Boston Restaurant Blog -- February, 2006
Thursday, February 2, 2006
We headed over to the Aceituna Cafe, a Middle Eastern and Mediterranean restaurant in Kendall Square, Cambridge, last night. The Aceituna just recently started opening for dinner, as it has mainly been just a lunch place for the biotech workers, MIT students, and others who are in the Kendall Square area during the day.
After having dinner at the Aceituna Cafe last night, I'd say that while it is a good cafe, it probably will remain mostly a lunch spot, for several reasons: First, the area is desolate at night, as workers are done for the day and there is nothing to keep people around after dark. Second, the Aceituna is a cafeteria, which is ideal for a quick lunch, but not so ideal for people who want a comfortable, leisurely dinner in a quiet place. And finally, there is the physical location of the restaurant. The Aceituna Cafe is surrounded by biotech buildings, and it cannot be seen from the main roads in Kendall Square. And, aside from a few 30-minute parking spots next to the cafe, there is little parking at night other than a few spaces on dark side roads near the place.
I did like the food at the Aceituna Cafe; the grape leaves, falafel, rice and lentils, hummus, babaghannouge, and chicken shawarma were all good, and the price was right. The grape leaves were probably my favorite dish there, as they were firm, fresh, and not greasy, which grape leaves often are in some places.
The Aceituna Cafe is a good restaurant, and one that I would go back to if I worked in the area. But I'm not comfortable going there at night, mainly because that part of Kendall Square just feels too desolate once the sun goes down. Perhaps with the continuing development of Kendall Square, someday the Aceituna will be in the heart of a thriving neighborhood, but for now, it's basically an appealing restaurant in a not-so-appealing spot.
If you are looking for the address of the Aceituna Cafe, here it is: Aceituna Cafe, 605 West Kendall Street, Cambridge, MA 02142; the phone number is (617) 252-0702
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