300 Tech Square
Cambridge, MA 02012Neighborhood:
Contemporary AmericanPrice: $30 and under
- 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
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
190 reviews since June 27, 2014
- Ambiance4.1Noise LevelModerate
fit for foodies (108)good for groups (69)neighborhood gem (61)great for lunch (56)special occasion (55)great for outdoor dining (42)notable wine list (29)hot spot (28)romantic (27)vibrant bar scene (22)great for brunch (17)late-night find (11)scenic view (5)kid-friendly (4)Show More
- 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:
- Some good things, some not so goodJuliusDined on 9/15/2014Excellent 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.
- stylish and tastyCAandMAVIPDined on 9/15/2014Catalyst 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:
- OpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 9/12/2014We 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- What happened here?MuseumFoodieDined on 9/6/2014This 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.
- Nice Date NightfleurtamelieDined on 9/5/2014I 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:
- Yummy but smallahrayseeDined on 9/2/2014Service 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:
- DisappointmentboathouseVIPDined on 8/30/2014From 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.
- RobinVIPDined on 8/30/2014Good 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.
- Could have been bettergenemiaeDined on 8/29/2014My 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.I would recommend this to a friend.
- Not impressiveAkingDined on 8/28/2014With 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.
- Delicious!!TerriDined on 8/25/2014We 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:
- Love this placeStephrogVIPDined on 8/22/2014Catalyst 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great food! A bit priceyHeyalexa6Dined on 8/22/2014Food 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Nice addition to Kendall area!NightowlbrandyVIPDined on 8/22/2014Had 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:I would recommend this to a friend.