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Alden and Harlow
Alden and Harlow

Alden and Harlow Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.aldenharlow.com
  • Phone: (617) 864-2100
  • Hours of Operation: Sunday - Wednesday: 5:00pm - 1:00am, Thursday - Saturday: 5:00pm - 2:00am
  • Payment Options: AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
  • Cuisine: American, Gastro Pub, Tapas / Small Plates
  • Executive Chef: Michael Scelfo
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Chef's Table, Counter Seating, Farm to Table, Full Bar, Late Night, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine, Wine Bar

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Mt Auburn Street
  • Public Transit: Alden and Harlow is accessible via the Harvard Square MBTA Red Line T stop, located just one block away at 40 Brattle Street, between Eastern Mountain Sports and the Cambridge Center for Adult Education.
  • Parking: Street Parking
  • Parking Details: University Place Garage at 124 Mt. Auburn St offers a discounted rate with validation.
A word from Alden and Harlow
Located at 40 Brattle Street in Harvard Square, Alden & Harlow serves thoughtfully sourced, honest American food in a subterranean, modern and comfortable space. Replicating the style of cooking he does for family and friends in his home kitchen, Chef Michael Scelfo prepares humble, unpretentious food that honors tradition of place in its quality. It's how he connects with anyone who joins them at their table.

While reservations are strongly suggested, we also save a portion of the dining room and bar for walk-ins in the event that your request cannot be accommodated, so, please, come on in!

Parties of 8 or more, please call to make a reservation.
Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerAmerican
  • Diners' Choice WinnerFit for Foodies
  • Diners' Choice WinnerHot Spot
Diner Reviews
  • "This was my second time here, and the drinks and the food were quite good. However, the service, which was so-so the first time was downright poor this time. Start with the fact that dishes 'come as the kitchen prepares them'. Sure this is part of the concept (easier for the kitchen, worse for the diners), but we had one dish that never came and one dish that came so late as to be irrelevant by that point. The server poured the wrong type of water not once but 3 times in a row. It took a long time to get drinks. Wine didn't come with the dish it was ordered for and I had to ask the waiter to bring it while the dish was getting cold. It's a shame that such good food is getting ruined by poor service that can be fixed with better training"
    Dined on 8/19/2014
  • "Food is inventive but unpretentious, my favorite combo. Good vibe. I am totally not over the small plates phenomenon and this restaurant is part of the reason why."
    Dined on 8/17/2014
  • "We expected so much more and we could tell that there were some good ideas that were just not well executed. Sloppy presentations, overlooked prawns, and kind but inconsistent service made for a forgettable evening. The cocktail - with lemon, gun, seltzer and zucchini - was fantastic, but when your cocktail is the best and only really great part of the meal, disappointment is the result."
    Dined on 8/16/2014
  • "I have been anticipating coming here since I heard Chef Scelfo left Russell House Tavern. WOW! It was a wonderful night."
    Dined on 8/13/2014
  • "Creative, imaginative, tasty dishes. Excellent service. Beautiful space."
    Dined on 8/10/2014
  • "Alden and Harlow was accommodating, our waitress was kind and provided good recommendations, and the food and drinks were really delicious! The gnocchi, charred broccoli, fried green tomatoes, and carbonara were outstanding! The only thing we were bummed about was the "secret burger"; this is our 2nd time at A&H and both times they have been out of it by the time we get to dinner."
    Dined on 8/9/2014
  • "We returned after a very successful 1st dinner (dinner for 4) in early spring when we were happy with 8 dishes but were very disappointed this Sat (dinner for 3) with 3 of 4 dishes not very good. Bluefish was the only one we all liked with ample portion to share and well grilled -- halloumi was rubbery and had little flavor; shrimp was a ridiculous small plate of only 2 small shrimp for $16 and kind of mushy; rabbit was dry and looked like a rabbit fish cake. The unusual ingredients are interesting but it is wise to make sure the combinations really are proven before putting them on a menu that is geared to sharing. We are hoping this was just a bad night and will try again but will recommend with caution."
