Parsnip Restaurant

4
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332 Reviews
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$31 to $50
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Contemporary American

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Good Vegetarian Options
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 332 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.0based on recent ratings
4.0
food
4.1
service
4.2
ambience
3.5
value
Noise · Quiet
78% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
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JC
New England
4 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent meals with reasonable portions, quiet, good value, friendly staff.

F
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on October 2, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 3

Service was slow. Food only moderately interesting. AC blowing on neck all through dinner

NY
New England
12 reviews
Dined on October 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This restaurant is a hidden jewel. It’s one of our favorite places to go now and whenever we can we introduce people to it. Love it!

JM
New England
2 reviews
Dined on September 30, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 4

Food excellent - waitress great - kitchen very slow

VV
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on September 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This is without question one of - if not the most - civilized and refined spots to dine in and around Harvard Square. The food is delicious, subtle and wholesome - vegan and gluten free options are thoughtfully provided and sensitively prepared - and the waitstaff courteous and professional to a fault. look forward to returning often and will unhesitatingly recommend to others.

P
New England
4 reviews
Dined on September 26, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 2

Charmless, undistinguished. The food was mediocre, the service indifferent, and the room ungracious.

BE
New England
1 review
Dined on September 17, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

FOOD WAS QUITE GOOD, SERVICE BY MORE EXPERIENCED STAFF WAS GREAT, YOUNGER STAFF A LITTLE FORGETFUL BUT NICE TO WORK WITH, LOVELY ENVIRONMENT

OT
New England
42 reviews
Dined on September 13, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Overpriced.

D
New England
25 reviews
Dined on September 12, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

This is the third or fourth visit I've made to Parsnip with different friends. The space is welcoming with sufficient room between tables for easy conversation. My friend and I both enjoyed the lovely, warm and delicately flavored pumpkin puree soup for our appetizer. My friend ordered the scallops and enjoyed the entire plate. I ordered two small vegetable plates, one of roasted cauliflower and the other of carrots. Although the cauliflower was nicely prepared, it was too salty for my taste; whereas, the carrots were perfect. For dessert my friend ordered a plain olive-oil soaked cake served with fresh figs and a thickened, sweetened cream, while I had the lemon cheesecake with strawberries. The desserts were just okay; however, the decaf cappuccino that I ordered with dessert was excellent -- hot and very flavorful. The service was excellent throughout the meal.

MS
New England
5 reviews
Dined on September 7, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 5

Really beautiful restaurant and it's so hard to find restaurants where you can hear yourself talk so kudos! Food was good for the most part. Management could not do enough to make it a pleasant experience. We'll definitely come again.

DC
New England
2 reviews
Dined on September 7, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Food, ambiance, service, it is very good. However it is not in any way good value. I was shocked at the bill we received for what we had to eat/drink. I could not recommend this restaurant based on value alone.

OT
New England
2 reviews
Dined on September 7, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 5

My wife and recently went for our anniversary. It was a Saturday night, and we made a reservation for 7pm. We expected it to be packed, a fancy restaurant in Harvard Square on a Saturday night; but it was only about half full. We got there and all staff were friendly and welcoming, giving us a warm congratulations, and a champagne toast. We were quickly sat at a nice table looking over Winthrop Square. It took a little while for the waitress to come and take our drink order, but we didn't mind. It then took even longer for our wine and mixed drink to come, enough where we started to worry. We started to notice that, despite it not being a very full restaurant, the staff were running around frantically. We thought they must have been short staffed. Again, we didn't mind so much. We ordered an appetizer, and it was brought within 10 minutes. We then ordered our entrees. Side note...despite their name, there were no parsnips on the menu. My wife and I each ordered the "t-bone" porkchop, as the other options included seafood, or eggplant, which we are less inclined to order. The meals came out faster than the first round of drinks. We were a little surprised to see we each had a medium sized pork chop, and five asparagus sprigs. We thought it odd, that, especially for $28, that it didn't come with mashed potatoes, or pureed parsnip, or something underneath it. It ended up being a somewhat bland, somewhat overcooked experience that left us with lighter wallets and a desire for something else. You'd think that a four dollar sign restaurant could do just a little better. I'm optimistic and would probably give them another shot one day. I'd probably reccomend other places in Harvard Square before this one.

N
New York Area
11 reviews
Dined on August 30, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Excellent service and really good food!

D
New England
29 reviews
Dined on August 28, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 4

This restaurant is confusing as the food was quite good and the individual servers were nice and seemed attentive when they got to the table but....
I ordered the red wine on the top of the list and the waiter didn’t know what I wanted. He sent over the Hostess who then brought me a glass of Pinot Noir in the decorative white wine glass from our table. Later when the waitress, now a different person, asked if I wanted more wine I said yes and... it came almost at the end of dinner in the red glass. In between my husband had ordered his same wine and it came from a different person in the right glass.
Meanwhile it was hard to get people’s attention as the staff was always grouped around the bar with their backs to the dining room.
The food was good but not GREAT and even then the waitress was not really able to recommend how many small plates we would need etc

Yikes they need to up their game.
I won’t go back. There are lots of other choices in HSQ.

f
New England
33 reviews
Dined on August 24, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 5

Food is still variable. "Flatbread" was just a pizza. The salad with strawberries was lovely. The oxtail tacos good but not outstanding. The garlic pasta, however, was prepared wonderfully, and the clams were good. The mouse was a bit dry (although I appreciated that it was made with egg yolks and not cream). The fruit in the shortbread was not ripe and the dish was therefore not edible. Some very high points, some dishes good, and one terrible. Hopefully will be better next time.

