Catalyst Restaurant

4.5
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1418 Reviews
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$30 and under
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Contemporary French / American
Catalyst Restaurant is a reflection of Chef/Owner William Kovel’s passion for simple food delivered with warm service in a modern environment. The Catalyst dining experience centers on bright, simple food created from the season’s freshest local ingredients, serious French technique and an appreciation for the details that go into our guest's experience. Catalyst Restaurant opened in 2011 as one of the pioneer businesses in Technology Square near the MIT Campus in Cambridge, MA. Since that time, an influx of start-ups and big companies that have made Catalyst a hub for business lunches, after-work gatherings and private dining.
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Private Dining

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What 1418 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.5based on recent ratings
4.4
food
4.4
service
4.5
ambience
4.0
value
Noise · Moderate
97% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
New England
2 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall4food5service5ambience3

Good food and service. Delicious mushroom ravioli and knowledgeable bar tender. Terrible music playlist of 70s pop/rock that seemed out of place, too loud for conversation, and just in poor taste all round.

MK
New England
2 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall2food3service1ambience3

Service was soooo slow. We were seated right away for our reservation- it took 20 mins for our waitress to come over and take our drink order... our appetizers cam before our drinks did... the food was mediocre... will not dine here again

OT
New England
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Food was good, if not somewhat overpriced. Ambiance overall was very nice but we were sat at a table essentially in a hallway next to an exit door so not an ideal spot.

RD
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Some gluten free dessert options would be nice, even if it's just vanilla ice cream. Maybe a creme brulee?

PL
New England
16 reviews
Dined on February 7, 2020
Overall2food2service4ambience4

Well let’s start with the pluses. The restaurant is large and nicely appointed. Comfortable and casual. Service was very good. I ordered the Bartender’s choice for a drink and it was very nice. Unfortunately, the food was passable at best. We had the duck confit app. This turned out to be shredded duck with very little flavor topped by a a flaccid piece of roared duck skin. Confit generally has a rich umami quality because it is cooked in duck fat, not here and the skin would have been great if it had been crispy. The other apps were passable, a tuna tartar was pleasant but pedestrian. The chicken liver mouse had was prepared well but needed something to punch it up per gaps a splash of cognac. All in the apps were disappointing. We had two pasta dishes for mains, again solid but nothing special. The special was beef short rib with a taleggio cheese ravioli. The dish was super rich and no real contrasting textures. The second pasta was a squid ink cavetelli with shrimp, artichokes and capers in a very light lemon butter sauce. Again workman like prep. I should know better than to keep falling for squid ink pasta. Only truest flavor a couple of times most as was here just color red black but real flavor difference.

All in all a servicemen meal but no reason to return. No standouts which is a shame because with a bit more care all the elements are in place to be a great restaurant

T
San Diego
53 reviews
Dined on February 3, 2020
Overall2food2service4ambience4

So disappointed! Had visited this restaurant two nights in a row in Oct on a prior business trip and loved what I had from the menu. This time the offerings were just edible by comparison. Please come back up to former grace!!

DS
New England
1 review
Dined on February 3, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I don't get here as often as I'd like, but this is one of my favorite, go to places for lunch, dinner or a drink.

YP
New England
29 reviews
Dined on February 1, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Cod was very good, the Upside Down #2 was really good if u like Whiskey.

OT
New England
1 review
Dined on January 18, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Good Food, nice ambience and good service.

SR
New England
2 reviews
Dined on January 16, 2020
Overall3food3service3ambience4

Food was mediocre. Staff was rushed. Cocktails were good, but server didn’t have a clue about the wine. Disappointing. Host staff were very welcoming and friendly.

OT
New England
6 reviews
Dined on January 16, 2020
Overall5food4service5ambience4

Great location for a small group dinner. Conversation was easy in the environment, service was outstanding, and everyone enjoyed their meal.

CM
New England
2 reviews
Dined on January 16, 2020
Overall3food5service1ambience4

Catalyst used to be my go to for business meals, but the service was so bad I don’t think I can take clients here again.

OT
New England
4 reviews
Dined on January 14, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent as always.

GP
1 review
Dined on January 14, 2020
Overall3food2service2ambience3

The service until we have been able to order the food took forever. The meat of my burger was warm, but not hot. Even the french fries have been excellent I would not recommend catalyst for business meetings.

C
New England
10 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Everything from food to service was perfect. They have a sommelier who is very knowledgeable to help choose wines. My husband and I went there for New Year Eve's dinner and really enjoyed it.

