Bambara Restaurant
Bambara Restaurant

Bambara Restaurant

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.bambara-cambridge.com/
  • Phone: 6178684444x
  • Hours of Operation:
    Breakfast: Monday - Friday 6:30 am - 10:00 am
    Brunch: Saturday & Sunday 8:00 am - 2:00 pm
    Lunch: Monday - Friday 11:30 am - 2:00 pm
    Dinner: Sunday - Thursday 5:30 pm - 10:00 pm
    Friday & Saturday 5:30 pm - 11:00 pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Carte Blanche,Diners Club,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Seafood, American, Contemporary American
  • Executive Chef: Jay Silva
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Chef's Table, Counter Seating, Entertainment, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking Area, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Smoking Area, Takeout, View, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
  • Catering: Or, let Bambara create enticing menus for an event at the adjacent Hotel Marlowe, which offers three beautiful rooms with views for your guests to enjoy. The flexible and beautifully appointed rooms can accommodate intimate ceremonies, gala Cambridge wedding receptions, chic holiday parties, and other Cambridge special events of up to 350 guests.

  • Special Events:

Getting there

  • Cross Street: 28 (McGrath Highway)
  • Public Transit: Green Line to Lechmere, or Red Line to Kendall Square
  • Parking: Hotel Parking
  • Parking Details: Valet available at adjacent Hotel Marlowe. Also garage parking available at the adjacent Cambridgeside Galleria mall.
A word from Bambara Restaurant
Nestled on the Charles River Canal and a short walk from Cambridge’s popular Kendall Square, Bambara Kitchen & Bar is a modern and relaxed gathering place, offering approachable, seasonal American cuisine rich with ingredients found along the Eastern coast.
The cocktail and beer menu mirror the laid back atmosphere, including a robust list of craft beers and globally inspired cocktails.
Continued
Foodspotting photos
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Bambara Restaurant reviews from OpenTable diners
40 reviews since May 3, 2014
Overall Rating4.2
  • Food4.3
    Service4.2
  • Ambiance4
    Noise LevelModerate
83% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
special occasion (16)fit for foodies (15)romantic (13)neighborhood gem (13)good for groups (12)great for brunch (11)kid-friendly (9)great for lunch (9)vibrant bar scene (8)notable wine list (7)late-night find (6)great for outdoor dining (3)hot spot (3)scenic view (2)Show More
  • Menus needs Improvement
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 8/28/2014
    The food quality seemed good but the preparation seemed pretentious. For example the corn on the cob side dish was dripping in a heavy cheese sauce. The salad croutons were soggy and lacked flavor. Additionally the hot food items came out warm.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Unexciting brunch
    luv2brew
    Dined on 6/15/2014
    Took the family for a Sunday Brunch. When we got there, we were seated promptly in a table by the window and given menus. I checked out the buffet option and it was the usual stuff so we ordered off the menu. It took quite a while for the waiter to take our order, and he seemed somewhat indifferent to doing so. A different person served the orders (after a longish wait) then they forgot 2 other side items The food was good, but not great, and we finished everything except the enormous french toast plate. None of us were blown away, but it was good. The service was not very impressive, and we all found it disappointing. After we left the general agreement was that we wouldn't make any effort to come back.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • We both agreed - Fabulous dinner!
    VacationtimeVIP
    Dined on 6/14/2014
    We will be back! Very fresh, seasonal ingredients were at the center of every dish we ordered! Excellent and attentive service. The fresh pea soup was one of the best I ever consumed. My husband ordered the beet salad and completely enjoyed. Highly recommend both! Entrees - we went with fish special - arctic char. Also well prepared, seasoned...and all food served hot. At our request, our server Anna recommended the date nut cake with carmel sauce and fresh made vanilla ice cream. Extraordinary! My husband said he wished he could lick the plate!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Jun 13, 2014
    Maria
    Dined on 6/14/2014
    Service was slow but food was good. Ambience casual.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, late-night find, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great restaurant
    DaveVIP
    Dined on 6/8/2014
    Very modern setting, excellent and interesting menu, and oustanding service! Would definitely go back. Great for business dinners to romantic / special occasions!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • FIRSTBORNWONDERVIP
    Dined on 5/31/2014
    The gnocchi that came with my husband's pork was too soft I'm glad I ordered my cut of the day med because a few more minutes It would have been over done. Other than these two issues the evening was wonderful and the food was delicious. I would eat here again.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • What a find!
