Catalyst Restaurant
Catalyst Restaurant

Catalyst Restaurant

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.catalystrestaurant.com/
  • Phone: (617) 576-3000
  • Hours of Operation:
    Lunch: Monday - Friday: 11:00am - 3:00pm; Dinner: Monday - Tuesday: 4:30pm - 10:00pm, Wednesday - Friday: 4:30pm - 11:00pm, Saturday: 5:00pm - 11:00pm, Sunday: 5:00pm - 10:00pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Visa
  • Cuisine: Contemporary American
  • Dress Code: Smart Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes

Getting there

  • Parking: Street Parking
A word from Catalyst Restaurant
Catalyst Restaurant is a reflection of Chef/Owner William Kovel’s passion for simple, delicious food delivered with warm service in a comfortable, modern environment. The modern American cuisine begins with exceptional products centered on locally grown organic produce and wild and farm raised food from sustainable practices. With an ever-changing menu, Catalyst celebrates each season by featuring the best ingredients from a wide range of farms and food producers in the region.
Continued
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Catalyst Restaurant reviews from OpenTable diners
202 reviews since July 30, 2014
Overall Rating4.1
  • Food4.2
    Service4.2
  • Ambiance4.1
    Noise LevelModerate
89% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
fit for foodies (113)good for groups (77)great for lunch (58)neighborhood gem (58)special occasion (55)great for outdoor dining (36)hot spot (35)notable wine list (30)romantic (28)vibrant bar scene (25)great for brunch (14)late-night find (13)scenic view (4)kid-friendly (3)Show More
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 11/24/2014
    I wasn't happy about being seated near the kitchen. I didn't know I needed to specify. The meal also was very expensive for lunch. 2 soups a salad and french fries no drinks $44 But the fennel soup was excellent.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Always delicious!
    SelectivedinerVIP
    Dined on 11/23/2014
    I've never had a bad meal here, and their vegetarian options are especially delicious. The service is also always attentive. Nice vibe, great food - can't ask for more!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Third time was the charm
    OmnivoreVIP
    Dined on 11/22/2014
    After an earlier successful visit, we visited Catalyst on Sunday a month and a half ago, and it didn't go well. Management offered to make amends, and they did so last night. We like the room very much. The service was competent and warm. The cocktail list is short but thoughtful. Our starters were good. My wife's go-to appetizer is beet salad, so she's discerning about what a good one and a not-so-good one are. Last night she was quite happy. I had a chicken liver pate that was generous and tasty. My wife enjoyed her sole cooked with perfectly prepared root vegetables. I had homemade spaghetti that was perfectly al dente with clams in a yummy wine sauce. Poppy seed cake with pomegranate accompaniments made for a nice finish. We'll be back.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great meal, great service!
    Bruce
    Dined on 11/22/2014
    Catalyst is a gem!!! Amazing and interesting food, great service and quiet atmosphere that allowed us to have a great dining experience with our friends from out of town.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Cuisine from the the late 1980s
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009VIP
    Dined on 11/21/2014
    The fish and pasta dishes were laden cream and butter. The listless hamachi starter was wet and slimy and pared with an aggressively seasoned shredded "kimchi." Tasteless butternut squash soup. This is "American" cuisine at nearly its worst. Fortunately, our server was very pleasant.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • All you could ask for
    J33DOWVIP
    Dined on 11/18/2014
    The food was great, the service was great and the ambiance was outstanding.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 11/15/2014
    The hostess was extremely rude and my burger was undercooked and not very good - too many condiments on it
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Lovely ambiance with a fireplace, open kitchen.
    BlondMaggie
    Dined on 11/14/2014
    GREAT food. Friendly service. Chef came out and asked my husband how he enjoyed the special that night (venison). Highly recommend.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Almost there...
    InGoodTaste
    Dined on 11/8/2014
    Catalyst has potential to be a standout, but for now it falls short in a few easily fixable ways. Our party arrived early. The maitre d' staff greeted us, told us it might be a few minutes, and then sort of whispered to themselves and seemingly checked on the table - it would've been nice if they offered to take our coats, or invited us to have a drink at the bar. I realized upon sitting down that there was no coat check, which gave the rather beautiful, modern/minimalist room a messy look (peoples' winter coats scrunched up in booths, hanging over backs of chairs, etc.). The food was mostly tasty but the burger underseasoned. For the price, I expected more.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Disappointed
    CambridgeProf
    Dined on 11/6/2014
    While the host and ambience are professional in appearance, the delivery is not. I ordered fish tacos and received a cold tortilla with minimal toppings other than lettuce and breaded/battered fish. There was no way to wrap the contents with the taco with the bulk of the battered fish. I also received a large cup of french fries which were not specified on the menu, nor did the waitress offer a choice when I ordered the tacos. This was the most disappointing meal I ever had at a restaurant, and an embarassment to try to eat with clients while carrying on a professional conversation.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Fantastic!
