300 Tech Square
Cambridge, MA 02012Neighborhood:
Contemporary AmericanPrice: $30 and under
- 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
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
Foodspotting photosSee all photos
Catalyst Restaurant reviews from OpenTable diners
203 reviews since July 31, 2014
- Ambiance4.1Noise LevelModerate
fit for foodies (114)good for groups (78)neighborhood gem (59)great for lunch (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 2014Dined on 11/24/2014I 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.
- Always delicious!SelectivedinerVIPDined on 11/23/2014I'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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Third time was the charmOmnivoreVIPDined on 11/22/2014After 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.I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great meal, great service!BruceDined on 11/22/2014Catalyst 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Cuisine from the the late 1980sOpenTable Diner Since 2009VIPDined on 11/21/2014The 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.
- All you could ask forJ33DOWVIPDined on 11/18/2014The food was great, the service was great and the ambiance was outstanding.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- OpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 11/15/2014The hostess was extremely rude and my burger was undercooked and not very good - too many condiments on it
- Lovely ambiance with a fireplace, open kitchen.BlondMaggieDined on 11/14/2014GREAT food. Friendly service. Chef came out and asked my husband how he enjoyed the special that night (venison). Highly recommend.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Almost there...InGoodTasteDined on 11/8/2014Catalyst 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.
- DisappointedCambridgeProfDined on 11/6/2014While 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.
- Fantastic!J33DOWVIPDined on 11/3/2014The atmosphere was great, the food was great and the service was very good.Special Features:
- Good Food in Relaxed AtmosphereRebeccaVIPDined on 10/31/2014Quiet 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:
- Good place!ABC1Dined on 10/24/2014A 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great dinner outoconnellk10VIPDined on 10/24/2014Enjoyed fine meal and kind service. Great spot. Lots of options to fit any number of preferences. And healthy portions as well.Special Features:
- localdinerVIPDined on 10/21/2014food 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- OpenTable Diner Since 2013Dined on 10/21/2014My sandwich was dry and not very exciting. The bacon was chewy. I was not impressed.
- Quite GoodNJoyDined on 10/18/2014We 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- reviewhundyDined on 10/17/2014get some good music! otherwise fine. fun waiter. great food.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- OpenTable Diner Since 2011VIPDined on 10/16/2014Terrible 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:
- fooditryDined on 10/15/2014Good 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:
- A hidden JemNewFavoriteDined on 10/9/2014We went specifically for Catalyst burger. It was fantastic. Food and wine was great. They validate your parking ticket!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great Date SpotOpenTable Diner Since 2012Dined on 10/7/2014The 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:
- Warning: Tiny portions!ShubaDined on 10/6/2014The 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:
- EnjoyableJimmyJamesDined on 10/5/2014We 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.
- Sad on SundayOmnivoreVIPDined on 10/5/2014We 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.
- fussydiner14Dined on 10/4/2014Enjoyed 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:
- High quality and low key.RudolphDined on 10/4/2014The 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- still a top choiceCAandMAVIPDined on 9/30/2014Catalyst 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:
- Amazing food450painterDined on 9/27/2014It feels like you are in nyc in a hip hot spot. It was not crowded and very very good food. A bit too noisySpecial Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- OpenTable Diner Since 2011Dined on 9/27/2014Our 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.I would recommend this to a friend.
- FoodtasticKimmerDined on 9/26/2014I 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:
- Glen48Dined on 9/25/2014Food was superb, pasta dishes excellent. Service was deplorable
- ArianeDined on 9/24/2014Very nice experience. Highly recommendable. Would go again.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great PlacetomfrombostonDined on 9/21/2014Only had lunch and Brunch here, both times everything was excellent.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- date nightKerriDined on 9/20/2014I 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.
- Once great, no longerTessVIPDined on 9/19/2014We 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.
- Good Food Great space Slow ServiceFoooooooodSeekerDined on 9/19/2014Very 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.
- Always good...drrobDined on 9/18/2014The 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:
- Kendall square hotspotcgerstleDined on 9/18/2014there 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 shareSpecial Features:
- They worked hard to make it goodNeilyDined on 9/15/2014We 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: