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Catalyst Restaurant
Catalyst Restaurant

Catalyst Restaurant Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.catalystrestaurant.com
  • Email: info@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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Diner Reviews
  • "The staff were very helpful and the food was excellent. We were with a vegetarian and two foodies and everyone left impressed."
    Dined on 4/7/2014
  • "Table was great. The Waiter was rude. Forgot part of our order. Not many options for vegetarians. Food was alright."
    Dined on 4/11/2014
  • "We went for a belated birthday dinner in the dining room - our server Ann was friendly, professional, and available, and we appreciated her tips on the menu and drinks. The drinks were good though the milk punch is quite a tiny serving and overly sweet for our tastes (20th Century was the flavor). Beef tartare was a hit, chicken liver mousse was more in pate form and lacking flavor, and the tasty, well-cooked mussels were in a good but much too lukewarm broth. The rotisserie chicken was fine but had NO requisite crispy skin and was served with an abundance of overly buttery mashed potatoes and too few haricot verts. The blue cod was enjoyed, as was the favorite main of the skate wing over carrot puree and lobster. Baked Alaska was OK ."
    Dined on 4/9/2014
  • "The skate wing was wonderful and the burger is consistently awesome. The presentation of the ice cream (salted chocolate) and the sorbet (cherry) was superb-each scoop in its own individual bowl! Bring back the ribs!"
    Dined on 4/5/2014
  • "This was my 2nd or 3rd time dining at Catalyst and my first eating inside (love the patio tables in nice weather!) We had a lovely evening. The food was excellent - very inventive but also accessible, and the wine list and mixed drinks were stellar. Our waiter was superb - a lovely young man from Turkey who made excellent recommendations of both food and wine. We will certainly return!"
    Dined on 4/5/2014
  • "It was my first time to Catalyst. The ambiance was terrific, the food was scrumptious and the service outstanding. I would definitely return. Can't wait to try many of the other delectable items on the menu. The restaurant is also very concerned about people with allergies and great care was taken with our meals."
    Dined on 4/3/2014
  • "I think this restaurant could be quite loud when its busy but we enjoyed a quiet Sunday evening dinner meal here recently. We each had a salad and a small portion of pasta (there are 2sizes). Rich, full flavors for each course. Beignet were great too. I wish more restaurants would feature -quality simple desserts. I realize they can be more demanding in their execution but I was glad to see something other than chocolate flourless cake and creme brulee."
    Dined on 3/30/2014
  • "On the plus side, the ambiance was good; relatively quiet, nice decor, comfortable seating. The pasta carbonara was excellent; surprisingly good. On the minus side, the rest of the food was agonizingly unremarkable (please wash the greens before you serve them; don't put beef tartare on a hot plate, the bread basket was a snoozer) and the service was painfully sloooooooow. With three bartenders and a bar that's half empty, it shouldn't take 35 minutes to make/serve a round of drinks. The second round took even longer and the food took forever. Not sure why service was so slow as the place was just not that busy."
    Dined on 3/28/2014
  • "Twice now, Catalyst has provided me with an attractive place to take colleagues for lunch and conversation while in Cambridge. I live out of town and frequently need a place not only to eat, but also to meet in a convivial environment that will allow my guests and me to do our best thinking. The staff is charming and attentive without being overbearing, the food is terrific, and we have been welcome to spend as much time as we need over coffee to take care of business. Definitely my go-to place."
    Dined on 3/26/2014
  • "Hard to judge noise level. It was Sunday night, the restaurant was not that busy, and so it was very quiet."
    Dined on 3/23/2014
  • "I'd recommend this restaurant to anyone looking for a special occasion kind of place but with a casual feel."
    Dined on 3/22/2014
  • "Excellent service on a Sat. night.Food options were not enormous but quite inventive. I had an excellent parsnip soup and an excellent blue cod. Also a very nice bar and a gas fireplace."
    Dined on 3/22/2014
  • "The food was fantastic - great choices, other things I would have liked to try. Service was slow and uneven. There was something wrong with my glass of wine and I didn't get a new glass until I was done with my entree (this took about 15 minutes). It wasn't that busy for a Saturday night. This was just one example of oddities that occurred while we were there."
