I know everyone and their brother has been raving about Chef Michael Scelfo’s Alden & Harlow restaurant in Harvard Square (Cambridge, Massachusetts), but I’ve visited the spot twice now—and let me tell you: The place is GOOD.
I went on my first visit several months ago with my friend Rachel (another big foodie who told me exactly what we should order even before we set foot through the doors). We got the chips and 3-onion dip; charred broccoli, squash hummus, montasio & cashew crumble; roasted carrots; infamous secret burger; and probably about three more dishes I can’t even remember now. It was one amazing bite after another. Most people will say the burger is the best they’ve ever had—and don’t get me wrong, it was good. But my favorite dish was the roasted carrots. They’re served with a sprinkling of pistachios that give it this extra unexpected saltiness.
So when I returned to the restaurant with my friend Erica, we decided to try a bunch of new dishes, but I also made her try the carrots and burger, since they were the dishes that left the greatest impression on me. Erica is not a big meat-eater. Her reaction to the burger: “I can’t shove this into my mouth fast enough.” We also ordered the burrata and salty peas with peperoncino honey, pine nut granola, and garlic crostino; chicken fried local rabbit; and the corn pancakes with a cream maple sauce and popcorn.
What I love about this place is that it’s so different. I’ve had a lot of roasted carrots before, but I’ve never had roasted carrots with pistachios. I’ve also tried many different types of corn fritters and pancakes, but never have I thought to put popcorn on top of them! And there was nothing crazy or out-of-the-ordinary about their secret burger, but it was one of the juiciest and flavorful burgers I have ever eaten.
If you haven’t already visited this hot new spot, go now. All of the hype is true.