Grafton Street is a hit and miss. More like a 3.5.
Based on my first experience, I would give it a 5, but my second experience really wasn't that great.
There are seatings outside, which is nice for a New England spring or fall day.
The beet salad made with fresh beets, glazed pecan and a light vinaigrette was amazing! I had the New England Bouillabaisse my first time. The seafood was extremely fresh and the sauce was delightful. My friend had the chicken and she loved it.
The second time I had the mussels. It was really mediocre. My friend had the ravioli and it was cold and not very fresh.
Really fantastic service, with some decent food to boot.
I wanted to try something new, so I told the waitress to bring me out a dark, stronger beer and a sweet, wheaty beer. The waitress really knew her stuff, and brought out their Uinta BABA Black Lager and Slumbrew Happy Sol, both of which were delicious and exactly what I was looking for.
I wasn't too hungry that day, so I didn't actually eat too much. But from what I tried, their hummus plate and Margherita pizza were delicious.
The prices were fair, and the atmosphere was nice. I'll definitely come back again for a full dinner meal.
I'm only really writing this review because A) When do you ever give five stars? And they deserve it. And B) The bit about this place not being any good for kids is a load of bunk. You just have to go at the right time of day. I brought my two-year old daughter to sit outside and have some apps, and there were about four of five other families sitting around us doing the same.
Regarding the food and drinks - magnificent. We ordered three appetizers and two cocktails (for my husband, not my daughter!), and when one of our apps was no longer available, we got a free basket of truffle fries, which were spectacular. The fried calamari was killer, and the barrel-aged manhattan was the best I've ever had. I highly recommend this place. Especially if you're going out in the area, perhaps to the Comedy Studio? Also a great stop while you're in Cambridge.
Nice work Grafton Street. Nice work indeed.
There's a grandpapi in charge of Park, Russell House Tavern, Temple Bar, and Grafton Street. Â There's like a near 100% hit-rate of getting super good food (creative, delicious, filling, awesome ingredients), and a hip atmosphere where you can just eat drinks all night. Â We came here on a Gilt City and ate like mofo's... which is awesome when you want to sample a lot of different things and appreciate how good a menu really is. Â We had the short ribs (SO good, and the marinara sauce was a soup on its own), the tuna tartare (amazing tart taste, really creatively made with this cucumber risotto), and for mains the pork (braised for days and totally delicious and REALLY filling), and scallops. Â Finally, for dessert we had this enormous cookie with ice cream. Â The food was just really, really good and you can tell there's consistent awesomeness about this joint. Â Can't beat it, or any of the restaurants in the Grafton Street entourage.Review Source:
I always have an awesome time whenever I go to Grafton Street -- the food is good (Chef Eric Gregory is the MAN: such creative, delicious dishes, and some amazing staples like the calimari, burger, flatbreads, and lobster mac-and-cheese), the prices are good, and the drinks are good. Zing, zing, zing!
The most recent time I was there was this past weekend with a group of friends, and they seated us near the bar where half of us sat in chairs and the others, in the booth section. It didn't feel too crowded or too spacious (it's always awkward when there's TOO much space between each person), and the whole place felt really cozy and comfortable. The carafe of sangria that's supposed to serve 4 actually ended up serving 2... oops (perhaps that's also why everything felt so cozy... ha!)... but in my defense, it was very tasty, as anything with elderflower liqueur tends to be. My compliments to the bartender. And the draft beers were great, too!
I think half the time I've been here has been in the restaurant portion chowing down and the other half at the bar--the beautiful long bar with a seemingly endless array of spirits and beers on tap! -- and every time I go, I always get what I bargained for: good service, nice ambiance, and awesome food and drink, no matter where I am seated.
(Also, a total side note: though I haven't had this in a while... the blood orange cosmos here are. really. really. really. tasty. Wow. I know they're seasonal, and they may never come back, as some drinks do (?!), but I just wanted to throw that out there. Yum.)
My boyfriend bought a gilt city voucher, so we thought we'd try it out. The decor is nice and customer service was good, but I probably won't come back to order anything that I've ordered tonight, except maybe the Charcuterie (you can't possibly mess that up).
For appetizers, we had the Grafton Charcuterie, and the Buttermilk Fried Calamari.
Please RESIST from ordering the calamari, it was terrible. The breading was ok, but many pieces were soggy (maybe they didn't dry the calamari off before breading or the breading was too wet).
