Russell House Tavern
Russell House Tavern

Russell House Tavern

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://russellhousecambridge.com/
  • Phone: 6175003055x
  • Hours of Operation:
    Brunch: Saturday: 10:00am - 4:00pm Sunday: 10:00am - 4:00pm;

    Lunch: Monday - Friday: 11:00am - 4:00pm;

    Dinner: Nightly: 5:00pm - 11:00pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: American, Gastro Pub
  • Executive Chef: Thomas Borgia
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Farm to Table, Full Bar, Late Night, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
  • Private Party Facilities: Russell House Tavern offers a variety of Private Dining experiences. Please email our private events coordinator for more information.
  • Private Party Contact: Courtney Wentworth 6175003055x

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Brattle Street
  • Parking: Public Lot
A word from Russell House Tavern
Russell House Tavern continues the Harvard Square tradition of local enterprise as a New American Tavern serving seasonally-inspired, classic dishes from New England and beyond. An inviting, multi-level space adorned with vintage photographs of the Square, Russell House Tavern specializes in artisanal fare served alongside carefully hand-crafted cocktails and a distinctive collection of all-American wines and craft beers.
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Russell House Tavern reviews from OpenTable diners
203 reviews since May 25, 2014
Overall Rating4
  • Food4.1
    Service4
  • Ambiance3.9
    Noise LevelModerate
88% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
fit for foodies (92)neighborhood gem (75)good for groups (66)vibrant bar scene (65)great for outdoor dining (50)special occasion (45)great for lunch (45)great for brunch (44)hot spot (44)romantic (36)late-night find (34)kid-friendly (16)notable wine list (14)scenic view (2)Show More
  • The excellent craft cocktails
    KimbaVIP
    Dined on 8/25/2010
    The excellent craft cocktails try the trafalgar square and the food from the lamb shank, chacuterie plate, to the bleu cheese hangar steak with bread pudding were awesome. However, we were in the unfortunate position of being at a 2 person high top squished between a 4 top that grew to a 6 top (someone was almost in my lap while the other person hovered btw the tables and large birthday party with numerous high tops on the other side that went from 12 people to who knows how many. This ended up with us having to wait long periods of time for refills on drinks and in getting our food. We also ended up getting the wrong dessert, but our server did not charge us for this. Will try again though.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene, fit for foodies, good for groups, late-night find, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great cocktail menu, and one
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007VIP
    Dined on 8/24/2010
    Great cocktail menu, and one of the most interesting desserts I've ever had - a semolina yogurt cake, which was far far better than anticipated. Also, service was excellent, especially considering that it was restaurant week, which tends to stress out the waitstaff (understandably).
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Cocktails- excellent (we had
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 8/20/2010
    Cocktails- excellent (we had the Moscow Mule and the Harvard Yard) The Jonah Crab Claws were not really worth the cost but other shellfish was good And for goodness sake you MUST get the Serrano Ham with Torched Pear...and the Lamb
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Front of the house is in a
    MEOtheLeoVIP
    Dined on 8/20/2010
    Front of the house is in a shambles. We have been a few times. Had one pleasant server, but his timing was far off. The host/reservation process is an absolute cluster. Even though they are using OpenTable, they are still a mess.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • our server was amazing! i
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 8/17/2010
    our server was amazing! i wish they had a cheese plate but every morsel of food was stellar.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene, fit for foodies, late-night find, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Went for restaurant week and
    cb8189
    Dined on 8/16/2010
    Went for restaurant week and was pleasantly surprised by how amazing the food was. Don't be put off by the street level bar room, the downstairs area is huge and very nice. The music was a little to loud for my taste but overall a very good dining experience.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Menu seems like it was trying
    DinerVIP
    Dined on 8/13/2010
    Menu seems like it was trying to be a little ambitious, which made it feel like it lacked focus. Salt & Pepper shrimp recommended by the server as an appetizer was okay; the burger on a griddle English muffin was much better, but still just a burger. Raw bar selections and the Scotch egg on other tables looked top-nothc. Would give this another try, and the space (we sat in the basement) is very cool.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Our dinner was served downstairs
    BrownWithWhite
    Dined on 8/13/2010
    Our dinner was served downstairs where there is a nice bar scene. Food was fair. I would recommend this restaurant as a fun spot for drinks when you are in th area.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Not as amazing this time as
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 8/1/2010
    Not as amazing this time as it usually is, with some oversights and pacing issues, but the server was very attentive after that and tried to compensate with dessert on the house - genuine effort to make up for the slip, which I appreciated. I will return many times, and am sure things will be up to par.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • We were impressed with the
    Blanco
    Dined on 7/30/2010
    We were impressed with the food and the service...not cheap but worth the money.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, special occasion, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Our first visit to the Russell
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 7/23/2010
    Our first visit to the Russell House will not be our last. The noise level is the only aspect of the visit that was negative and management was extremely accommodating in finding us the most quiet corner of the restaurant. Our culinary experience was enhanced by an informative, attentive and excellent server. The food was delicious overall.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene, fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • I had a nice brunch at Russell
