We had a very nice walk through of the Harvard museums this afternoon. If you have a chance to go, do check out the 5th floor. The architecture is amazing. The collections are very impressive.
We then headed to Somerville to snag seats at the bar. Walked in around 5:10 and half the bar was already full! Within in 10 minutes there was a wait for seats.

We had and really enjoyed the brussel sprouts, fried shrimp (the slaw was the best) cauliflower fatte (could eat that all night) and the burrata over pears, honey, almonds (this was off menu, part of the the tray offerings). We missed the deviled eggs and declined the fried chicken. Was heavy looking and the timing was not the best.
I was not crazy about the biscuits-not a feta fan, but my husband really liked them.

Cocktails were the anointed sour and Negroni Sbagliato. The Negroni was good but we both really liked the sour. Nice and tart.
Over all, we really enjoyed ourselves. The service was great , atmosphere very comfortable.

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I am walking distance from this restaurant and I love it! We make reservations every four to six weeks. I really like that the menu changes regularly so I can enjoy some tried and true favorites, along with some new experiments. I rather wish I knew what the nightly passed specials would be when ordering. We know how much we can eat, and just can’t add another dish to our dinner. But if you order one short, you don’t know if something that you like will meander by. [Truly a first world problem, isn’t it?]

Dishes that we have particularly enjoyed include the string beans, broccoli, calamari, octopus, harissa duck, hummus, and any of the vegetable fritters. We are headed there on Thursday evening and I will try the cauliflower fatte. Not sure I have seen that on their menu before.

I’ve been there three times, and each time, the fried chicken arrived after we’d all eaten too much already. It’s very delicious, wonderfully spiced, but greasy fried chicken is the last thing I want after a tableful of small plates. But someone always gets it anyway and we all groan and taste it.

Exactly what we were feeling. If it had come along earlier in the night, we definitely would of tried it.
But not after the shrimp and the cauliflower.
It sure looked good tho!

Funny, that has been our experience as well. Some of the enticing passed dishes have been offered after we already ate or realized we ordered too much. The first time we were there, our server recommended 3-4 dishes per person would be a good order. We found this to be way too much and not taking passed dishes into account.

It’s been awhile, we definitely need to get back to Sarma soon.

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The last time I went, we were all joking about the fried chicken… and inevitably it arrived after everything else. We even said to our server “I wish we were still hungry for it!” and they specifically said that most people end up asking for it to go. I have no idea why they bring it out at the end, but it’s weirdly deliberate.

I don’t know if the timing of the “roving” dishes is deliberate or not. We usually go really early, right when they open at 5:30, and it takes a while before anything comes around. Sometimes the kitchen and servers are overwhelmed. The times we go later, it’s taken a long time to get even the first ordered dish or the drinks, which we could see sitting on the bar for quite a while before server picked up. The dishes are all so intricate with specialized herbs, sauces, garnishes and the menu is huge. We watched one of the prep cooks last time we were in and she was very fast, accurate, intent, focused, but there is so very much going on to prepare all that intricate plating. The servers claim not to know what’s going to be carried around, but I can’t believe that since there would have had to been even more specialized prep for those dishes. We’ve probably taken that fried chicken 75% of the times we were there and it usually came about midway through for us. I don’t even liked fried chicken (I never order chicken in any form in restaurants and I seldom prepare it at home in any form) but I love this fried chicken and the yogurt sauce that comes with it. I don’t think I’d like it cold and that reheating it would be far from ideal. I love Sarma…so ambitious, creative, well-done…but it is very labor intensive and the pacing must be difficult at all levels.

We were sitting at the bar, right on the corner. We had a great view of the prep table. Very precise in the final plating. And we got to preview most of the offerings. Although I’m still a little bummed we missed the deviled eggs.

We chatted up with our neighbors on both sides, which was helpful in deciding what to order next.

We are planning our next trip!

We had a truly marvelous meal at Sarma tonight. We ordered 5 items, and didn’t elect to buy any of the “walk around” dishes. Our first plate was the fava pate which was totally different than I expected. It was a firm pate with an herb salad of fresh dill, parsley, mint and arugula on top. On the side were four endive leaves with blanched fave beans and there were exactly 5 capers for acidity. I was surprised by this dish; not at all what I expected, but by the third bite I was hooked. The dish did need a bit more acidity. I think just a bit of lemon would have done the trick. We took portions of the pate, nestled them into the endive leaf and munched away.

Next came the Shrimp. The menu calls it “moroccan fried shrimp charred cabbage slaw, pickled carrots, pistachio.” I am allergic to shrimp so this was all about Mr. smt. But, he insisted that I had to have some of the slaw. OMG!!! This was like crack it was so good. Never found a pickled carrot in the dish, but the slaw had an amazing dressing of [perhaps] harissa, tahini or maybe sesame oil, and something else that I couldn’t identify. The shrimp were, I am told, cooked perfectly and the coating was crispy and delicious. The serving was huge compared to our many previous visits. The first miscalculation of our ordering.

Next, the “cauliflower fatte black garlic tahini, green chickpea stew, pine nuts” arrived, and at this point, I was in heaven. Roasted and fresh stewed chickpeas, the most amazing flavors from the black garlic tahini and these lovely cauliflower florets that had been blanched and then grilled. Again, the serving size was larger than usual.

While we were enjoying the cauliflower the lamb tantuni with ramps, horseradish, bibb lettuce and hot pepper pickles arrived. Again, it was a veggie wrap. The horseradish was in a labneh, instead of ramps there were pickled something. The lamb was delicious and the hot peppers, both yellow and red were delicious if used sparingly. Again, we piled the fillings onto a vegetable and munched away.

