, is a mid-to-high end restaurant which focuses on progressive American cuisine in a warm cozy neighborhood setting. Please note that Bergamot is located in between Harvard Square and Inman Square, so T-riders will have a short walk or bike ahead of them. There’s a free private parking lot around the corner from the restaurant or street parking for those driving.
Chef Keith Pooler and front manager Servio Garcia have figured out how to do innovative and fancy fare at relatively modest price points, with informal good service.They incorporate classics with seasonal, local, and sustainable ingredients to give you visually satisfying dishes you want to photograph before eating. They deliver it all without breaking the relaxed somewhat casual mood.
They also have $39 blackboard special of three or four courses (available from 5:30 to 7 pm on Thursdays-Saturdays daily as well as Sunday and Mondays all evening). Did you also know Julia Child once lived only two blocks away at 103 Irving Street? That’s where she lovingly taped all those early great cooking shows we are so familiar with!
The servers are pleasant, attentive and non-obtrusive. Never was our waitress ever overbearing. I never had to ask for water, our table was “decrumbed” between courses, and napkins were folded when we returned from the restroom. I also noticed that the volume of the chatting was not overwhelming.
The space is intimate and has a certain casual elegant flair to it. However I will say that I would not categorize this as a romantic restaurant because there are far too many tables in the space, nonetheless I still find Bergamot delightful and would return to check out their specials.
The kitchen is open and easy to see from the dining area. Not a lot of restaurants do this anymore and it is pleasant to see the cooks working in the kitchen.
They serve honey butter with their fresh bread. I find it is worth mentioning as it was one of the highlights of our visit.
The complimentary amuse bouche from the chef was white bean puree and bacon jam on toast. This was so unbelievably good. I had seen bacon jam before but never tried it.
Potato leek soup with pepper relish $11 This usually comes with crispy oxtail in the center, but was omitted.
The portion of soup itself was huge since it came in a very large lipped bowl. It was warm, hearty and comforting.
Fresh seasonal vegetable bruschetta
My dining companion loved this take on bruschetta. The fresh marscapone that was smeared on the bread added a creamy backdrop for the dressed vegetables.
Heirloom tomato salad with goat cheese
I enjoyed this tomato starter thoroughly because of the high quality of the tomatoes. They were sweet, ripe and flavorful.
Butter-poached gulf of Maine hake, lobster, sweet potato, fried leeks, creole sauce $27
This dish was outstanding. It had been a very long time since I had eaten hake but everything in this plate was well-thought out and complimented each other.
Beef flanken, yukon gold potato, escarole, vidalia onions, root vegetable marmellata, beef jus $29
This was a great beef plate. The beef was done to perfection, a good medium rare, yet was well seasoned with a slightly salty exterior. The potato was pan-fried to give it a crisp outside and soft inside.
We had the Carrot cake for $9. I’ve never been a big fan of carrot cake, but this one was quite delicious according to my dining companion. It looked dense and packed with carrots despite it’s petite and unassuming appearance. They said it was one of the best they have tried without the overly sweet thick cream cheese frosting to distract them. Instead there was little dollops of sweetened cream cheese bavarois.
The Honey almond cake for $8 was simple, slightly sweet and delicious. The drizzle of lemon cream reduction and blackberries gave the almond cake a nice fresh taste. Although I could make something similar at home, I think that this version is worth getting.
The assorted seasonal fruits for $8 was a refreshing and light way to end dinner. Every piece of fruit was eaten and none of it was under ripe.
Picture of Bergamot restaurant front and interiors by Mike Ritter, Tim Llewellyn.