Loyal Nine

4.4
481 reviews
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$31 to $50
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American
"Chef Marc Sheehan is living the dream of the 1780s, heralding little-loved sea creatures (like periwinkles!) in an unflashy setting" Bon Appetit, America's Best New Restaurants

"ingenious restaurant ... by delving into the past, it seems Sheehan has found his moment of triumph." -Bill Addison, Eater's Best New Restaurants in America

"irresistible small bites and Boston's best bread program" - Corby Kummer, Boston Magazine

"Loyal Nine is one of the most interesting restaurants in town" -Devra First, Boston Globe

East Coast Revival cuisine. Casual setting, shellfish + vegetable focused. Local craft beer from top brewers, 100% grower-producer wine list, craft cocktails. Large dining room good for large groups, private dining options, patio + garden.
What 481 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
4.3
ambience
4.0
value
Noise · Moderate
86% of people would recommend it to a friend
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JM
Montreal
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

Had a foodie friend visiting from Portland, Oregon so sought out a restaurant that seemed to offer unique and creative food options. Although the food was OK, unfortunately not worth the price. Small servings, as indicated, but really nothing exceptional or noteworthy in terms of flavour. Nothing was bad, but certainly expected far more for the price and the reviews. We ordered a good variety of appetizers, vegetables and meat options and all were meh. Last but not least, terrible coffee served after the meal.

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A
1 review
Dined on January 13, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 5ambience 4

For such expensive prices, the food was mediocre at best, and often times just not tasty. It was constantly underseasoned, with bizarre pairings (cooked brussel sprouts, apples, and raw sea bass?). The only good dish was dessert of a pear crumble. Nothing about the dinner was great. And certainly not for the $60 price tag. Service was a delight, however, and the cocktails were nice.

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AF
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on January 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Really a fantastic meal. Everything was really well done, was tasty and intriguing. Service was great as well.

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MF
New England
2 reviews
Dined on January 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great service, comfortable ambiance and wonderful food!

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DL
New York Area
7 reviews
Dined on January 1, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 3

We were very underwhelmed by every item we ordered. It took them about 25 minutes to take our food order after they sat us down. I think they want you to take your time there, they serve each dish one at a time, even though its's small plates style.

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KC
New England
57 reviews
Dined on January 1, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

very good food, and great service, but if you are hungry or have a big appetite, you will spend a lot of money on many small plates.

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DP
Miami
1 review
Dined on December 31, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing meal as always

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M
New England
1 review
Dined on December 30, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Extremely creative chef. Amazing beer selection and the food was delivered quickly. No complaints. Will definitely be back

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F
New England
7 reviews
Dined on December 28, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Amazing service and delicious food. The tasting menu is mammoth and you walk away thinking that it was really good value. The creativity and originality without too many high tech gimmicks makes this a totally pleasurable culinary experience. This is our top recommendation to our friends in the Boston area!

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OT
New England
1 review
Dined on December 22, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 4ambience 2

Little ambiance and few people there.

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OT
New England
21 reviews
Dined on December 21, 2018
Overall 3food 2service 4ambience 4

My foodie family chose to hold our Christmas / birthday dinner at Loyal Nine this year. All seven of us are foodies. Loyal Nine is a cool place to go with a hip vibe, but the food was inconsistent from really good to really bad. The bread, a harbinger for what was to come, was cold and slightly stale and stodgy. We all chose the sharing plates which means the restaurant is free to give us what we hoped is six courses of what they do well. The first course was oysters which were fresh and of several varieties served with an interesting vinegar-based mignonette. So far, so good. Then came a pickled turnip fried tempura style. Also very good. The next three courses were hard to fathom. One was tempura style clams and another tempura style mussels. Too many tempura selections? We thought so. One was served with a watery unsalted butterless plain mashed squash which was left uneaten. Then came the most unpalatable dish to the point of inedible - a charred brocolli dish. When I say charred, I mean burnt. If you like carbon on plain brocolli this is your dish. Harsh, bitter and should never have been served. Then the restaurant redeemed itself somewhat with a delicious smoked white fish dish and a sliced duck dish with cabbage that were both pleasing and well enjoyed. Dessert was a bowl of rich but enjoyable chocolate sauce-covered bread pudding but not impressive in terms of presentation. The wine list was eclectic but limited and incohesive. So many unrecognizable wines with no description to help with the choice although we liked the way they were bundled in price categories. In the end we had to ask for help to make a choice. The overall impression was that the somelier was not the guy who chose the wines, and if he was, he shouldn't have been. Throughout the service was friendly and helpful and overall we had a good time, but on the irregularities of the food, I could not recommend the restaurant for the category it is aiming for.

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R
New England
5 reviews
Dined on December 16, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 3

My friend and I had a casual brunch together. Latte was outstanding. Breakfast sandwich with egg and potato on biscuit was very good. However, my friend's pancakes were so undercooked that batter literally oozed out from the center when she cut it. The server kindly brought her a new plate of pancakes which were adequately cooked. I would personally return for the latte and breakfast sandwich.

