West Bridge: Casual Elegance in Kendall Square
Kendall Square has gotten yet another powerhouse to add to its list of dining establishments. West Bridge is farm meets industrial, resulting in a rustic space that is is casual yet elegant. Warehouse-height ceilings house simple wood tables with crisp, white chairs. Large windows provide natural lighting to illuminate the space. Casual dining in the bar and dining room has a refined elegance that is unassuming and relaxing. A private dining space is available for a more intimate evening or a large party.
I was invited to a media dinner that started with an amuse bouche Aperol cocktail. Bitter and refreshing, if this is a glimpse of the cocktails at West Bridge then I already can’t wait to go back. The Aegean Sunset was followed by a crab salad, delicately perched upon a melt-in-your-mouth square crostini.
Aegean Sunset (dimmi, masti liquer, campari, grapefruit) and Amuse Bouche (crab salad)
West Bridge introduced me to black garlic in their asparagus soup. A strong hint of lemon was the first flavor, gently giving way to the subtle asparagus and finally the sweet tang of the black garlic. As far as a summer soup goes, this one definitely fits the bill. And the sparkling malbec? Incredible. (Have you ever even had this before?!)
Artichoke Soup (foie gras, black garlice, celtique vinegar) with ’09 Domaine Augis Sparkling Malbec, “La Rosee”, Loire
The bread did not prepare me for our next course; calamari prepared in such a way that it is reminiscent of nothing other than ramen noodles. Silky smooth, perfectly cooked and unlike any other calamari dish I’ve ever had, this small plate is a must-try.
Calamari (whelks, cockles, sweet 100′s; available on diner menu, $$11)
Growing up in between two strongly-populated Portuguese neighborhoods, I get excited when any form of chourico is on the menu (in this case, its Mexican cousing, chorizo). Here, a mild chorizo was served on the side of a well-prepared piece of halibut, bringing some pop to this mild fish.
Halibut (sugar snap peas, nectarine, chorizo)
The next dish of antelope was the highlight of the evening, and a first for everyone at the table. The meat was cooked medium rare, and reminded me of a tender NY strip steak with a subtly different natural flavor. The raisin threw us all for a curve ball, but the sweetness of the compote, artfully placed on the side of the plate, paired very well with the salty seasonings on the antelope.
Antelope (mastic, raisin, turnip)
The S’more dessert was simple in presentation, and a large portion size. The chocolate and marshmallow were too sweet for me, but don’t let that deter you (I am not the biggest dessert person). Also check out their baked cider donuts (not pictured), dense and delicious.
S’more Verrine (chocolate, marshmello, miso, graham)
The highlight of dessert for me was the dessert cordial served with dessert. I have really grown a taste for sherry cocktails and this one was very well balanced and for me, the perfect ending to an outstanding meal.
Dessert Cordial (brandy, amontillado sherry, galliano ristretto, cardamom bitters)
- Farro: green garbanzo, cherry, cress; $12
- Sweetbreads: buffalo sauce, blue cheese, celery; $15
- Crispy Pig’s Head: pickled rutabaga, mustard aioli; $13
- Scallop: celery root, fennel, mostarda; $12
- Duck Liver Terrine: apple and vanilla chutney, puffed chickpeas; $14
- Duck Breast: hibiscus beet vinaigrette, black rice, carrots; $25
- Founder: turnips, white beam, pistou; $23
- Veal: olive, almond, swiss chard, fingerlings; $29
- Char: brioche, artichoke, basil grapefruit; $25
- Bone-in Rib Eye: confit potato, mushroom glace; $53
- Chicken: maitake, bacon, jus; $42
- Lamb Shoulder: eggplant fig puree, goat cheese; $45
I very much enjoyed every part of this dinner, and despite some items being not available on West Bridge’s regular menu, it was very evident to me that good things are being done in the kitchen. West Bridge is one of those places that I could blindly select anything on the menu and know I will enjoy it.
West Bridge is located at 1 Kendall Square, serving dinner beginning at 5:30pm 7 days a week. A lunch menu is expected to begin next week, serving from 11:30am until 2:30pm.
Full disclosure: I attended this media as a guest of West Bridge; all opinions are my own. I’m already excited to head back and check out some cocktails and bar bites with Jon, so stay tuned!
Have you been to West Bridge? What are your impressions?