Catalyst Restaurant

4.4
1485 Reviews
$30 and under
Contemporary French / American
Catalyst Restaurant is the culmination of Chef/Owner William Kovel’s culinary experiences in award-winning restaurants including Jardinière, Orerry and Aujourd'hui at Four Seasons Boston Hotel. 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.


Please follow us on Instagram: @catalystrestaurant, Facebook: Catalyst Restaurant and Twitter: @catalystcam.


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Private Dining

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Safety precautions

Cleaning & Sanitizing
  • Surfaces sanitized between seatings
  • Common areas deep cleaned daily
  • Sanitizer or wipes provided for customers
  • Contactless payment available
Protective Equipment
  • Waitstaff wear masks
Screening
  • Staff is vaccinated
What 1485 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
4.4
food
4.3
service
4.5
ambience
4.0
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Noise · Moderate
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HO
vipHughO
New England
12 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall3food3service2ambience4

Frankly, meh. We were big fans of Catalyst pre-pandemic and have eaten there numerous times. Both the food and the service were always a pleasure.

Last night was not up to Catalyst’s pre-pandemic standards. Of the five items we ordered (2 starters, 2 mains and 1 dessert) only the cod main was excellent. The other 4 items were all mediocre. And the service was painfully inattentive.

We’ll give Catalyst another try once dining out returns to normal, but not before.

SS
SusanneS
New England
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food was fabulous and the ambiance was perfect for our family celebration of two successful Ph.D. defenses! We were even gifted champagne to top it all off! Wonderful!

N
Nica
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on November 19, 2021
Overall3food2service2ambience3

A little pretentious, food doesn’t justify the attitude. Cod was over cooked and dry, served in potato based purée not thick enough for fork, no spoon offered. Pumpkin spice roll dessert mostly ice cream with smidgeon of pumpkin roll which was also quite dry.

PB
vipPamelaB
New England
4 reviews
Dined on November 17, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Good food and service, an energetic environment that is relaxing at the same time -- they don't rush you out the door!

L
Libby
New England
6 reviews
Dined on November 13, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Lovely food, great ambiance and the drinks are lovely. I’ve come here for nice nights out and to celebrate my birthday and all of it was wonderful!

D
Dave
New England
57 reviews
Dined on November 13, 2021
Overall4food4service5ambience3

Very accommodating to our request to sit in a booth (though only 2 of us) - in order to feel comfortable dining indoors.
Service attentive, food delicious.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on November 10, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The service was wonderful, the food and drinks were delicious, and the ambiance was very nice. It is a great place to meet up with friends or go out for a date.

SD
SuburbiaDad
New England
3 reviews
Dined on November 10, 2021
Overall2food3service3ambience3

We booked a standard table and were given a high top. When we pointed out that we reserved a standard table and would like to move, they said we can't move you. Not even an apology. The food wasn't anything special.

OT
OpenTable Diner
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on November 5, 2021
Overall3food3service4ambience4

Wanted to try dinner here…. Forever! Had lunch here a few times pre COVID and always loved it….

But, I was Kinda underwhelmed by the dinner menu…. And all of my food was served cold (although everything tasted good!)

JP
JanP
New England
1 review
Dined on November 3, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

very good food everyone very pleasant . would go again

SM
SarahM
1 review
Dined on November 2, 2021
Overall2food1service2ambience5

Drinks were great, fries were cold and underseasoned. Server was not responsive even though we told him that we were needed to leave in an hour. Paid $20 for cold, dried out French fries and underseasoned soup. I will not be returning.

