With each fall comes a new class of RC’s, and with them comes the time for the EC’s to feel a little…well, old. But even as I’ve been waxing nostalgic for the days of Benihana and Snapple, maybe some things are better left to other generations—Shad Challenge, anyone?
Les Sablons is Harvard Square’s latest addition to its generally overpriced and underseasoned assortment of restaurants. With starched white tablecloths, subway tiles, and literal mini-tubs of Play-Doh lining the walls, the ambience perches awkwardly somewhere between stuffy and fussy, exhibiting the trappings of modernity, while masking the body of a more antiquated model. Gleaming stemware and heavy flatware provide glitz and glamour, but like a matron in a mini-skirt, the tone feels off.
To recover from the initial shock of the eye-wateringly high prices, enjoy one of the redeeming and rejuvenating cocktails—the Solo Rosa delivers a bite of ginger and bitters, while the French 75 is a paragon of its kind. Assuming you can afford a starter, the rye spaghetti is a standout, its texture reminiscent of buckwheat soba noodles, just right for carrying the well-salted pesto and parmesan. Unfortunately, the mains are mostly bland updates of vaguely Continental cuisine that suffer from uneven execution—one night, the duck had none of its fat rendered out, while another evening, the skin was adequately crisped. The monkfish is manageable, if miniscule, but avoid the $16 asparagus with hollandaise. If I wanted to spend that much on a vegetable, I’d go to Clover.
The uneasiness continues through the meal as the overly formal and yet bizarrely scattered service attempts to cater to its clientele, leading me to question, “Who actually eats here?” A scan of the room revealed suits on a business trip, university administrators, and that middle-aged couple out for “date night”—in other words, no student loans here. But then I spotted my favorite pairing—a geriatric in his leather jacket, clinging to his leggy blonde companion in her knock-off Herve Leger, and like their surroundings, trying just a bit too hard. But hey, there’s no dessert quite as sweet as your very own sugar daddy.
- Les Sablons—2 Bennett Street, Cambridge—lscambridge.com
- * (one out of four stars)·
- $$$$ (Out of four dollar signs
Aki Terasaki (HBS ’18) spent the last eight years satiating his appetite (and emptying his wallet) in the city of New York. Now he enjoys regaling anyone who will listen with tales of #startuplife and ful lling the role of Old Section A’s Chief Snark O cer (unofficial title).