Catalyst Restaurant

4.4
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1400 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 1400 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.4based on recent ratings
4.3
food
4.4
service
4.5
ambience
4.0
value
Noise · Moderate
88% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall4food4service5ambience5

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

BS
New England
127 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
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
1 review
Dined on November 8, 2019
Overall2food2service2ambience5

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

w
New England
8 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
1 review
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
3 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.

RK
Montreal
49 reviews
Dined on September 17, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Had the beef dish tonight, great choice!

t
Miami
33 reviews
Dined on September 16, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

We had a large group for a business meal - our Server Michelle was great and we were not waiting for anything - we all had a great time

JG
New England
3 reviews
Dined on September 16, 2019
Overall3food3service3ambience3

Food and service were both just fair

LJ
New England
57 reviews
Dined on September 13, 2019
Overall3food3service3ambience3

Hadn’t been in a while. Used to feel like bustling weekend dinner spot. Only one space had most
Tables full so it had a kind of slow struggling feeling. Maybe it’s more of tech lunch spot. Everything was just alright. From trout to cod to lobster pasta.

OT
New England
2 reviews
Dined on September 6, 2019
Overall3food3service5ambience5

Camila our waitress was fabulous!

KM
New England
24 reviews
Dined on September 5, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

the best, most professional server we have experienced in a long time.

superb knowledge of the wine list, and the food choices

LV
New England
9 reviews
Dined on August 30, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The restaurant was less crowdwd than usual, so not so noisy. The service was wonderful and the amuse- bouche was an appetizer-sized portion of wonderful pasta. The entrees were delicious, we had chicken and the grain bowl. A pleasant place for a meeting with a friend or colleague.

DB
1 review
Dined on August 23, 2019
Overall4food4service3ambience4

I have been twice to Catalyst (as it is close to MIT's East Campus). The place certainly has a Kendall Square industrial-chic vibe popular with smart people in the technology sectors. The servings are quite good, if not always exciting, and the moderate size of each entrée, presented with generous "white space" on the plate with flair is sensible in an aesthetic and dietary sense.

As to drinks, the same cocktail may vary depending upon which bartender gives birth to it. My Barrel-Aged Manhattan was magnificent in drama and chemistry when created by Cody at the bar (see photo), However, the second time, when I was seated far from the bar at a table with friends, the bartender of the day produced a pale imitation. For drinks, I advise, if alone, sitting at the bar when Cody is present.

DQ
New England
12 reviews
Dined on August 22, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The is now my favorite restaurant in the MIT vicinity.

JW
New England
79 reviews
Dined on August 15, 2019
Overall4food3service2ambience4

Have been here many times and food has been excellent and creative. This time, however, things lacked imagination. Salmon was cooked nicely but few accompanying things on the dish. Duck was actually not good - tough and not tasty. Waiter was indifferent and not especially helpful. Very disappointed, as we really like the ambience and the food. We will probably go elsewhere nearby when dining in this area.

SG
1 review
Dined on August 7, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience4

The food is consistently excellent and appropriate proportions.

JC
1 review
Dined on August 5, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This is a wonderful restaurant. The food was incredible and I was appreciative that there were options for vegetarians. Everything we ordered was delicious! The waiter was attentive and my water glass was never empty!

OT
New England
4 reviews
Dined on August 3, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Staff at this restaurant was warm and welcoming. Service was great. Food and wine excellent. Will definitely come back

MB
New England
2 reviews
Dined on July 31, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Reliably excellent blend of haute cuisine and comfort food with reasonable portions, great drinks and a cool techie atmosphere.

W
New England
25 reviews
Dined on July 31, 2019
Overall4food5service5ambience4

Great food at the Catalyst, but meals were pricey. When you add on the cost of a couple of glasses of wine, it's a lot of money.

CB
New England
5 reviews
Dined on July 30, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I had a wonderful experience at Catalyst. The food is always outstanding, and the ambiance is comfortable and relaxing. No elbowing dining neighbors here. But it’s always like that, I have eaten there several times because I work nearby. It’s very convenient and worthwhile.

What was different last night was that my salmon was just short of perfectly cooked, and Catalyst is one of the few places that I’ve had it perfectly done. Our server was more attentive and engaging than I remember those for past meals (no complaints, just hoping management sees this). She magically procured a replacement, though I was already full (my meal was still excellent!). The manager asked me just to try and see if it was perfect, as I remembered. It was incredible, as I remembered, and he said how important it was they get things just right. Our server then cheerfully packed up the meal and returned it to me to take home at no charge.

I’m now a fan.

ML
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on July 30, 2019
Overall3food4service1ambience2

I asked for an available window table, and then was told it has been requested and taken. From 11:30 to 1pm when I left - that table was open and not taken..... not happy!

OT
1 review
Dined on July 25, 2019
Overall3food3service4ambience3

Lunch came out very fast- tough for a business meeting

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