As a child I lived in France for two years, although I didn’t have cocktail hour then, I understood the habits of dining à la Française. In France, at the time, we had two hours for lunch at school. Most children went home to have their main meal of the day then with their family. After school, children would have their goûter, which was often candy from the Tabac (the corner store that sold it’s namesake: tobacco, stationery and lots of candy), or a piece of baguette with a square of chocolate. Later, dinner would be served and it was most often what we would consider a light snack.
Especially in the summer, I find if I eat a good breakfast and sit down to a complete lunch, dinner isn’t really necessary. That’s when you can really enjoy a cocktail and a small bite and call it dinner. You enjoy the evening, chat with friends, have a few nibbles and go to bed feeling good and not weighed down with a heavy meal in your belly, but rather a few fabulous flavours just dancing on your tongue.
Catalyst in Cambridge, has the ideal way for you to take this wonderful habit for a test drive. So first, make sure you eat a good breakfast. There is no need to go crazy. A coffee, tea, smoothie, and a small bite to eat will do. Then, take a friend, a few colleagues, and go eat a good lunch. Take your time with lunch, eat well, eat slowly experience it as the meal it should be. Working lunch, power lunch, lunch break are all unacceptible alternatives to a proper lunch. Then, later in the evening when you feel a bit peckish, grab a few friends 3 or 5 or 7 is a great number. Head to the patio at Catalyst and you can enjoy punch with friends and a few bites from the perfect summer patio menu. The punch is served in vintage punch bowls and transports you to a time when things seemed simpler and the pace was slower. Chef Kovel’s food is the perfect food for a “small bites” dinner because the layering of his flavours is impeccable and the flavours are bold, textures are correct, and if you choose well you can pair it all nicely with the punch du jour. The punch serves 4, 6 or 8 people. It is available on the patio only and is offered with the chalkboard specials. It really is the perfect way to dine this summer.
Of course, if you perfer to dine in the American way you can definitely come for lunch for your light bite or come for dinner and order off the regular menu as well.
Catalyst is located at 300 Technology Square in Cambridge.