    Dined on 8/9/2014
  • "After receiving unbelievable reviews from friends, we tried Alden and Harlow in Harvard Square. It was surprisingly crowded for a Tuesday. The atmosphere was wonderful for either a date or group. The menu consists of a wide range of small plates (high level theme of locally grown / farm to table)... the lamb and serrano ham were memorable. With such an eclectic menu, we'll have to go back to try all the dishes that we didn't get to try."
    Dined on 8/7/2014
  • "This was our 2nd time there, not sure we will go back. They go with the "tapas" dining idea, even so the prices are a bit high, and the portions a bit small. They also are not very accommodating if you don't prefer one of the sides, they don't substitute very easily. It has a great bar scene, but not sure I would go back for dinner."
    Dined on 8/7/2014
  • "Boy, do I feel lucky that this amazing restaurant opened up in Harvard Square. We have been many times and it has quickly become one of our favorites. Love the shared plates concept, the rich and layered flavors of each dish, the sheer joyful creativity of the food, and the many dishes that focus on vegetables and fish. Love the meat dishes as well, but the menu has variety and our main problem each time is trying to eat as many as possible because each dish is unique and memorable. Desserts are the weak point; love the bread pudding but friends have not liked the smoky flavor, so we often saunter to Burdick's for a chocolate afterward. But it's a minor quibble for a wonderful dining experience. Oh and the staff is always wonderful!"
    Dined on 8/6/2014
  • "despite being downstairs, the restaurant has a nice ambience - especially if you snag a table in the seating area under the long skylight (of sorts). food was solid and interesting, but some of it absurdly priced (even for cambridge). the concept is small/medium plates to share. some of the plates are decent in size (e.g. the burger, though we didn't order it). upon the waiter's recommendation, however, we did order $16 "prawns"...but we were essentially served a single prawn split in half, with a small amount of greens on top. this amounted to a single, $8 bite for each of us. i joked with my colleague that they should change the menu option to "prawn!" that aside, the service was efficient and friendly. parking is a challenge."
    Dined on 8/4/2014
  • "Really enjoyed the evening. From the attentive and skillful bar and wait staff to the creative menu, A&H excels. We wanted to try everything. The standouts were the corn pancakes, beet salad and fried rabbit. We skipped the dessert menu and had the stone fruit and house pancetta. An amazing savory sweet way to end the meal. Will be back again to share with friends."
    Dined on 8/4/2014
  • "I have eaten in several restaurants in various cities with similar menus/philosophies and this one was the worst. No balance, poor execution. The corn fritters were fantastic, but it was all downhill from there. The "secret burger" (short rib meat, brisket. etc) was the worst iteration of that I have had - a greasy, gloppy mess. The summer squash parmigiano was watery and waaay too salty. The pork belly was sticky, not crisp on the one side. Bleh."
    Dined on 8/4/2014
  • "We tried so many of the offerings. Many were dazzling; some just really good. Very impressed with the quality and creativity. Excellent vegetarian options."
    Dined on 8/3/2014
  • "first, service was WONDERFUL. Went at 5PM on a Sunday after an A..R.T matinee so noise was not an issue restaurant was still somewhat empty. Sorry to say, however, that the food was a huge disappointment. We shared the striped bass, pistachio crusted haloumi, striped bass crudo, Creekstone beef heart tartare, heirloom corn fritters and stone fruit amd house pancetta and cannot recommend any of it. Completely unremarkable, nothing popped. Don't mind spending money on good food but this seemed a waste. Recently ate at Sarma where each small plate was a wonder and felt money was well spent, so perhaps they set the bar too high. Chef clearly cares and want to put out a good product but none of the dishes worked for me."
    Dined on 8/3/2014
  • "Don't let the menu turn you off -- it may seem aggressively pretentious, but you can find something you like, and when it comes, it is outstanding. Every part was lovely, and the combination was well-balanced. Better still, the service is patient and attentive, the very opposite of pretentious. Thank you, A&H, you are a welcome addition to the neighborhood!"
