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Restaurant recommendation: Area 4

5.July 2012

This is one of those posts without a recipe attached to it, just so you’re warned. I feel it’s my duty to let you know about something magical that’s happening in Kendall square.

As you have undoubtedly heard, there’s a serious restaurant boom happening in the east end of Cambridge. It’s epicenter is Kendall square, where at least ten new restaurants have opened in the last year. (Don’t quote me… I’m weak on statistics.) One of these new restaurants is Area IV.

Now, Area IV isn’t the newest or the fanciest of these new eateries, but in my opinion, it’s just about the most pleasant and satisfying. From a cost perspective it’s totally reasonable (a 10-inch pizza runs $10-15) and the quality of the food is very, very high.

The ambiance is lovely, with an open kitchen and vaguely industrial feel. Don’t miss the huge chalkboard toward the back, where you’ll find the menu as well as some factoids about the location, how they source their ingredients, and so forth. Area IV, like seemingly everyone else these days, focuses on local, seasonal ingredients, sourcing everything from vegetables to meat to beer from the vicinity.

These ingredients, in the hands of chef Michael Leviton (of Newton’s Lumière), become truly delicious pizzas and apps and stunning desserts.We eat here with relative frequency, but have also enjoyed using it as our party-space away. From home. This spring my family celebrated graduation there with 8 people, six pizzas, a round of drinks, and a handful of desserts.

My particular recommendations: they make a divine mushroom pizza and,if the season is right, their spring veggie pizza is a thing of beauty. For brunch on weekends order something that’s comes with their house-made sausage. It’s meaty and sweet and fresh and not too salty. The breakfast sandwich is an element option. But hie thee hence and go immediately for their house-made soft serve ice cream. The night we had our dinner party there, my mother and I split a sundae comprised of SOUR CREAM SOFT SERVE and SALTED CARAMEL SAUCE. Now, you may have noticed that ice cream isn’t something we talk about a lot here. I like ice cream, but I’m not one of those Ice Cream People. But this ice cream was life-changing. Seriously.

To sum up, it’s an excellent, excellent choice for a casual, hearty meal and you won’t regret it. You may even see us there.

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