OT
New England
1 review
Dined on August 3, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 3ambience 2

Holy cow, this place has gone downhill. I haven’t been in a few years, but Parsnip used to be a refined restaurant that served high end (for Cambridge) food, cocktails and wines.

My wife and I were both very disappointed with our experience this evening. I ordered a cocktail: vodka, cucumber and St Elder were the main ingredients. Honestly, this is a hard combination to make undrinkable... but they managed. I sent it back once because it really seemed they had forgotten the St Elder, but their attempt at improving the drink did not yield better results. They offered to remake the cocktail from scratch did improve either.

The food was on par with the cocktail, unfortunately. I ordered the Korean lettuce wraps for an appetizer... sounded good on the menu, but it was a DIY affair when it was delivered. Like, here are the ingredients, just assemble it yourself. And the ingredients were not particularly good either. My wife had a similar disappointing experience with her appetizer.

The mains... oversized, unrefined, just pretty bad overall. If I got stuck in a Hilton in Ohio and was served food like this, I’d actually be relieved. But this is so terribly sub-par compared to what Parsnip used to me and to the previous restaurant it took the space from that I was really bummed to waste an evening there.

Naturally, we won’t go back.

JJ
1 review
Dined on July 29, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It was a quiet night, but the two of us enjoyed 4 appetizers (all things we would not make at home) and received a free birthday glass of champagne. The waiter was awesome. I will definitely go back.

F
New England
29 reviews
Dined on July 29, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 3

Everything was perfectly fine. For me the menu was just a bit too eclectic. My friend does not like spicy food and there were a lot of hot spicy dishes. The meat and fish dishes were few and not very varied. Just not sure I will rush back.

PT
New England
1 review
Dined on July 26, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 5

Too many flies inside!

EM
Chicago
1 review
Dined on July 19, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 2

We found the food here to be lackluster, overall. There were a few decent dishes, but nothing to write home about, and certainly not for the price. Atmosphere is a bit sterile and service was fine, but a bit slow.

b
New England
18 reviews
Dined on July 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

all of the wait staff, hostess and the like were great
always filling in about details where needed
loved the ambiance
paintings were also very pleasing
we had a great time and a surprise martini for my husband's birthday

OT
New England
14 reviews
Dined on July 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Excellent food and service. Wide range of delectable menu items. And they made lemonade even thought it wasn't on the menu.

s
New England
5 reviews
Dined on July 12, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 2ambience 3

It seems that standards are slipping at what was once a reliable, elegant, original table in Harvard Square. If I wanted fried chicken, a burger, ribs, or a lobster roll, I'd go to Charlie's Kitchen or Blue Ribbon. Yet these are four of the six choices for a main course. Better to go with the squash blossom small plate, which was outstanding. Service is also not what it used to be, sad to say. I'm hoping for a revival, but until then there are better dining choices and values.

AT
New York Area
13 reviews
Dined on July 6, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 3

Would've been nice if they told us early on that they were short staffed and service would be SO SLOW! Then we could've decided to stay and deal (& maybe leave a more considerate tip) or just go elsewhere. Cocktails and food were really delicious, so we'll give it another try. Would love it they found more appropriate dining music too -- club music at a nice establishment like this seemed an odd choice.

3
New England
1 review
Dined on June 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I loved the food and the hospitality towards guests. I think the head chef has the right approach.

a
New England
4 reviews
Dined on June 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The service was excellent from the moment we walked in to the moment we walked out. Our server allowed appropriate time in between drinks to appetizers to entree, never making us feel rushed. The executive chef came to our table to see how our meal was. The food was all delicious, very flavorful and well presented. As we were there for a birthday celebration, an order of drinks was waiting for us as we sat down. And I believe at one point someone may have overhead me ask my partner what her favorite part of the meal was. As we were leaving, an extra serving of that favorite part of meal was packaged for us to take home. I would happily suggest Parsnip to anyone looking for a beautiful space to dine.

DR
New England
24 reviews
Dined on June 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great choices of food. The new chef of 4 months has created some fabulous combinations of flavors. Small plates were more than adequate for 3 people, the risotto with farro was amazing, lettuce wraps with steak perfectly done were unique, burrata was amazing. Service was attentive but not invasive. Very comfortable seating. Definitely will be back.

AL
New York Area
28 reviews
Dined on June 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wow. New chef. Fantastic food/choices. Will be coming back often.

M
New England
9 reviews
Dined on June 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Loved everything about our dinner at Parsnip - food, drinks and service were great! Only wrinkle was that I requested onions in my meal on the side and they were mixed in - otherwise perfect!

NY
New England
13 reviews
Dined on June 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This is a hidden treasure. This was our second visit and it did not disappoint. Everything is top notch and we plan on going back many times!!!

e
New England
6 reviews
Dined on June 1, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 3

Parsnip is an inviting, comfortable, casual restaurant. The kitchen puts together decent dishes, although nothing outstanding. If you're in the Square and don't want to go upscale at the Harvest, or out of doors at the Red House, you're likely to be able to find a table at Parsnip.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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!

IM
Charlotte
4 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.

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

Exceptional service!

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.

C
New England
40 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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