    J33DOWVIP
    Dined on 11/3/2014
    The atmosphere was great, the food was great and the service was very good.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Good Food in Relaxed Atmosphere
    RebeccaVIP
    Dined on 10/31/2014
    Quiet on the night we were there. Probably does a brisk business at lunchtime. Very pleasant and surprisingly good range of inventive and interesting dishes.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Good place!
    ABC1
    Dined on 10/24/2014
    A nice restaurant, conveniently located with excellent service, great food, and great ambience. It's more of a place where romantic dates and friends might gather at night - don't know how it is during the day.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, late-night find, notable wine list, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great dinner out
    oconnellk10VIP
    Dined on 10/24/2014
    Enjoyed fine meal and kind service. Great spot. Lots of options to fit any number of preferences. And healthy portions as well.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • localdinerVIP
    Dined on 10/21/2014
    food remains consistently excellent. I am always amazed how easy it is to find parking in front of the restaurant (even though free parking in the lot behind)
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 10/21/2014
    My sandwich was dry and not very exciting. The bacon was chewy. I was not impressed.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Quite Good
    NJoy
    Dined on 10/18/2014
    We enjoyed a late night family dinner here. The food was well prepared and the desserts were FABULOUS! Server(s) were friendly and attentive. I would have liked the ambience to be a little "warmer"-- a little too mod and metallic, with dim sterile lighting. Perhaps lunch/brunch would have a different feel as the floor to ceiling windows would bring in the sunlight.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, late-night find, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • review
    hundy
    Dined on 10/17/2014
    get some good music! otherwise fine. fun waiter. great food.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2011VIP
    Dined on 10/16/2014
    Terrible host sitting us at the table. Good service at the table Good mousse appetizer. Best chicken in town. Every time! Good chocolate dessert and ice cream.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • fooditry
    Dined on 10/15/2014
    Good all around - had vegetarian, beef, and fish entrees, and some great apps, great montepulciano wine -very tasty...the chef is not allergic to spices and salt. Everyone was happy!
    Special Features:
    late-night find, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • A hidden Jem
    NewFavorite
    Dined on 10/9/2014
    We went specifically for Catalyst burger. It was fantastic. Food and wine was great. They validate your parking ticket!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Date Spot
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 10/7/2014
    The food, service, and atmosphere was perfect for a date night. Neither of us are huge foodies, but everything made for a great evening. Slightly on the higher side price wise, but absolutely reasonable. Their signature beef dish was awesome! Would recommend and return.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Warning: Tiny portions!
    Shuba
    Dined on 10/6/2014
    The food at Catalyst remains exceptional, but I must say the serving sizes have gotten tiny. I say this as someone who is petite in stature and normally eats about 1/3 of a typical serving at restaurants. But at Catalyst, my salad had quite literally four beet pieces and a piece of argula on it. I had to order soup and dessert just to feel slightly full. So beware that this is more tapas style serving size than meal size!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Enjoyable
    JimmyJames
    Dined on 10/5/2014
    We were a tad early, but were seated quickly - at a good table! The waiter seem to be there at all the wrong times and not there when you wanted... The food was exceptional, but I wanted some grated cheese to go over my pasta and tried to get the waiter attention many times before I could ask. Overall a good eating experience and I would go back and recommend Catalyst to others.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Sad on Sunday
    OmnivoreVIP
    Dined on 10/5/2014
    We expected the B team to be in the kitchen on Sunday night. The execution was actually quite good--both our appetizers and main courses were excellent. But to wait more than half an hour for appetizers that were simply cold salads (all they had to do was plate it) was silly, especially because the restaurant was more than half empty. The server was clumsy as well, and just seemed as if she couldn't find her rhythm on a slow night. That said, the room is handsome, the reception at the front door was friendly and professional, and the bartender pours a nice drink at his well-stocked bar. We're going to give them another chance.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • fussydiner14
    Dined on 10/4/2014
    Enjoyed my experience, but we ordered 3 apps, half plate of pasta and charcuterie board and they were all delivered at the same time??????? Not ok. And the wine pours are a bit skimpy at 13 per glass . Some food came hot some not. They could tweak these issues and them it would be 4 stars.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • High quality and low key.