    Dined on 3/22/2014
  • "The lunch menu was somewhat more limited than I would have hoped, but there were choices for any taste."
    Dined on 3/19/2014
  • "Excellent meal! Service was slow after one in our group sent back a glass of wine but improved after we placed our orders. Carbonara pasta was divine!"
    Dined on 3/17/2014
  • "The food was tasty and creatively prepared, a good mixture of quality ingredients, preparation, and yet approachable pricing. The service was very good; the wait staff were engaging and helpful and well informed. The room is interesting, post modern/industrial but made to feel warm and lively. We had a fine time and made it to our movie at Kendall square in plenty of time."
    Dined on 3/15/2014
  • "My husband and I celebrated 30 years of dating at Catalyst. We ordered cocktails, having heard about the great bar there, but were kind of rushed through them. The food was good, but I someone how ended up with two cream and potato dishes. The waiter may have been able to make a suggestion that I not do that. I recommend getting there early and enjoying the terrific cocktails before you sit down and are rushed through the meal. Also the portions are pretty large, so ordering an appetizer for a main course would be completely fine."
    Dined on 3/8/2014
  • "Been coming to Catalyst for 2yrs but usually for drinks- which is their strenght but food has never impressed me. Went this past Tuesday and the food was bathed in oil, didn't event bother to finish it and my friend ordered a pear financier dessert in which pears were hardly present and the cake had supermarket quality written all over. Recommendation: go for drinks and happy hour with the Kendall Sq "crowd". If you have time just go to Back Bay or South End."
    Dined on 3/11/2014
  • "It's not your average Cambridge restaurant .. Good food, okay service, and very modern feel. The bar and fireplace warm it up!"
    Dined on 2/22/2014
  • "Our waitress was pathetic. Cocktails took 20 minutes though the place was largely empty. One of the drinks was not made as requested (wrong gin and wrong garnish). Not knowledgeable about the food or restaurant."
    Dined on 3/9/2014
  • "We appreciated the offering of half carafes of wine as we liked different wines. The skate and cod dishes were both outstanding. The Brussels sprouts were nicely prepared..roasted..however were undercooked. Portions were plentiful. Service was outstanding and although crowded the noise level was moderate."
    Dined on 3/7/2014
  • "The service is good. The food is better. Sunday brunch menu is perfect. It was quiet and we ate very well. The drink selection was good too. I have been to the restaurant before with better service, so maybe it was an off day."
    Dined on 3/2/2014
  • "We went here for a nice romantic dinner, and were drawn to this place because of their menu. We were very pleased with the portion size and quality of the food, but we did not try any of their alcoholic concoctions. Ryan ordered their steak dish and I tried the quinoa stuffed onion with root veggies. We started the meal with their grilled octopus dish, which I was not a huge fan of. I'm picky when it comes to cooked octopus and the texture of this octopus was a turn off for me. That said, we will be back to give their drink list a try. The bar was very nice, and they also had a romantic fire place to sit by with drinks."
    Dined on 3/1/2014
  • "The culinary team at catalyst is unmatched. The food was expertly prepared and the service was in point without seeming pushy. The menu is small but doesn't seem to be missing anything. The signature cocktails are excellent, try the pho, with all the flavors of a traditional Vietnamese soup mixed into a cocktail, simply amazing."
    Dined on 3/1/2014
  • "The selection of food is quite innovative. Some classics with a slight twist."
    Dined on 2/27/2014
  • "Came here for my wife's birthday. She loves steak and this is her favorite place. I asked for a quiet table upstairs. The first table they were going to seat us at was right near the bar upstairs - very noisy. I asked for a different table, they checked (why?) and got us a better table. The food was good, the service was okay. They did, as requested, have a special dessert delivered with a candle and a white chocolate bar with Happy Birthday written in mild chocolate. Overall, a lovely time."
    Dined on 2/26/2014
  • "This was one of the finest dining experiences I have had in last year, at least. It began with an energetic and engaging bartender who was extremely knowledgeable about the menu. The food was thoughtful in preparation, elegantantly presented, sumptuous in taste and very fairly priced as well. I can't wait to tell everyone I know about the experience and return soon to try other things on the menu as well."