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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on December 16, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Great ambiance and good food. There were a few hits and a few misses. I think they can use better description for the dishes bc we were surprised by some of the dishes when they came out. The cocktails were outstanding. Will definitely come back

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LV
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on December 15, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 4

Great natural wine list! Food was good but not memorable.

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I
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on December 14, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Outstanding creative menu utilizing local ingredients with an excellent wine list an d cocktail menu to compliment the food

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AS
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on December 13, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Tasting menu is a must -- very creative season dishes at deep economic value for the number of plates you get. Absolutely delicious!

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OT
New England
2 reviews
Dined on December 13, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 2

We had the shared meal. The first courses were all white fish - very similar and most were bland. The oysters were delicious and the pork pretty good. Nothing was spectacular or had a complex flavor profile. We were disappointed.

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MG
Minneapolis
13 reviews
Dined on December 9, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

I found this off of Foursquare I think. The menu and pictures looked inviting. So we took the dive. The service from the host, to the server, to the bus staff were all very friendly and accommodating. The smiles never stopped. The food was "out there" a bit but, to be fair, the menu descriptions were spot on. I had a bacon and fried claim sandwich. You don't see that everywhere. The baked goods were excellent. The only negative is that, even for brunch, it was loud, making conversation at a table of four a bit of a challenge. But that is the only limitation.

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PS
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on December 8, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

The experience was interesting and the ingredients were first-rate, but the food and service were extremely uneven. Service was very friendly, but we could not get the staff's attention for 10 minutes at a time, and many dishes were seriously delayed (see below), even though the restaurant did not look particularly busy.

We started with fried soldier beans, finished in their home-harvested salt (delicious); housemade pickles (disappointingly uniform in flavor, all vinegar pickles, none lacto-fermented); and roasted celery root (delicious, and great presentation--I will copy it at home).

Two of the three entrees arrived after almost an hour. One, a fish dish, was punishingly salty. We sent it back. The third entree (veal) arrived about 15 minutes later, lukewarm and not particularly interesting. The replacement fish dish arrived about 15 minutes after the third entree. Essentially, the three of us at the table dined separately.

Dessert was a pecan-cranberry pie with burnt honey ice cream, if I recall correctly. The ice cream was also punishingly salty, and there was a brutally vinegary cranberry compote on it. The crust was delicious. While I love ice cream, I couldn't eat that, and I left most of the cranberry.

The bartenders were very friendly and well informed, and the selection of New England rums and other spirits was revelatory.

I felt bad that such amazing ingredients were squandered such heavy-handed application of salt (the salt itself was great--there was just far too much in some dishes) and vinegar. I'm generally a fan of intense flavors; I make my own vinegar and sip it from time to time, but having what amounted to a teaspoon of salt and two tablespoons of vinegar in/on ice cream just isn't palatable. And while salted fish is a legitimate preservation method, this was fresh fish. Somebody in the kitchen just got carried away.

I love the concept of the restaurant. I hope they improve the execution and the service.

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JH
1 review
Dined on December 8, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 3

Went with a friend for an early dinner on a recent Saturday night. We were literally the only table when ordering, and one of two tables when our food came out. Oysters were great overall, one with shell pieces, but the others were good. Oyster price was on par with other restaurants in the area. Cocktail menu is good, gin heavy, drinks were very good but small and overpriced for the portion size.

We opted to order small plates, and ordered 5 (including a dozen oysters). One dish, the broccoli salad, was completely inedible due to extreme use of liquid smoke, it tasted like a cigarette. Another dish was burnt on the bottom and was sent back and replaced. Other dishes were average. I would not return.

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L
New England
1 review
Dined on December 8, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

We feel blessed to have Loyal Nine in out neighborhood! Staff is always great and food always interesting. I would not recommend the tasting menu if you have a later reservation. It makes for a very long evening and I felt like some of the dishes were made by what did not get served to others. It was really tasty but all seafood and one dish with duck - that was a bit of a surprise. Also, though they try hard to adjust the tasting menu for food allergies, it is not always a good outcome. Saying this small issues, I think Loyal Nine is a treasure!!!

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s
New England
5 reviews
Dined on December 7, 2018
Overall 1food 2service 1ambience 1

Pretentious, overpriced, and just not all that good. We went for the tasting menu; of the 10 or so items that came to the table, 2 excited interest. The kitchen apparently forgot about us halfway through, as there was a 40-min hiatus between dishes at one point. Service is friendly, but not coordinated.

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LD
1 review
Dined on December 2, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 3ambience 4

Good, healthy, locally sourced food across the board. Coffees a little small (it's Sunday brunch I need endless caffeine!) Important feature for us was the large space-easily fit a large group for a birthday brunch on short notice and we could all hear each other.

