A good spot for brunch is always a hit with college students, and The Dial, a new fusion restaurant in Cambridge, has potential to be an up-and-coming favorite. Situated on Confectioner’s Row, The Dial, which opened on Sept. 23, offers an eclectic variety of dishes that take inspiration from Central America, Europe, and South Asia.
Opening amid a pandemic has its challenges, yet the restaurant is making waves as a trendy spot for hungry and adventurous college students and millennials alike. The brunch prices are fairly reasonable, comparable to those at Allston’s brunch go-to, The Breakfast Club, with prices ranging from $15 to $20. The Dial also offers a mouthwatering dinner menu at a slightly higher price.
“So far it’s been more of a brunch spot, and it makes sense [because] we have really good food and really cool drinks, like the drunken donuts [which] have been selling out the door,” Jeremy Delgad, the manager at The Dial, said. “People come here for brunch, which we are absolutely okay with, but we also have, like, a really cool dinner menu we’re trying to showcase.”
Brunch options range from the popular shakshuka to a creamy brunch carbonara in addition to a variety of small plates, tapas style. The menu has something for everybody, with a more typical breakfast sandwich or hamburger for the less adventurous.
The dinner menu parallels this variety with dinner tapas and main courses reflecting European, Central American, and South Asian influence.
“You have South American food, African food, Asian food, [and] European food,” said a waiter at The Dial. “It’s like a culinary melting pot.”
The idea behind The Dial was to introduce a restaurant to the neighborhood that is both cool and inviting, said Delgado.
“One of the owners is from the area,” Delgado said. “He’s very involved in local politics and local culture, and he kept saying that Cambridge needed a restaurant … something more swanky, more fun, more for a younger crowd.”
The restaurant’s design references the history of Cambridge, specifically paying homage to Margaret Fuller, the first woman in Massachusetts to have her own newspaper, called The Dial. Fuller was influenced by the transcendentalist movement, and the decoration of the restaurant combines a transcendental nod to nature with a modern flair, according to Delgado.
“It’s, like, very 1960s vibes, but also very modern at the same time,” Delgado said. “[Fuller’s] house is actually two blocks away from here.”
The aroma of fresh food paired with the more modern artistic decorations allow for a simultaneously sophisticated yet playful dining experience that feels fun and new.
The Dial has taken the necessary precautions to make customers’ dining experience safe.
“From day one we talked about table cleaning and we talked about social distancing, always [wearing] masks, cleaning hands a lot,” Delgado said.
In addition to a quality dining experience, The Dial plans to open The Blue Owl, a full rooftop bar, in April 2021. The Blue Owl will pay homage to the Tootsie Pop factory that once was located just down the street, according to Delgado.
“The view [from the bar], it’s amazing, it’s my favorite,” said the waiter. “I’m telling you, you definitely [have got to] go check it out. That is going to be the gem of this restaurant.”
While some restaurants solely offer good food, The Dial offers the addition of an upscale ambience at a reasonable price, while at the same time introducing a bit of history into the modern Cambridge dining scene.
Featured Image by Maggie Leahy / Heights Editor