SQ
San Diego
2 reviews
Dined on December 23, 2019
Overall4food5service4ambience4

My sisters were finally coming into the city to meet me for a holiday lunch. With so many options to choose from, I figured catalyst was the safe bet.

Both of them thoroughly enjoyed their meals and also like the decor.

CL
1 review
Dined on December 17, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent business dinner out. When do you accommodating staff have a cold and snowy night. We had a very nice time.

RC
New England
4 reviews
Dined on December 11, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Awesome food place and staff. One of my favorites for lunch in KS.

OT
1 review
Dined on December 6, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience5

Everything was excellent, but unfortunately they didn’t have chicken

BS
New England
132 reviews
Dined on December 5, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent menu with many great choices and great service. Great place for a group and/or a special occasion.

GH
1 review
Dined on November 25, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food was outstanding, very professional service, with a correct set up for each course without the enjoying questions of who is eating what. The lightning was perfect and so was the music in the background.

OT
1 review
Dined on November 22, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent food and service!

RS
New England
2 reviews
Dined on November 19, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We arrived for dinner at 9:15pm and were served promptly but calmly despite the late hour, and had a delightful, well-attended vegetarian meal until well after 10pm when we departed the otherwise empty restaurant.

LT
New England
1 review
Dined on November 19, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience4

Pleasant atmosphere. Attentive staff and delicious food.

CK
Washington DC
7 reviews
Dined on November 18, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great restaurant for our large group from a nearby conference. The restaurant was large so we weren't close to other tables where we felt our group was disturbing them.

AW
New England
30 reviews
Dined on November 15, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food was quite wonderful and served beautifully. I recommend Catalyst without any reservation (and I mean regarding food or ambience).

d
New England
2 reviews
Dined on November 8, 2019
Overall2food2service2ambience5

I felt the menu was promising more than the execution delivered.

w
New England
10 reviews
Dined on November 2, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience5

Wanted to try somewhere we haven’t been. Wonderful discovery. Well made cocktail, good wine, and all aspects of the experience were terrific.

JL
New England
2 reviews
Dined on November 1, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience5

Very nice restaurant: clean, sleek & uncluttered. Interesting menu options. I had the spaghetti dish with jalapeño walnut pesto and parmesan, it was so good!!! I would recommend this spot for a very unproblematic night out.

j
New England
1 review
Dined on November 1, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience5

One dish was not quite up to their standards—but everything else was exceptional

G
Miami
27 reviews
Dined on October 31, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience5

Great service, elegant space, good but expensive foos

OT
New England
3 reviews
Dined on October 26, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience5

Services was great. Friendly and helpful. Some of the food were under seasoned. my friends were somewhat disappointed given the high reviews.

KM
New England
7 reviews
Dined on October 22, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The perfect spot for a business lunch in busy Kendall Square!

AB
New England
5 reviews
Dined on October 21, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food, great service, lovely place for dinner.

MD
New England
11 reviews
Dined on October 21, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Catalyst is one of my favorite places to dine. All staff are very attentive. Food is always awesome. I tried their special - raviolo = a huge and pillowy round ravioli filled with mushrooms and oh so tasty

D
New England
4 reviews
Dined on October 21, 2019
Overall4food4service3ambience3

We go here a lot for work. The party we had dining yesterday ended up growing by one at the last minute, from 9 to 10 and they were very accommodating. Experience has taught me that dining earlier for lunch at Catalyst will make your visit go a lot smoother, as it gets very busy there at times!

F
1 review
Dined on October 17, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Our server was excellent and the food was very good.

SM
1 review
Dined on October 3, 2019
Overall3food1service5ambience4

The Sweet Potato Quinoa Bowl ($16) was literally 90% red quinoa, mixed in the teeniest little pieces of sweet potato you could ever imagine, and topped with few spinach leaves and chipotle vinaigrette. Seriously? Catalyst should visit LifeAlive to see how bowls are made!

JK
1 review
Dined on September 30, 2019
Overall4food5service4ambience5

This was my first visit to catalyst and
I think they have Great food.
prices are high but not ridiculous.
Service was good but could have been better especially for the price range.
Overall I would recommend.

JS
New England
2 reviews
Dined on September 21, 2019
Overall3food3service2ambience4

We have dined here 3 times now at different times of the year for special occasions. While the service is friendly, they were not attentive and did not ask us how we wanted our fish cooked. It arrived well done which is not to my liking. They forgot to deliver the dessert menu, so we declined and paid. Because it was our anniversary, they gave us sparkling wine when we arrived, but I do not drink. Intentions were good, but not the best dining experience compared to past visits.

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