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006
    Dined on 7/17/2010
    I had a nice brunch at Russell House Tavern. The restaurant is huge, much bigger than you would think when walking in (because of the sizeable downstairs). Of server was very attentive (perhaps a bit too much) and the food was good although not outstanding. The Orange Squishee cocktail, however, was really great! I would go back, especially since on a Saturday at noon you didn't even need a reservation thanks to all the space!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for brunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Some items on the menue when
    mbsh2100
    Dined on 7/3/2010
    Some items on the menue when orded with a alcoholic beverage can turn the bill to be extreamly expensive. My advice is to drink somewhere else or at dinner order a soda with your meal but for lunch (have not tried there lunch yet) im sure the prices are a bit differnt. But Overal Great Service and very good food. Would come back again!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, special occasion, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great find while visiting
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 6/28/2010
    Great find while visiting Boston. Adventurous menu with smaller plate options to try more things, which for two people worked well. Everything we had was both delicious and interesting, but we didn't save much room for desert. Good prices, also good options for just drinks, dinner with friends, casual or nice evening or lunch - very flexible space. Try the pork trio and the oysters - awesome! You can split appetizer options (crab cakes and salads) as a cost effective way to share meals and try more items on the menu.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, late-night find, special occasion, great for lunch, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • From our first course to dessert,
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007
    Dined on 6/28/2010
    From our first course to dessert, the food was fresh, creatively prepared and delicious. The service was first class. I would make this my regular dining spot if I lived in Cambridge!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • I am thrilled that this restaurant
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007
    Dined on 6/24/2010
    I am thrilled that this restaurant now exists. Harvard Square has been in need of some fresh ambiance, and this place offers great food, excellent cocktails, and great atmosphere all without breaking the bank. This is truly a rare feat for the square--you don't have to mortgage your house to eat a fine meal! I didn't know that was possible anymore! This place is HUGE and beautiful. There's a small bar upstairs and a large bar downstairs. They have mixed tall bar-style tables with booths and round tables throughout, which makes this a great restaurant for a romantic date, a group hang-out, or a relaxing drink at the bar.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, great for lunch, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • We had a very nice dinner.
    MikeFVIP
    Dined on 6/19/2010
    We had a very nice dinner. The burgers are outstanding and highly recommended. The innovative drinks on the drink menu were also excellent. The only complaint was that both red wines we tried by the glass were pretty bad. They were either bad choices or the bottles had been open for too long.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great bar and restaurant in
    BlondieVIP
    Dined on 6/18/2010
    Great bar and restaurant in lower level--secluded from hubbub of Harvard Square. Great craft beer!
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • The 3 of us really enjoyed
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008VIP
    Dined on 6/16/2010
    The 3 of us really enjoyed our meal there and the service was great! Thanks, we'll see you again soon.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene, fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Amazing dining experience!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 6/11/2010
    Amazing dining experience! Amazing food, wine and ambiance! Steve is one of the finest waiters in the Boston area!
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Nice variety in the menu,
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 6/7/2010
    Nice variety in the menu, the small dishes are greatly appreciated as it gave us a chance to try many different items. Our server was very helpful in suggesting a combination of favorites. The ambiance was great and the noise level appropriate for a quality conversation. The food was well prepared and presented. We appreciated the cocktail and cordial variety.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene, fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Had a great time at dinner
    MG0384
    Dined on 6/4/2010
    Had a great time at dinner on a Friday night. Love the outdoor seating and the food was all very good.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great spot in the center of
    KathyVIP
    Dined on 6/3/2010
    Great spot in the center of Harvard Square. Very interesting and tasty menu. Will return again and again.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene, fit for foodies, good for groups, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Russell House Tavern is a
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 5/27/2010
    Russell House Tavern is a great addition to the Harvard Square dining scene. Its upstairs bar opens up to the vibrant square, while the downstairs dining room is a comfortable escape.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • It's ok- which is disappointing
    citichicVIP
    Dined on 5/24/2010
    It's ok- which is disappointing because it could be really good. The iron skillet roasted vegetable small dish is a dish of onions with a bit of shredded zucchini. The burger was good, fries not so good, char was tasty but overall, our food was simply mediocre. Step it up- it only takes a bit more energy to make it a good restaurant!!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • There is some talent in the
    KMPboston
    Dined on 5/22/2010
