Parsnip Restaurant

4.4
317 reviews
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$31 to $50
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Contemporary American
Parsnip Restaurant & Lounge is located in the heart of Harvard Square. We offer ingredient-driven and globally influenced Modern American cuisine alongside a select list of wines, craft beer and cocktails. Our goal is to create a gracious environment for upscale-casual dining.
What 317 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.4based on recent ratings
4.4
food
4.4
service
4.5
ambience
4.0
value
Noise · Quiet
86% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
New England
1 review
Dined on August 3, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 3ambience 2

Holy cow, this place has gone downhill. I haven’t been in a few years, but Parsnip used to be a refined restaurant that served high end (for Cambridge) food, cocktails and wines.

My wife and I were both very disappointed with our experience this evening. I ordered a cocktail: vodka, cucumber and St Elder were the main ingredients. Honestly, this is a hard combination to make undrinkable... but they managed. I sent it back once because it really seemed they had forgotten the St Elder, but their attempt at improving the drink did not yield better results. They offered to remake the cocktail from scratch did improve either.

The food was on par with the cocktail, unfortunately. I ordered the Korean lettuce wraps for an appetizer... sounded good on the menu, but it was a DIY affair when it was delivered. Like, here are the ingredients, just assemble it yourself. And the ingredients were not particularly good either. My wife had a similar disappointing experience with her appetizer.

The mains... oversized, unrefined, just pretty bad overall. If I got stuck in a Hilton in Ohio and was served food like this, I’d actually be relieved. But this is so terribly sub-par compared to what Parsnip used to me and to the previous restaurant it took the space from that I was really bummed to waste an evening there.

Naturally, we won’t go back.

JJ
1 review
Dined on July 29, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It was a quiet night, but the two of us enjoyed 4 appetizers (all things we would not make at home) and received a free birthday glass of champagne. The waiter was awesome. I will definitely go back.

F
New England
25 reviews
Dined on July 29, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 3

Everything was perfectly fine. For me the menu was just a bit too eclectic. My friend does not like spicy food and there were a lot of hot spicy dishes. The meat and fish dishes were few and not very varied. Just not sure I will rush back.

PT
New England
1 review
Dined on July 26, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 5

Too many flies inside!

EM
Chicago
1 review
Dined on July 19, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 2

We found the food here to be lackluster, overall. There were a few decent dishes, but nothing to write home about, and certainly not for the price. Atmosphere is a bit sterile and service was fine, but a bit slow.

b
New England
17 reviews
Dined on July 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

all of the wait staff, hostess and the like were great
always filling in about details where needed
loved the ambiance
paintings were also very pleasing
we had a great time and a surprise martini for my husband's birthday

OT
New England
14 reviews
Dined on July 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Excellent food and service. Wide range of delectable menu items. And they made lemonade even thought it wasn't on the menu.

s
New England
5 reviews
Dined on July 12, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 2ambience 3

It seems that standards are slipping at what was once a reliable, elegant, original table in Harvard Square. If I wanted fried chicken, a burger, ribs, or a lobster roll, I'd go to Charlie's Kitchen or Blue Ribbon. Yet these are four of the six choices for a main course. Better to go with the squash blossom small plate, which was outstanding. Service is also not what it used to be, sad to say. I'm hoping for a revival, but until then there are better dining choices and values.

AT
New York Area
12 reviews
Dined on July 6, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 3

Would've been nice if they told us early on that they were short staffed and service would be SO SLOW! Then we could've decided to stay and deal (& maybe leave a more considerate tip) or just go elsewhere. Cocktails and food were really delicious, so we'll give it another try. Would love it they found more appropriate dining music too -- club music at a nice establishment like this seemed an odd choice.

3
New England
1 review
Dined on June 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I loved the food and the hospitality towards guests. I think the head chef has the right approach.

a
New England
4 reviews
Dined on June 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The service was excellent from the moment we walked in to the moment we walked out. Our server allowed appropriate time in between drinks to appetizers to entree, never making us feel rushed. The executive chef came to our table to see how our meal was. The food was all delicious, very flavorful and well presented. As we were there for a birthday celebration, an order of drinks was waiting for us as we sat down. And I believe at one point someone may have overhead me ask my partner what her favorite part of the meal was. As we were leaving, an extra serving of that favorite part of meal was packaged for us to take home. I would happily suggest Parsnip to anyone looking for a beautiful space to dine.

