Small Bite at First Printer

The Harvard Square restaurant has a great old-school tavern feel, curiously Cajun food, and a bit of an identity crisis.

First Printer

Photograph by Ekaterina Smirnova

The Vibe: This Harvard Square restaurant pays homage to the space’s history-making prior occupant: the country’s first printing press. The menu is divided into sections such as “Advance Copy” (appetizers) and “First Edition” (soups and salads). Exposed-brick walls, a large bar, and burnished wooden booths give the place a warm, tavernlike feel.

The Food: Despite the old- timey printing and bank references, the food, curiously, is Cajun. Lobster hush puppies ($7, pictured) simply tasted like fried balls of sweet cornbread, while the Cajun striped bass ($22) came with an odd “citrus salsa” made from cubes of melon. The gumbo ($24), meanwhile, was bland, even with the big helping of shrimp, scallops, and andouille sausage.

The Verdict: First Printer is having an identity crisis — it wants to be an old-school tavern, but serves Bayou-inspired fare. It’s got a great backstory. The food just isn’t making headlines yet.

First Printer, 15 Dunster St., Cambridge, 617-497-0900,