    There is some talent in the kitchen, but the place is clearly getting its legs under it still. On the plus side, the food was much better than we might have expected; a couple of steps up from what it seemed going in. On the minus side: the place really hasn't figured out portion sizes - an appetizer (the Creamy Spinach Gratin) could certainly be a main dish for one of us, although the small plates seemed well-proportioned. And the service was a bit over assured, meaning the staff seemed confident things were well under control even when this was apparently not the case. We ate upstairs, which was good for people watching and energetic but crowded. We think the place has some potential, however, and we'd visit again.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene, good for groups, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Russell House surprised me
    Katy
    Dined on 5/18/2010
    Russell House surprised me - from the outside (and from photos on their website) it seems like an intimate, upscale eatery. Which it is - on the top floor. Proceed down the back stairs and there is an entire lower level with tons of seating and a second bar. It was bustling and active, with music pumping and people everywhere. The menu is varied - everything from burgers to steak tartare were on the menu, and my poached egg small plate was to die for. The clientele ranges from couples on date night, to business meetings, to large tables of rowdy college students. If you're looking for quiet and romantic, this probably isn't it. But for a fun drink and dinner after work, its an excellent bet!
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Good dinner in Harvard Square.
    BrooklineregularVIP
    Dined on 5/17/2010
    Good dinner in Harvard Square. Not too expensive. Good service. Better beer selection than wine or mixed drinks. Slippery floor!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • This is the old Z Square restaurant
    OpenTable Diner Since 2004VIP
    Dined on 5/16/2010
    This is the old Z Square restaurant space right in Harvard Square. The build out was done nicely, but a bit dark in the downstairs main dining room. The last few steps down are dark so you can miss them. The owners might try lighting them a bit better for safety purposes. The food was very good and the prices on the salads, appetizers, pizza, wine and beer quite reasonable. However, I had the fish special and it was a bit pricey for what it was: a small piece of fish on greens and bread in the low 20s. Stick with the appetizers, salads and pizzas and the price is right.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Service and ambiance were
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 5/15/2010
    Service and ambiance were great, but the food was a bit off. I ordered the lamb shank, which was tough and ridiculously salty.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • The food is good, but expensive
    Fridaynightdinner
    Dined on 5/13/2010
    The food is good, but expensive and comes in very small portions - you want to make sure that you know what you're getting into, so look around at other people's orders before ordering something. We ordered 5 appetizers because we wanted to try different things and each appetizer has 3, maybe 4 bites worth of food in it. The food is good, but not good enough to match it's price tag. You can do better elsewhere for those prices.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • I took my friend to lunch
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007VIP
    Dined on 5/12/2010
    I took my friend to lunch to celebrate her birthday and had high expectations based on the other reviews. We were not disappointed. The food was wonderful, we both had the Artic Char Salad & it was very good. Our server was pleasant and observant plus the support staff was efficient and helpful. We ate in the lower level which we chose and I'm glad we did. The upstairs is much louder than the downstairs. I definitely will return to try dinner.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great food, great atmosphere,
    wkathymVIP
    Dined on 5/9/2010
    Great food, great atmosphere, service was pleasant and prompt. Had the pork trio, which was delicious. Will definitely go again. The dark lighting (in the basement) which we experienced the first time we were there has been brightened this time.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene, fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • the food was very greasy and
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006
    Dined on 5/9/2010
    the food was very greasy and the kitchen kept messing up our order. i would go back for drinks, but not for food.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • This was our first visit,
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 5/8/2010
    This was our first visit, and find the Russell House Tavern a good addition to the Harvard Square food scene. The two of us had the "small plate" of grilled vegetables for a starter, a nice combination that served as a warm salad, and followed it by the Arctic Char, nicely cooked with good accompaniments. The place was quite full, and the crowd was as Open Table puts it "energetic."
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Welcome and service were very
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 5/1/2010
    Welcome and service were very good. Menu is eclectic and different. Food was prepared exactly to our request. We were surprised at how much we liked everything, this being a first time experience. Pizza apps are excellent. It's a bit noisy, but fun for 4 or more.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • A mixed experience. The beef
    DunwichVIP
    Dined on 4/30/2010
    A mixed experience. The beef short ribs Wellington appetizer was excellent, and the seared tuna was pretty good too. Several other things we got were extremely salty, and the service was subject to unpredictable very long delays. It's a lot like Z Square but more expensive.
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • An energetic replacement for
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005VIP
    Dined on 4/30/2010
    An energetic replacement for prior facility... sat at the bar and had appetizers only, as it was busy and we were pressed for time... so we'll have to come back for a full meal, but seems like a fun place
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene, good for groups, late-night find, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Really terriffic food, still
    HairgrrlVIP
    Dined on 4/29/2010
    Really terriffic food, still working out the kinks in reservation seating. I am excited to go back !
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene, fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • One word: Upstairs. Stay there
    DanGVIP
    Dined on 4/28/2010
    One word: Upstairs. Stay there and this place rocks. The pate is amazing. The drinks are too small for the price, but beautifully made.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic