Russell House Tavern

4.3
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1952 Reviews
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$30 and under
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American
Russell House Tavern continues the Harvard Square tradition of local enterprise as a New American Tavern serving seasonally-inspired, classic dishes from New England and beyond. An inviting, multi-level space adorned with vintage photographs of the Square, Russell House Tavern specializes in artisanal fare served alongside carefully hand-crafted cocktails and a distinctive collection of all-American wines and craft beers.
What 1952 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.3based on recent ratings
4.2
food
4.2
service
4.2
ambience
4.0
value
Noise · Moderate
92% of people would recommend it to a friend
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E
New England
12 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 4

Arrived for late lunch, which caused confusion among waitstaff, as we were swapped out by staff. outgoing server told us we were getting "best server in the house," only to learn server was still in training
Food was good and plentiful, with at least one meal equivalent in take out boxes, although slow in arriving (guess kitchen staff was also transitioning).
will try house again in middle of service to provide a better review.

JA
New England
7 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 3

It's a tavern trying to be an upscale tavern - which, for the most part, is pulled off nicely. The drink menu is extensive and much appreciated. For dinner, we started with the Duck Poutine, which hit the spot but was incredibly salty; and the Lamb Meatballs, which were tough/dense. For my main dish, I had the Swordfish: the thickness was not even, so the thinner part was overcooked while the thicker part was perfect. The sides were very tasty, but the potatoes were bordering on over-salted. My wife had the market fish, Arctic Char: she said the fish itself was excellent but the salad/sides underneath were "nothing to write home about". The biggest complaint we had was the noise level - we could barely hear each other speak across a two-person table. I recommend the tavern adding some noise-canceling foam in strategic places.

NF
New England
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

The crispy french toast is incredible! Wonderful, slightly spicy eggs benedict as well! It is a little bit dark in the lower restaurant, so I would have preferred to have been upstairs or outside, but there is not a lot of seating upstairs.

AP
Edmonton
4 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent service

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MS
New England
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

YES , ALWAYS A GREAT MEAL AT ESTABLISHMENT . OUR WAITRESS WAS GREAT, FOOD WAS EXCELLENT.

j
New England
3 reviews
Dined on September 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Outstanding food — swordfish was the best we had in Boston. Outside seating on a perfect night. Waiter has engaging attentive and knowledgeable. A very pleasant experience on all fronts

OT
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on September 3, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 2

I wouldn’t recommend Russell House when there are so many other great places in the neighborhood.

OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on September 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great, as always.

MF
New York Area
1 review
Dined on September 1, 2019
Overall 1food 2service 1ambience 3

One of the worse dining experiences on so many levels. It took over 1 hour to have our entrees served. We ordered a dish of calamari to share as an appetizer and waited over 40 minutes for it to arrive. Then the waiter presented the dish that had less than 10 pieces on it buried under some greens. The waiter must have noted the delay and most probably the dish because later in the delay he said the restaurant was comp’ing the appetizer. I found the long wait perplexing because the restaurant was far less than 1/2 full.
More alarming was the fact that two of our party ordered the “house” hamburger meal that ultimately arrived stone cold and grossly overdone and dry. Our seats were in view of the door to the kitchen. The door had a window where I observed the wait staff eating french fries while talking to the chefs. Did I mention my wife’s meal had about 1/2 the amount of fries of the other meal. I hope the waiter enjoyed them.
On a more positive note my chicken sandwich was not a negative experience.
One of our party recently relocated to the Harvard Sq. Area, we plan on visiting often and will definitely find a different restaurant. I am not in the habit of writing reviews but if I can save someone else the waste of time and the experience of wasting money on a poor meal - so be it..

OT
Baltimore
2 reviews
Dined on August 27, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 3

Server was inattentive, food was average at best.

N
New England
15 reviews
Dined on August 25, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Raw bar is excellent, main dishes (we had Duck Hash) good but not outstanding. Service was impeccable.

c
New England
9 reviews
Dined on August 24, 2019
Overall 2food 1service 3ambience 4

The food here is *just* alright. It’s usually overdone and lacks taste. You pay to be in Harvard Square. Would not recommend. To be sure, the wine was fine. Service, too. Sitting upstairs by the window is nice, but aside from that it’s really not good. There are many better options nearby, almost all of which are cheaper.

B
New England
14 reviews
Dined on August 24, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

It's a fun spot in the heart of Harvard Square. Great brunch (French toast is unbelievable).

OT
Nashville
3 reviews
Dined on August 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Lovely ambience and delicious food. The waiter was wonderful and suggested a salad with grilled peaches that was excellent. Would definitely go back!

JE
1 review
Dined on August 20, 2019
Overall 4food 2service 5ambience 4

I had the shrimp tacos, which had very little taste. However, everyone else in my party enjoyed their meals, from the crab cakes to the steak to the chicken sandwiches. And they loved the "composed" oysters.

