The restaurant is located in the heart of Porter Square in Cambridge, MA, on the ground floor of the Porter Square Hotel.
As I walked up on a warm summer evening, the sandwich board out front read, "It's always wine o'clock." I liked Colette already.
The crown jewel of the space is the outdoor patio. We made a reservation on Open Table a few days prior, and requested to sit outside. I was thrilled when the hostess said, "Ah yes, we have your table all set up. Follow me."
As we settled in, our waiter came over to introduce himself and tell us a little bit about the menu. The menu books are gorgeous.
I loved this divider page before the beverage section.
We decided on two glasses of the 2018 Chateau Barbebelle Rosé, which was light, refreshing, and the most beautiful pale pink hue.
Next, we were delivered a basket of freshly baked bread (each slice was still warm!) and butter so soft a knife could glide right through it.
I basically wanted everything on the menu, but my dinner date and I decided to be reasonable and share just a few dishes.
The fried cauliflower was the first to arrive, sitting on a drizzle of saffron aioli and speckled with capers.
I thought the best bites were the ones where you managed to get all three components onto the fork at once. The capers were especially tasty, adding a welcomed saltiness to the dish.
The housemade fettucine was next, tossed in a saffron cream sauce and garnished with fresh chives.
There are no words to describe how sensational this dish was. The notes in my phone said, "SO GOOD!" Each bite had such a pure saffron flavor. It was bold and bright, and I couldn't get enough. Next time I am going to place an order just for myself so I don't have to share this!
My friend added, "I appreciated that the pasta was so light, giving you room to keep eating!"
The green vegetable risotto with fava beans, peas, asparagus and herbs pistou is a revelation. I felt like the food critic character in Ratatouille, who takes one bite of the vegetable dish and is immediately transported back to his happy memories.
It truly tasted like every single ingredient came from a lovingly tended to vegetable garden. I was also impressed by the vertical presentation of the parmesan crisp.
Our fourth savory dish was the truffle French fries with thyme, truffle salt and a red wine aioli for dipping.
I really enjoyed the fries (and the aioli), but my dinner date was underwhelmed. She said, "I just didn't think these were as impressive as the other dishes. Plus, the pink-ish color of the aioli kind of freaked me out."
While we would have been happy to keep eating our way through the dinner menu, we wanted to be sure to sample a few desserts too.
How cute is this dessert menu?
Our first selection was the Nutella chocolate mousse, which came topped with a chocolate mint meringue. My friend squealed, "This looks like a dessert terrarium!"
The mousse was incredibly light, almost like whipped cream, and there were pieces of brittle mixed in throughout, delivering a surprise crunch in every other bite.
We also went with the eclair du jour, which was fruit-themed for the evening. It came in a whimsical presentation, topped with a candied piece of pineapple, stuffed with fresh pineapple and kiwi, and surrounded by circles of dark chocolate and white chocolate syrup.
Though I am really not a fruit person, the candied pineapple was actually my favorite element of the dish! I felt like I was in Wonka Land.
When it was time to pay, our waiter brought our cards back in these elegant gold dishes with feathered pens. How glamorous!
I couldn't leave without snapping one photo of the inside of the restaurant, which is equally stunning. This will be such a cozy place to enjoy a meal in the winter.
Is Colette my new best friend? She just might be.