For dinner, we shared the Bavette Steak and the Baked Lobster Macaroni and Cheese. The steak was well paired with the buttermilk whipped potatoes and baby arugula. The Lobster Mac & Cheese was good, but wish the sauce was more creamy.
For dessert, we were notified that the apple walnut cake was sold out, so we aimed for the spiced chocolate molten cake. Unfortunately, they were out of that as well, so we opted for the warm chocolate chip cookie sundae with two scoops of ice cream (chocolate and caramel). I wouldn't order it again because half the ice-cream was melted (due to the warm cookie of course) and the cookie itself was huge, like the size of the serving plate drizzled with chocolate sauce. Don't get me wrong, it was good but i wish there was vanilla or a lighter flavor of ice-cream to pair with all the sweetness. Everything on the plate went well separately but together, it was just too sweet, even for my taste.
Gilt City Review:
Alright, would have never given this place a try without a nice online discount, and to be honest, that's the only thing that boosted this restaurant from a 3-star to a 4-star. I came here with my girlfriend after spending ~$50 for 2 apps, 2 entrees, and 1 dessert. Between the two of us, we split the tuna tartare, beet salad, salmon, scallops and the molten lava cake. The food was definitely well plated, but nothing really jumped out at us in terms of taste and uniqueness, but they were still quite delicious. The molten lava cake was disappointing as the ice cream that came with it was wrongly paired and the lava cake lacked...well the lava.
That being said, what endeared me to the restaurant was the sincerity of the service and the speed at which the food arrived. The overall vibe of the restaurant is casual/dating, and I definitely recommend eating outside if the weather allows.
Overall, decent American restaurant made better with a discount!
Food: 3 stars
Price: 4 stars
Service: 4 stars
Ambiance: 3-4 stars
This review is more for the service than anything. I ordered the fish and chips, which were delicious. My friend got the steak, and he loved it, although it was weird that it came with this big steak knife, and it was already cut for him.
Our server though, was weird. Like Pyscho weird. Like, "It puts the lotion on" weird. First, I ordered a beer. My friend got water. He came back later, and asked if that would be all, and if we wanted the check. Because people come to restaurants at 7:30PM just to have one beer. Then, my friend ordered a clam chowder as an appetizer. Our server (I'm just gonna call him "Creepy Dave," although I'm not sure what his real name is) came back and offered him ground pepper. While he ground the pepper over the soup, he never broke eye contact with my friend. He was missing the bowl, but he didn't care. Creepy Dave just kept staring at my friend. In his eyes. It was weird; my friend was really creeped out. Later, I saw Creepy Dave stroking his tie, and staring at me, while I ate my food. He knew I knew he was staring at me, and he kept doing it. My friend and I are both guys. Neither of us is albino or ginger or anything gross or weird like that. Not sure why he kept staring.
So, bottom line is: food is good, but unless you want to get stared at by Creepy Dave, sit inside.
In the words of the immortal Homer Simpson: "That was good, but not great."
I'd like this place to be great. I really would. I liked the ambiance, the service, and the nice beer selection, but the food itself was just okay.
My wife and I ordered arancini (sizable portion) and fried calamari, which got things off to a fairly mediocre start. Good, for sure, but somewhat bland and uninspired. However, Â paired with a nice IPA, which the waitress explained in detail, and a mocktail (my wife is expecting in August), we were in good spirits and eager for the entrees.
But the steaks came and the cuts just weren't up to snuff. Â A little tough, a little stringy, a little eh. Maybe other dinners would have been better, but I can only review what I ate. We did finish with a cheesecake, which was actually really tasty.
Points off, unfortunately, for the bathrooms, which had wet sinks and a dripping faucet. Minor, yes, but important.
If you live in the area and you're looking for somewhere new, sure, give it a try. But if you're in Cambridge for only a night or two, you can do better elsewhere.
