Serious Eats Neighborhood Guides: Jason Bond's Cambridge

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Ever since leaving his post at Beacon Hill Bistro, Jason Bond has spent most of his time at his charming Area IV dining room, Bondir, where he crafts award-winning plates from the best (and often locally sourced) pork, parsnips, grapes, scallops, and polenta he can get his hands on. It's hard work—the kitchen only accommodates two pairs of hands—and it's not an exaggeration to say his restaurant was one of the first to put this once-overlooked patch of Cambridge (for everything other than candy, that is) on Boston's culinary map.

Check out an original Serious Eats video of Jason making pork belly and grits here.

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Chestnut Tagliatelle. [Photograph: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt]]

Nowadays, it's not only tough to get a table at Bondir, but it's increasingly challenging for entrepreneurial chefs like Bond to find an available storefront in the neighborhood. But among those who have staked out a space, there's great camaraderie and, as Bond told us, great meals to be had. Here's where you might find him in the off hours.

Jason's Picks

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The Margarita from Area Four. [Photograph: Andrew Janjigian]]

Pizza: Area Four for Neapolitan. The pizza oven of my dreams, and great crust. Pinocchio's in Harvard Square for slices.

Burgers: People's Republik for a cheap burger. It's a great afternoon place to hide from everyone and relax. Garden at the Cellar for a fancier take--and their whole menu.

Sandwich: Cafe Kiraz for the melts, and The Druid for the fried fish sandwich. I love the atmosphere in the Druid and the whole menu is great.

Breakfast: Mass Ave Diner. Hard working young owners improving an old Central Square diner.

Dive Bar: The Field—where nobody remembers your name.

Nice wine, beer, or cocktail bar: Catalyst by the fireplace. Lord Hobo for the beer selection.

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Ice cream from Toscanini's. [Photograph: Robyn Lee]

Ice cream: Toscanini's is great place to meet smart kids and try delicious flavors.

Takeout Chinese / Japanese / Thai: Dado Tea for the Potter Wrap.

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Roast chicken from Rendezvous. [Photograph: Robyn Lee]

Date night: Rendezvous really captures the spirit of Cambridge and Central Square. Good at what they do.

If you only eat one thing, eat this: Ice cream sundae at Area Four. Textures and flavors will change your idea of a simple dessert.

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New Deal Fish Market. [Photographs: Carey Jones]

Fish market: New Deal Fish Market. Carl [Fantasia] gets the best.

Seafood restaurant: Cafe Sushi on Mass Ave. It looks crappy from the outside. So does Bondir.

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