Bambara Restaurant
Bambara Restaurant

Bambara Restaurant

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.bambara-cambridge.com/
  • Phone: (617) 868-4444
  • 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
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Bambara Restaurant reviews from OpenTable diners
34 reviews since July 23, 2014
Overall Rating4
  • Food4.1
    Service4.1
  • Ambiance3.8
    Noise LevelModerate
92% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
fit for foodies (14)good for groups (11)romantic (9)special occasion (9)neighborhood gem (8)vibrant bar scene (6)great for lunch (6)great for brunch (5)notable wine list (5)hot spot (3)kid-friendly (3)late-night find (2)great for outdoor dining (1)scenic view (1)Show More
  • Nice place
    BaltasarBrazil
    Dined on 11/12/2014
    Nice place with excellent food and good wine list.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 11/7/2014
    We were seated near the kitchen even with a reservation. This provided glaring light and noise.nnThe food was average; they serve cuts of meat that are inherently tough, fries were warm not hot and the greens over dressed. The server took it back and replaced it with hot fries and fresh greens that were perfectly dressed... And bought dessert.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • great rainy night treasure
    samnjudy
    Dined on 11/6/2014
    terrific, knowledgeable bartender (great wine list and whiskey collection)....solicitous but not intrusive staff...creative menu where old stalwarts such as cod and skirt steak reimagined ...in a hotel lobby yet it felt like an intimate family restaurant...
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, kid-friendly, late-night find, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Didn't want to go out - surprise!
    AlMichele84VIP
    Dined on 11/2/2014
    Last night of our weekend in Boston, didn't want to travel for dinner so we ate in the hotel. We have eaten here before the renovation and it was good - this time it was tremendous! Salad was tasty and I had the braised cod - hope no one noticed when I licked the plate. Had a great dinner - thanks!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Nice atmosphere, OK food & service.
    moonrighteous
    Dined on 11/2/2014
    This place was a bit of a risk. The food was OK and the service was as well. What bugged me was how quiet it was for a brunch Sunday. I suppose this is more due to the area. It wasn't the easiest to find. If you're looking for a quiet place to chat with a friend, this is the place to go. Other than that, I can't really recommend it.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • A Delightful Dinner
    DeeDee
    Dined on 10/24/2014
    My husband and I went to Bambara for the first time on Friday night. It was a surprisingly good experience. I say surprising because we normally don't dine at restaurants at hotels unless we're actually staying there. The room was almost romantic, great lighting, comfortable seating, art nicely framed on the wall, and good music, fit the mood. We had a charming, attentive, knowledgeable and discreet server named Mustapha. The food was exceptionally delicious. There were some beautifully executed standards, but for me the more exotic choices stole the show. The Tuna Tartare was the best I've ever had.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Tasty
    F00D
    Dined on 10/11/2014
    The presentation of the meals are lovely and it even tastes better.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • Less than expected.
    zepto17
    Dined on 9/26/2014
    Although we had read mixed reviews about this restaurant, after reading positive coverage about Bambara's recent rennovations, we decided to give it a try. Four of us arrived for a 7:00 p.m. reservation on a Friday evening. The restaurant was not all that busy, but the service was less than stellar. Our server was very nice but struggled to keep up with all of the tables. The cocktails were tasty, but arrived after the appetizer. Given the price point, the quality of the meal was very disappointing. The "Kung Pao" wings were bland. The signature "seared yellowfin tuna" was okay...mostly luke warm. The "Pan Seared Scallops" were quite good, but the accompaning ravioli was terrible. Overall, the experience was truly unsatisfactory!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • iolitiz
    Dined on 9/22/2014
    After much hype, the dining experience was less than fabulous. The food was competent, but my steak was overcooked. The noise from a birthday group was unbearable. I will not rush back to this establishment.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 9/20/2014
    The New decor looks great and the food and service was fantastic. Parking is easy with valet service. Prices are very reasonable for restaurant of its quality in the city.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Surprisingly good
    jd37
    Dined on 9/20/2014
    Ate here because I had a gift certificate. The food was excellent. Lobster sliders, pan fried scallops were really delicious. The salad had way too much dressing. I didn't mark them down because everyone seems to do that. Why? The waiter was very nice and earnest, but his English was average at best and it did take some effort to communicate. We got a booth by the window, very roomy and cozy at the same time. Would absolutely return.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Meal in Cambridge
    showdiner
    Dined on 9/18/2014
    My wife and I were spending a few days in the Boston area and stayed in Cambridge. We found this restaurant on open table and decided to give it a try. we were very pleased with our choice. Our server Anna was very pleasant and recommend the swordfish special, which we both had and thoroughly enjoyed. The Bar was a bit noisy but she seated us towards the back which was fine.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • frenchVIP
    Dined on 9/17/2014
    I eat here frequently, particularly for business lunches. It's just right. The staff are very good. The renovation/redecorating doesn't do anything for me but the food and service/hospitality is as good as before.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Amazing food, great ambiance
    erife97
    Dined on 9/7/2014
    Great experience! The service was a little slow, considering it wasn't busy at all, but the food was superb. The best tuna tartare I've ever had. Every dish had a great, surprising mix of flavors. Strongly suggest trying it out!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Bring back the old decor
    Roverguy
    Dined on 9/6/2014
    We have been eating at Bambara since it opened. Loved the old decor, hate the new decor. The new is too sterile, too tame, too Boston. Sorry to see Kimpton break stodgy with their decor. Food and service are still very well priced.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Not a great experience
    scottyVIP
    Dined on 8/31/2014
    I called as I pulled up to the Bambara to figure out parking.The hostess put me on hold 3 times then told me there was no parking validation on Sundays.My fiancé, who met me on a work break, drove separately and was told there WAS validation. I left my ticket in my car. When I found out- I was frustrated off mere principle- not the fact that parking was 4$. The only time we saw our waitress was when she took our order. 45 mins for us to get our entrees & we mentioned our time restriction!She forgot my chowder. We never got the butter we requested with no salt. And the steak was terrible w/ foul tasting salad dressing. Thank you to the GM(chris)for trying to make it better.I will try you in the future b/c of the way you handled the problem.
    Special Features:
    romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Wonderful food & service
    RobinVIP
    Dined on 8/31/2014
    The Shaved Salmon Salad, Burrata and Romaine salad (deconstructed caesar) were all great! And were presented beautifully. We also loved the Braised Cod (Very flavorful), Lobster Gnocchi (gnocchi were light and tasty), Bacon & White Clam Flatbread (great combination of topping ingredients), & the polenta fries! Would definitely order them again. Favorite dessert was the pineapple upside down cake. Sheila served us graciously, kept our water glasses filled, and gave us the right amount of attention. The restaurant was not busy when we arrived, and was quiet. By the time we left, the bar was busy, and most tables were occupied, but it was not noisy. Still able to have a conversation with dining companions without shouting.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, kid-friendly, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Menus needs Improvement
    TheHonestCritic09
    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
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 16 ratings-only reviews submitted since July 23, 2014
    • Overall Rating4.1
    • Food4.2
    • Ambiance3.6
    • Service4.3
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 640 reviews are from the Bambara Restaurant reviews archive.
  • 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
    MariaVIP
    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
  • Perfect setting for dinner meeting
    JudiVIP
    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.