3 out of 4 forks
My sister-in-law was in town this weekend and so we barely spent any time at home. We went out to eat on several occasions and had some great meals. I'm still full and I didn't get much cooking done so am sharing a restaurant review instead of a recipe today.
On Sunday morning we went to Area Four for brunch in Kendall Square (Cambridge). Area Four is known primarily for its pizza but I would say they do a lovely job across the doughy, baked spectrum. The restaurant is helmed by chef Michael Leviton of Persephone and Lumière. The Kendall Square space is open and bright, with simple but intentional decor and overlooks the greenery of Technology Square. All of this makes for a very inviting and relaxed environment.
This location also boasts a café and bar, both of which seems to consistently draw crowds at their respective hours. The coffee was quite good which is always a brunch plus. It also helps that the café opens before the restaurant, and so you can grab a cup of joe while you wait. Which is my first tip to brunching at Area Four - get there early or resign yourself to waiting an eternity (or at least what feels like it) to be seated. This place fills up quick and it can take a while for tables to open up. Who doesn't want to linger a little in such a beautiful space?
We were a large group which is another brunch plus as you get to try a bunch of different things. I love eating off of other people's plates! Between the six of us we tried various coffees, bloody marys, the hot mess, the veggie hot mess, baked potato breakfast pizza, carnivore pizza, biscuits & gravy and heavenly cinnamon walnut sticky buns. Oh momma, the sticky bun really stole the show for me. They were humongous, warm, and oh so ooey gooey. We demolished two of these babies.
For my entree I ordered the veggie hot mess, which I found to be somewhat disappointing. While the eggs were perfectly cooked, the overall flavor was off. It was the classic case of a meat dish where the meat is replaced with vegetables, but the seasoning and ingredient ratios aren't adjusted. While it wasn't all out bad by any means, it wasn't as good as it could have been either. The classic hot mess on the other hand, was well liked by the table.
While I didn't eat an entire biscuit with gravy, I did have a bite. The sausage was really something. It had a nice sweetness to it and tasted like grandma had just made it that morning. The biscuit was perfectly buttery and crumbly. Again, all things carb reign here.
The real star of the show was, unsurprisingly, the pizza. The dough is made with some serious love and patience, as it undergoes a 30 hour fermentation process. This results in crust that is soft, crispy and chewy all in one bite. Area Four uses very fresh and often house made ingredients. his attention to detail is especially evident in the pizza. The picture below is of last Sunday's special, a ode to the baked potato including a sour cream sauce, bacon, potatoes, green onions, and banana peppers with yet again, perfectly cooked fried eggs. For me, this egg business is hugely important as nothing is more tragic than poking into an overcooked yolk.
Our table also ordered the carnivore pizza, which I didn't have the chance to eat (too much sticky bun) but was told was delicious. I've had it on a prior visit and whole heartedly agree.
In terms of service, I've been to Area Four twice now (once before for dinner) and both times the waitstaff was pleasant, helpful and knowledgable. All in all, I had a great experience and will be going back to Area Four again.
Have you eaten at Area Four? What were your impressions? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.
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