Catalyst Restaurant
Catalyst Restaurant

Catalyst Restaurant

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.catalystrestaurant.com/
  • Phone: 6175763000x
  • 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.
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Catalyst Restaurant reviews from OpenTable diners
187 reviews since May 26, 2014
Overall Rating4.1
  • Food4.2
    Service4.2
  • Ambiance4.1
    Noise LevelModerate
91% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
fit for foodies (105)good for groups (69)great for lunch (65)neighborhood gem (64)special occasion (58)great for outdoor dining (44)romantic (28)hot spot (28)great for brunch (25)vibrant bar scene (24)notable wine list (24)late-night find (10)scenic view (8)kid-friendly (5)Show More
  • 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
    Tess
    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
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    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
  • Some good things, some not so good
    Julius
    Dined on 9/15/2014
    Excellent table service, yet the front desk was un-staffed for 10 minutes. Some great dishes (slow-roasted salmon, tartare), but some others aren't great (everything else on the salmon plate, the lamb). For the price point, we expect much more consistent quality in dining experience. Catalyst has the potential to be a really great restaurant, but to be great it has to first be consistently good.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • stylish and tasty
    CAandMAVIP
    Dined on 9/15/2014
    Catalyst remains a great choice in Kendall Square/Tech Square. Food options for lunch are varied and attractive. My only suggestion: make sandwich "sides" an obvious choice and/or better aligned with the sandwich choice. Catalyst's fries are truly excellent but they don't strike me as well-paired with fish tacos! Thanks to my server, a green salad was an easy substitution but it seems like a better initial pairing (with fries available for those who disagree!).
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 9/12/2014
    We had a great dinner with six friends to celebrate a birthday. The food was outstanding and the atmosphere was upscale, but not too precious. Each of us had a fish entree, and the special of the day, roasted sole with fennel and artichoke was perfectly prepared and absolutely delicious. The chef was also able to modify the dish for a friend with a severe food allergy, and this was greatly appreciated. The restaurant was busy, but the space is large and so we never felt overwhelmed by noise or activity. Our waiter, Jameson was the perfect mix of charming and attentive, but not intrusive. I eat out frequently and travel often, and I will definitely return to Catalyst.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • What happened here?
    MuseumFoodie
    Dined on 9/6/2014
    This restaurant was full of promise, but we were betrayed. The space is incredible, high ceilings, wide open, lots of space between tables. But everything else is a failure. From reception, where there is no eye contact to the listless service and dull food there is nothing to recommend a return. The lighting is a total disaster. Noting looks good, not the food and not the patrons. The idea that you can light a dining room with general ambient fixtures and a few chandeliers up high makes no sense. Everything kinda greys out and it kills the mood. The salad was leaves, and with the exception of the grapes, dull. The lamb loin, said by the staff to be tough if not cooked to medium, was tough at that too. And the polenta, just forget it.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Nice Date Night
    fleurtamelie
    Dined on 9/5/2014
    I was surprised that the main dining area wasn't more busy on a Friday night at 6:15pm - maybe that was too early for the crowds? Anyway, I arrived early and was pleasantly surprised that my table was ready. I was seated at a table for two next to the large glass window/wall looking out onto Main Street. The beer list was great and the wine list looked decent. We had a delicious cod dish and scallop dish and shared a lobster linguini appetizer. The linguini was a bit too al dente for my taste, but I like anything with lobster and a rich cream-based sauce. The scallops were perfectly cooked - nicely seared with a caramelized sauce on the outside and not overcooked.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Yummy but small
    ahraysee
    Dined on 9/2/2014
    Service was prompt, atmosphere was refreshing (very tall ceilings, very light and open feel, fresh, plants on the wall, simple, textured), food was very good. One thing to note is the portions were small, even for their entrees. $11 for about 1 cup of cooked pasta. $14 for two tiny fish tacos with fries was an entree. And calling that an entree is misleading, in my opinion. I'd rather they charge more for a bigger dish. So if you're starving, plan to spend a lot for a lunch and order more than one dish. But the flavor of the food was great!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Disappointment
    boathouseVIP
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    From start to finish, the restaurant is a disappointment. The space/decor is cold, loud and not the least bit inviting/comfortable for an evening out. The service was not measured -- initially very slow for drinks and bread to arrive -- and then sped up to the point where plates were removed virtually when forks were put down after completing a course. We felt rushed. The salad was dry, bitter and boring. The beef entree had a wetness to it -- almost as if it had been in a steamer to keep warm or as being prepared. Had a pot roast texture/flavor to it. The chicken was also "wet" and lacked flavor despite the description of spices on the menu. The baked alaska was flavorless except for anoverly sweet caramel drizzle. Avoid this place.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • RobinVIP
