Kendall Square has had many upgrades when it comes to dining out. The days of long lines waiting for a bowl of chili or a simple sandwich are over. Now the time you spend on lunch is deciding where to go. Even the coffee options are endless. Do you grab a latté and a chocolate rose at Tatte? Do you pick up a coffee and baguette at Commonwealth Cambridge? Do you stop in to Area Four for a scone and an iced Americano? Do you pop into Ames Street Deli for a scrambled egg donut and a cappuccino?
Two of the newest tables in town can be found at Study and the Ames St. Deli. Study is anything but a dark room with worn velour reading chairs and shelves of books. It is a spot that rests somewhere between a chic, hip NYC restaurant and a natural, earthy, yet totally modern Michelin-starred restaurant in Europe.
Dining at Study tastes like a walk in the woods in Chanel pumps. There is a beauty and refinement to the food, but it also a taste of the world around you. Maybe not the world at your feet right in Kendall Square, but out in the woods and the farmland just beyond town.
If you are looking for something different this year for special occasions and gatherings, Study has a great private loft space upstairs for small to medium sized parties, cocktail classes and more. As for dinner, Study is a great option for a food lovers’ crowd. The menu is divided into three sections: small plates, large plates for sharing and a middle column of medium sized dishes. The menu is small but with enough in each category to allow for some choice. The dishes are inventive and carefully created so the diner recognizes that each item is well thought out and resulting taste exceptional. Study has a more simple lunch menu with slightly more affordable prices whereas dinner is a bit of a splurge.
Dinner’s small plates include dishes like a lions mane mushroom with kale and jalapeño or an oyster with foie gras and mango. The menu includes delights such as sunchokes with onion, yolk and lemon or a bone marrow, beef cheek, and garlic concoction. The dishes are a bit like works of art. You can’t quite describe them, there will be colours (ingredients) you recognize and others you’ve never quite seen before, but when you take it all in together the results are stunning. Plates to share include an oxtail with blue cheese and greengage plums, a pork shank with red cabbage and pear or fluke with oyster, corn and delicata squash.
Ames St. Deli
A deli has a counter and sandwiches and Ames St. Deli has a counter and sandwiches, but that’s about all they have in common. Ames St. Deli is a wondrous version of a deli that serves three fabulous meals a day with unique takes on just about everything from donuts and eggs to rye bread and nori wheat bread.
Let’s begin with breakfast. Breakfast at Ames St. Deli is popular with the grab and go crowd (coffee and pastries fly out the door in the morning), but if you can leave the house a little early and sit for a while before heading out to work I highly recommend it. Sitting at the high top overlooking the pasty counter is a wonderful way to start the day. Order a beverage of your choice and definitely try the scrambled egg donut which is like a custard filled sugar-glittered delicacy.
I have to admit that I haven’t been in for lunch yet, but I have it at the top of my “to do” list for this month. The problem is I can’t quite decide what to try because I want it all. The solution is that I will gather a few good friends to join me for lunch so we can share many things. The list of breads that the sandwiches are made on alone have me staring at the clock counting the minutes until lunch time! There is a caraway rye (every deli needs a rye) but then it gets a little more interesting with a mustard bread and a nori wheat bread… and that’s just the bread! Lunch is served from 11:00-5:00 p.m. and a full menu can be ogled here.
Now on to dinner at Ames St. Deli. At breakfast, there is a high top full of pastries and sweets. At lunch, you get condiment flavoured breads. At dinner, you get the cocktail matrix. Ames Street Deli’s cocktail matrix is brilliant. The x axis is: vodka, juniper, sugar, whiskey, fruit, agave. The y axis goes from refreshing to weird and wonderful. All the cocktails can be found on the matrix aside from the beers, wine, sodas, and mocktails (although they could definitely fit in the weird and wonderful section).
Dinner at Ames Street Deli is Ames Street/Study style bar food, which as you can probably tell from the other meals mentioned above are not your average bar snacks. There is a sensible and tasty an eggplant dip or smoked char rillettes. Or, perhaps you’ve got a hankering for fried cheese curds and poutine after exploring all the dimensions of that cocktail matrix.
So, three meals a day at the Ames Street Deli or lunch and dinner at Study is anything but square. Whether you resolved to study more this year or eat better food, both of these resolutions can be taken care of at 73 Ames Street in Kendall Square, Cambridge.