CH
CarolynH
New England
4 reviews
Dined on October 29, 2021
Overall2food2service1ambience2

We’ve been wanting to dine at Catalyst for some time now. Unfortunately the service was not great. We waited much to long for our server. Our drinks came as we were finishing our appetizers. Much to late. The Delicata squash appetizer was very good but could have used more sauce. The Brussels Sprouts appetizer was almost bland and could have been elevated with more flavoring. The lamb kebab was dry and also could have used more seasoning and sauce. The squash pasta was perfectly good but my husband’s burger was over cooked after asking for it medium rare. The Chef’s selection Chardonnay was delicious. The menu is 5 star but the food and service didn’t deliver. Thinking they just had a bad night and Covid has shaken up their operation. Hopefully soon Catalyst will return to what I imagine is their better self soon.

j
vipjack
New England
608 reviews
Dined on October 27, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Very well prepared food in comfortble setting but a bit" chilly" given the weather turning colder and high ceilings and windows.

DB
DeborahB
Milwaukee
2 reviews
Dined on October 27, 2021
Overall5food4service5ambience5

One of my favorite places to meet friends in Kendall Square.

JK
JoanK
New England
9 reviews
Dined on October 21, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Bartender was very nice, quick and professional.

N
vipNonnie
New England
37 reviews
Dined on October 19, 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience4

The menu is varied and I've never had a bad entrée. There were several very noisy parties there, unexpected on a Tuesday night, but conversation was still possible. Service and ambience are very good and the space is very pleasant.

M
Mackerel358
New England
5 reviews
Dined on October 15, 2021
Overall2food2service3ambience3

One of my friends who is familiar with the restaurant was disappointed with the quality of and preparation of his food, and thought it below the standard we had experienced before.
My dinner and appetizer were fine.

RW
RobinW
New England
1 review
Dined on October 13, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

My colleagues gave me a glowing report. Thanks for all your help.

SV
SabinaVerghese
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on October 1, 2021
Overall3food5service1ambience4

The food was fresh, delicious, and you can definitely tell the local element of each ingredient. However, the service was very poor. Our server did not share what items were not available for that evening and after our food arrived, did not bother to check on us to see if we wanted another drink or how our food was.

OT
OpenTable Diner
New York Area
13 reviews
Dined on September 17, 2021
Overall4food3service4ambience5

Most of the items we ordered were good, but the pork t-bone was over cooked and dry and hard to cut even with a steak knife. Also, the beans that came with it were grossly undercooked and hard, and flavorless. For $32, I would have expected much more. Terrible.

CM
vipCarolM
Charleston
4 reviews
Dined on September 11, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This is a favorite restaurant of mine. The decor is cool, the service is great, the food from drinks through dessert is all wonderful.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
New England
1 review
Dined on September 10, 2021
Overall4food4service5ambience4

Salmon over cooked but the fries were 5 star as was the service from the very attentive and competent wait staff.

DK
DeborahK
New England
8 reviews
Dined on September 9, 2021
Overall4food5service5ambience4

Overall, had a great meal at Catalyst. The corn soup was delicious! It was a rainy Thursday night, so not many guests. The large restaurant seemed a little cavernous without many customers.

BP
vipBrunoP
New England
24 reviews
Dined on September 8, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Very good restaurant. Probably the best deal around Kendall square. Spacious, menu is always a bit different. Perfect for work lunch or dinner, but also for a group of friends.

SP
SarahP
Raleigh
5 reviews
Dined on August 28, 2021
Overall4food5service4ambience4

We dined outside, and luckily were able to move to a covered table when it started to rain. Food was very tasty, especially the potato puffs. The cocktails were also very good.

AE
vipAlexE
New England
1 review
Dined on August 27, 2021
Overall3food4service1ambience4

The waiter was inattentive and careless. The service was extremely slow which made for a frustrating evening.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Orlando
1 review
Dined on August 26, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We always love catalyst when we are in town for meetings! The menu changes frequently and we love trying the bartenders choice for our drinks- they always craft something unique and it’s different every time. Always a great experience!

KC
vipKarenC
New England
18 reviews
Dined on August 26, 2021
Overall4food4service5ambience5

We had a outdoor table. The patio was spacious and pretty. The food was good and service was excellent.

OT
OpenTable Diner
New England
1 review
Dined on August 5, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great dinner

T
vipThomas
New York Area
33 reviews
Dined on August 5, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had the blue roasted cod and Cobb salad for lunch which were well prepared and seasoned. Service was excellent and fast. Highly recommend.

m
michellec
New England
1 review
Dined on July 31, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We love Catalyst and are so happy they are back open! Great food, great cocktails and great service!!!

