A new era of health consciousness took root, along with an explosion of restaurants both casual and decadent inspired by world cuisine. In 1989, Julia Child's magnum opus, The Way to Cook, gave new fuel to our delight in eating. We saw the emergence of creative New American Cuisine, followed by a burgeoning seasonal, local, farm-to-table ethic which continues today in the kitchens of Jody Adams, Steve Johnson, and Chris Schlesinger, to the microbrews of Cambridge Brewing and the flavors of Christina's ice cream.

Cambridge dining bloomed due to its ethnic diversity and adventurous eaters. A kind of multicultural row, Cambridge Street from Lechmere to Inman blossomed in Casa Portugal (since '76), Midwest Grill, Olé, The Druid Pub, and 1369 Coffeehouse. Courthouse Seafood and New Deal Fish Market continued to operate as the oldest fish markets in town, while new specialty and import shops like Formaggio Kitchen, Iggy's Bread, and Hi-Rise Bakery opened and expanded.

Restaurants closed and new ones opened in their retooled kitchens. 5 Craigie Circle, post-Chez Nous and Le Bocage, saw Pulcinella, Café Celador, Butterfish, Craigie Street Bistrot, and Ten Tables. The Athenaeum building saw Michaela's, Salamander, followed by Cambridge's second culinary school, Le Cordon Bleu. Chez Jean became Chez Henri. Daddy-O's on Hampshire St. became Oleana, run by the acclaimed Ana Sortun. Aku Aku became Jasper White's Summer Shack. And by the turn of the milenneum, for better or for worse, the cult of the celebrity chef had begun.


Come inside to tour Culinary Cambridge 1980-2000