Posted by: Kara @ The Foodie Dietitian | April 26, 2010

Dinner date at Russell House Tavern

On Friday night I had to say goodbye to my dear friend, I-Chen, who I went to college with 😦 . She had to return to Taiwan since she is not an American citizen and she couldn’t find a job related to her field of study within the 3 months post graduation time period she had. I had no idea how strict the rules were for getting a work visa post college! So even though this night had a “wah-wah” feel to it, I-Chen, my friend Jill, and I, tried to make the best of our dinner date.

I came up with a list of new restaurants that have recently opened to pick from. I am subscribed to UrbanDaddy which if you have never heard of the website, you have to check it out! They give me email updates on all the new restaurants and bars that open up in the Boston area! So i get a lot of my restaurant suggestions from that website. We decided to check out Russell House Tavern located in the heart of Harvard Square in Cambridge because it was such a convenient location to meet at.

Russell House features contemporary American cuisine with a seasonal menu. It is fine dining yet the atmosphere is pretty comfortable and relaxed. We sat in the main front room where the bar is located but I believe there is downstairs seating as well. We got there at 7pm with no reservations and only had to wait about 20 minutes for a table, not too shabby! There is one t.v. at the bar but I wouldn’t recommend this place if you’re looking to watch a sports game at the bar. They were playing the Food Network when we were there and I loved that!

My friend Jill and I both started off with a glass of their wine on tap…yes, you heard right, I said wine, not beer. Can you believe it?! They offered two kinds, a pinot noir and a pinot blanc, both from Westport Rivers Vineyards in Wesport, MA. Love me some local wine, I was sold on it. Of course, I had to ask our server though what the deal was with wine on tap. She told us that with wine on tap, every glass is fresh and no air is getting into the wine whereas if you were to open a bottle, pour a glass, wait a day, pour another glass, that wine is no longer as fresh. The wine was delicious, I went for the white which I tend to go for more in the summer months and when I order fish. Jill went for the red but it was actually a rose version of the pinot blanc, definitely did not look like your typical pinot noir. It was translucent and much lighter compared to a typical red wine.

I decided to order a piece of arctic char becuase the way it was prepared sounded absolutely delicious. For those of you who don’t know (or forgot like me), arctic char is comparable to salmon in taste, texture, and appearance. It was cast iron seared and served over bulgar (or warm wheat as they called it) with roasted apples. It was also supposed to come with pancetta but I opted out of that. The dish was awesome and I ate almost every last bite! The fish was garnished with some sort of crispy spring onion. I-Chen got roasted Giannone Farm chicken with mashed potatoes, thyme roasted carrots and pan drippings, and Jill ordered the 8 oz. Brandt Farms steak frites with crispy frites, garlic aioli, and red wine demi. They both really liked their dishes as well!

I would definitely go back to this restaurant again. I love that their menu will change seasonally and they try to include local foods on their menu. I also love that they serve local wine on tap and hand-crafted beers. The entrees are a little pricey for a poor dietetic intern but they offer appetizers and small plates too for less money.

On a totally different note, something that you probably don’t know about me…I am a theater junkie. I was quite the theater geek in high school and even dabbled a bit in college. On Friday, before the dinner date, I submitted an audition for the T.V. show Glee‘s open casting call. I am absolutely obsessed with this show because it is about a high school glee club and each episode is jam packed with singing and dancing, oh and did I mention it’s hysterical too! So I decided to jump on the opportunity to audition because hey, you never know, right?! There are over 14,000 videos that people submitted so it’s a little bit of a long shot, but I’m so glad I did it! If you want to check out my audition tape, click here and while you’re there, give me some gold stars!! 🙂

Let me know what you think if you try Russell House Tavern or if you’ve tried another restaurant recently that you really liked, I would love to hear about it!

Peace, love, and food,


Russell House Tavern on Urbanspoon



  1. Awww, this is a great blog entry Kara. Not gonna lie it makes me a little sad though.

    • Thanks Jill! I know, we will miss our dear I-Chen!

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