I came here for dinner and drinks on a Sunday night and I was surprised to see that this place was packed! My friend and I ended up sitting at the bar since the wait for a table would be a while and we ended up having a great time. We split the calamari and the Brussels Sprouts and Bacon and I had a "Zen Master" cocktail. Everything was delicious, service was spot on, and everything was on par with what I had expected pricewise from such a restaurant (very similar to LA). Overall, I would recommend if you were looking for some good eats around Harvard Square.Review Source:
Went on a saturday night with a reservation for a friends birthday - and it was a great experience. We had appetizers, dinner and a surprise birthday dessert. I had the Zen Cocktail, hummus plate appetizer and the salmon for dinner. All was good. The waitress (i wish i had caught her name) was very delightful as well. Very helpful with recommending dinner options. Great spot for a bite to eat or a date. I'd go again.Review Source:
I just went here for lunch for the first time, and I'll most certainly be back for more. Though I opted out of the lunch-break drink, it was a difficult task because their list of draft beers was epic--lots of local brews for us beer nerds, but some Harpoon and other options for those going the safe route. Additionally, the food was fantastic. I had a lamb meatball sandwich that was delicious, and my boyfriend had a burger that looked great too. And you gotta love how they have sidewalk seating, or if it's not quite warm enough, they open the windows for some fresh air. All in all, a great place, so definitely stop by!Review Source:
Came here with my friend over the summer for lunch. We didn't know that it was mainly a pub, and being underaged there wasn't a lot for us.
There wasn't a lot offered in the menu for food. But it smelled great and tasted pretty good. I got a pizza while my friend got the Sloppy Joe burger. We had the creme brulee for dessert and it was slightly burnt. Portions are great and prices are reasonable.
Service was friendly and attended to us in a timely manner. Although the place they did seat us was a little cramped (in the corner), it was near the outside so on that summer day I didn't mind at all.
On warm days, it's great to sit by the open windows and enjoy a drink.
They also have good american food for dinner-time (without much of a wait at all). Their sangria is a nice match too! Service is attentive overall.
My stomach felt a bit funny (even though I asked for gluten-free options of my chicken-entree). Not sure if something was still in the sauce, so I will try to avoid their food from now on. But my friends enjoyed their dinner.
Not bad for a Hahvahd Bah.
So I actually got brunch and cocktails here. The burger with caramelized onion and the house special aioli is exactly what you would want it to be: thick, juicy and makes you have a well-deserved food baby afterwards! The fries that came with it were super tiny but are served in the size of a mini Mount Kilamanjaro- I couldn't finish them all.
I also tried the Eggs Benedict with the Irish Bacon. Hollandaise is one of my favorite accompanients in the world because it's totally bad for you and Grafton did not disappoint in it's flavor!
I got the Zen Master because I'm obsessed with anything ginger, and I will say that the cocktail itself was slightly watered down (I mean, it's 5 O'Clock somewhere in the world right?) and I wish the ginger had been paired with something fruitier like grape over the raspberry but I drank the whole thing so that counts for something. Apparently this is the place to be (as told by the Harvard student I was with) and I can definitely see why! Wicked cool vibes here and I'm curious to see what the nightlife is like!
We stepped in for lunch during a day of touristing Harvard Square. Â The servers were very nice and attentive, although they were missing a key ingredient for the hot buttered rum and I ended up with a hibiscus toddy instead. Â Not bad, but not what I wanted for a windy afternoon.
We split the calamari and had clam chowder for lunch. Â Both hit the spot. Â The calamari was especially impressive; they fry up jalapenos with the calamari, infusing a nice spiciness that goes well with their spicy aioli. Â The clam chowder was very good; a little heavy on the potato chunks but the clam chunks I did find were decent.
I have been to Grafton Street a handful of times and I can now say I am a fan. In my experience, some days are better than others as far as service goes. If you are sitting at the windows (prime people watching, let me tell you), prepare to be totally ignored. It seems like the windows are never anyone's actual section, so you have to do the creepy stare until someone notices that you have been sitting there for 20 minutes or just walk up to the bar.
This particular dinner, a group of us were seated in the main dining room. We were having a meeting over dinner and our server was very accommodating, checking in only when necessary. I had eaten a late lunch so I ordered an appetizer I had not tried, the Short Rib Arancini. When the table's food arrived, mine was missing. It seemed that there was a confusion with the table numbers and mine was left off the ticket. I was not at all irritated, hey it happens, and I wasn't starving, but our server was very apologetic and even brought me some Rosemary Truffle Fries to much on while I waited. Extremely nice of him! The fries were tasty and I would definitely order them again. When my Arancini arrived I was surprised by how large the portion was ... there is no real mature way to talk about big meaty balls but, I will try ... there were 3 large rice balls filled with tender short rib meat. The outside was crisp and cooked perfectly throughout. The accompanying tomato sauce had great flavor and a little spice and was topped with fresh basil and parmesan; a winner in my book and well worth the wait. Â
All in all, Grafton Street is a solid spot for a casual diner when you are not in a rush.
