One of Cambridge's smartest, most stylish hangouts resides smack dab between Harvard and Porter Squares..
Academics and professionals congregate for a drink, then stay for the food in this warm room with a mirrored back wall and oversized paintings of fruits and vegetables. Solo diners are a common sight, and women often gather with their pals. Sophisticated dishes include saffron risotto, topped with roasted cherry tomatoes and rainbow chard, and sea scallops with toasted pasta and earthy baby artichokes. If available, order the homemade mint chocolate chip ice cream.
Great people, space and food. This place is such a gem. Great atmosphere, drinks, prices and the food is fantastic. I just tried the new asian dolma apps and I have never tasted anything so good. They melt in your mouth. I think it's also one of the friendliest places in Cambridge. Keep up the great work. I'll be back soon!
still the best!!. We went to the West Side last night. I had to write a review, not only to let people know how great it really is, but especially after reading the negative reviews on cs. We started with a warm yellow beet salad..the beets were so delicate in a light dressing with pine nuts and toasted garlic - definitely order this! We had a bottle of Viogner which went perfectly with the salad and our entrees - great and only 33 bucks. Upon our servers suggestion we both went with the black cod entree. This was a beautiful piece of fish, with brocoli rabe and cauliflower in a delicious light sauce. We finished with warm chocolate chip cookies with a scoop of vanilla ice cream!! yum yum. A wonderful experience, bolstered by the restaurant's funky and comfortable vibe. They always have great music playing that you can hear well and still hold a conversation easily. Still the greatest spot in Cambridge for dinner and drinks...
Fans of the WSL.
We are neighbors of the WSL and have always loved the food, drinks and atmosphere so it was the first venue we considered when we decided in November to get married. I came across the bad reviews while looking for the tel #. Comments about a recent precipitous decline in quality gave us real pause and we started looking at other places to have the wedding. In fact, we were about to sign with a place across town when we realized that we hadn?t actually eaten at the WSL since the new chef had arrived. We headed over for dinner to see for ourselves.
Lucky thing we did. Everything we had that night was fabulous and the service was terrific. Things moved quickly from there and we were married a couple of weeks ago. Particular kudos go to the general manager, the asst manager and, of course, the new chef, not to mention the bartenders who worked the actual event.
From the first meeting right up through the wedding itself, the staff handled themselves, us and the event with warmth, calm and professionalism and the food was spectacular as well as wonderfully presented. We settled on an eclectic menu of appetizers that drew on several different ethnicities: a silky white bean and hummus spread; exotic grilled lalots (lamb wrapped in grape leaves spiced with toasted sesame oil); shots of roasted cauliflower soup; fried plantains with harissa, grilled scallop skewers and garlic risotto. We also included two items from the regular menu that we ate that first night -- thai short ribs, which are scrumptious with a depth of unusual flavor from the seasonings, and a grilled romaine salad -- who'd have thunk that lettuce would take to the grill with such wonderful results? Everthing was perfect and, btw, our guests (70 in all) raved about the food, which is not what one ordinarily expects when it comes to wedding grub.
I urge anyone reading this to give the WSL and the new chef a chance before relying on the views of any one diner. We're certainly glad we did
Best it's EVER been!. I live a few blocks away and have been going to the West Side for the past 4 years. I have seen a few chefs go in and out of this place and this new chef is the best they have ever had! The food is more inventive, tasty and athestically pleasing! I can't believe the reviews I have read from people who are obviously opposed to change! This place has got it all going on- fantastic drinks, a great selection of affordable wines, a super friendly staff and a comfy dining room. Through the years their prices have not gone up, but their quality of food has! How can you complain about a $18 steak frite or a $19 tuna? It's delicious and cheap! You can't find those prices anywhere and have it actually be good! This place has not been "nickled and dimed into the gutter", but been consistently good and super afforadable all along! Thank you West Side for not being the ho-hum neigborhood bistro that never changes!
eewww!!!!!. They got drinks wrong. The pasta dish tasted like it came from a frozen foods aisle and the salmon dish was a nightmare!!!!! The noodles they served with it needed to be slurped through a straw!!!! Not even close to be worth what they charged for it!!!
UPDATE: So, myself and two others give this place bad reviews because of an obvious decline in quality and all of a sudden there are three good reviews within 10 days in January. Looks like the owner got himself three different accounts. Try serving better food and you won't have to worry about bad reviews.
I live a block away and have been a regular at this restaurant for the last three years. It used to be my favorite place, perfect for brunch on sunday, a late night dinner, or a drink with friends. I no longer go there.
The trouble all started a year and a half ago when the place came under new management, who decided that they were going to start saving a few bucks by no longer serving fresh sqeezed orange juice at breakfast. Since then, it has been a long steady decline in level of service, quality of the food, and variety of dishes. It has gotten particularly bad in the last few months with this new chef they've hired, who has gradually taken all of the decent food off the menu and replaced it with presumptous high-brow-low-quality crapola. The steak is no longer a high quality meat and is full of fat and grizzle. The tomato aoli? Replaced with some mayonaisse-ladden garlic concoction. I was in there a month ago and had to wait for my food for an hour, which finally arrived cold. The final straw came three weeks ago at brunch when I ordered a side of bacon. The 4 strips of thick cut apple wood bacon that had been the hallmark of west side's brunch were now replaced with 2 measly strips of some grocery store brand. Are you kidding me???
Good job you cheap skate owners for nickle and diming the place into the gutter.
what happened?!. we live in the neighborhood and have come to love the west side, its comfort food and cozy atmosphere. lately (since the arrival of a new chef--we still miss alex jenkns and his olives!!) the food has turned from comfort to uncomfort~fancy dishes that feel out of place in our favorite local eatery. what's more, our beloved tuna with wasabii mash potatos (to die for!) has been replaced with a flavorless hum-drum tuna with no pizazz at all. we understand it's difficult to run a restaurant, but one with such a neighborhoody, regular crowd should think twice about pulling the rug out from under them. we'll give it another go, but had to voice our sadness at watching another great place drift towards confused mediocrity.
Excellent dining experience and food!.
I went here for my g/f's birthday. And it was the three of us and we had a marvelous time. The waitress was a gem, and the place (music, decorative decor, cumfy chairs/sofas) everything was put together nicely.
The food was excellent, and delicious, the price was reasonable and portions were satisfactory. I will keep going here, excellent place.
awesome!. this is the best spot in cambridge. you can't get a better meal under $20 anywhere this side of the river. they have sensational drinks, a great wine list, excellent food and the coolest, most friendly servers and bartenders anywhere. it's a must visit.
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