I'm not usually one to visit restaurants right when they open, but a chance to dine at Catalyst with some fellow bloggers made me think twice. Why? Chef/owner William Kovel was aiming to create a modern space where simple, delicious food is made from the best ingredients from local farms and food producers. Sign me up!
Located in Kendall Square, Catalyst occupies a huge space with a dining room, bar, outdoor patio, fireplace, and even areas for private parties. A fan of simple, modern design, I thought the space was beautiful.
|photo courtesy of Daisy|
Elizabeth, Emily, Megan, Bianca, Daisy and Bridget were welcomed by Chef William and treated to a sampling of the menu. Appetizers and entrees were brought out to share, and then once we were full, individual dessert platters came out to make sure we left sufficiently stuffed!
The rosemary potato foccacia was deliciously salty and I couldn't keep myself from a piece. Ok, two. And then the appetizers started coming out...
|(L) grilled scallions (R) hiramasa (courtesy of Daisy & Megan)|
|(L) veggie salad (R) quail (courtesy of Daisy)|
I was a little underwhelmed by the farmer's market vegetable salad with peppercress and crispy onion. The vegetables were solid, it was just described as pickled vegetables to us and I was left wanting more bite (barely detected vinegar). I've never tried quail before (at least that I recall), but I did get a small, tasty bite of crispy quail, served with black mission fig, gastique, mizuna and autumn berry jam.
|(L) sunchoke soup (R) chicken liver mousse (courtesy of Daisy)|
|(L) garganelli w/chicken oysters (R) mushroom ravioli|
We started our pasta tasting with garganelli (a ridged egg pasta) that was served with chicken oysters, bacon and finished with black truffle butter. The pasta was cooked perfectly and chicken oysters tender and tasty. The mushroom ravioli were another winner, served with hen of the woods mushrooms and a rich sauce.
While all of the pasta dishes were good, the Georgia candy roaster squash tortellini were my personal favorite. The only thing I didn't like on the plate was the braised escarole, as it was drowning in butter. A lighter hand with the butter would've been appreciated so one could actually taste the greens.
Secretly wishing we were done, I quietly let out a sigh as the entrees made their way out to the table. First up was the chilled pork. I can't recall all the components here, but there was the smoothest of apple purees underneath some room temperature pork that was perfectly cooked. On top was an apple cilantro slaw of sorts. Very well executed, I was happy to take home leftovers!
For the last savory dish of the evening, we tried the lemon sole, served with roasted baby fennel, creamed leeks and lobster vermouth butter. At this point I mustered a small bite of the sole, which was cooked well and had notes of lemon, but I had to save room for dessert, right?
|(clockwise from top L) pear cake, creamsicle ice cream bar, butterscotch pudding, cantaloupe sorbet|
(courtesy of Daisy and Megan)
|(courtesy of Daisy)|
And with that our night at Catalyst ended. I can envision another visit, perhaps sitting by the fireplace with a bowl of caramelized onion soup! And pudding, definitely won't be leaving that out :)
Thanks to Elizabeth for organizing, Daisy and Megan for letting me use some of their photos, and for Chef William for the meal! To see what everyone else thought, be sure to check out their reviews (linked above)!
Disclaimer: While the meal was complimentary, the opinions are all mine.