L
Lovely
New York Area
1 review
Dined on July 23, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Catalyst has a very elegant, modern aesthetic that fits Technology Square very nicely. Every single item on the menu looked delicious and it was tempting to try everything. A must try: the "undecided" cocktail, where the bartender makes you a custom drink based on your favorite flavors.

J
Jonathan
1 review
Dined on July 22, 2021
Overall3food4service3ambience4

Server (Cassidy?) was nice and friendly. Food took too long for how mediocre my entrée was, which obviously isn't her fault. Overall, not the best experience but would definitely give this place another shot.

There were maybe 15 people in the restaurant total, and our 2 entrees took an hour-twenty to come out. My Catalyst burger was pretty meh. Inside was medium rare (perfect) but the outside was hard and blackened, not at all to my liking. The toppings were also pretty underwhelming. We also ordered a pasta dish that was extremely tasty, would rate 5/5. Potato puffs and focaccia were also delicious.

Had a $16 cocktail that was tasty but barely larger than a shot glass and probably half as much alcohol.

Patio looks great, but unfortunately it started raining. The atmosphere in the restaurant was also very nice.

A
Auntie
New England
33 reviews
Dined on July 17, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Nice place! Expensive. I've enjoyed dining both indoors and out.

h
viphappyfoodie
New York Area
16 reviews
Dined on July 16, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The restaurant was lively, the staff was AMAZING - Carlos and Rigoberto were on top of things the whole night, and the food was delicious! Highly recommend this restaurant if you’re in the area. There’s indoor and outdoor seating, the cocktails are inventive, the service again - especially coming out of Covid - was really good. Kudos to the Catalyst team!

DS
DSds
Los Angeles
2 reviews
Dined on July 16, 2021
Overall2food1service2ambience5

Very nice atmosphere, but that was the highlight. Although our food looked great, our entrées came out only five minutes after ordering, certainly not enough time to cook chicken and salmon. Both dishes were obviously cooked beforehand, and just warmed up. They cooled off quickly and tasted like airplane food. The salmon was very fishy. At these prices, you would expect much more. The place was almost empty, so there was no excuse for the inattentive service, but that could’ve been just with our particular server.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
New York Area
5 reviews
Dined on July 15, 2021
Overall2food1service4ambience2

The food was terrible. We got truffle aioli and it tasted like lemon. We asked the chef if they may have confused the truffle aioli with lemon aioli and they said no. I would never recommend this place to anyone.

Service was good though!

YS
vipYoSoyFiesta
New England
40 reviews
Dined on July 15, 2021
Overall4food5service4ambience4

My fiancée and I went to Catalyst and sat at the bar. They have an excellent spirits program and we enjoyed lively conversation with the bartender, Jay, as well as some of the other guests sitting near us. It is a beautiful space with a large outdoor area, as well as a fireplace which me made note of for future visits. They have several interesting cocktails using unusual ingredients. The food was excellent: we had the chicken liver mousse and split the bolognese. I had the baked Alaska as well, which was really great. The only thing that causes me to mark them down is there was a long delay after our initial drinks where we were not offered another. It was getting busy in the restaurant and at that time there seemed to only be one bartender serving the whole establishment. It was not like he was ignoring us, he was just very busy.

CB
CarenB
1 review
Dined on July 15, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The quinoa salad and fish tacos were outstanding and the service was perfect. This was a business lunch.

OT
OpenTable Diner
New England
1 review
Dined on July 14, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great place for dinner after work

FAQs

You can order delivery directly from Catalyst Restaurant using the Order Online button. Catalyst Restaurant also offers takeout which you can order by calling the restaurant at (617) 576-3000.

Catalyst Restaurant is rated 4.4 stars by 1485 OpenTable diners.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable. Due to local restrictions, this restaurant may not be accepting reservations at the moment.

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