I love visiting Harvard Square. Although the number of unique eateries, food markets, and shops has diminished somewhat of late, I still found a few making a comeback in this tourist heavy area of Cambridge.
One such institution is Cardullo's. I love this specialty market because stepping inside means entering a shop with a decidedly old-world European feel. They offer candy and chocolates I haven't seen since I was last in Scotland and Rome and there are rich cheeses from as far away as Holland and as close as Vermont.
Not too far from there is Sandrine's, a French-Alsace bistro named after the daughter of executive chef and owner Raymond Ost. This gorgeous restaurant feels very European, with its art-deco wrought iron exterior and lushly decorated interior. Sandrine's serves classic French bistro cuisine and dishes from the Alsace region of France, which is on the border of Germany and Switzerland.
On my visit, we also made a unique French-Alsace and New England dish: choucroute, or sauerkraut, with scallops, mussels, clams, salmon, and bacon with a Riesling seafood cream sauce. Now, this is not your average canned or hot dog vendor sauerkraut. This choucroute has been slow-cooked for two hours with delicious smoked bacon. Chef Ost's decadent dish had a myriad of flavors and textures to enjoy. The seafood cream sauce was most impressive and I can attest that Chef Ost continued to taste it for “flavor” off camera saying “mmm, mmm,” every time. Not even Chef Ost, who has been cooking this type of food for 45 years, can get tired of that incredible sauce.