Nubar: New Cambridge Restaurant

For years and years and years, I’ve been telling people that the restaurant space at the Sheraton Commander overlooking the Cambridge Common would be an ideal spot for a new restaurant.  Why, I even proposed to a certain Chinese chef, now in Wellesley, that we might open a place there together.  That was long ago.

Nubar opened inside this terrific, cavernous, well lit space only about four weeks ago.  It’s a goofy name, granted, doesn’t roll off the tongue, sounds like a Mars bar, but the place is really good and deserves your respect and attention.  (The name is derived from Edward Nubar Guleserian; he owns the hotel.  What, Eddie’s didn’t work?)

The waitress told us her entire life story.  Labile, attentive, and clearly passionate about life, she brought us through the ups and downs of her career outside the restaurant (stage), her romance, and even aspects of her childhood.  I wouldn’t say it had much to do with dining, and if I was the GM of the place we’d have a long talk, but I really liked her.

The food?  The food was wonderful.  Really, no kidding.  The working chef came from Icarus and Ashmont Grill.  The guy above him?  Corporate.  Anyhow, my appetizer was sort of off the menu: Spring vegetables and morels; I asked for it without the lobster.  $5, amazing: Fresh morels, fava beans, peas, and asparagus tips.  Simple and delicious.  Very nice salads.  Entrees of roasted duck, soft shell crab sandwiches, and pork shoulder Bolognese with house-made tagliatelle were delicious.

One can only hope this restaurant succeeds.  It’s a little tricky: Limited signage and no PR I can find.  Still, let’s hope the food packs ’em in.

My chief criticism was the lack of focus on the menu, which is what often happens in hotel restaurants at this level.  Too bad.  Let’s see if a narrowing can create intensity…!

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