Bodega by Salts in Watertown

anybody been?

I came across it again on … Eater maybe. I remember seeing some press when it was doing a soft open in … December? I can’t remember if it was mentioned in the Opening/Closing thread either.

But I’m curious, so anyone been? The pic of the shrimp on their Facebook page looks deliscious.

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We went for drinks and desserts on a Friday night a couple of weeks ago after eating dinner. It’s on a pretty quiet backstreet and the signage is pretty small but seems like plenty people found the place. Part of the restaurant was a old train (T?) carriage; I poked my head in and it was bustling and unique looking, we sat on the quieter side with high glass ceiling at the bar table.

I took a look at the menu and it was Spanish tapas with some Uruguayan influence thrown in. Menus was maybe 15 dishes but full of interesting things; saw a beef tongue dish that looks intriguing. They have a leg of Jamon ham on the counter and I was sorely tempted. Sadly we couldn’t fit another bit of food in and had to settle for two glasses of wine and a chocolate tart with caramelized pine nuts and Italian meringue instead. It was one of the best tarts I’ve had and we were fighting for the pine nuts even after the tart is finished.

The price is on the high side for us (the tapas are around the $10-20 range) to be a regular spot, but we’ll definitely go back for special occasions. Would love to hear other people’s experience on what tapas to order!


I love how these two seem to gravitate to tucked-away locales for their restaurants (as Salts was, although that part of Central Sq has changed A LOT). For the customer, that provides a cozy hideaway kind of feeling. For the owners, hopefully that translates to lower rent.


Resurrecting this old thread because a few friends and I hit this place for dinner about a week ago (mid-heat wave). Wow! I’m not sure how this place fell off my radar, because we had such a great time here. Surprisingly light for Friday evening, so we sat for hours without being rushed out. Not sure if this was due to folks sensibly avoiding going outside, or if it’s just too out of the way. Either reason, we were eating, drinking and chatting up a storm for a good 4 hours in the restaurant.

We intended to slowly munch on tapas, but was completely swayed with being offered one of their gorgeous whole roasted ducks (classic Salts style) when someone cancelled. I couldn’t have been happier, as I LOVE duck, and I never got to have the Salts experience. It was delicious and I can see why the rave reviews. It fed us well, and we had a few really good tapas to boot. We had a fideo “paella”, mushroom escabeche, a beef tongue dish, and a few of their house cocktails and concoctions – including non-alcoholic ones for me. We loved it, and the space. I can see this being a lovely evening for a date.

I know there are big plans for the old Arsenal Mall complex here, and I hope this will put this place on everyone’s radar.


Thanks for the reminder. Definitely going to check this place out. I had so many great meals at Salts.

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Enjoy!! I hope to go back for a visit too. They did confirm that you can pre-order the duck with a call, which I hadn’t realized. Definitely worth the call.

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Thanks. I drove past there just two days ago in the afternoon and thought, I have to go here. Now I really have to.

Are the menu pics on Yelp (10 months old) close to the current one ?

The one that is in landscape mode looks like the one I saw and I do see a few of the dishes. I don’t see the fideo “paella” on there so they must have updated the menu.

A bit frustrating not to have a website with more menu info, but their Facebook page has some pretty food photos. And it looks like they do update with food related news and posts.

Resurrecting this thread to see if anyone has been recently? The menu looks fabulous but I’ve tried for weeks to get reservations with no luck (no response to texts and VM - which directed me to text - was full). If others have had recent good meals, though, we’ll find a way to go!

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In another post, someone posted similar results as you, which is a bummer. Website is up, but it seems no one is home. :smiling_face_with_tear: So sad… It was a great restaurant. If both owners and chef are still around and in the area, I hope there is another attempt from them.

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There are recent 2023 reviews, April and May, on Yelp.

So they just decide not to answer phones and emails with requests for reservations? Not doubting you, but calling out how odd that is. If they don’t want to do reservations, they should just note that on the site or at least on their phone number.

oh I agree entirely that they should explain that they aren’t going to respond to requests for reservations and they should post that they don’t offer reservations. I have no idea why they would are doing what they are doing and I haven’t been there so I can’t verify that they are open. And I’ve heard that there are some totally fake posts on Yelp.

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I have not been to Bodega in about a year, however they have always been lax about reservations and communication. Try calling during operating hours. I have had unreturned messages as well. Walk in tables are generally available however.

In this age of Open Table, Resy and incessant data collection and marketing, I view it as a feature more than a bug. That’s just me though. Admittedly it is frustrating when deciding whether to commit a weekend night to go to a location slightly off the beaten path.


I’m glad to hear they are still in business then, even with that frustrating lack of communication.


That’s good to know that they do often have walk-in tables. While in theory I don’t mind the uncertainty of trying to walk in and waiting elsewhere with a drink if needed, both the location (not near many other drink options) and the fact that we’re currently juggling babysitters/bedtimes make it less attractive right now. It seems like they might be better off - as others suggest above - just not offering reservations. Still - we’ll attempt to give it a whirl and report back soon!


Like many others, I’ve tried at least dozen different times, trying to shake off previous defeats, to get a reservation to this place. I don’t want to walk in because it’s a 50 minute drive with no traffic so leaving things to chance wouldn’t be ideal in case it doesn’t work out. I’ve called, I’ve texted and not.a.single.response.

Honestly at this point I think that they can get bent. Like @uni said, in the age of so many services being available to solve this very problem for establishments, I find this simply unacceptable and to be a giant middle finger to myself, alongside the numerous others who have tried.

Maybe they wouldn’t have so many vacant tables if they made an effort. It comes off as careless and lazy. Don’t tell people to call or text if you’re not going to call or text. There’s a few times where I tried 6-7 different times of a day, for multiple days, to get a table. Probably 20 attempts over 4-5 days.

Ridiculous and insulting.


I agree, it’s insulting to potential customers. It doesn’t take extreme IT expertise to indicate on the website that they don’t take reservations.

It’s not such a trip for us from Somerville (well it is with traffic at times), and we’d be fine with hoping to drop in at Branch Line nearby and sit at the bar if we couldn’t get in…

but it’s not worth the trek, and it’s really dismissive of a lot of people who would love to enjoy their food, which seems awesome.

It’s really sad that they’ve come to this.

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I’m sorry to hear that you’ve had the same experience. I didn’t include it in my initial post, but I was trying to get a reservation for my husband’s birthday, as he absolutely loves duck and I’ve read such incredible reviews of the Bodega duck. I called and texted (and even messaged them on social media!) a similar number of times and then finally (at the risk of sounding like a stalker) altered my running loop to stop by in person to ask for a reservation. They were unexpectedly closed that night! It feels like the Bodega deities simply do not want me to eat there.

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