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A Little Bit About a Lot of Things

A lifestyle blog with a focus on my food adventures

Located in Harvard Square, UpStairs on the Square gives us their unique twist on fine dining. They have two floors, the upstairs is the “Soiree Room” where they serve a more expensive, more formal dinner. There are two large rooms, the one pictured above can be used for small private parties. The other room has lovely banquettes with seats near the fireplace.

I had been up here last year and remember being impressed. The food and the service were excellent. This time we opted for the more casual “Monday Club” on the first floor. This area consists of the main dining area with a bar and the ‘zebra room’ which is a smaller sectioned off porch that overlooks Winthrop park out front.

The room is wonderfully sunny with great people watching. The room is wild, with zebra carpets and pink walls-if you heard that you probably couldn’t imagine how it works in a fine dining establishment-but when you see it…it really does work!

There are two top tables, one of each side of the aisle, and a few longer tables at both ends of the room. They serve afternoon tea here on the weekends, as well as rent this room out for private functions.

The view from the zebra room.

To start we split the Caesar salad with brioche “Toad-in-the-Hole”   ($12). The salad is delicious-and who doesn’t love scooping up egg on warm buttery bread. I love this twist on a classic. We ask our waiter for recommendations-he seems to be a little confused. He is a little out of it. He is living up to the surfer stereotype that he looked like.

I order the rabbit lasagnette Vin Santo Braised rabbit with biscotti crumbs    ($20). I wasn’t sure what to expect with a lasagnette-having never had one before, but it was delicious. The noodles were delicious and the stock that came with it was wonderfully flavorful.

My dining companion gets the sirloin cheeseburger on a buttered potato roll: gruyere, Niman Ranch Bacon & Cucumber Pickles   ($15). A good burger, nothing overwhelming. The fries were good and the roll really did make the burger.

So we’re sitting there, eating our dinner…our waiter is nowhere to be found-our water glasses are empty and we’re thirsty. As I sip my soda, I notice that there are things crusted to the inside of the glass-but can do nothing about it because no one is around.

Not a very clear picture, but as I’m making my way through my dinner, I come upon a bone-and nearly crack my tooth on it. This has happened to me a few times in the last few months of dining out,whether I order the duck or the rabbit. I should have known better. So I pass on the rest of the rabbit in my meal and stick to just the pasta for fear that the next bite could be the one that cracks my tooth. We finish, and we’re just sitting there staring at each other because our waiter is still nowhere to be seen-has he gone on an extended smoke break? Did he go off duty? 20 minutes after we last saw him, he saunters back into the room. He asks how our meals were, and I say to him, well it was good except for the bone I nearly cracked my tooth on. He comes back with, “but besides the bone the meal was good right?” Confused I respond in the affirmative and he says, “that’s great!” I’m now even more confused because service here is usually excellent-no rookie waiters here.

These next few pictures are kind of hazy-but atleast you will get an idea of the dishes. We ordered the Meyer lemon ricotta cheesecake with blueberry compote & lemon thyme with shortbread cookie   ($8).

And we ordered the signature milk chocolate pecan turtles (3 for $8) which I had been dying to try. The cheesecake didn’t wow me-it was good but forgettable. The turtles were a surprise. They bring over a steak knife because it’s hard to cut them in half-they are served cold…hard on the outside but soft on the inside. They are the ultimate indulgence. The inside of a turtle is usually caramel over nuts, but here they are in a sugar mixture that is similar to the consistency of raw cookie dough…and are a bit grainy to the taste. They are over the top sweet and you feel like you need a gallon of milk to wash down all the chocolate, sugary goodness.

So, staying with last post’s theme of ‘night and day’…it just goes to show you how different your experiences can be. Last time, a year ago, the service was excellent-I couldn’t wait to go back. This time-I’m not sure IF I’ll be back…having the poor service made the meal ‘not as nice as it could have been’.

UpStairs on the Square
91 Winthrop Street Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138
(facing Winthrop Park in the heart of Harvard Square, corner of JFK Street and Winthrop Street)

http://www.upstairsonthesquare.com

Phone: 617-864-1933

Parking
UpStairs on theSquare has valet parking ($14)
from 5 pm every night and for Sunday Brunch
starting at 12 noon. The restaurant validates parking
tickets ($2 off) for three garages:

Charles Hotel Garage
• University Place Garage (behind the Charles Hotel)
• Harvard Square Garage (corner of JFK and Eliot)

Monday Club Bar and Zebra Room
Open every day from 11:00 am – 1:00 am
Lunch served Monday through Saturday from 11 am – 3 pm
Sunday Brunch served 10 am – 3 pm
Afternoon Tea on Saturday from 3 pm – 5 pm
Dinner served Sunday through Thursday 5 pm – 10 pm
and Friday and Saturday 5 pm – 11 pm

Soirée Dining Room
Dinner Tuesday through Thursday from 5 – 10 pm
Dinner Friday and Saturday from 5:30 – 11 pm

Upstairs on the Square on Urbanspoon

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