The last item to arrive was the "broccoli cherry tomato + garlic confit, lentils, spicy peanut dukkah " and to be honest, neither of us liked this even a little bit. The broccoli was charred but not cooked. The lentils were whole black dal that just weren’t cooked either. The tomatoes with garlic confit was lovely, but we just didn’t eat this.

Our waiter was very good tonight, timing our plates so that they were not all on the table at the same time. Water was refreshed regularly. And, when he saw that we didn’t eat the broccoli, nor did we want to take it home, he took it off of the bill. He got that amount as an addition to the standard tip. We are going to this restaurant enough these days that the wait staff is recognizing us. We want them to remember us fondly. Made our next reservation as we left and then walked up that hill to our home.


We were able to stop in for a quick bite at the bar last night. I forgot how delicious the food is at Sarma. We sat at the bar and received excellent and friendly service as always. It’s a really smart move to have the glossary on the left side of the menu to identify less common ingredients. We were pressed for time so we grabbed a few dishes to split. I’d gladly eat each and every dish again this evening, but in order of favorite:

scallop nayeh: better than any crudo i’ve had, extremely fresh and delicious scallops
porcini shish: mouthwatering, meaty mushrooms. veg dish that makes you forget about meat
avocado tabouleh: love the frilled romaine, delicious
baby artichokes: fried pickle spears; usually i’m in different to polenta, but not this polenta
tunisian steak tartare: the spice was a bit heavy and masked the flavor of the steak

The only passed dishes that come by were the deviled eggs (we passed because a few of our dishes incorporated egg), and some haloumi snack mix that might have been interesting if we were just drinking.

I think I was there the same night as you, but maybe later- the fried chicken was the only passed dish that came by the bar where we were sitting. I therefore had a completely non-overlapping set of dishes from you, and left thinking how amazing each and every one was. So, I can also highly recommend:
Fried Moroccan shrimp
Lamb sliders
roasted broccoli
nettle spanikopita
and oh, that fried chicken!

Don’t rush here. Please. There’s hardly anything worth eating, nowhere to park, and us Villens want to keep it for ourselves.

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I’ve been twice and both times several of the dishes (e.g., the hummus) seemed on the salty side. Salt preference is a subjective thing, but I haven’t recalled other restaurants being as salty. Did anyone else experience this or did I just happen to come on off-nights (or with an off-tongue). I’d still come back though.

We’ve found this as well; it’s the main reason I prefer Oleana to Sarma.

I wonder why Sarma’s food seems salty to some and not others. Me? I tend to enjoy a bit more salt, but Mr. SMT doesn’t care for lots of salt. We no longer order dishes that are based on feta since that is far too salty for both of us. If I were going to change one thing, it would be the amount of oil in each dish!

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We were back last night, on the early side again. Which was good, the bar was full pretty quickly.
The cocktail menu was a little different, which was OK, we went with wine.

Parsnip Fritters
Fish Falafel
Pork Schnitzel
Deviled Egg (kitchen offering)
Iberico Ham wrapped Greens (kitchen offering)
Grape Leaves w/ Pistachio Labneh

Everything was really good. The grape leaves and the falafel were standouts though. Nothing felt overly salted to us, and we did (again) miss the fried chicken when it went around. Probably just as well, we may not of had the grape leaves.

The service at the bar was efficient but distant. Probably because of the volume of food and drink to keep track of. And I think I’m use to a bartender having a set area to cover but Sarma had about 4-5 people behind the bar servicing the entire bar.

I am interested in the bakery (Watertown?). Any one been?

I’ve been to Sofra (which is actually in Cambridge, although very close to Belmont and Watertown) several times. I really like some of their lunch options like the flatbreads, and the beverages are very interesting and innovative. In particular, they used to have a sesame hot chocolate which was strangely addictive. I hope they bring it back one of these winters. The pastries I’ve had have been excellent. It is generally crowded though so I try to aim for off-hours, or count on getting food to go.

I love the bakery Sofra,which as said is in Cambridge right at the Belmont line just past the Stop and Shop on Mount Auburn St. The mezze, baked goods, prepared food from the refrigerated cabinet. Very crowded. I’ve never eaten in there, just to go. Cookbook coming out in October: Soframiz: Vibrant Middle Eastern Recipes from Sofra Bakery and Cafe

We ate at Sarma last night, sat at the bar. Had the caramel popcorn with peanuts. A hint of spice at the end. This was one of the specials. They should package it! Sweet but not too sweet.
Off the menu we had Fish Falafel, Parsnip Cakes, Brussels Sprouts and Blackened Shrimp.
We returned the shrimp dish, very salty. It came with crispy okra which was also very salty. Our server was very gracious about it, took it right off the bill.
We did get the fried chicken, it came around early in our dinner. Really good, especially with the remoulade. Its great that they use boneless thighs, makes for a better dish than white breast meat.
Wanted but did not order the Carrot Gnocchi and Brisket Shwarma. Next time if we get back before the menu changes.

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thanks for the report. We need to get back to Sarma soon. I will ask about salt in the shrimp/okra dish, because that sounds like something I’d love, minus some salt. We always get the hummus. Yes, $12 for hummus, but this is really, really special. Worth it.

We had the fish falafel on Thursday night for the first time, and it was a bit of a surprise. We really liked it! They made it with haddock [I asked.] A lettuce wrap falafel is brilliant, and the fish added a really nice level of moisture that can be missing from the traditional version.

We also had the cobb salad for the first time and again, fabulous! I have already replicated the dressing, and with a few tweaks, to serve at home. With a few more tries, I think I could imitate it exactly.

I feel that the size of the portions was bigger this time. In fact, we had to bring home 1 1/2 of the items that we ordered. Another surprise was how well the duck and cauliflower fatte reheated.