Bar Enza in Cambridge’s Harvard Square is a bit of a homecoming for award-winning chef and Belmont, Massachusetts native Mark Ladner. Fans of the Michelin-starred chef may know him from his time as the executive chef at NYC’s Del Posto, where he was also named The James Beard Foundation’s Best Chef NYC 2015. But once upon a time Ladner took his first cooking job at a Harvard Square pizzeria, which is where he first fell in love with cooking.
The stylish neo-trattoria tucked into The Charles Hotel showcases Ladner’s sophisticated and energized approach to Italian using farmer’s-market fresh ingredients from the market right out front of the restaurant mixed with authentic imported Italian products and house-made bread. Whether it’s snacks before a show or a full night out, the menu features some of Ladner’s well-known award winning plates plus some innovative new salads, mains, and even small plates from a separate antipasti station. Round out your visit with a glass or bottle from the mostly Italian wine list plus some select bottles from the new world and beyond, or go for a traditional negroni or Aperol spritz — or an in-house riff on the classics.
Make yourself comfortable thanks to a variety of seating options, from the main dining room that is awash with dusty rose terracotta tones, to the spacious bar and lounge with high-top tables, plus a breezy covered outdoor patio. Two private dining rooms are also available for special events.
Bar Enza is a collaboration between Ladner and restaurateur Patrick Lyons of The Lyons Group, which includes more than two dozen other properties in the city including Sonsie, Scampo, Rochambeau, Summer Shack and most of Lansdowne Street.
One Bennett Street
Cambridge, MA 02138