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    Good food, all of us liked the desserts best. Homemade ice cream was very creamy, flour less chocolate cake was very chocolaty (if you like dense chocolate cake - order this) and the mint chocolate ice cream in the baked alaska was really minty with chocolate pieces. Great beer selection (a little pricey for some), and some interesting special cocktails. Burger and fries were cooked perfectly and very tasty.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • Could have been better
    genemiae
    Dined on 8/29/2014
    My wife and I tried this restaurant on a Friday night. The restaurant is in the middle of a lot of high tech companies so I imagine it does well during the week days. It was busy but not packed. I tried the fried green tomatoes starter. Good but not the taste I remember as a kid. My wife had the arugula beet salad which she liked. She also had the deep fried chicken. Very heavily battered. After peeling away the batter, her choice of eating fried foods, the chicken was very moist and tasty. I had the lamb sirloin. It was slices of lamb over fresh uncooked green and yellow berms and I think a goat cheese flavored dressing. Great overall taste but I thought my jaw would fall off trying to chew the meat. The baked Alaska was very good.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Not impressive
    Aking
    Dined on 8/28/2014
    With a name like catalyst, one probably expects interesting food combinations or drinks. My food is ordinary and my friends did not seem to like their good with more than 2/3 still untouch. Overall, a bit disappointing.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Delicious!!
    Terri
    Dined on 8/25/2014
    We recently dined at Catalyst on a Monday night with some friends who are foodies. We shared several small plates and main dishes. We found that each dish was prepared with great attention to the ingredients and favors that worked together perfectly. We found the prices to be reasonable as well. We would go back in a heartbeat. I intentionally did not list the specific dishes we ordered because they were all amazing. I plan to try other dishes on the menu on our next visit. Thank you for a great dining experience.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Love this place
    Stephrog
    Dined on 8/22/2014
    Catalyst is such a gem - the physical space is gorgeous, and the seasonal menu is always a delight. It's my go-to spot for out-of-town guests and business dinners alike. The brunch is great, too!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, neighborhood gem, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great food! A bit pricey
    Heyalexa6
    Dined on 8/22/2014
    Food was fantastic. They were more than happy to split meals for us. We ate outside which was great. There is a big open grass field in front where our son could play. Plus parking is available. My only complaints are that there was no bicycle parking and it was a bit expensive.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Nice addition to Kendall area!
    NightowlbrandyVIP
    Dined on 8/22/2014
    Had lunch w. a friend & ended up spending several hrs. & no one minded which was nice. Menu limited but certainly adequate, & on creative side w. emphasis on presentation. Trendy decor, down to the odd angled knives & bathroom faucets! Tomato soup tasty & full bodied w. nice crostini toast. Turkey sandwich w. avocado slices & cranberry relish served on a lovely bun; also liked lobster & corn soup w. an interesting rb sandwich. Desserts good sized & worth indulging in, esp. W. exotic ice cream flavors. Service very attentive & personable. A big plus is validated parking in nrby garage, esp if seeing a Kendall Theater movie. Only downside is finding the place if not familiar w. Technology Sq; even a GPS & Google maps needed lots of prompting!
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, late-night find, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Grt but too loud for business lunch
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/21/2014
    Food & service were excellent, but it was too loud for an effective business lunch which is what we were looking for.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • First visit- won't be my last!
    New2Cambridge
    Dined on 8/20/2014
    I was responsible for making dinner arrangements for an important business dinner with our Chairman of the Board and key consultant's. I was looking for a nice restaurant that would have the perfect mix of great food with a good variety, ambiance conducive for a group of 5 to converse, and the right blend of "special but not pretentious", and The Catalyst delivered it all! Will definitely be back!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Tudeng
    Dined on 8/20/2014
    The creativity of the kitchen and general quality of food are outstanding. There is an optional, but noticeable Asian flavor in the cuisine (hot and sour soup which is great, Vietnamese style sandwiches) Prepare to the fact that the portions are dramatically on the small side. If you after small amount of outstanding food - this is a right place. Otherwise - prepare to pay more and order more and sample from different entrees.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fantastic food!!
