CAMBRIDGE – They say people in glass houses should not throw stones; but at Glass House, they throw one heck of a dinner party, every night of the week. One look and you will understand how this brand new restaurant in Kendall Square, Cambridge got its name. Floor to ceiling windows wrap around the space. Add to that Cambridge’s history as a glassmaking mecca back in the 1800s, and calling the place Glass House was a perfect fit.
For customers looking to kick back, relax, and dine on some upscale American eats, Glass House just feels like home, according to Director of Operations Todd Bennett.
“I want a customer to walk in, feel like they’re in their own family room, and get to do whatever they want. Enjoy themselves with our great food, our fantastic 24 craft beers, and have a blast with our staff.”
The space boasts more than a hundred seats and two big bars, one of which is made of white marble and is home to a beautiful raw bar, built to be the focus of everyone’s attention.
“People love oysters. People love shrimp. They love lobster, Alaskan king crab. So we decided just to have that kind of the mecca center. Right when you walk in the door you’re gonna see it,” Todd said.
Naturally, a towering Raw Bar Platter is a good way to begin a meal here, but for something a little smaller, the Roasted Oysters are a flavor-packed option, with beer braised spinach, spicy chorizo, chili lime aioli, and melted Oaxaca cheese.
“It’s our twist on Oysters Rockefeller,” explained Todd. “Presentation is basically just three oysters, and we put it in a plate, a little sea salt on the bottom to hold the oysters in place, and they’re actually in the shell. You get the oyster, you get a little bit of smoke, you get a little bit of chorizo, a little bit of the cheese. Simple but good.”
Another simple snack is the housemade Potato Chips with Onion Dip, but for the truly indulgent, the Fried Gnocchi Poutine takes an already over-the-top dish to a whole new level.
“We fry up gnocchis, potato gnocchis, and we cover it with a nice lamb gravy and cheese curd. So it’s just a little different twist on a regular poutine, but it’s absolutely fantastic,” Todd promised.
There are some great Asian inspired dishes on the Glass House menu, like a big bowl of Ramen with a soft cooked egg, Kimchi, and plenty of pork; and an incredible Pho French Dip sandwich, stacking grilled steak with a fried egg and pickled vegetables on a toasted baguette, with a side of pho broth for dipping.
“That’s a whole lot of yumminess on a plate,” Todd declared. “Basically it comes like an open-faced sandwich with the egg fried right on top. Some people close it up and try and take a big bite, and the egg leaks everywhere. Others just cut it up into pieces and dip it.”
For some more traditional sandwiches, the House Burger is always a good option, and you can never go wrong with a classic New England Lobster Roll.
“We use fresh lobster every day. We cook a one and quarter pound lobster; that goes into the entire lobster roll. We add just a tiny bit of mayonnaise, and that’s really it. It’s fresh lobster right in a hot dog roll, with some chips and some slaw. Super fresh, super good,” Todd said.
When it comes to entrees, there is one you really need to know above all others: their glorious mashup of two comfort food classics, known as Lasagna Bolognese.
“We basically take a skillet bowl and we start lining up lasagna sheets. We put a meat Bolognese inside of it… and we fill it up with béchamel sauce as well,” described Todd. “It is a very rich heavy dish, fantastic. You might need to take a nap after that.”
Before you take that nap, you deserve a cookie, more specifically, the ginger snap cookies encasing coconut ice cream that make Glass House’s mini Ice Cream Sandwiches.
Serving that meal in a stunning space, where every day brings a new challenge, has Todd and his team excited for their new house in Kendall Square.
“The nice thing about a restaurant is every day is different. You open the doors, you might have a different event going on; you might have bigger tables; definitely different guests every day. It’s a thrill standing at the door and welcoming people into the place that you built.”
You can find Glass House at 450 Kendall Street in Cambridge, and online at glasshousecambridge.com.
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