J
New England
2 reviews
Dined on August 18, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 4

Went to Russell House for Dine Out Boston. Our server changed mid-meal which resulted in some confusion and lulls in service. Good food, great cocktails, and definitely a nice deal for the Dine Out menu.

d
Philadelphia
14 reviews
Dined on August 17, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

The worst. Tourist trap. I feel nauseas and I barely ate. The manager tried to help a bad situation but the Food is just bad

OT
New England
1 review
Dined on August 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Thanks so much.

JW
1 review
Dined on August 17, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 3

The service was slow, despite there being only a few tables in the restaurant. The "breakfast pizza" was literally just a pizza with a loose egg thrown haphazardly on top. The eggs benedict had a hollandaise sauce that just tasted like thick melted butter (gag). Not worth the money honestly!

CD
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on August 14, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Would be 5stars but the calamari was too crunchy, too well done. The dressings were delicious, but the calamari was dried up.

p
New York Area
24 reviews
Dined on August 13, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 4

Well...our waitress helps us with our selections but her accent was so thick we misinterpreted her. Our appetizer plates weren’t cleared before our dinner came do that wasn’t fun for anyone. Then one of the burgers we ordered wasn’t right and she never came to check on us. We finally flag her down and asked for the check. The only saving grace was the lovely Manager who came over and asked us to please explain what was wrong so she could explain it to the chef! Kudos to her and for also removing it from the bill. Nice menu but too many things need to be explained.

AH
1 review
Dined on August 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great for a family gathering and a delicious meal.

RK
New England
16 reviews
Dined on August 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Went with a group of 5, everyone left satisfied - plenty of options on the menu and the cost was completely reasonable

OT
New England
1 review
Dined on August 8, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

Our servers were incredible and accommodating as our group size shifted and grew in size through the evening.

TW
New England
1 review
Dined on August 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

We came to eat for brunch. We had a time constraint to make a connection. The waiter was understanding and prompt. The food was prompt, and everyone enjoyed the meals. It was a pleasant experience that we would repeat.

KJ
New England
7 reviews
Dined on August 3, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

I appreciated the lunch crowd which was accommodating to my one year old.

LS
New England
1 review
Dined on August 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Love the downstairs bar and the bartenders there are the best!

OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on July 29, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Great Kale and Cesar salad! Shrimp cocktail good. Skip the lobster slider and lobster tails

V
San Francisco
9 reviews
Dined on July 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food

OT
1 review
Dined on July 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Traveling and great value and service!

S
Philadelphia
33 reviews
Dined on July 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Terrific food, beverage and service, especially the latter, thanks to Sarah H, who was as pleasant and knowledgeable as any server could be. Food was creative, with excellent variety and wine list was terrific. Sarah was a great help in selecting just the right wine. Only negative is the terrible noisiness, making good conversation pretty difficult, even when seated in a corner section behind a glass/wood barrier (close to restrooms.)

MG
New England
2 reviews
Dined on July 23, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Had a very nice night out. Great place, good food (loved the lamb meatballs). Didn't love my cocktail (The space between the starts, didn't taste like it had any booze in it!) and it's loud (but to be expected from such a hip place). Definitely doesn't hurt to have a reservation.

j
New York Area
7 reviews
Dined on July 23, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 3

We visited Russell House Tavern twice within a week.
It is a casual atmosphere with TV screens with football or baseball or basket ball. The food is reasonable and reliable, though they are not excellent.
I liked New York stake. But shrimp was not worthy for the price.
I can recommend this restaurant if the customer likes the casual atmosphere.

BC
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on July 21, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

We went for brunch and the food was great, though the "breakfast pizza" was a lot bigger than expected -- really not an individual meal at all. We shared it at brunch and wound up eating the other half for dinner.

j
New York Area
8 reviews
Dined on July 17, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 4ambience 4

We liked the atmosphere, and we enjoyed casual mood with many TV Screens. Food, especially New York stake was excellent. Quantity of the food was also abundant.
The only thing not fit to us is the salad (ceaser) was too salty. This taste may be chosen to enhance the drinking beer. But it would be preferable if the food itself is not salty and customers are allowed to apply salt and pepper as they like.

LC
1 review
Dined on July 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

The cocktails are amazing! Food is very good and the menu offers a variety at a very fair price for inner city.

AO
New England
14 reviews
Dined on July 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

I highly recommend the lobster sliders, they are delicious!

M
San Francisco
50 reviews
Dined on July 13, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

I loved the lobster slider! Yum. That and a salad made a perfect lunch. Our waitress was very attentive

S
New England
5 reviews
Dined on July 12, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Our server was terrific, ambiance outside was magical and food was very good! We love Russell House and will be back!

ST
New England
10 reviews
Dined on July 11, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Best roasted chicken I've ever had at a restaurant, and that is always a mark of a good chef in the kitchen. Also the pisco sour is excellent!

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