    Dined on 2/26/2014
  • "The food was well cooked but under-seasoned, everything was somewhat bland and of one note. Which was kind of a let down because the menu was so delicious-looking and the actual ingredients were well cooked, just tasteless. And for the price, it should taste better. At least put salt and pepper on the table."
    Dined on 2/23/2014
  • "Catalyst came on the scene with great food and a great environment. Recently however the service was not great and the food less distinctive than before. We were not told that an entree was sold out until after we had already ordered and planned to share based on what we thought was on the menu. The sold out item was a fish dish which left very limited choices other than heavy meats. Vegetables accompanying the main course were too sparse. Service was overall slow and the rhythm of arrival of water, bread, bar items, food, dessert, coffee was not as smooth as it used to be at Catalyst. Food is still pretty good and the space is as lovely as before but no longer my automatic choice in the area."
    Dined on 2/23/2014
  • "I thought the service and food was excellent and the space is gorgeous. Only drawback is the lack of people! It's a huge space and it felt a little cold for a Sunday brunch."
    Dined on 2/16/2014
  • "Gracious staff, interesting fresh menu, beautifully prepared, hip environment"
    Dined on 2/16/2014
  • "Reliably excellent. Occasionally inspired. Parsnip chestnut soup (a Catalyst winter staple) is hands-down the best soup in Boston and gorgeously presented. My favorite entree is the skate wing. Boneless and buttery. On my last visit, the preparation was a bit heavy-handed, set on a bed of fingerling potatoes and greens. I preferred earlier lighter versions. My partner's cod was excellent. Pasta and salads are always good. Earlier reviewers commented on unfriendly / indifferent servers. Not my experience. In fact, the service on my last visit bordered on the too-friendly. Minor point: my first glass of white wine was under-chilled. Nice design although the lighting is bad, overlit in places, underlit in others. Great modern tableware."
    Dined on 2/12/2014
  • "Very good food, great tap list and romantic! Good place to go for a special occasion, but very pricey so not a good place to go on a budget. Dinner for two with drinks and tip could easily run you $100. But very good food and a good variety!"
    Dined on 2/16/2014
  • "Ambiance was perfect for Valentines day/Anniversary. Our first time to Catalyst. Junior was the best waiter. Some if the food was very unusual and I was skeptical. Junior eased my mind so I tried everything and loved it all. Can't wait to go back."
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "When a successful hotel chef opens their own place you can be pretty sure that not much fazes them, that they've likely "seen it all", and that they run a tight ship. Sureenough, from the get-go, the details were all there. A terrific bread basket served with a unique spiced butter. Delicious inventive bar drinks and some very interesting reds by the glass. The spacing and timing of the dishes- was seamless. Platepresentation was particularly lovely- nothing over-the-top dramatic, but well composed and layered , and dressed with swirls of colorful sauces and oils. I was surprised how much I enjoyed that aspect of the dishes. Compared to the bistros where we usually eat, Catalyst is a welcome stop in luxe, and we look forward to returning."
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "This felt like a typical corporate expense account place. The entre's designed to feel rich and expensive. Think drizzled truffle oil and butter with mention of better meat cuts, lobster etc. That said the food was well executed if unsurprising. The wine list was varied and well priced and the wine we got went well with the meal. Where the experience fell flat on its face was desert. The flourless chocolate cake was astonishingly poor. No better than something that came out of a box. The environment feels like a billionaires ski lodge, lots of natural texture, high vaulted cielings, a faux fire in a fish tank. I wouldn't recommend this if you are paying with your own credit card and would describe yourself as a foodie."
    Dined on 2/9/2014
  • "The food is good, but not great. This is the second time we have eaten here, and I preferred the first visit. We had a waitress, Emily, who thought she was doing a terrific job, but in reality she was inadequate. Although it is a beautiful place and validates parking, which are both real positivies, we would not rush back."
    Dined on 2/7/2014
  • "Really tasty meal, high energy crowd at the bar, beautiful room. Very enjoyable."
    Dined on 2/7/2014
  • "We went to Catalyst on Superbowl night, so it was pretty empty. Consequently, we were served quickly. The cod and the skate were good."
    Dined on 2/2/2014
  • "Great place to try the food at the bar, have the bar tenders make you the 'undecided ' with your flavor profile, you won't regret it"
    Dined on 2/1/2014