    Dined on 8/3/2014
  • "Hidden in lower level of plaza in the heart of Cambridge, it was great find for lunch/brunch away from the tourists (though I was one myself). The open kitchen and decor made for a warm and friendly ambiance. Service was very attentive. With a bar also positioned near the entrance, it seemed like it would be a great place for dinner and late night drinks as well. That being said, it was eerily empty, which could be because school wasn't in session (located close to Harvard). The food had potential-GREAT flavors and combination of ingredients. Had the panzanella, but too much olive oil hid the flavors. The braised oxtail was cooked well but the heavy amount of butter and fig hid what I hoped would be a foodgasm."
    Dined on 8/3/2014
  • "Though we visited Alden and Harlow for the 'secret burger', we fell in love with the snacks and American styled tapas we ordered first. Each dish was a surprising combination of delicious flavors. One dish that stood out was the charred broccoli. The burgers, especially with the in-house ground beef, topped with crispy cheese, were outstanding as well, though a bit greasy, especially with the blue cheese avocado spread on the 'secret' secret burger. We made a reservation for 5pm because it was the only table available, yet the restaurant is very large, and there were numerous open tables, so walk-in seems possible. Service and ambience were spot on. The next time I go, I will definitely try the other entrees."
    Dined on 8/2/2014
  • "The delicious food, the interesting combinations, gorgeous presentation, perfect service . . . there were three of us, and we loved it."
    Dined on 7/30/2014
  • "Alden & Harlow are in Harvard Square where Casablanca was for 50 years…its a good fit. The small plates are varied as steak with marrow bone (terrific), clams with herb butter sauce that was delicious, flavorful japanese eggplant, pasta carbonara with thick noodles and just enough sauce. Summer squash baked & crusted was very tasty…One criticism was cost of wine…A glass of California not exceptional white was $11 for about 4 oz. Ridiculously overpriced even lowest price white by the glass….Dessert choice was not enticing except for tart strawberry rhubarb mix with vanilla ice cream that was tasty.very noisy- Long bar and many high tables next to the bar. Best to sit as far from bar as possible if you want to hear your friends."
    Dined on 7/29/2014
  • "My husband and I went for my birthday dinner and had a great experience. Drinks were unique and refreshing and the broccoli squash hummus snack was incredible. Great service. Food came quickly and service was great. Fun dining experience!"
    Dined on 7/26/2014
  • "This is a very eclectic menu with a variety of foods and amount of food. The menu changes regularly, the chef is clearly having fun, and gets better, and more consistently prepared, each time I go. (6 times now.) The vibe is happening. And loud. The main room is best if you are looking to party. The greenhouse is the spot to ask for if you are looking for serious conversation or romance. There are speakers on the outside of the greenhouse that are hard to talk over but the staff was quick to turn them down on request. Service was excellent every time. Well informed and well- timed. Love this place!"
    Dined on 7/25/2014
  • "I am normally a fan of small plates but A&H should characterize their food as very small and very expensive. OK so charge $14 bucks for heirloom corn fritters (read: hushpuppies) but then give me more than 3 teaspoon size fritters. Running your Kitchen like a factory where you produce one type of dish at a time and then deliver those out to the restaurant is surely more efficient but it means that if your dish is last in the rotation you can be waiting a hour for a plate of simple pasta. Oh, and why not make the one reasonably priced item on the menu - the burger, available throughout the evening rather than limiting to 50 burgers per night. On the upside service and bar are good."
    Dined on 7/24/2014
  • "The food service and cocktails were great Simply too loud to have a conversation"
    Dined on 7/22/2014
  • "This is a great neighborhood escape, great selection of food for all pallets, I really enjoyed all the bursting favours that popped thro' . Good friendly service, comfortable pace, not pushy, price point excellent. I really enjoyed this place and have told my client's about it, I would go back."
    Dined on 7/22/2014
  • "This place is exactly what Harvard square needed. Delicious food, expertly made cocktails and completely un-stuffy ambiance."
    Dined on 7/20/2014
  • "food was awesome drink service was spotty and a bit slow, though all the servers were friendly and knowledgable"
    Dined on 7/19/2014
  • "Alden and Harlow was excellent - our waitress was very knowledgeable and attentive and we shared some excellent food. I would certainly go back!"
    Dined on 7/18/2014
  • "This was our second time at Alden & Harlow and we were underwhelmed compared to our first visit. The noise level was practically unbearable. The food was variable. The smoked cashews, striped bass, and clams were all great. The smoked avocado, carrots, and grilled haloumi dishes were lukewarm. The one thing all the dishes had in common was way too much salt. We like Alden and Harlow and there is potential for a great restaurant here but needs to be more attention to food temperature and salt. It would be nice if some sound proofing was installed."
    Dined on 7/18/2014
  • "Both the food and the service were excellent. While the price can creep up quickly, the tapas style food was all great, with the rabbit and carrots as stand outs. We will be back again as a special dinner. The signage is limited and it is in the basement of the building."
    Dined on 7/17/2014
  • "One of my best meals in a long time. The chef expertly mixes ingredients that surprisingly go well together and the result is so delicious! Drinks were also very tasty"
    Dined on 7/15/2014
  • "Everything we ordered was very flavorful and creative. Already planning to go back to try some more of the meni"
    Dined on 7/15/2014
  • "Food was lovely, if overly salty in some cases. But each plate is priced a little too high. As tapas-style dining goes, this is more expensive than any other place of its type that I have visited. The room, the food and the atmosphere were lovely. But the value doesn't seem quite there. There seemed to be too many people on staff. Perhaps fewer people running plates and puring water could help them lower prices a bit."
    Dined on 7/14/2014
  • "This was our first visit and we had a wonderful evening with our friends. The food , the ambiance and our server were top notch .. Definitely this will be our go to restaurant.."
    Dined on 7/13/2014
  • "Really creative dishes that combine ingredients and preparation methods in unexpected ways - without trying too hard! Fun to go with a group and be able to sample and share more of the wide variety of dishes."
    Dined on 7/12/2014
  • "Everything we ordered was perfectly composed and balanced. We probably ordered too much food but I was amped to try everything. Highlights were the lamb sirloin with the carrot mash. I cannot believe the depth of flavor from those carrots and the lamb was perfectly spiced. Also amazing were secret burger with the rich and tangy sauce balanced by the pickles and greens. The pork belly had a suprising amount of meat rather than just fat which I totally loved. The spiced strawberries balanced well with the rich pork. The olive oil braised striped bass was a pleasant surprise. Served cold with an aioli, this reminded me of the locos (albalone) I recently had in Chile. Delish!"
    Dined on 7/12/2014
  • "It was a terrarium!! There are glass windows and a wall of plants! I loved it. I think that's all that needs to be said. Also try the Chicken Fried Local Rabbit. Amazing! I loved everything I got there. The only complaint is that it is a little on the pricey side- so not an every day restaurant but certainly nice to try!"
    Dined on 7/11/2014
  • "Incredible eclectic farm to table small plates...amazing flavor combinations. Five of us shared 13 out of 20 something items on the menu..not one was a disappointment. The house made Carbonara with farm egg and pork belly as well as the Pickled Verrill Farm Corn Pancakes should not be missed! Superb cocktails!"
    Dined on 7/10/2014
  • "Casablanca used to be one of my most favorite restaurants in the Square so I was happy to see another great restaurant take over the space. It is great A & H is open late, very few places to eat after 10pm. The small plates were all scrumptious. Pricey tho. Loved the high table we sat at but ac was blowing on us, it was very cold. Also very dark, I had to take out my little flashlight to see the menu. Service was great !"
    Dined on 7/8/2014
  • "Every dish I've had at Alden & Harlow has been packed with flavor, and my first brunch there was no different. There was a great mixture of vegetarian and meat dishes, and every dish had several layers of flavor."
    Dined on 7/6/2014