The Blue Room
Hampshire and Portland streets
(in Kendall Square)
Cambridge, MA 02139Neighborhood:
Contemporary AmericanPrice: $31 to $50
The Blue Room
- Dining Style: Casual Elegant
- Website: http://www.theblueroom.net/
- Phone: (617) 494-9034
- Hours of Operation:
Dinner: Sunday: 5:00pm-9:00pm, Monday - Thursday: 5:00pm - 10:00pm, Friday & Saturday: 5:00pm - 11:00pm; Brunch: Sunday: 11:00am - 2:30pm
- Payment Options: AMEX,Carte Blanche,Diners Club,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
- Cuisine: European, Italian, Contemporary American
- Executive Chef: Andrew Bonner
- Dress Code: Casual Dress
- Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
- Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Counter Seating, Farm to Table, Full Bar, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
A word from The Blue Room
The Blue Room is simple casual comfort. Housed in a renovated woven hose factory, this nationally acclaimed restaurant is composed of bare wood beams, brick and granite walls, cozy suede banquettes, soft lighting and zinc-topped tables. Chef Robert Grant puts his wood-burning grill to work creating dishes with influences from his time spent cooking his way through Italy, Spain and France using locally-sourced ingredients and techniques gleaned from his stints with renowned chefs Thomas Keller + Barbara Lynch. Along with the lively atmosphere comes an interesting, eclectic and affordable wine list. Stop in on Sunday nights for "Retail Wine" night, where 50 or so wines are offered at retail prices. Good & Friendly.Continued
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The Blue Room reviews from OpenTable diners
106 reviews since July 26, 2014
- Ambiance4.1Noise LevelModerate
fit for foodies (58)great for outdoor dining (36)neighborhood gem (32)special occasion (27)great for brunch (26)romantic (21)good for groups (18)notable wine list (17)late-night find (9)kid-friendly (6)great for lunch (3)hot spot (3)vibrant bar scene (2)Show More
- Excellent food, excellent serviceOpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 11/21/2014A very warm, rustic basement place with a comfortable atmosphere. We went early on a Friday night and were asked immediately if we had any time considerations. We said, no, we were going to take our time enjoying our meal. Our server kept that in mind throughout & we had a wonderful, leisurely meal. The Gnocchi, Pork, and Papardelle with duck confit are highly recommended, as is the Pear Crisp for dessert. The wine & drinks list is impressive & comprehensive. Thankfully, the knowledgeable staff is very helpful in narrowing down your choices, even to the point of bringing samples of the wines for comparison. One of the hallmarks of a fine restaurant such as this is not just the food/wine/beverage aspect but how it handles itself when something goes wrong. There was a mix-up with our bill which was handled promptly & courteously. We can't wait to come back in warmer weather to try dining on the patio!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Fun place for Sunday BrunchCWL7VIPDined on 11/16/2014The food was really good! Plenty of it. The familiar music of Oldies but Goodies from different decades added to the joyful ambiance. (It wasn't too loud.) The huge choice at the buffet made it hard not to want to try a little bit of this, a little bit of that. It was delicious.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Food is good, but VERY small portions/high priceellenglovskyVIPDined on 11/15/2014We went out for an evening with friends and tried this place for the first time. Very friendly greeting, but we were seated too close to the door on a cold evening, so every time the door opened we were chilled. The service was very good, and the food was tasty and well prepared. What really interfered with its enjoyment was the VERY small portions at high prices. I have a smaller appetite than my husband, and I was left unsatisfied. Not a good feeling.
- Very Decent New American, Excellent DrinksOpenTable Diner Since 2013Dined on 11/14/2014It's not the most outstanding food you will find, but everything is very well prepared and almost reasonably priced for what is in the food and for the effort behind it. The menu makes sense, which is something you cannot say about a lot of places. The drinks are very good: the bar is an excellent place for having a good time!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Tenth time here and disappointing.OpenTable Diner Since 2010Dined on 11/14/2014Sand in two of four salads. Pork was old and dry. Wine and rest of food was outstanding but the staff seemed annoyed that we wanted a clean salad and fresh meat! Really? Place is either "off" or headed downhill.