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OT
New England
1 review
Dined on December 2, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Best pancakes I’ve ever had. I’m always surprised but the creativity and freshness of the food.

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j
New England
88 reviews
Dined on December 2, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 3

The food is good, the service is lackadaisical. The oysters were excellent, just two types were available, the MA oysters were farmed but the Maine oysters were wild (you can tell by looking at the shell to see if there was an attachment point). Had the small order of the fried clams, that's the right size to get because this is a small plate restaurant, they were very good. We also had the ribeye and the chicken, both good.

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F
New England
8 reviews
Dined on November 25, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Best restaurant in Cambridge area--chefs cook with amazing imagination and skill preparing foods in new and different ways and making the flavors sing! Lovely and dedicated staff who are proud to work there and bring enthusiasm and care to your table. Very relaxed atmosphere with amazing food. Highly highly recommend.

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w
New England
3 reviews
Dined on November 23, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

This is an amazing restaurant. The shared supper is one of the tastiest and highest value $55 you'll ever spend. You get a tour of all the kitchen has to offer - cold and hot dishes; veggies, seafood, and meat; and dessert. They really know how to serve oysters -- I've had multiple friends for whom Loyal Nine was their first time eating an oyster, and the experience finally made them "get" why people like oysters so much. Also try to see if anything on the menu uses sauerkraut cream - it's so funky and delicious, and they always seem to put it to use somewhere.

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OT
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on November 20, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Crispy oats were the winner!

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OT
New England
1 review
Dined on November 18, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

We went for our anniversary dinner and ordered the shared supper. We asked for and received a pescatarian experience. We were given 8 incredibly eclectic and delicious courses. The first 4 came out perfectly timed one after another then we were given what seemed like a little break which was also exactly what we needed. The servers were very attentive with drinks, plates, water refilling, and crumbing! It was an overall great experience and I'd recommend to anyone for any reason.

Cheers!

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SF
New England
1 review
Dined on November 12, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great way to celebrate any occasion! Interesting menu with lots of great options from top to bottom. Thoroughly enjoyed the cocktails and all of the small plates. Would definitely recommend!

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OT
Baltimore
2 reviews
Dined on November 11, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 4

The coffee took a long time to return to take our order, forgot our cappuccinos, and was overall very detached.

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N
New England
1 review
Dined on November 10, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 3

Great desserts would come here for drink and dessert but not full dinner. Service was very slow

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s
Raleigh
32 reviews
Dined on November 6, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wide variety of small plate options. Loved the clams, smoked mackerel, oats and broccoli. Would definitely return.

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M
New England
2 reviews
Dined on November 6, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 3

The menu at Loyal Nine does not disappoint! Creative, authentic, well-prepared. The exception is dessert. This week's walnut cranberry pie was sodden, without distinct flavors, and poorly constructed and baked. Have been disappointed on previous visit by rubbery, flavorless posset after otherwise lovely meal. I'll bet the dessert concept can improve since baked goods during the cafe hours are very good.

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j
New England
21 reviews
Dined on November 3, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

Inventive menu with very fresh ingredients. Not all dishes were to my liking, and the tasting menu, while diverse, was probably not the best way to ensure that you eat what you really want. Some dishes, like the fried clams, were outstanding. Not a fan of raw food or charred food which were several of the items featured

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AS
1 review
Dined on October 30, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The chef tasting menu was a great value. There was plenty of food and variety although lots of the items were seafood (which I love so worked for me but may not for someone who is not a big seafood fan). They did not seem open to any requests with the chef tasting menu so you have to be willing to try whatever comes out. Everything was delicious. We started with oysters on the half shell, had some blue fish, mussels, blood sausage, brussel sprouts, beats, fried clams, and an awesome ice cream sandwich with sauce for dipping. Cocktails were really good too--unique, cleverly named, and tasty. Water glasses were tiny so they had to be refilled about 25 times--wait staff were great about keeping up with it but seemed a little strange that they were so small.

We finished with a coffee cocktail that was absolutely wonderful too. Overall really great and I would come back.

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n
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on October 28, 2018
Overall 3food 2service 2ambience 4

Food was cold and tea kept coming out cold as
Well

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G
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on October 27, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 3

Interesting cuisine with some novel usage of ingredients/techniques. Thought pighead and fried chicken were weak points but really enjoyed the Steel Cut Oats, Blackbass, and Celery Root.

I appreciated that it tried to go a specific intentional direction with its cuisine which gave the restaurant a specific feel.

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RE
San Diego
3 reviews
Dined on October 26, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This place was awesome. Highly recommend the tasting menu.

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OM
New England
2 reviews
Dined on October 24, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 4

Good value and tasty food, but pretty slow service. Also, if it's someone's birthday and you ask them to do something special for dinner for them, they will simply light a giant candle and put it on your table instead of giving you anything edible. Weird.

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