Nearby points of interest
Nearby points of interest
About Catalyst Restaurant
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.
Cambridge, MA 02139
Contemporary French / American, Contemporary French
Hours of Operation:
Sun 10:30 am–2:30 pm
Mon–Fri 11:30 am–2:30 pm
Mon–Thu 5:00 pm–10:00 pm
Fri, Sat 5:00 pm–11:00 pm
Sun 5:00 pm–9:00 pm
$30 and under
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
We validate parking at Technology Square Garage (800 Technology Square)
Red Line Kendall/MIT
Banquet, Bar/Lounge, Fireplace, Full Bar, Outdoor dining, Private Room, Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access
Special Events & Promotions:
For parties of 13 guests or more, we require a prix-fixe menu in our dining room. For parties of 17 guests or more must book with our Private Event Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org
Beautiful custom weddings, rehearsal dinners, showers, & post nuptial brunches. Seamless planning, award winning modern American cuisine & flawless execution
Catalyst Restaurant Ratings and Reviews
The food is good but not extra special at the price point. My clam and mussel scampi on home made pasta was overcooked: tasty but a little gelatinous.
My “stay up all night” cocktail too sweet.
The chicken liver pate (“foam” maybe) was excellent.
Very modern decor, mildly industrial.
My vegetarian entree arrived basically uncooked. It was a delicata squash and it was so hard I couldn't put a fork into it. They took the dish back and eventually a cooked version arrived, but only after my dinner companions had finished eating. It was a very strange situation!
This restaurant, located in Kendall Square, offers a great dining experience in an area where the choices are limited. With good food, reasonable prices and a contemporary ambiance Catalyst is great for any number of occasions from first time business meet ups to catching up with friends.
Overall service was good. We didn't have to wait too long for our food to arrive. I ordered the pasta special (with short ribs) and was quite disappointed. The dish washer mostly pasta with one a few peices of short rib. What I did get tasted good, but it definitely wasn't worth the money. My colleagues meals looked good, so I hope my experience was just a fluke. But still disappointing. One colleague ordered the steak which looked like a well rounded meal. My other colleagues ordered various sandwich options all of which looked reasonable. I think that is probably the way to go at least for a lunch meal. Another thing that bother me was that the servers/busers began to clear our (those of us who had finished) plates before everyone else at the table had finished eating. I know that many restaurants do this, but it is not polite and suggests that those still eating need to hurry up.
My experience at the Catalyst was a most enjoyable one. The restaurant has a lovely ambiance with very good food, attractively presented and served by attentive waitstaff. The tables are spaced well enough apart not to have some other party's conversation interrupting your own.
The short ribs and polenta dish was as good as it gets!
We have been to Catalyst Restaurant many times. Invariably the service and the food is excellent. The restaurant can be a bit noisy when crowded -- in a way that is to be expected. We could still hold a conversation across a table seating 10 people. The variety of dishes available -- from appetizers to desserts, and including drinks -- has more than satisfied different palates.
Ordered a burger, which oozed so much grease and moisture that it turned the surrounding bun into mush. Attempting to grasp and consume it, of course, transferred the various drippings to my hands. The accompanying French fries were also notable for their grease. One might think that would be obvious to the kitchen staff, which would prepare the meat differently and find a way to produce drier potatoes. Many other restaurants do. The service was quite good, but its memory fell far short of the greasy aftertaste of the food.
First time at Catalyst. Dined with friends and we did a lot of sharing of plates. With the sharing I was able to try a wide variety of items on the menu; burger, salmon, octopus, lobster ravioli, bone marrow toast, burrata salad, and a few other items. Everything was absolutely delicious and served up with exceptional hospitality by Ryan. Ryan had a great sense of humor and was attentive, but not intrusive. Drinks from the bar were perfect. Hope to return soon. Give it a try !
I want to like Catalyst. The space is nice, the tables are separated out well, lots of windows. But the food quality is just soooo incredibly inconsistent. I initially thought it was due to my choices (some dishes 10x better than others). But I've gone to brunch and got the same thing (omelet) and had extremely different quality of dishes. I've never had an omelet so overcooked and dry before (when it was supposed to be simple, filled with cheese). And one would think that would be one of the simpler dishes to redo if you overcook it.
