Puritan, Cambridge, Massachusetts

by Shelby Larsson on June 16, 2013

in Chefs, Massachusetts, Restaurateurs

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We feature many boutique food makers on Eat Boutique and, just in case you were wondering, restauranteurs are makers too! After several visits to Puritan & Company, I felt the vibe of a true maker in every detail. Between the food, the design and the sweet hello/goodbye at the door, Shelby’s become a fan as well. Alongside Katie Noble’s beautiful photography of the space, she shares an inside look. -Maggie

You can tell a lot about a restaurant by the bread that they serve.  Whether they intend to or not, that first offering of food that graces your table will set the tone for the rest of the meal. At Puritan & Company, a new restaurant in Cambridge’s Inman Square, they blow all other restaurants out of the water with their very first bite: warm, soft rolls, topped with creamy, fresh butter and a sprinkle of sea salt. For a bread lover, it is tough to top such a spectacular start to a meal. Happily, chef/owner Will Gilson and his team are able to deliver all night long, delighting diners with their acute attention to the little things that make a meal feel extra special.

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Because at Puritan & Company, it’s all about the details.  Chef Gilson, though young, has grown up both on a farm and in restaurants. He knows his produce. He loves high-quality, local meat. And it’s clear that he is also very familiar with the fine art of hospitality.  He is the definition of a maker.

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The inviting space features various shades of cool blues, a beautiful wood bar, and soft lighting, creating what can only be described as an “urban farmhouse” feel at Puritan. It is clear that Chef Gilson wanted to build something here that reflects both his background and the kind of food and dining experience he wants to provide.

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The menu, which changes often, reflects Gilson’s past while also feeling fresh and contemporary. Focusing on modern New England fare, much of what is served in the restaurant is handmade in the kitchen.  From the charcuterie, pickled vegetables and condiments to those famous rolls, gougères and hardtack crackers, Gilson made a decision early on to make as much as possible in the restaurant – and you can taste the difference in every bite.  For those of us who love to entertain and challenge ourselves to make more and more at home – it’s truly inspiring to learn from chefs like Will Gilson and the food and experience they serve up at Puritan & Company.

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Photos styled and taken by Katie Noble/Katie Noble Photo.

Eat Boutique  discovers the best small batch foods by boutique food makers. We share recipes, maker stories and city guides to eating boutique. We host tasting events and markets for food makers, cookbook authors and food fans. We craft seasonal, regional gift and tasting boxes and sell individual items that you can order in the Eat Boutique Shop. You can also follow us on TwitterFacebookInstagram and Pinterest.

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Shelby Larsson

Shelby Larsson, writer, editor, resides in Boston, where she wanders across the city, eating and drinking as she goes. She loves New England (with a particular affinity for Maine), architecture, cities, beer, cheese, and adores cooking up a big meal for family and friends. You can read more about Shelby’s eating adventures on her blog, Lady Gouda.

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  • chezus

    This looks like our kind of place – Yum!

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