    Curious
    Dined on 8/15/2014
    Really Impressed with the food from appetizer to dessert it was a incredibly enjoyable experience. The bar and sitting area by the fireplace was very inviting and the open kitchen concept was cool. The only down side was that the crowd for a Friday was rather tame however this just could have been an off night. Overall I would highly recommend.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Eating4meeting
    Dined on 8/15/2014
    Nice place for a quiet dinner...parking is free and convenient. Nice presentation and wait staff was very attentive.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • A great find for suburban foodies!!
    Gibbiegabble
    Dined on 8/15/2014
    We were impressed with the modern and clean lines of the restaurant. There was a wonderful feeling of space, both architecturally and personally, with high ceilings, expanse of windows, and plenty of room between and around the tables. Our server, Anne, was friendly and knowledgeable about the food and its preparation. We enjoyed a most delicious French Malbec to begin our lunch. My husband had the burger, and I had the top sirloin tips. Portion sizes were ample, the meat cooked exactly to our individual requests, presentation attractive, and the tastes were wonderful. We finished the meal with coffee that was a rich, dark Italian roast, and the equally rich chocolate flourless cake topped with a peanut butter ice cream. Great find
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, late-night find, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • consistently great
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005
    Dined on 8/14/2014
    Catalyst is a terrific restaurant. The food and service are consistently great.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Food excellent.
    Dab813VIP
    Dined on 8/13/2014
    Food was fantastic. That alone will bring me back. A real neighborhood gem!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great date night!
    Kaleigh
    Dined on 8/12/2014
    Catalyst is a open restaurant with great energy, service and food! The restaurant has floor to ceiling windows that looked out onto Main st in Kendall square, small and large tables for big groups but was not crowded for space at all. They also had a spacious outdoor seating area. The food was amazing, everything we had was prepared well and just delicious. I would definitely recommend Catalyst.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Very enjoyable dining experience
    Foodie
    Dined on 8/7/2014
    Great food, service and atmosphere. Will definitely return.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Catalyst always good
    BusinessdinerVIP
    Dined on 8/6/2014
    It was my third or fourth time at this restaurant. It is a great place to meet for a business lunch (not easy to find in Cambridge). The service is always good as is the food. I know I can count on Catalyst for a quiet place to chat and eat.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Nice Girls Night Out
    Disappointed
    Dined on 8/4/2014
    Perfect location for after work girls night out. Noise level great and able to chat with friends. Wait staff took too long to bring cocktail orders to the table. And my friend had to ask about the evening specials. I looked at menu on-line early in the day and excited to try a new cocktail. When I ordered the cocktail from on-line menu informed it is not available as menu updated recently. Not good..... But food good and would go back. Great spot and loved it is walking distance from my office.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, special occasion, scenic view, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • dependably delightful
    hooked
    Dined on 8/4/2014
    From the kind, courteous and attentive staff, who are generous with smiles, to the tasty dishes, it's always a pleasant experience.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • lovely evening
    chrissy
    Dined on 8/3/2014
    the scallops were perfectly cooked. a chocolate dessert to die for!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fabulous food & you can talk & hear
    SRDines
    Dined on 8/3/2014
    If I am taking the time to meet with special people and have a fabulous meal, there are very few restaurants where you can actually enjoy your meal and your conversation. I have been to this wonderful restaurant twice with 4 additional people. We all had a great time and each dish was superb. But, most importantly, we were very comfortable, could hear everyone at the table and enjoyed the ambiance. Thank you Catalyst.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Worth seeking out
    PenelopeVIP
    Dined on 8/1/2014
    What a terrific place - beauty, quality, design, and a bit of edge - adventurous menu plus friendly service. Couldn't have had a better evening.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good food, slow service
    aniversary
    Dined on 7/29/2014
    I have been to Catalyst a number of times and the food is always good, but it took us 1 1/2 hours for lunch, which is too long. Service needs to improve.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • greatplace
    Dined on 7/27/2014
    excellent food, friendly staff, in an upbeat venue, well-designed
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Best lunch in Kendall
    LauraVIP
    Dined on 7/27/2014
    This is my favorite lunch place in the greater Kendall Square area, though I wish it were slightly less busy so I didn't have to remember to make reservations in advance. Everything tastes great, it's not exorbitant, and there's daily specials for both soup and sandwich. (Announced on twitter!). It's also a very tasty Sunday brunch. (I'm sure it's great for dinner too, but I have less experience with that).
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • xxxxxVIP
    Dined on 7/23/2014
    Very noisy; service sometimes inattentive; food normally very good
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.