding lover .. And it was even better than I expected! Possibly one of the desserts I've had in Boston, the bread pudding is warm, rich, super moist. The chocolate is strong with a hint of smokiness. I was initially wary of the salt ice cream but it worked outstandingly well.

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)
Alden Harlow

Followed by: Sweet corn gnocchi, zucchini and blossom ragout, serrano crumbs ($17)
Alden Harlow
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)
Alden Harlow
Ok, so I probably wouldn't have ordered this if the server didn't tell us this was his favorite, but it turned out to be my favorite from this night's visit. The silkiness of the shaved pork combined with the strong tuna flavor was addictive.

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
(617) 864-2100
Alden & Harlow on Urbanspoon


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