279 Newbury Street, Boston
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday:
11:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m.
11:00 a.m. – 1:00 a.m.
9:00 a.m. – 1:00 a.m.
9:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m.
On the corner of Newbury and Gloucester Street, Back Bay restaurant Cafeteria offers a classy interpretation of a typical cafeteria menu. Dinner prices range from $12 to $18, and the polished, upscale atmosphere resembles nothing of a stereotypical cafeteria. The menu includes a few quirky selections, like Cheeseburger Spring Rolls and a Boston Cream Burger, but there are also a variety of traditional American comforts like grilled cheese and macaroni and cheese.
I settled on an appetizer of Beef Carpaccio alongside an entrée of Butternut Squash Pizza. An Italian dish consisting of thinly sliced raw meat, the Beef Carpaccio, although extremely tender, was barely filling. The plate was relatively small, and the raw beef was so thin that the entire dish barely added up to substantial amount of food. I would recommend the dish for the experience of trying raw meat, but I certainly don’t expect that appetizer to satisfy any sort of hunger.
The beef was bright pink and it had a mild flavor that reminded me of sashimi, contrasting well with the bed of arugula that lied on top. There were a few capers and croutons sprinkled on top of the dish that added minimal texture, but the dish could have used a better composition.
The butternut squash pizza consisted of cranberries, mascarpone, goat cheese, crème fraiche, arugula and sage, making the dish quite untraditional. The thin, crispy crust and its unique toppings made for a delectable dinner, though its balance between savory and sweet was heavily skewed to the sweet side.
Instead of any sort of sauce, the mashed butternut squash served as the pizza’s bottom layer. The mascarpone’s fluffy texture also contributed to the uniqueness of the pizza, as did the light sprinkle of cranberries. In all, the pizza’s flavors complemented each other well. I would be excited to try a different Cafeteria pizza, like its Cheeseburger Pizza, in the future.
Overall, Cafeteria is an elegant restaurant perfect for a date night or a special night out. The price is certainly reflects Cafeteria’s prime location in the middle of Newbury Street, but with satisfying food, and fresh flowers at every table, it’s still worth the visit.