The mimosa bar at brunch is cute, but the service can be mixed. We asked what the juices are and the server began to taste the juice in front of us to see what the different flavors were. It was kind of an awkward event, watching/waiting for someone drink juices.
The dinner and lunch options can be creative, but once again, the food quality is really really inconsistent. Waiter/host service can vary in level of snootiness as well.
Surprisingly not a relaxing way to have a meal out, especially given the prices.
To give them credit, they do accommodate gluten free pretty well.
We had a great time at Catalyst for my wife's birthday with some friends. The food was excellent, I appreciated the commitment to locally sourced ingredients. The presentation was stunning and I felt the prices were reasonable for the high quality. It was warm, cozy and inviting and the decor was unique. Our Server Andrew was great. He was engaging and knowledgeable. Great experience!
Made a reservation for a Saturday (10/14/17) night earlier that day. Was surprised to get one seeing as it was the same day! We were a little late for our reservation but they sat us right away. Someone came over with water right away. We then waited for at least 20 min for a server to come over. We had to flag down the water guy and ask him for a server since no one had come over yet. In this time the 2 tables next to us were sat, given water and bread and had their server come over. Ours finally came over and took our drink and starter order. He was awful. Made the mistake of telling us he was moving back to CA and was giving his notice the next day. Clearly he had mentally checked out already. We had 2 bottles of rose` and he managed to spill it twice while pouring. I was with 2 friends and we all have 15+ years in this business. He was an embarrassment to the establishment. The 2 tables next to us got their food and drinks before we got our starters (they had a different server). It was well over an hour by the time we got to the actual entrees.The manager also went by those tables to check in. She never came to our table. If she had we would've told her everything I've just written here. The only minor saving grace was that the food was amazing. I'd definitively go back again. At least I know that server won't still be working there.
Great selection of eclectic food... so many wonderful choices. We had the seasonal beet salad -- superb! followed by delicious and perfectly cooked grilled octopus with pickled onions, potatoes and then some outstanding ribs with kohlrabi slaw. Generous portions along with a very attentive waitstaff and delicious wines AND we could easily have a conversation without straining our voices (!) thank you (!!) This was my 2nd visit -- will come back more often.
We had a lovely lunch here. The carrot-ginger soup was delicious, as was the BBQ chicken sandwich. This is a great place for a business lunch: close to Kendall Square, popular but quiet enough to talk without shouting. The service was fast and we appreciated our server's professional and friendly manner.
We ate at Catalyst on last minute anniversary reservation. Saturday's seem to be a quieter night. We were greeted immediately and they say us right away. Our server, Dan, was prompt, knowledgeable, and helpful. We had soup, an appetizer, and entrees. The beet appetizer was good if not too much food, the corn soup with lobster salad was awesome. Our entrees, both of the seafood variety, were cooked perfectly. I thought there was a good selection not too much that everything gets murky. Our only complaint really was the scraping of the wooden legged chairs across the concrete floors was really loud and jarring. Some felt would make a big difference.
Fabulous time at Catalyst! Celebrating an anniversary. Food was excellent and chef sent us 2 veggie dishes that were great. Server sent 2 glasses of champagne as well. Cocktails were terrific. Server was great, knowledgable and had a great sense of humor. Will definitely go back!
Catalyst is one of our special occasion restaurants. If we lived closer, it would be a neighborhood gem. We've never had a bad meal here. The waitstaff is friendly and professional.
They can describe every dish in detail and have a genuine interest in the food they serve. The bar is excellent.
We went there to celebrate our anniversary. We split the heirloom tomato appetizer. Lovely flavors. We'd never had the Catalyst burger so we thought it would be fun to order it. The beef was delicious. The fries were perfect---tasty and crisp. The homemade dipping sauces were delicious, especially the aioli. I should have requested that the bacon be left out--too much meat in one bun and the flavors competed with each other. I know it's a popular combination,but not to my taste. And, although delicious initially, the brioche bun was too soft to handle all the meat and fillings and became mushy.
But I'm glad I tried it! Next time I will order one of the fish dishes, as I usually do.
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