- Movie nightcantabrigian1VIPDined on 11/14/2014There is a dearth of restaurants around Kendall Cinema so one is forced to choose among such establishments as Blue Room, Tommy Doyle's, Friendly Toast, Hungry Mother, Cambridge Brewing Company, etc. etc. most are truly pedestrian. Hungry Mother is the best, but quite pricey. Blue Room tries to be upscale, but is just OK. Meats tend to be overlooked; vegetables slightly overdone. The mussels were dry. The pasta was tasty, but warm, not hot. Too bad the Think Tank had to close. rating interview
- diner20Dined on 11/8/2014Dependable good food and very good service. Always appreciate effort to accommodate need for a quieter table. Wish there were more green salad and green vegetable choicesSpecial Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- OpenTable Diner Since 2011Dined on 11/8/2014Have been there serveral times, but this time was asked if we had after dinner plans then told we couldn't have entrées. We were going to leave, as we had come in large part for the entrees. The server came back and told us he had misread the clock and we did have time for entrees. Would generally recommend to people but with caution.
- Great night out!OpenTable Diner Since 2013Dined on 11/7/2014My boyfriend and I went for dinner there on a Friday. It was busy but wasn't packed, so you didn't feel like it was over crowded. We were trying to not drink much so he got one glass of wine to last the meal and I didn't have any. He LOVED the wine, and we also started with a cheese plate and the pappardelle with duck. Both were amazing. As cheeseplates go, not as overpriced as most are, and it came with nuts, bread and a good hunk of cheese. For entrees, the menu is limited but it's all that's needed. I got the roasted chicken that came with plenty of food and he got the steak. We didn't get dessert as we were very full, but the list sounded delicious. I think we had a different server almost every time we needed something, but it didn't detract from the experience. Would definitely recommend to anyone looking for a nice date night!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Use it oftenOpenTable Diner Since 2013Dined on 11/7/2014It is just outside my office and I use it often for business dinners and well as when my wife and adult children have a meal out. Consistently good.Special Features:
- Awesome Sunday BrunchjswimsDined on 11/2/2014It was a rainy snowy Sunday and we arrived early for our 11 a.m. reservation to be greeted a welcoming hostess. Come in out of the cold while we finish setting up, she said. And from that moment on it was a great brunch. Our server was outstanding , including taking our family picture and sharing the history of the building with us. The food was outstanding - something for everybody. We can't wait to go back and highly recommend the brunch!Special Features:
- Interesting menunorthendmomDined on 11/1/2014We were going to the movies, and had a little under an hour for dinner, so we were advised that we could not get anything from the main menu past the appetizers except the gnocchi. I was disappointed, however my date and I ordered the lamb skewers, cheese plate and mussels, and they were all so delicious we didn't even need to order from the main menu. Wine pairing was delicious, and service was good - waited a while for the check, but still made the movie on time. I do recommend this restaurant for something interesting and well prepared with a fabulous atmosphere and delicious food. Next time, we'll go earlier and try something off the main menu, and I do appreciate the kitchen staff's concern for us to make it to our movie on time.Special Features:
- disappointingBabsDined on 10/25/2014This has always been on our list of favorite restaurants and we've always had a good food experience. This time, I hope, will be an exception. We were comped for the long delay in getting our food and for the salad that was too salty to eat, so we appreciate the acknowledgement that this experience was substandard.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Blue room spotty serviceBretVIPDined on 10/25/2014Great food and creative ingredients Server brought down the experience. She never introduced herself, and entrees orders were taken 15 minutes after they pulled our appetizers. The bill took 10 minutes to process. Other servers looked great. Also wine steward brought the wrong wine.Special Features:
- Disappointing this timeHumma1965Dined on 10/23/2014We usually love this place but this time sand was in my salad, no pomegranate seeds as advertised. My husbands soup watery and bland. Service uneven.
