The "Lunch in Harvard Square" Blog - Restaurant Reviews

Since starting to work in the Square in mid-August, I'm trying to eat lunch at a new restaurant every day until I can't find any more. Here's my list of the Top Ten Lunch Restaurants in Harvard Square (Food Only). Got a suggestion on a new lunch spot for me? New Restaurants to Try in Harvard Square.

Friday, December 22, 2006

The Red House Restaurant

78. 12-22 The Red House Restaurant 98 Winthrop Street. Summary: Fine dining, cozy atmosphere, quality comfort food, expensive.

Winthrop Street is turning out to be quite the corner for high-end dining. Upstairs on the Square, Om, and now the Red House restaurant. And I haven't yet tried Tommy Doyle's. So for location, the Red House gets top marks.

For atmosphere, high marks again. It's not as fancy inside as either Om or Upstairs, but clearly management put a lot of money into the renovation of the building. There are four areas for eating: An outside patio, useless now in the winter; a foyer room facing the street; a bar/lounge area with a working, real-wood fireplace (not many of those around anymore - a nice touch!), and the main dining room in the back, with a fancy circular skylight in the middle. But compared with the nearby fancy restaurants, the Red House seems sort of quaint, with the multiple rooms, narrow hallway, and working fireplace. Cozy, but certainly not cutting edge.

Service was fine - our server was prompt and polite. He knew the menu well but I didn't get the impression he was really into the food - more reading off a list rather than understanding how the ingredients would taste.

The food was good - very good, but not great. I went with my friend Dwight, and we each had the house salad, which was a plateful and had a light dressing that seemed just right. Then, we each had lobster dishes; mine was the lobster pot pie, Dwight's the lobster risotto. I definitely enjoyed the pot pie - the puff pastry on top was light and perfectly browned, and the lobster/potato/veggies were in a light cream sauce beneath. Dwight loved his lobster risotto, which was definitely more food than mine.

My only complaint is that the Red House uses a lot of cream. The soup special, both our lobster dishes, then other dishes including carbonara - there's not a lot on the menu that is cholesterol friendly. It's a high end comfort food restaurant, I think.

For $30 each, tip included, only tap water to drink - what I paid at Harvest, Upstairs, and Om - I would place the Red House last on that list. It's a bit pricey for the fare. But it's certainly an enjoyable experience.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

January 26th 2007, A special day for the SquareLunchGuy. We celebrated his birthday at the Red House on the coldest day of the year so far.
The restaurant was warm and inviting. A fire was blazing in the front room when we entered. Our seating was in the atrium room, which was flooded with sun.
The food was delicious. I had the crab meat sandwich, the best I have ever had. The birthday guy had soup and a roast pork sandwich. He indicated it was also very good, and he cleaned up his plate. ( Can you tell that I'm his mother?) The BigGuy had the eggplant appetizer, which was "tasty", but not very large.
We ordered dessert. The birthday guy had the mango sorbet, which was served with one little birthday candle. Thank goodness, they did not sing "happy birthday". After all, this is Harvard Square, and singing at lunch is not the thing to do. I had the tiramisu. It was creamy and crunchy at the same time, but so rich that I couldn't finish it.
My only other observation was the lack of training by our server. He was freindly, and he picked up on the birthday, but he neglected to keep our water glasses full, and had trouble understanding our questions. I forgave him, because I was having such a wonderful time.

12:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

January 26th 2007, To the Square Lunch Guy - you had better approve the blog I just wrote on the Red House. You will be in a LOT of trouble if you don't.

12:25 PM  

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