I went in with low expectations and come out pleasantly surprised. The prices are steep, but the food is generally good - minus the lobster mac and cheese that my boyfriend ordered and didn't finish. (You know something is sub-par when he doesn't eat it all.) Our beet salad was incredibly fresh and tasty, and the plating was fun and ergonomic for sharing. My bouillabaisse rivaled others I've had at French restaurants.
My only complaint is with the hostess stand. I'm pretty sure they seated another couple that came in later than us but had the same reservation name. After I heard them called to their table, we checked on our wait time again (it was far exceeding the initial estimate at this point). The hostess' "Oh, that's right" reaction was a pretty clear sign that she had forgotten about us.
Still, 3.5 stars would be more accurate. I really enjoyed my meal, our server and the atmosphere.
Oh, Grafton Street. Great for group dinner reservations - they have mastered the ability to serve the 8 party group who has lots of weird requests and wants split checks.
Grafton burger with spicy aioli is delicious. Of course, please order the rosemary truffle fries with that and not the salad. Scallops are also quite a hit.
Bar area can get crowded, but is a good place to gather on Thursday nights.
I come here almost every day for lunch. Why? The soup and sandwich special. $7 for some delicious cheese confection paired with a delicious soup.
In all honesty, I have no idea who is deciding the pairings, but they do not make any sense. I also don't really care. Half the time I'll just eat the soup, bring the sammy back to my office and split it with my coworker. It's seriously a ton of food for $7.
The other reason I keep coming back is Paul, the super sarcastic, incredibly friendly barkeep. He seems to be on a first name basis with every patron, which I love. He also knows when to lay off and leave me the hell alone.
I really love this restaurant group. I bounce back and forth between Park, Grafton and Temple constantly and Russell House when someone else is paying ;)
Grafton is a wonderful place to go for a drink. Given the fairly small bar area, it quickly gets crowded and slightly loud. I like it, but it may not be for everyone. As for eating, the food is good and the general feel of the restaurant is upscale. However, dining seems a bit pricey to me. Perhaps that's because I associate Grafton first with a bar, second as a place to eat. It can also be distracting trying to have dinner as the bar fills up--the separation between bar and dining is minimal.Review Source:
Heads up- this is not a foodie/gourmet review of Grafton Street. It is a real review for real hungry people.
I had the turkey dinner plate for lunch today. Can't tell you how satisfying it was without using dirty words. I took that turkey out on a date and got to third base. I'm telling you I demolished that thanksgiving masterpiece real quick. There is something about how thin cut the turkey was with this like fancy stuffing and a boat of mashed potatoes.
Sometimes you just want a super filling meal that leaves you wanting no more and during those sometimes-- I'll be going to Grafton Street.
I've been to Grafton Street Â a few times now and have always had a great experience! The food and drinks are delicious and the service has always been impeccable. The servers are very friendly and helpful. The atmosphere at Grafton is very nice - big open room with comfortable seating and good lighting.
Most visit, I come in just for drinks. The drinks are great (I especially like their sangria) and over the summer, they typically have a dollar oyster deal at the bar.
On my most recent visit, I came in for a group dinner. The food was fantastic! We tried the lobster mac and cheese, smoked mushroom pizza, sweet potato ravioli, and salmon - all the entrees were delicious. Beyond that, it was one of our group member's birthday. The waitress brought out a complementary dessert and went out of her way to make sure we had a great experience.
I agree with the other reviews - this place is good, but not great.
The food is fine - definitely better than your average pub food. Â But nothing is amazing. Â Their pizzas and burger are good, and the rosemary truffle fries are SO ADDICTIVE. Â I tried some of my friend's chickpea burger, which he liked, but I didn't care for. Prices are also reasonable.
The booths/tables are cozy for dinner, but the upstairs bar part can get really crowded.
Went there last night (Friday) with my wife for dinner. Atmosphere was nice, but the wait for a table was an hour. The food was tastey overall, but my Porterhouse steak came out super well-done, when I asked for medium rare. There was zero color left, basically white inside.
On the upside, while waiting for a table they did not charge me for soda.
A typical Harvard Square establishment. The food is solid for dinner, more lacking for brunch, and generally overpriced, but it's one of the few options in the area and a fun, busy environment.
My favorite is actually the tuna tartar, which is surprisingly fresh and consists of pieces of whole tuna, rather than that mashed up junk a lot of restaurants serve. The short rib pot roast is my go-to entree - pretty generous portions of meat cooked very tender - the one complaint I have is that it's a bit too much on the sweet side.
