Parsnip Restaurant [Harvard Square, Cambridge, MA]

I met a friend for dinner at Parsnip Restaurant last night. Her choice; it had not been on my radar at all. We really enjoyed it. It is a gorgeous double-height room with tables set not too close together and very comfortable chairs. We were seated next to the fireplace. We shared the shaved artichoke salad with fennel and endive and a nice citrusy dressing and the roasted bone marrow with oxtail, fried shallot and house ciabatta to start. They were both wonderful and they worked brilliantly together. For mains we shared the housemade rye farfalle with (lots!! of) hen of the woods mushrooms, olives, chard and parmaggiano and a braised lamb shank special. The pasta was terrific and the lamb shank was very good although to my mind it could have braised a bit longer (my DC disagreed). The wine list skewed very expensive but we found a good value Super Tuscan which we very much enjoyed. Service was delightful. We could easily hear each other to chat. We were comfortable and felt well taken care of. Every night out should be so pleasant.


It goes without sayin’, and – forgive me – I’ll stop saying this in future, “great report”.

Did you eat in the past at the pink “Upstairs”? How does this compare with that?

[I ate at Upstairs early in my foray – as a foreigner (to native American customs, I add, not to the sophistication of the world) – into what people call “fine dining” and I liked it – enough that I went several times.}

Thanks fooddabbler! I’m pretty sure I did eat at the pink “Upstairs” early on but I find I have no recollection of it whatsoever. Even being in the space did not jog my memory. It is a very nice space with no pink at all in its current iteration.

Thanks for the reply. I liked the original*, and I have been meaning to try this new Parsnip.**

“*” It was a manly pink – not that “manly” is good (in fact, given the way the country is going, it’s actively bad)

** I like parsnips (and, since I am being confessional, turnips).


I’ve never eaten dinner at Parsnip, however I really enjoy the lounge on the top floor. The space is warm and inviting with great ambiance, professional service and competently made cocktails. On my few visits it has never been too loud or crowded. A perfect spot for drinks and conversation. A bit of a hidden gem in HSQ.


I really like(d) the lounge but we recently called to reserve some seats and were told it’s only an event space now. Bummer.


total bummer. oh well.