Small Bite at Area Four

By Maggie Brooks | Boston Magazine |

THE WOOD-OVEN SMELL wafting out of a biotech center in Cambridge isn’t your imagination. It’s coming from chef Michael Leviton’s Area Four, a casual spot where a massive hearth anchors both the space and the menu. The thin-crust pies are a strong point, and vary from a simple puttanesca ($14) with anchovies and capers to a stellar clam and bacon offering ($16). For larger appetites, there are entrées like oven-roasted chicken with arugula and seasonal veggies ($19). The rotating beer and wine list is well rounded though not spectacular (or spectacularly well priced), but it wins points for featuring half-pint and half-liter pours.  

The small plates, sadly, are largely weak. While the soft, airy handmade mozzarella with smoky tomato sauce ($6.50) was flavorful, the sweet-pea hummus ($5) and under-roasted zucchini with mint and bulgur ($5.50) both fell flat. Save room instead for dessert, including a rich olive oil chocolate cake ($8) and the house-made soft-serve ice cream, especially the sundae specials ($7.50) with toppings like pistachios and marshmallow cream. Thankfully, the menu changes constantly, so it won’t be hard to keep the hits and trim the misses.

500 Technology Sq., Cambridge, 617-758-4444,