Friday, April 07, 2006

The Red House - First Al Fresco Dining of the Season


Spring is here! We made it. Survived another New England winter. And what a payoff. The sun is shining. The flowers are budding. The birds are chirping. People are friendlier. And everyone wants a table outside.

For my first al fresco dining experience of the Spring, I can't think of a place I would have rather been than The Red House in Harvard Square. This place exudes charm. The Red House is literally a red house, built c. 1802. It sits on top of an ancient stone retaining wall that dates back to c. 1634. Until recently this was a private residence. What a treat that it is now a restaurant open to the public so everyone can get a chance to enjoy this historic spot. The waitress told us that they love the building too but because it's such an old house "We're always wondering what will break next."

Inside the restaurant is cozy, with original restored woodwork and working fireplaces (wish I had known this a couple of months ago). But outside is where we wanted to be and this is probably the nicest outdoor restaurant deck in the Boston area. The doors from the bar push out to the sides so there's a nice vast entrance onto the deck. The environment feels more Newport than Cambridge with its adirondack-inspired chairs and tables. The deck is perched up high so it's a great spot to people watch, too.

The new spring menu consists of mostly lighter dishes - many seafood items, salads, simple pasta dishes, just what the waistline needs right now. Also the portions are small which I actually found refreshing. Why do most restaurants serve so much food anyway? It's crazy. There is still one decadent option that was very tempting - lobster pot pie. I saw one pass my table and it looked pretty amazing.

For the appetizer, we split the house salad with field greens and a simple vinaigrette. It was accompanied with marinated onions and toasted walnuts which added nice texture and flavor.

For the main course we had the Mussels Linguini, homemade linguini with fresh Maine blue mussels, chorizo, arugula & white wine. The dish was a little uneventful but the mussels were excellent.

We also ordered the Aegean spiced chicken which was served with a delicious cucumber-yogurt sauce over a bed of greens. This was excellent. Defnitely something I would order again.

Overall, the food is good not great but you know what, who cares? The spot is so lovely you really don't care what you're eating. It's just so great to sit outside in a lovely, relaxing ambiance and kick back.

This little narrow street has really become a hot spot for dining, with Om next door and Upstairs on the Square just across the street. You could have an appetizer at Om, dinner at The Red House and dessert at Upstairs on the Square without having to walk more than 20 feet.


The Red House
98 Winthrop Street, Harvard Square, Cambridge, 617.576.0605
www.theredhouse.com

Open Tuesday thru Sunday
Lunch: 12-3pm
Intermezzo menu: 3pm - 5pm
Dinner: 5pm - 11pm

2 Comments:

Blogger mini-me said...

I am so craving some al fresco dining. The large deck reminds me a little of union street bar in newton center.

3:23 PM  
Blogger Lynne said...

thanks for your note, chompster! that is another nice deck. i used to live over in that neck o' the woods many moons ago. good call.

4:54 PM  

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