Tonight I had dinner with a girlfriend in my old Cambridge stomping grounds, Porter Square. After months away, we revisited Christopher's on Mass. Ave in the heart of the square. To my very pleasant surprise since my last visit they have added outdoor tables and chairs which are nestled beneath robin's egg blue umbrellas adding a splash of cheer to the crowded street.
On the inside Christopher's has a warm, homey feeling complete with real, blazing fireplace. The restaurant has brick walls (a personal favorite), a boisterous bar, tables throughout the center of the space, and cozy booths against the outer perimeter.
We were seated at a table between the booths and the bar and were greeted by our brooding waiter, who I believe to be French. When he handed us the menus I let my dining companion know that I think Christopher's makes some of the best cocktails I have ever tasted. With that, I ordered the Lime Rickey and she ordered the Lavender Lemon Tea. These are the type of cocktails that taste so delicious and go down so easily you could get in some serious trouble. But I digress.
After a long ride in horrible rush hour traffic and a 15 minute wait inside the restaurant we were ravenous. We ordered two appetizers to split - the spinach and artichoke dip and the southwest quesadilla. I am a bit of spinach and artichoke dip expert and I must say, this was heavy on the spinach, but way too light on the cheese. As a result, the bottom of the bowl was quite watery. However, the chips served with the dip were a perfect shade of dark yellow, strong enough to hold a heaping scoop of dip, and had just the right amount of salt to addict you, but not so much you had to repeatedly wipe your hands.
The southwest quesadilla was a generous portion served with sour cream and salsa. The combination of beans, corn, guacamole and cheese was sublime. Each bite had a little, zesty kick which was a welcomed surprise.
For dinner I ordered the fresh mozzarella sandwich. As a vegetarian, the tomato and mozzarella sandwich is a pretty regular go-to item, but I have to say I think Christopher's makes it best. The sandwich is served toasted on Scali bread (nice and light) with fresh, thinly sliced tomato, lettuce, a perfect pesto (not too garlicky) and the freshest mozzarella cheese. The sandwich comes with a mountainous portion of expertly toasted steak fries.
My dinner date ordered the portabello pasta which is fettucine served with portabello mushrooms (duh), baby spinach, sundried tomato, onions, shaved Asiago cheese and a white wine sauce. The pasta comes with a slice of crusty bread on the side for dipping.
You would think at this point we would be sufficiently stuffed and ready to call it a night. Wrong. We asked to see the dessert menu and immediately zeroed in on the same item - the chocolate raspberry cake.
The cake arrived drizzled with raspberry sauce and garnished with whipped cream. The cake itself was two layers - one of dense, chocolate cake and one of decadent, chocolate frosting. Needless to say, the plate was clean in a matter of seconds.
I have always loved Christopher's. From the cocktail menu, to the amazingly endless list of vegetarian options, to the welcoming atmosphere, you really couldn't ask for more. With Spring upon us the outdoor seating is a phenomenal addition, and they also host a terrific Sunday brunch. Christopher's also boasts a second floor, perfect for private parties and events.
On your next trip to Cambridge, be sure to save time for a meal at Christopher's.