DR
New England
24 reviews
Dined on June 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great choices of food. The new chef of 4 months has created some fabulous combinations of flavors. Small plates were more than adequate for 3 people, the risotto with farro was amazing, lettuce wraps with steak perfectly done were unique, burrata was amazing. Service was attentive but not invasive. Very comfortable seating. Definitely will be back.

AL
New York Area
27 reviews
Dined on June 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wow. New chef. Fantastic food/choices. Will be coming back often.

M
New England
9 reviews
Dined on June 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Loved everything about our dinner at Parsnip - food, drinks and service were great! Only wrinkle was that I requested onions in my meal on the side and they were mixed in - otherwise perfect!

NY
New England
11 reviews
Dined on June 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This is a hidden treasure. This was our second visit and it did not disappoint. Everything is top notch and we plan on going back many times!!!

e
New England
6 reviews
Dined on June 1, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 3

Parsnip is an inviting, comfortable, casual restaurant. The kitchen puts together decent dishes, although nothing outstanding. If you're in the Square and don't want to go upscale at the Harvest, or out of doors at the Red House, you're likely to be able to find a table at Parsnip.

EV
New England
1 review
Dined on May 17, 2019
Overall 2food 3service 1ambience 3

Not so good! While I was really looking forward to visit this restaurant, right off the bat, things didn't go well. I arrived five minutes late for our reservation, and even though my friend was already seated, the hostess directed me to sit in the waiting/lounge area. Once I was seated, it took about 15-20min for my cocktail to arrive. Our waiter was mostly absent, uncomfortable, and quite a bit over his head. My entree arrived lukewarm, obviously sitting under the warming lamp for longer than it was necessary. The overall quality of the food, based on the price was not in line. I also resented finding a service charge for the KITCHEN STAFF on the bill! I feel very strongly, that it is the responsibility of the ownership of the establishment to pay adequate wages to the back of the house staff, especially, when the menu prices are quite high. BTW, I don't mind paying those prices, if it corresponds with the quality of food and service. While it is sometimes possible to have glitches in one area, this restaurant managed to hit most of the major areas in one visit. The one exception was the bartender and the quality of the cocktail.

KN
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on May 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Parsnip was perfect for our anniversary dinner! Beautiful space, delicious food and excellent service. They even brought out complimentary glasses of champagne to celebrate our occasion! Would definitely go back.

L
Philadelphia
11 reviews
Dined on May 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Nice spacious restaurant with modern menu. We had scallops and halibut as our entres and both were done perfectly. The wait staff were friendly and attentive. Highly recommended for foodies.

CG
1 review
Dined on May 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Loved all the small plate options. The food choices were inventive, yet simple enough that the flavors stood out and very fresh! Great wine list - good variety of both regions and varietals by the glass.

OT
New England
1 review
Dined on May 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had a terrific meal, and the service was outstanding. This was my favorite meal in Boston, to date!

IM
Charlotte
4 reviews
Dined on May 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

The food was amazing. Oysters super fresh, burrata flat bread to die for. I got the impossible burger (im veg), but my meat eating family thought it tasted just like a burger. Not only that, portabella, melted cheese and caramelized onions on top?! To die for.
Scallop dinner was small but the scallops were beautifully flavored and cooked. Oxtail ragu was good, regular house burger divine as well.
Good selection of drinks (their spring rhubarb lemonade is so yummy) and all of their beers are smooth and delicious.
Service was great, ambiance was nice (i loved the couches). Interior was very modern-upscale.

j
New England
10 reviews
Dined on May 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Exceptional service!

AL
Los Angeles
2 reviews
Dined on April 27, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 4

Excellent seasonal, fresh, beautifully composed dishes. Lovely ambience, elegant yet comfortable. Great for catching up with friends and family.

C
New England
35 reviews
Dined on April 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fantastic evening. Food and service was the best I have experienced in any Boston-area restaurant in a long time. The space is also great: high ceilings and limited number of tables. Overall, great for a date or dinner with friends.

