Parsnip Restaurant

4.5
301 reviews
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$31 to $50
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Contemporary American
Parsnip Restaurant & Lounge is located in the heart of Harvard Square. We offer ingredient-driven and globally influenced Modern American cuisine alongside a select list of wines, craft beer and cocktails. Our goal is to create a gracious environment for upscale-casual dining.

Specials

WINE DOWN WEDNESDAY & OYSTERS

Wine-Down with us each Wednesday! Rosés all this Spring and fresh picks each week unique to our menu! This week we are mad for oysters! $45/BTL & Complimentary Half-Dozen Oysters | 5PM-7PM

Terms and Conditions:

Valid For: 1 - 20 people

Starts: May 14, 2019

Ends: May 15, 2118

Availability: Wed 5:00PM-7:00PM

What 301 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
4.3
service
4.6
ambience
4.0
value
Noise · Moderate
85% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
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EV
New England
1 review
Dined on May 17, 2019
Overall 2food 3service 1ambience 3

Not so good! While I was really looking forward to visit this restaurant, right off the bat, things didn't go well. I arrived five minutes late for our reservation, and even though my friend was already seated, the hostess directed me to sit in the waiting/lounge area. Once I was seated, it took about 15-20min for my cocktail to arrive. Our waiter was mostly absent, uncomfortable, and quite a bit over his head. My entree arrived lukewarm, obviously sitting under the warming lamp for longer than it was necessary. The overall quality of the food, based on the price was not in line. I also resented finding a service charge for the KITCHEN STAFF on the bill! I feel very strongly, that it is the responsibility of the ownership of the establishment to pay adequate wages to the back of the house staff, especially, when the menu prices are quite high. BTW, I don't mind paying those prices, if it corresponds with the quality of food and service. While it is sometimes possible to have glitches in one area, this restaurant managed to hit most of the major areas in one visit. The one exception was the bartender and the quality of the cocktail.

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KN
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on May 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Parsnip was perfect for our anniversary dinner! Beautiful space, delicious food and excellent service. They even brought out complimentary glasses of champagne to celebrate our occasion! Would definitely go back.

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L
Philadelphia
11 reviews
Dined on May 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Nice spacious restaurant with modern menu. We had scallops and halibut as our entres and both were done perfectly. The wait staff were friendly and attentive. Highly recommended for foodies.

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CG
1 review
Dined on May 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Loved all the small plate options. The food choices were inventive, yet simple enough that the flavors stood out and very fresh! Great wine list - good variety of both regions and varietals by the glass.

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OT
New England
1 review
Dined on May 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had a terrific meal, and the service was outstanding. This was my favorite meal in Boston, to date!

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IM
Charlotte
2 reviews
Dined on May 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

The food was amazing. Oysters super fresh, burrata flat bread to die for. I got the impossible burger (im veg), but my meat eating family thought it tasted just like a burger. Not only that, portabella, melted cheese and caramelized onions on top?! To die for.
Scallop dinner was small but the scallops were beautifully flavored and cooked. Oxtail ragu was good, regular house burger divine as well.
Good selection of drinks (their spring rhubarb lemonade is so yummy) and all of their beers are smooth and delicious.
Service was great, ambiance was nice (i loved the couches). Interior was very modern-upscale.

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j
New England
10 reviews
Dined on May 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Exceptional service!

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AL
Los Angeles
2 reviews
Dined on April 27, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 4

Excellent seasonal, fresh, beautifully composed dishes. Lovely ambience, elegant yet comfortable. Great for catching up with friends and family.

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C
New England
34 reviews
Dined on April 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fantastic evening. Food and service was the best I have experienced in any Boston-area restaurant in a long time. The space is also great: high ceilings and limited number of tables. Overall, great for a date or dinner with friends.

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MW
New England
1 review
Dined on April 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful!!! My small 80th birthday dinner could not have been better. Coming early and settling into the small side room at the far end gave us privacy and quiet which makes a HUGE difference for us always. But the tenderloin was the most beautifully prepared I’ve ever had. Substantial AND perfectly medium rare and tender all the way, every bite. With subtle but marvelously enhancing caper sauce. Thank you, parsnip!

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RA
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on April 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I live this restaurant as the food is interesting and terrific. Most importantly, it is a restaurant where the tables are far apart and one can have an intimate conversation.