- Great food,Valentine7Dined on 10/19/2014I had brunch here last weekend. Great fresh food and I loved the fact that everything is prepared in small pans, so foods always come out fresh. Price is 1/2 of that of another buffet place in the same area, but food is definitely better. My only complaint is I wish you could get salads WITHOUT dressing or dressing on the side. Otherwise perfect Sunday afternoon, I will come here again.Special Features:
- Sunday BrunchMegginDined on 10/19/2014I went to The Blue Room for lunch and had never been before. It was cold, but in warmer months the outdoor seating area looked lovely. They make certain dishes seasonally so there is no set menu. There was a wonderful buffet - all freshly made, nothing sitting out for too long like some buffets - filled with both breakfast and lunch options. All the food is wonderful, but you have to save room for dessert! They also had a dessert table filled with delicious and unique mini-desserts such as pear butter macaroons (I highly recommend). A little pricey at 27$ a head, but worth it for a nice brunch.Special Features:
- Excellent!GStevensDined on 10/18/2014Took our son out for a special birthday dinner and The Blue Room did not disappoint. Excellent service - attentive,friendly, and let us take our time - and seriously delicious food. Not our first visit and certainly will not be our last!Special Features:
- DisappointmentOpenTable Diner Since 2009Dined on 10/17/2014We had to wait for 10 minutes before we could get anyone's attention in order to seated for our reservation, which was not a good start to the evening. The waiter was knowledgeable and the wine was good but both the branzino and pork were a disappointment. If the wait person does not know how to bone a fish at the table, it should be done in the kitchen. From our perspective, this restaurant was definitely overrated.Special Features:
- Excellent again and againcabgoesleftVIPDined on 10/17/2014From 1996, when I first went to the Blue Room, it has been invariably excellent. I "had to" eat at the Blue Room 3 nights in a week on this trip - NOT a hardship. It was 3-for-3 on all counts. The cuisine is well balanced, interested, local and excellent. Wait staff are great hosts, well informed and considerate. It's a great spot.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great food, very slow meal thoughMustLoveFoodDined on 10/17/2014The food was very good. Very impressed by the octopus appetizer and the kale side I had was incredibly delicious. We appreciated the server asking whether we had a movie or any activity to get to, but didn't think by saying no it meant we were going to get incredibly slow service. The food was very delicious but we spent a lot of time just waiting, the restaurant wasn't busy & the kitchen team seemed very at ease, so they might just be much more respectful of diners who enjoy taking their time...something to keep in mind next time!Special Features:
- Hoboken43Dined on 10/14/2014I found the food choices somewhat limited, 7 entrees in all, just one seafood choice. I had hanger steak, ordered medium rare. It was nicely crusted on the outside but raw in the middle, an unusual method to prevent toughness. Service was slow, somewhat appropriate for a social evening, but a bit slow, nonetheless. I've had many better meals there. The section of the restaurant near the open kitchen gets a bit smoky in the course of the evening. I would ask for a table on the bar side of the restaurant, away from the kitchen.
- Mediocre at bestOpenTable Diner Since 2011Dined on 10/10/2014A bit disappointing. Nothing special. Service was on the slow side.
- I love the Blue RoomcabgoesleftVIPDined on 10/2/2014The Blue Room has been doing the same thing for decades - making exceptionally good, locally sourced and inventive cuisine. It is always good. It's a great space - comfortable, warm and friendly. Staff is always knowledgeable and friendly. And they have a great selection of wine - never same old stuf, always good old world wines that are well selected.Special Features:
- ok but nothing specialluckyrockDined on 9/30/2014The Blue Room use to be a place we went to for special occasions, which is what Sept 30 was. We met as a family to celebrate a 60th birthday. All of the dishes were ok (salmon rillette, salt cod, squash soup, chicken, hanger steak and swordfish) but nothing stood out, However, the pork schnitzel was a disappointment, greasy, salty, dry and too much mustard. The desserts were nothing to comment about either (crisp and mousse). The wine list was extensive and affordable, mostly European and unfamiliar, but the service staff was helpful in making a selection. The draft beer selection was limited. Overall we are used to being wowed by at least one dish but these meals were far from previous experiences.
- Used to go to BR back in the 90sCCmaria62Dined on 9/26/2014I LOVED the place in the 90s. Great food. FANTASTIC drinks: my fav was a vodka, chambord, w/ rose petal - maybe something else? BR did not have chambord - and were really only staged Gin drinks (on cocktail menu). I had a side car - which was not bad - but was not great either. Too the limited liquor choices. The food: pork. It was greasy in places and dry in others: overcooked. The spatzel was fair - but it was not incredible - too much mustard for my taste. The broccoli was salty - as if it had been dredged through the Red Sea. The dessert - blueberries and peaches - a crisp - boring - and the iced cream on top - tasteless. The waiter was kind and tried to accommodate - but acted anxious to get us in and out. Will not returnSpecial Features:
- Solid, good food prepared well.OpenTable Diner Since 2006Dined on 9/20/2014Very good service, good wine list and help choosing an appropriate one. Would like to have seen shellfish on the menu--aren't the autumn months the best?Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Quiet but unspectacularginandtonicDined on 9/20/2014Hadn't been to the Blue Room in years, and it's fine but not as good as it used to be. Of our 2 appetizers, the heirloom tomatoes were fine but ordinary, the cheese/peach jam/nuts were disappointing. Of our 3 main courses, the bluefish was excellent; the hanger steak and roast chicken fine but not up to the level of the lavish food of the old days. We missed the garlic mashed potatoes; the roast potatoes were fine, but ordinary. The single best thing about the place is the ambiance and quiet -- it was really lovely to be able to have a conversation without shouting. I'd choose it for an ordinary meal, but not for a special occasion. Service was pleasant.I would recommend this to a friend.