    Sapphirenecklace
    Dined on 5/22/2014
    While staying at The Hotel Marlowe, we wandered into Bambara. We had their clam chowder and crab cake appetizers which were both excellent. The chowder was sweet but had no floury after taste. It was fresh and had just enough bite. The crabcake was moist and full of sweet crab served with a lovely smooth lemony sauce. For our entree we chose the sesame encrusted Yellowfin Tuna which was served with mango salad with kale and jasmin rice, it was heavenly. We ordered the roasted carrots as well which were flavorful and a nice addition. For dessert we had the banana chocolate bread pudding...perfect ending to a perfect meal!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, late-night find, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Food and service are all good
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 5/18/2014
    We had a graduation party there. Everybody loved his/her food. We had a the back dinning area all by ourselves. The desert is excellent. That was our third times going to this restaurant. We are happy about their food every times. We will go back again.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Accommodating generous portions
    MaggieVIP
    Dined on 5/18/2014
    They honored a special request for a family celebration. Food was good, lots of food! Ordered tuna and steak frites, goat cheese frittata, all were very good, wait and reception staff very gracious, friendly. Would go again.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, good for groups, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Consistent
    JML33
    Dined on 5/17/2014
    Consistently great food. Recommend for nights when you want: good across the menu, prof service, little pricey, quiet. Note: ask for the pub menu regardless where you sit.. Lobster sliders are worth getting.
    Special Features:
    special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Bambara's Always Great!
    adrageli
    Dined on 5/16/2014
    We've had, over two meals this week, the arancini, lobster sliders, lobster bisque, chopped salad, arugula salad, lamb three ways, filet mignon, and chorizo flatbread, and every bite has been absolutely delectable. I even got an amuse-bouche when I ordered one fewer course than the rest of my party, and even THAT was a delight - goat cheese ball lightly dusted with breadcrumbs (?) and drizzled with honey. Chef Jay Silva knocks it out of the park every time.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Wonderful Evening
    DavidW
    Dined on 5/11/2014
    This was a special night for us as we had gotten engaged in the afternoon. The experience was wonderful. The food was delicious - as it was the other time I had eaten there. The staff were so friendly and went out of their way to make it a great experience. I had arranged for flowers to be delivered and they had them placed at a nice corner table for us. I can't say enough good things about this restaurant - the food, the staff, the atmosphere... Highly recommended!
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great brunch!
    brunchalot
    Dined on 5/11/2014
    We had a great brunch here. Good service for a table of 8 and they dealt well with kids. The side of the restaurant had some nice outside tables with a view of a park, so there is something of a view available, although most of the restaurant is on the street side of the building. Great food, everything
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Uninteresting Food; Overpriced
    mb89
    Dined on 5/11/2014
    For $40 per person, Mother's Day Brunch, we were expecting a lot better than just "standard" hotel brunch food. Definitely stratospherically overpriced for the food presented. The food was not bad; just not very interesting: plain eggs, bacon, waffles... no little twist on flavors, extra fancy sauces, etc. Somewhat plain. A much better place for brunch in this price range ($27) is the Blue Room in Cambridge: way better food, much tastier and bold, and great price. It was good that we tried Bambara to get it off our list of places to try; unfortunately, don't think we would go back here given the better choices out there in Cambridge.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 26 ratings-only reviews submitted since May 3, 2014
    • Overall Rating4.2
    • Food4.3
    • Ambiance3.9
    • Service4.2
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 626 reviews are from the Bambara Restaurant reviews archive.
  • Perfect setting for dinner meeting
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010VIP
    Dined on 4/28/2014
    I met a colleague at Bambara for a dinner/working meeting. Our waiter was attentive and did not seem to mind that we stayed at the table after we finished our meals (we did compensate him with a large tip). He was friendly and helpful. The restaurant was not too noisy, so we were able to talk easily. The best part was how the restaurant/hotel handled my request for valet parking. I recently had knee surgery, and was still using a crutch. When I explained the situation, they said, no problem, just pull up in front of the hotel, they'll be expecting you. Which they were! And Johnny couldn't have been nicer, putting my car in the front of the hotel in what he called, the "rock star" space. This special service was truly appreciated!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Eh
    FoodcrunchVIP
    Dined on 4/27/2014
    Nothing special, but great for a meeting, small group getaway, book club. The food will be pleasing, but not become the center of attention. Rather you can converse, mingle and otherwise interact, without having to distress about food quality. The food is just plain fine.
    Special Features:
    Great for Brunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Mixed
    MetrowestVisitor
    Dined on 4/26/2014
    I thought the food itself was very good. However, the service needs some improvement. When we asked for items, such as a second glass of wine, or a condiment, it took several requests before anything arrived at the table. In addition, we had to wait a long time for our meals to arrive. When they did arrive, they were hot and very good.
    Special Features:
    special occasion, Notable Wine List
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Diner before the show
    Jimmi13
    Dined on 4/25/2014
    We enjoyed the atmosphere and the food was very nice. We all had different items and everyone was pleased. I had the pork tenderloin wrapped in bacon with a pleasant surprise of pulled pork in the bottom of the bowl. Prices were reasonable and the wine and drink list were nice. The waiter was pleasant but had a hard time with English - overall a very nice experience and we would all go again.
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, Vibrant Bar Scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • excellent birthday spot
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 4/24/2014
    Took my boyfriend here for a birthday dinner. We had a nice cozy curved booth, and when the waiter found out it was his my sweetie's birthday, he brought us some wine on the house. I pretty much like all of the restaurants associated with the Kimpton Hotel chain.
    Special Features:
    Great for Brunch, Romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Not as expected or described
    Smidls
    Dined on 4/20/2014
    This reservation was described as Easter Brunch at Bambara, but the true Bambara Restaurant, which has a charming and somewhat upscale atmosphere, was actually downstairs. This brunch was in a generic function room on the second floor of the hotel. Festive decor was minimal. We got a table directly in front of the entrance, despite reservation. Service ok, not great. Food quality was very good, but they kept running out of popular items and couldn't seem to get them restocked in a timely fashion. The raw bar really fell short in this regard and it had been the big selling point for us. We got about 3 oysters each total. All in all it seemed that they were ill prepared for the event. The saving grace was the quality of the food.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • A favorite
    Pattie
    Dined on 4/19/2014
    We have been to Bambara many times and have never been disappointed. It's in the Hotel Marlowe which is terrific in itself but a truly fun and comfortable place to meet family and friends. Great place to relax and have some drinks late evening. Food is always wonderful !
    Special Features:
    Great for Brunch, Good for Groups, Late-Night Find, Neighborhood Gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great for apps and drinks
    JleiboVIP
    Dined on 4/19/2014
    This was our third time here and it was once again a great location to have drinks and appetizers. Everything was very good and we especially loved the tuna tartare.
    Special Features:
    Kid-Friendly, Fit For Foodies, Neighborhood Gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Staff was attentive and friendly,
    Lorrie
    Dined on 4/6/2014
    Staff was attentive and friendly, food was excellent
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for brunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • power lunch is a good value. Ambien
    PinzimonioVIP
    Dined on 4/4/2014
    power lunch is a good value. Ambience is nice for lunch, lots of people but not too noise. good for business lunch. good steak salad. in the warm season has nice outdoor seating.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Marvelous Marlowe
    JohndVIP
    Dined on 4/2/2014
    Bambera restaurant in the Hotel Marlowe is a good take. Several decent entrees with sizable portions at reasonable prices. The roasted chicken and pot roast are well worth choosing, The drink menu has a good variety of fun cocktails. The bread pudding is worth it by itself.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • We tried it for restaurant
    Anon
    Dined on 3/27/2014
    We tried it for restaurant week but was disappointed with the food. The food was pretty bland.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • bad service, over cooked food
    jason
    Dined on 3/26/2014
    Got to the restaurant on time for reservation. Asked for 1 mimute to review menu and waiter did not return for 40 minutes. Received no credit on the bill. Ordered chicken and it was dry and over cooked.
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Almost Perfect
    Pete
    Dined on 3/25/2014
    The only reason this didn't get a better rating was that the fettucine dish was not very good. It was actually one of the worst meals I've had. It was overloaded with parsley and didn't have enough sauce. I was chewing parsley by itself after every bite of pasta. Goat cheese flatbread, arancini, the vegetable dish, and bread pudding were all delicious.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, vibrant bar scene, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great spot, great food & drink
    Kathyh99
    Dined on 3/25/2014
    Tried this restaurant in a very nice hotel for the restaurant week deal. We had a wonderful experience, from pre-dinner cocktails at the bar (dining room not open until 5:30) through apps, dinner, dessert and aperitifs. Our party of three thoroughly enjoyed everything we had...the food was very fresh and up to our picky standards. Service was excellent. The booths were comfortable and we enjoyed pleasant conversation. I would not hesitate to go back (and pay full price!) So glad we tried something new!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • great food in surprising place
    smithan2VIP
    Dined on 3/23/2014
    So, hotel is not normally good. However, Bambara, inside Hotel Marlowe was EXCELLENT. I ate there as a party of 6 during restaurant week, and had spicy tuna for an appetizer and scallops cooked to perfection as an entree. It was truly delicious and top quality food. The drinks were delicious and strong as well. Very surprised at how good it was, and will definitely be back!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Lacking
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 3/22/2014
    We thought the menu looked amazing so we decided to forge ahead. The fact that the regular menu was the restaurant week menu was exciting until we saw that most of the items had a $5 additional fee. The apps were okay the entrees were a large disappointment. The entrees lacked flavor the protein and sides alike. By the time you ate your bland entree dessert was a daunting thought. The wait for water refills was too long. Our server didn't check in at all until our entrees were happily cleared away and asked what our dessert would be. It was a mystery as to what he was doing as it wasn't busy. We came excited to dive into this restaurant and left disappointed vowing never to return again.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Delicious Dine-Out Boston Meal!
    mitfoodluvr
    Dined on 3/20/2014
    I brought 4 friends out to dinner at Bambara for Dine-Out Boston (aka Restaurant Week)! While a few of the menu items had surcharges when purchased with restaurant week, the menu had a lot of options! The hanger steak was cooked to perfection and absolutely delicious. The ambience was outstanding! It was a great night!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Horrible
    Horrible
    Dined on 3/16/2014
    Service was horrble the resturant manager was the one who sat us down and took out oder, first the table was not ready, it was only set for 1 person, then both a server and RM took our orders. My asked for my eggs well done and it was sent with dripping yolk and soft whites, i was asked if I wanted fries, i said yes and got roasted potatoes. my boyfriend didn't get butter for his toast and his potatoes were nasty, they did not look at all. When i returned my meal the server had a better attitude than the RM about the mistake he made when taking my order and showed no care nor concerned about my disappointment. I was very upset as i was leaving the hotel and getting ready for my 5 hour commute back.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Special Celebration
    KLevine
    Dined on 3/7/2014
    We loved the boutique hotel ambiance.The entire stay was wonderful. Our dinner was delicious. Great service for a large party.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic, scenic view, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Not Bad for a Hotel...
    Mindracer
    Dined on 3/1/2014
    The atmosphere was very nice, in keeping with that of the Hotel Marlowe, where Bambara is located. Food was good, but nothing spectacular, and while I'd go back, I wouldn't make a special trip. Service was a little off. Our server seemed to be giving more attention to mixed couples and tables with businessmen, perhaps because he thought they might spend more to impress and/or because of expense accounts than would two women sharing a table. I have found this to be a fairly frequent practice, so it's not specific to Bambara.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Karlinka
    KarlinkaVIP
    Dined on 2/26/2014
    This is a great neighborhood gem. We have stayed at Hotel Marlowe, which is how we found it, but are now moving to the neighborhood and so will visit more often. Good for all meals! Great bar tenders as well. Just wish they had lobster on the menu!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, vibrant bar scene, great for brunch, late-night find, neighborhood gem, hot spot, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Very nice dinner
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 2/23/2014
    I had a very nice dinner here with my boyfriend. I thought the server was very friendly, helpful and knowledgable. The food was all very good. I had the Tuna which was served with a really delicious coconut rice and mango salad with sautéed green and an incredible sauce. My boyfriend also enjoyed his oysters and lamb. Would recommend!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Delightfully different
    Teeme
    Dined on 2/18/2014
    Excellent accompaniments to main courses. Outstanding service and nice house merlot.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Pleasantly Surprised
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 2/15/2014
    Our waiter Brett was exceptional. He was informative, funny and efficient. The food was great. I got a crab cake for app and the scallops for entree. My husband got oysters on the half shell and the evening special, sirloin steak. Presentation, spicing and freshness over the top. I wouldn't think you could find a restaurant of that caliber associated with a hotel. We were pleasantly surprised.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Food
    mystciclvr
    Dined on 2/14/2014
    If I could rate each individual item, there were two that I would give 5 stars: the banana bread pudding (which we ordered after reading reviews. I am not even that big of a bread pudding fan, but this was amazing), and the lentils with scallops. The "OK food": The steak was cooked well but the chard and mashed potatoes were bland and not anything special. The crab cake was still mushy (although it did have LOTS of crab meat) and the sauce was a honey mustard, not a spicy mustard at all. The flat bread with tomatoes, a fig balsamic glaze, etc, was good, but the flat bread was already a bit soggy and really needed to be baked longer. It was Valentine's Day so I imagine the chef was busy or not the typical chef. Prices were good.
    Special Features:
    notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate