I’m slowly ticking away at my restaurant bucket list! Yesterday I met my friend Stephanie for dinner at Alden & Harlow in Harvard Square. The restaurant is located at the former location of Casablanca, just below the Brattle Theatre.
I arrived about 20 minutes before Steph, and I promptly planted myself at the bar and ordered a drink. I was torn between the Ancient Stone and the Kon Tiki Mai Tai; the bartender convinced me to go with the Ancient Stone. I’m a sucker for bubbles.
I was very happy with the suggestion as the drink was lightly effervescent with a lovely citrus flavor. It went down very easy.
When it came down to choosing what to eat, we decided to get a few dishes and split them. We started out with the Grilled Carrots with House Yogurt, Spicy Honey, Pistachio & Benne Granola and the Burrata with English Pea & Radish, Mint & Peperoncino Honey, Garlic Crostino.
The burrata was amazingly creamy and paired so well with the crushed English peas and garlic crostini. We ended up getting more bread to finish up the rest. The glazed carrots were also delightfully crispy and paired lovely with the cool yogurt and crushed pistachios.
For our main courses were ordered the Chicken Fried Local Rabbit with Celery, Apple, Blue Cheese, Chili Oil and the House Made Carbonara with Ramp Green Bigoli, Farm Egg, Pork Belly. The rabbit was lightly fried and the apples and blue cheese were a delicious contrast in sweet and salty. The carbonara, to me, was extremely flavorful, mainly of the salty pork belly. I wasn’t able to finish all of it, but it was delicious nonetheless.
I didn’t take a photo of it, but along with our main dishes we enjoyed a dry, lightly sweet Rose wine. It was the perfect pairing for the light meat and salty pasta dish.
Overall, I was extremely impressed with the attention to detail of each dish. The chef, Michael Scelfo, “prepares humble, unpretentious food that honors tradition of place in its quality” and figuratively extends his family’s dining table to the patrons of his first owned and operated restaurant. The subterranean location is modern yet comfortable with leather tufted barstools, a subway-tiled bar and wooden beams extending from the bar to the dining room. (I can see myself using the design as inspiration for my next home. )
Alden & Harlow is located at 40 Brattle Street, Cambridge, MA.