Restaurant Review: West Bridge in Cambridge
This Kendall Square newcomer has potential in spades, but feels incomplete.
Perhaps such incongruities have become inevitable in the current restaurant scene, in which even customers willing to spend $60 per person on dinner aren’t interested in a formal or sedate atmosphere. Especially not if the restaurant is in the tech corridor that contains ambitious restaurants like Area Four, Catalyst, and the relocated Evoo. All of these places have the same spare aesthetic—big windows, high ceilings with exposed beams and pipes, and sweeping open spaces—yet have found a way to marry a young, casual feel with the kind of experience people expect from a destination restaurant. Catalyst, for instance, has managed to make its large, industrial space feel luxurious, with stone, wood, and cork finishes that soften the harsh surfaces. And the top-notch service at Area Four has attracted diners from all over town.
The food at West Bridge seems rustic, almost thrown together. But as I learned while speaking on the phone with Gaudet after my visits, it isn’t thrown together at all. It’s the product of years of working in agenda-setting New York City kitchens (Eleven Madison Park, Jean-Georges, and Aquavit) run by classically trained chefs. Disappointing, then, that the chef’s obvious skill seems lost in the incomplete, almost-there feeling of so many of the dishes.