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CH
New England
5 reviews
Dined on April 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Nick was our waiter and he was FANTASTIC! He helped me to surprise my mom for her birthday and was an absolute doll the whole night - my step dad was very impressed with the service! All around a great experience, food was delicious as well.

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OT
New England
5 reviews
Dined on April 21, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 5

Food was very simple and tasty, and service was attentive. The cocktails were delicious, however, both desserts (lava cake and berry shortcake) were way too sweet to the point that I couldn’t eat all of mine (shortcake).
The room is beautifully decorated and they have a fireplace - so cozy and chic !

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Dallas
23 reviews
Dined on April 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We have eaten at Parsnip several times and they always do a great job. The atmosphere is great, and since the weather was nice they were able to open the windows which added to the ambiance. The menu is always imaginative and well executed.

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A
New England
3 reviews
Dined on April 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food is excelllent, the decor is modern and warm, with tall ceilings that make the ambiance quieter. The staff is really attentive without being invasive and gives good recommendations. It is one of my favorite spots in the Square.

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DD
New England
11 reviews
Dined on March 28, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 3

We gave it a second chance because it's trying. Staff was great-welcoming and attentive. But food just does not reach fine-dining or equal to their prices. Softshell crab missed the mark. Mussel cause was great but mussels tasteless, Rabbit tasty, but pasta missed el dente. But Yes to the cauliflower.

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SH
New England
14 reviews
Dined on March 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

I loved everything about the place but did not like the music. They turned it down a little when I asked but the type of music did not seem to fit the lovely atmosphere. I thought that the small dishes and side vegetables were really outstanding and would recommend more of those than the main dishes.

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P
New England
25 reviews
Dined on March 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Michael took amazing care of us as we wanted an elegant and tasty dinner before a local show. From walking us through the lovely cocktail menu to the after dinner teas we enjoyed every moment and hope to return soon. Thank you Michael!

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NY
New England
10 reviews
Dined on March 15, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Unexpectedly wonderful!

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BJ
New England
10 reviews
Dined on March 8, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 4

We ordered the Chef's Tasting Menu. Dishes ranged from superb and interesting (gnocchi with rabbit and the olive oil cake) to middle of the road (oysters, radish salad, salmon). I'd be more descriptive, but I don't know most of what I ate because the waiter never told us more than - oyster, meatball, gnocchi, etc. While the food was good, when I get a tasting menu I expect them to describe each dish - that's part of the fun, right?

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S
New England
1 review
Dined on March 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Loved everything about this restaurant. The food was fantastic, ambience great and service
Perfect!

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CB
Detroit
2 reviews
Dined on March 5, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 4

This was a first visit to this restaurant. The space was open and pleasant, and staff were friendly and attentive. The food was mixed. As a vegetarian, I found little in the entree part of the menu that was interesting, although snacks and vegetables were creative. Drinks were very good. Portions were substantial but not excessive.

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DC
1 review
Dined on March 1, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 2ambience 4

Ugh...the potato chips were excellent, but little else. We ordered the chef's tasting menu. In spite of being asked about our food intolerances, two of my dishes were served with ingredients i could not eat. The salmon dish and the rabbit dish (separate courses) were indistinguishable in terms of flavor. For our soup course, five people were served two bowls to share. The staff was not coordinated, and at times chaotic. Our waiter was overheard swearing about how messed f'ed up something was. The food arrived staggered at every course, and often without silverware. Several dishes were lukewarm. The desserts were good (not great), but avoid the rubbery panna cotta. Sigh...

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OT
Sydney / NSW
1 review
Dined on February 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

Excellent!

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OT
New England
5 reviews
Dined on February 8, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Very comfortable dining room. Great service

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A
1 review
Dined on February 2, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

Parsnip was closed for emergency repairs and we received no word from Parsnip nor from OpenTable notifying us that we could not dine there that night.

So Parsnip and OpenTable are unreliable.

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OT
New England
4 reviews
Dined on January 31, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

Showed up for my reservation, to find out it was closed for the week.

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F
Indiana
77 reviews
Dined on January 12, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 5

Really nice evening. Very attractive restaurant. We were seated next to the fireplace on an extremely cold, Boston winter night. It was a perfect spot. The menu is a bit limited but everything we ordered was really tasty. The salmon cakes appetizer was a nice change from the normal crab cakes. Would definitely order it again. The quinoa and cod was WONDERFUL! Wish I had the recipe. The flavors in the quinoa were simply different. The chicken and risotto with sweet potatoes was another great dish. Our waiter, Styles, was really responsive to our requests, and we would definitely return! Both the service and food were super!

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k
New England
37 reviews
Dined on January 10, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

We were each welcomed warmly. The chef chatted about the menu to the first arriver in animated and delicious detail. There were interesting seasonal offerings, unusual but utilizing ingredients to successful effect, like pimento ravioli. I had a veal ragu over linguini which was delicious, although the veal was only warm. I had a pear poached in red wine, and the pear was just the right texture, but the liquid was almost tasteless, with only a hint of the wine, more like a simple syrup. The restaurant was serving a large party on the very cold night we dined at Parsnip. Much of the energy of the staff was on that party. We were treated with care and kindness and we had a throughly enjoyable evening, but our food was not as carefully produced as on previous occasions there. Next time...

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s
New England
39 reviews
Dined on January 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I am usually disappointed at restaurants, especially nice ones, so my joy in this place is like giving it 10 stars. We went when Harvard was still on winter break, so it wasn't too crowded or loud. I can't say how it is on a busy night. But when we were there the service was perfect, the food delicious, particularly the persimmon salad and the half chicken, and the room is beautiful. Not cheap, but we felt we got our money's worth because it was such a lovely experience.

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A
New England
3 reviews
Dined on January 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This was our second visit. The first was blind, on a whim. We just wanted to try something new. It was great. There was one very minor incident which I won't go into which was handled swiftly and gracefully that time. The GM invited us to notify her when we returned and she promised is kid glove treatment. We appreciated it but did not use that connection when we returned.

I am happy to report that the kid gloves were there anyway and our visit could not have been nicer. The food was all that we expected and our evening was perfect. Our waiter was world class. Give them a try, you will be glad you did.

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OT
New England
17 reviews
Dined on January 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Wonderful restaurant for pre-theater meal! I really enjoyed the veggie burger and the persimmon radish salad. Lovely ambiance, too.

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c
New York Area
25 reviews
Dined on December 26, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Veggie burger and smoked tofu entrees were wonderful. I found the cauliflower appetizer too salty. Cocktails were excellent, especially the cocoanut Manhattan. Piped in music was a little loud. Seating next to fireplace was cozy. Overall a very nice place.

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H
New England
2 reviews
Dined on December 22, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

The service was excellent. The ambiance was relaxed and quiet, which we love. We shared a roasted brussel sprout appetizer which was excellent. The entrees were good but a bit too buttery and salty for our taste. The wine was excellent. We shared a tiramisu for dessert. Rich and wonderful!

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M
New England
33 reviews
Dined on December 20, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 3

A very pleasant restaurant with good fine and service in Harvard Square area. Convenient to the ART Theatre.

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J
Philadelphia
52 reviews
Dined on December 5, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 3

Our server Styles was excellent

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j
New York Area
10 reviews
Dined on November 23, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Parsnip has a great spot in the heart of Cambridge and they make the most of it. I had dinner with two friends and we all loved the experience. Beautiful room, quiet and warm on a very cold day. Great waiter. He was quiet and accommodating- he both took care of us and left us alone, if that's possible. Excellent drinks. The food was very good. I'd like to go back and try more dishes. Ours were unpretentious and delicious. The value is excellent given its beyond-prime location.

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JJ
Detroit
2 reviews
Dined on November 23, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Delicious food selections prepared to perfection. Attention to detail throughout the evening.

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OT
New York Area
13 reviews
Dined on November 21, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My husband I always return to Parsnips whenever we are in the Cambridge area. The meals have always been exceptional, creative and fresh. The atmosphere is elegant and the staff are delightful and helpful. The noise level allows for pleasant conversation. It was lovely to not see or hear cellphone activity among the tables.

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SR
New England
2 reviews
Dined on November 10, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 1ambience 3

Food tasted very good. "Front of the house" was disorganized -- it took three different people checking their computer system to confirm/find our reservation made wit Open Table and then to seat us. There were LONG delays between seating and water and menus, and drinks and appetizers (one of which came out almost 15 min after the others) and entrees (one of which came out almost 10 min after the other!). This is a "back of the house" (i.e. kitchen) problem. Having diners' appetizers and entrees come out en masse is expected. Having them trickle out so some of had food to eat and others didn't is very annoying. When 3/4 entrees showed up and the 4th didn't, our 4th diner was given a bowl of taro chips so they weren't sitting there watching us eat or having all of watching the meals grow cold. Really?!!

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