    Rudolph
    Dined on 10/4/2014
    The food (appetizers, entree and dessert) and service were both above average. I liked the fact that the background music was muted, and my guest and I could converse in normal tones. The wine list was excellent, and we enjoyed a relaxed and enjoyable dinner experience.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • still a top choice
    CAandMAVIP
    Dined on 9/30/2014
    Catalyst is just enough off the beaten path in Kendall Square that some folks not into Tech Square may have yet to discover it. It is a great place for a high-end business lunch or dinner. For lunch, I'd only wish for a few more entre salad offering, otherwise, the menu is always full of interesting and attractive options.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Amazing food
    450painter
    Dined on 9/27/2014
    It feels like you are in nyc in a hip hot spot. It was not crowded and very very good food. A bit too noisy
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 9/27/2014
    Our server was extremely helpful in describing the sizes of portions and recommending combinations of courses. Heirloom tomato salad and beet salad were lovely and refreshing. Half-portion of pastas were just right as an entree. The special corn gnocchi was out of this world.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Foodtastic
    Kimmer
    Dined on 9/26/2014
    I haven't been this pleased with a restaurant in a long time. My steak was PERFECT, which almost never happens. The service was a little slow, but the waiter may have been overtaxed.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Glen48
    Dined on 9/25/2014
    Food was superb, pasta dishes excellent. Service was deplorable
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Ariane
    Dined on 9/24/2014
    Very nice experience. Highly recommendable. Would go again.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, late-night find, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Place
    tomfromboston
    Dined on 9/21/2014
    Only had lunch and Brunch here, both times everything was excellent.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • date night
    Kerri
    Dined on 9/20/2014
    I would skip this place. The pasta was fresh and tasty but overpriced. Our food came out burnt, although we had requested medium rare. Ourwaitress was nice but trying too hard, it was the most akward dining experience I've ever had. Even the girl dropping off the bread paused at our table for a long period of time and didnt say anything.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Once great, no longer
    TessVIP
    Dined on 9/19/2014
    We have been big fans of Catalyst since its opening, but it is no longer on our go-to list. Service has become harried and brusque. We were already feeling miffed by our waitress' manner (more appropriate to a corner diner) when my husband nearly swallowed at least a tablespoon of sediment at the bottom of his glass! My husband complained, and although it was eventually comped, he and I were made to feel like we were the problem by both the waitress and sommelier. Indeed, we were made to feel that we were unsophisticated and unknowledgeable (which is very far from the truth). Such treatment should never happen. As too often happens, Catalyst is resting on its laurels.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Good Food Great space Slow Service
    FoooooooodSeeker
    Dined on 9/19/2014
    Very cool space. Went for a Friday night dinner for two from out of state. Read good reviews. Got off to a good start. Requested alternative side dish that was on the menu, and was abruptly told there would be an upcharge. Not that it mattered, but the waiter seemed agitated and should have gone with the flow. Salads came, good wine and conversation...then the waiter disappeared. Luckily, we didn't have a baby sitter to pay and were in no hurry, but 45 minutes between finishing an appetizer and arrival of main course was too much. Ordered a burger with veggie side dish and my wife ordered the lobster bisque. Nothing elaborate. No apology or acknowledgement. Good food, nice atmosphere, but watch the Friday night service.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Always good...
    drrob
    Dined on 9/18/2014
    The food and the service are always on the mark...very attentive service; our waitress let us pace the meal at our leisure; I never have to worry about having a less than great dining experience here.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Kendall square hotspot
    cgerstle
    Dined on 9/18/2014
    there is a young and busy bar scene but we came to the food. The scallops was one of the tastiest preparations I ever had combining An imaginative ginger carrot purée and caramelized salt pork. The cod in muscles and corn chowder was also excellent. Apple crisp Donna had a delicious homemade crust and was large enough to share
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • They worked hard to make it good
    Neily
    Dined on 9/15/2014
    We both ordered the same thing and found it too oily with heavy garlic. When we mentioned it, they insisted we have something else. They were very accommodating, kind, and attentive. It was obviously important to them that we both enjoyed our food and experience there.
    Special Features:
    hot spot, late-night find, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic