May 22nd, 2013

Happy Birthday to Me! - Area Four and Giulia, Cambridge

I won’t say much about Area Four in Kendall Sq since I have flogged about it before, but I just wanted to share a picture of my birthday cake. They made me an awesome 5 layer red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting. It was the perfect end to a delicious birthday brunch that included a humongous cinnamon bun, biscuits and sausage gravy, pastries including authentic croissants and a superlative brioche French toast bread pudding.


My actual birthday was on a Monday and I was just planning a quiet night at home, but was convinced to have an impromptu dinner at Giulia, a new Italian restaurant in Cambridge. There were no tables available till 9pm, but the bar was large and comfortable. My dining companion and I started with the warm semolina cakes ($4). They were small toasted cubes of creamy polenta, draped in luscious lardo. It was a delicious two-bite starter.


For our meal, we shared the orecchiette ‘cacio e pepe’ with fava beans ($15) and the veal breast ravioli ($19). I liked the orecchiette, but it was very similar to the Cook’s Illustrated recipe for cacio e pepe, which means I can make it at home for a fraction of the cost. The ravioli was excellent, stuffed with veal, swiss chard and sweetbreads in a light tomato sauce. Our side order of asparagus ($7) was showered in lemon and parmesan, a preparation I will steal.


Dessert was an olive oil and citrus cake; it was moist and complex. The bartender was considerate enough to put a candle in it, so that I could make a birthday wish.


I think the food at Giulia was really delicious, but the portions were tiny for the prices (as you can see in the pictures) It is a small intimate setting, and if you are tucked away in one of the booths, it could be quite romantic.