In theory I like going to Cambridge. It makes me feel like I’m doing something even though I am just hoping on the Redline and going to do that same thing I would do in my own neighborhood; walking around, shop, and eat. I’ve been reading about Alden and Harlow for months since it’s heavily covered and anticipated opening and figured I’d get there when I’d get there. Depending on what else is going on in my life or how cold it is, that can sometimes mean never. And in the case of Alden and Harlow, it was. Thank goodness my motivated and energetic friend had been to this dining establishment before and really pushed for our next ladies night to take place there. She promised I’d love it.
Let me start with a brief overview of the restaurant space. It’s a fun with an open kitchen, a large bar and chefs table area, and quite a few tables. Noise isn’t an issue, but it has a bustling lively feel. The vibe is foodie/hipster with high ceilings and lots of light. We arrived at 5:30 on a Thursday and the place was pretty much packed. To make the event even more exciting and give the restaurant even more street cred, Kristen Kish was having a drink at the bar when we walked in (She sat at the chef prep area for her meal). So there you go, its has to be a good, right?
Now for the menu. It’s a weird one. Maybe you share, maybe you don’t? Maybe you haven’t heard of half the items listed? That’s okay, because your waiter is going to be enthusiastic, funny, helpful, and not even a little bit pretentious. We started with cocktails because they just looked too good to pass up on. I tend to pass on cocktails and go straight to (sparkling) wine, but these sounded both creative and delicious. My vodka drink consisted of kumquat, cinnamon, and lemon. For me, two would have been too many, but it was great way to start the meal. We also ordered a bottle of french sparkling wine the waiter recommended. It was also delicious and paired well with the many components of our meal.
So, what to eat? It’s an impossible question with a menu full of so many options and ranges. Our waiter and my friend recommended sharing several plates. Veggie options are as plentiful as hearty meat and seafood possibilities. We decided to try at least one of each but neglected to try any of the “snacks”. They also looked delicious. Our food came out of the kitchen in no particular order, sometimes two at a time. Often, I hate this, but at Alden and Harlow, I never felt rushed or stuffed or left hungry.
The food was phenomenal. Presentation was top-notch and each and every bit was the perfect bite. Flavors and textures were innovative. Although the menu was initially intimidating, I had no problem diving right into this food. Here’s what we started with.
My cocktail, The Countdown, followed by a nice french Brut.
Our first two courses were the pork tenderloin special served with strawberries and the Market Crudo. Both were exceptional and mouth-watering.
It didn’t stop here. Next up was burrata with english peas, mint and toast, and the Chicken Fried Rabbit. Mind you, I never eat rabbit, and I’m not itching order rabbit again anytime again soon, but this was good. Served with celery, apple, and blue cheese, it was scrumptious treat. The burrata was creamy and the peas provided an outstanding pop of fresh flavor.
The grilled carrots may have been my favorite. I know, boring! Perfectly grilled and served over a yogurt sauce drizzled with honey and crunchy granola, this dish was perfect. I think I would have eaten the entire plate on my own if it had been served first.
And because how could it not, the night ended with dessert. Smoked Chocolate Bread Pudding. This was another one I would never normally order. I don’t know that I’d wait in line for this again (I’m more of a cake and ice cream kind of girl), it was outstanding and there’s no getting around that.
I recommend that everyone try Alden and Harlow. Maybe you’re a food baby or you hate trying new things. I don’t really care, you will just be plain silly if you don’t check this place out. Come for a fun night with friends or on a date (it’s not super romantic). For me, going back to Alden and Harlow will kind of be the same thing as going to Cambridge. You’ve got to be in the mood. This isn’t the kind of establishment where you’ll get comfort food or eat at nightly. It’s high quality cuisine that’s fun, unique, and delicious!