The Blue Room Brunch Returns This Weekend
The Blue Room’s long-running buffet goes down in Boston brunch history, but the Cambridge restaurant is ready to rethink the midday meal. The newly revamped Blue Room relaunches brunch this Sunday, November 6, with an a la carte format and a legion of new, soon-to-be classics.
“We have Mark [Romano] to thank for that. A long time ago, he made our buffet brunch this amazing thing,” says the Blue Room co-owner Liz Vilardi. Indeed, the chef/owner at Highland Kitchen is still a weekend meal master. But after 18 years of Romano’s legendary buffet, with endless platters of cucumber mint salad, smoked brisket, salted peel-and-eat shrimp, fluffy pancakes, fried plantains, and more eclectic fare, the Blue Room was wasting too much food to justify the cost.
“A buffet has since run its course in the time of history, period, but definitely for the Blue Room,” Vilardi says.
In 2015, they moved the service to neighboring Belly Wine Bar, but the scene there was never quite right, she says. Then, in August 2015, the Kendall Square restaurants were forced to close after a fire in their building.
“Now that we have this opportunity to reopen, and the Blue Room looks so good,” Vilardi says, they decided to rethink brunch again.
Sous chef Ryan Poutré has taken the lead on the all-new menu, from his own, house-cured bacon, to the Charlemagne omelet with Rhode Island mushrooms, savory, Brie de Meaux, and bright, preserved lemon, which has caused Vilardi to “rediscover the omelet, in all its simplicity.”
The wood-fired grill, a focal point at the Blue Room, is featured on the brunch menu, in traditional ways like with steak, eggs, and hash, and in new takes, like grilled French toast with honey, pomegranate, and whipped ricotta.
Don’t miss the daytime drink list, too. There’s a new favorite, the Crabapple Snap, with bourbon, rum, cardamaro, and crabapple, and an “entry level, hair-of-the-dog Negroni.” Last Night’s White and Red are cheeky names for whatever cuvées the team is into that weekend.
“We want you to have fun with us,” Vilardi says. “We’re trying to keep it casual. The restaurant is in this old, beautiful building, it just go rehabbed. It’s a cool place, but you don’t have to spend a lot of money to hang out in it.”
Reservations are available for brunch. It runs from 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. every Sunday beginning November 6.
The Blue Room, One Kendall Square, Building 200, Cambridge, 617-494-9034, theblueroom.net.