Catalyst (Cambridge, MA)

As I mentioned in previous review, I’m regularly visiting MIT’s Technology Square, and that usually gives me a decent opportunity to check out some nicer lunch places I can go with clients and subcontractors. While Area 4 and Legal Sea Foods tend to be the more usual business lunch places, sometimes we mix it up, and this time we ended up at Catalyst.

Catalyst is the sort of place that caters to the local Kendall Square crowd: it’s mostly a “modern American” place, done up with a large bar, tall windows, and a nice outdoor seating patio (for which the weather just wasn’t cooperating at the moment). The menu for lunch is basically burgers (although with Craigie on Main down the street, that better be a damn good burger), sandwiches, and light lunch dishes. After seeing another table order the mushroom ravioli, I decided to give it a try.

What emerged was a pleasant dish: homemade mushroom ravioli, served up in a rich sauce of wild mushrooms and tarragon, topped off with fresh Parmesan. These stood out, since they are one of the best ravioli I’ve had in recent history: perfectly done still slightly firm pasta pockets around a rich filling of earthy mushrooms, the filling being more creamy than chalky or earthy, and just the lightest bit of salt. I was looking for a pleasant light lunch, and this hit the spot perfectly.

There’s a lot to explore at Catalyst, including a great looking bar with some good specials. I’ll have to make it a point to come back and check out their other menus, but it was a very good place for a business lunch.

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