In a subterranean space off Harvard Square, Alden & Harlow is chef Michael Scelfo’s first solo effort, filled with dressed-to-impress 30-somethings and hounds tooth–clad professors. His menu of shared plates offers seasonal flavors enhanced by playful touches—there are pancakes made of pickled corn with a smear of buttermilk dressing, seared shishito peppers with popcorn on the side, or a salad of butternut squash grated into spaghetti-like strands, then slicked with brown butter and grated pecorino. The long bar offers a constantly revolving on-tap bitter, and provides ample space for tasting riffs on classic cocktails or from the solid six-draft beer list curated by sous chef David Tollerud. The wine list, compiled by GM Jen Fields, formerly of Toro, is just as thoughtful and experimental as the cuisine, running from dry Tokaji and sparkling gamay from Beaujolais to German dornfelder, most all biodynamically grown, and priced under $100.
40 Brattle St., Cambridge, Massachusetts
Caitlin Griffith knew her future career would entail food and drink when, at the age of six, she munched an anchovy from her father’s Caesar salad thinking it as a small strip of bacon—and was more than pleasantly surprised. While enrolled in New York University’s Food Studies program, she learned the secrets of affinage in the caves of Murray’s Cheese.
This story appears in the print issue of June 2014.
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