MW
New England
1 review
Dined on April 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful!!! My small 80th birthday dinner could not have been better. Coming early and settling into the small side room at the far end gave us privacy and quiet which makes a HUGE difference for us always. But the tenderloin was the most beautifully prepared I’ve ever had. Substantial AND perfectly medium rare and tender all the way, every bite. With subtle but marvelously enhancing caper sauce. Thank you, parsnip!

RA
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on April 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I live this restaurant as the food is interesting and terrific. Most importantly, it is a restaurant where the tables are far apart and one can have an intimate conversation.

CH
New England
5 reviews
Dined on April 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Nick was our waiter and he was FANTASTIC! He helped me to surprise my mom for her birthday and was an absolute doll the whole night - my step dad was very impressed with the service! All around a great experience, food was delicious as well.

OT
New England
5 reviews
Dined on April 21, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 5

Food was very simple and tasty, and service was attentive. The cocktails were delicious, however, both desserts (lava cake and berry shortcake) were way too sweet to the point that I couldn’t eat all of mine (shortcake).
The room is beautifully decorated and they have a fireplace - so cozy and chic !

OT
Dallas
25 reviews
Dined on April 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We have eaten at Parsnip several times and they always do a great job. The atmosphere is great, and since the weather was nice they were able to open the windows which added to the ambiance. The menu is always imaginative and well executed.

A
New England
5 reviews
Dined on April 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food is excelllent, the decor is modern and warm, with tall ceilings that make the ambiance quieter. The staff is really attentive without being invasive and gives good recommendations. It is one of my favorite spots in the Square.

DD
New England
11 reviews
Dined on March 28, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 3

We gave it a second chance because it's trying. Staff was great-welcoming and attentive. But food just does not reach fine-dining or equal to their prices. Softshell crab missed the mark. Mussel cause was great but mussels tasteless, Rabbit tasty, but pasta missed el dente. But Yes to the cauliflower.

SH
New England
15 reviews
Dined on March 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

I loved everything about the place but did not like the music. They turned it down a little when I asked but the type of music did not seem to fit the lovely atmosphere. I thought that the small dishes and side vegetables were really outstanding and would recommend more of those than the main dishes.

P
New England
27 reviews
Dined on March 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Michael took amazing care of us as we wanted an elegant and tasty dinner before a local show. From walking us through the lovely cocktail menu to the after dinner teas we enjoyed every moment and hope to return soon. Thank you Michael!

NY
New England
12 reviews
Dined on March 15, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Unexpectedly wonderful!

BJ
New England
10 reviews
Dined on March 8, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 4

We ordered the Chef's Tasting Menu. Dishes ranged from superb and interesting (gnocchi with rabbit and the olive oil cake) to middle of the road (oysters, radish salad, salmon). I'd be more descriptive, but I don't know most of what I ate because the waiter never told us more than - oyster, meatball, gnocchi, etc. While the food was good, when I get a tasting menu I expect them to describe each dish - that's part of the fun, right?

S
New England
1 review
Dined on March 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Loved everything about this restaurant. The food was fantastic, ambience great and service
Perfect!

CB
Detroit
2 reviews
Dined on March 5, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 4

This was a first visit to this restaurant. The space was open and pleasant, and staff were friendly and attentive. The food was mixed. As a vegetarian, I found little in the entree part of the menu that was interesting, although snacks and vegetables were creative. Drinks were very good. Portions were substantial but not excessive.

DC
1 review
Dined on March 1, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 2ambience 4

Ugh...the potato chips were excellent, but little else. We ordered the chef's tasting menu. In spite of being asked about our food intolerances, two of my dishes were served with ingredients i could not eat. The salmon dish and the rabbit dish (separate courses) were indistinguishable in terms of flavor. For our soup course, five people were served two bowls to share. The staff was not coordinated, and at times chaotic. Our waiter was overheard swearing about how messed f'ed up something was. The food arrived staggered at every course, and often without silverware. Several dishes were lukewarm. The desserts were good (not great), but avoid the rubbery panna cotta. Sigh...

OT
Sydney / NSW
1 review
Dined on February 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

Excellent!

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