I would NOT recommend this place for brunch. I've come a few times because it's easy to get a group rezzie, but it's really not worth it. I LOVE brunch and am pretty easily satisfied with basic egg dishes and eggs benedict, but Grafton just can't deliver, and to top it off the dishes have often come out pretty cold.
Service is a mixed bag - Last time we went, our waitress was really accommodating about us moving to a different table because the table next to us was SO loud we couldn't hear the person next to us talking, but they also forgot to give us any bread and didn't remember the specials the first time we asked.
Best dishes: Ahi tuna tartar, short rib pot roast
I've been to this place quite a bit, more for the drinks than the food. It's typically very busy, and in the evenings the bar area gets crowded. It's a staple go-to for Harvard students, with a large TV above the bar and plenty of space for groups to gather. This, along with Park and Russell House, are owned by the same company and has the same feel. I prefer Russell House's food over Grafton though.
Grafton's food is typically American. There isn't anything to write home about, but it has a good selection of beef, chicken, burgers, pizza, and typically American appetizers like PEI mussels, salads, and clam chowder. I've had most of their dishes by now, and they're all very average. It's nothing exciting, but it does the job.
I do like this place for drinks though. They have a great selection of beers, wine, and cocktails. The more upscale decor makes it a more classy choice than the Kong next door or Tommy Doyles nearby.
I've been here more times than I'd like to admit and am constantly underwhelmed. Â There's never anything on the menu that I REALLY want except the burger, which is fine, but all burgers are usually at least fine.
Saving grace is that they can accommodate large parties, they take reservations, and they're way less crowded (for good reason) than Park and Russell House.
If you're looking for a more upscale restaurant in Harvard Square, Grafton Street isn't bad. It's also a decent place for get togethers for larger groups, since there's a lot of standing room in the bar area. Overall the atmosphere is pleasant and upscale but accessible.
That being said, the food is relatively forgettable. I've been here twice for brunch and a few times for drinks. The brunch is your typical American fare, not particularly interesting and a little bland. I had eggs which tasted like nothing. The portions are huge. The only slightly interesting thing on the menu is the chickpea burger, which is only so-so. Maybe it's just me personally, but the consistency of a chickpea burger isn't great.
In conclusion, not a bad place for a drink but I would avoid if you're looking for a good brunch place.
My review is based on two experiences. The first one would be for 3 stars and the second one for 5 stars.
The 3 star experience is based on my regular visits to this restaurant. I live close by and in the last year I have visited the restaurant 4 times. The food is a very typical American style.
On the other hand, this week I attended one of the special events, a tasting menu with a pairing of rum drinks. Dinner, price and quality was amazing. Please, organize more events like this.
As I was born into the Homosexual Lifestyle, I was blessed with the ability to truly appreciate brunch.
I tried to appreciate brunch here and I just couldn't do it. Thankfully, as one born into the Homosexual Lifestyle, I was also blessed with the ability to mock things I don't enjoy.
You're going to pay too much money for some food that is over-cooked, not too tasty and you're going to be ignored by your server who is busy serving all of the other suckers who found their way into the restaurant.
The granola and yogurt was pretty sad. I could plop a scoop of Activia Yogurt and smoother it in flavorless granola at home. Then, I could ignore myself. That would be about the same thing as eating at Grafton. And as much as I like drinking coffee, I don't like getting it myself. The waitress must have felt the same way as our coffees were only refilled when we became sassballs.
It's too bad. I had high expectations. I am a member of the Homosexual Lifestyle.
Grafton Street captures the true essence of Harvard Square and all the spirit of VeRiTas it comes with.
Harvard may be deep-rooted in its seat of tradition and prestige. Harvard may feel as old as time, but Harvard Square itself is never without a freshman breath of air. Grafton Street's menu teems with tradition including cult classics like bouillabaisse, burgers, and pot roast, but this little "pub" still keeps it fresh.
My New England Bouillabaisse was lightened by a selection of shellfish in a rich and filling yet not-too-dense broth. The slice of toast dripping with a refreshing alioli-like topping just doubles the fun
The Grafton Burger is juicy with all the flavor of Ivy-League promise, and the caramelized onion completes the whole package of Ivy League ideals. This burger is almost as intoxicating as the beer half the patrons are too young to (legally) drink.
The underlying spirit of Harvard Square is the depth and warmth of the friendships formed by those who learn and grow together. And Grafton Street is one friend that sees you through thick and thin, through firsts (and lasts!), through the best and the worst of your college or post-grad career. The food will refresh and comfort you no matter where your life turns. Now that's the kind of food I intend to hang onto.