- perfect for work dinnerpamstekDined on 9/17/2014Blue room has right ambience, quality and price for a work dinner. I often bring teams to dinner here to celebrate after face-to-face meetings. Everyone always has great things to say about the food and atmosphere.Special Features:
- Food good; Service, mehOpenTable Diner Since 2004VIPDined on 9/13/2014The selection of small plates was outstanding. No need to order entrees here. But the service was a bit sketchy. It seems like they were training a couple of new servers and despite the extra help, the service was spotty. The server was not sure what was in one dish when asked and even gave us the wrong response. A busser started to take a plate away that still had food on it. For dessert, we ordered the Pavlova, which the server remarked was an excellent choice. She brought a Crostata and announced that is was the Pavlova. If not for the spotty service, the evening would have been terrific.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Very good food and serviceAverageVIPDined on 9/13/2014I have dined at this restaurant before a movie. The wait staff is attentive and very courteous. The food and atmosphere are very good. It is one of my regular places when I am in the area.Special Features:
- Great for before/aft Kendall movieRossDined on 9/7/2014Good and unusual food, good service and ambiance. We use it for before or after Kendall cinema.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- tiny portionsGP68VIPDined on 9/6/2014Menu has become more limited and portions have shrunk to very small sizes. Server took forever to bring beverages and completely forgot one drink. Note sure I will be back.
- Great spot for dinner & moviekathybDined on 9/6/2014Best spot for a meal before or after a movie at Kendall. Fresh, well-reasoned green salad...big enough to share. Lamb with lentils was good. Bluefish with broccoli raab was tasty, although a touch over-rich and the raab was a little stringy. Good cocktail...a pinkish martini-like concoction that was not too sweet. I didn't see their pre-movie special on the menu. Wish they would bring it back.Special Features:
- Hasn't lost any of it's sparkleBlueRoomDined on 9/3/2014It had been quite a while since we were at Blue Room, but it's still as wonderful as I remember. The menu is smaller, I think, but the three of us had different starters and different mains, and all were just delicious. Waitress was knowledgable about the wine list, and her recommendations of different white wines for different mains (one the bluefish, one the corn risotto), were spot on. We sat outside and it was a great choice.Special Features:
- Great ServiceEJ101Dined on 8/31/2014Went with a part of 6 recently for dinner. The bartender overhead of an recent wedding engagement in our group and the service team went above and beyond with incredible service. The bartender, waiter and chef all visited the table to congratulate the couple. They also gave us some sparkling wine, house made mortadella, extra desserts and some cordials on the house to celebrate the occasion. Really friendly and totally unexpected. The meals were all delicious, thought out and executed very well. Great wine list. Would definitely recommend this restaurant to anyone.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- A lovely eveningDiningforpleasureVIPDined on 8/31/2014The food was excellent...and the ambiance was very nice. The pork dish was fabulous. and one could actually have a conversation! and NO TVs...hooray!Special Features:
- Very good food.fakevegetarianDined on 8/26/2014We ordered a bunch of appetizers, all of which were very good -- the quinoa salad, the salmon, and the tomato salad were all great. The highlight of the night was the bluefish. It was excellent. I had higher expectations on the plum crostata. Maybe I had eaten too much by the time dessert came. Downsides: Service was a bit slow. That said, we were a group of six and we ordered a lot of dishes. We were seated in one of the nooks with wooden benches. While this created a perfect micro-atmosphere for our group, the wooden benches were uncomfortable. Last, but not least, the waitress didn't know what a macchiato is (!). Would go back again.Special Features:
- Excellent BrunchzookeeperDined on 8/24/2014I took my family to the Blue Room to celebrate my daughter's birthday -- the food, service and ambiance were perfect. My daughter really enjoyed the food, excellent desserts, and ambiance!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- aussamarDined on 8/23/2014The food was really good, amazing quality and taste, the ambiance was a bit quiet for a Saturday night in Cambridge, missing a little bit of music (live?) to make the ambianceSpecial Features: