Central Mass and Metrowest offer us a lot of dining options. Because of that, venturing down Mass Pike East, even while the traffic is still light and the sun stays out late, requires explanation.
For the fourth installment of Chef’s Favorite, I visited 2247 Massachusetts Ave. in Cambridge, also known as The Table at Season to Taste.
There, I found several reasons to warrant the commute. One, you can enjoy a moderately priced $65 four-course prix fixe menu featuring French techniques, seasonal ingredients, and international flavors. Two, the 20-seat open kitchen concept allows diners unique access to watch Top Chef alum, Chef Carl Dooley, prepare each dish with his team. Three, you can take a selfie with Carl, who placed fifth in season 13 of the famed reality show.
When asked if people want to take photos with him often, Carl humbly responded, “I’m happy to enjoy my 15 minutes. Some people come in because they’ve seen the show. Others check out all new restaurants. I’m confident that the people who come in will want to come back.”
After dining at The Table, I’m confident too. I also think his fame will last longer than 15 minutes, especially here in Massachusetts. While TV notoriety may be commonplace for residents of California and foodies of New York City, here we take great pride in our Bay State celebs.
With the most important question about selfies out of the way, Carl and I discussed what he likes to make at home: his chef’s favorite.
“In the summer, I make big grilled vegetable salads with grilled pita bread. It’s healthy and easy. Then you don’t have any dishes to clean up,” says Chef Dooley.
Circumventing a sink full of dirty dishes while still enjoying a home-cooked meal is a concept I can easily get behind. Dooley’s winter favorites, on the other hand, employ more advanced techniques than the average weekday meal in my house.
Chef Dooley and his wife like to prepare comfort food during the cold New England months. “I take a baked sweet potato and stuff it with pork ragu or duck confit—and top it with roasted walnuts, sage, parmesan, and sautéed kale. It’s an easy way to create a bold dish,” he said.
Outside of his home kitchen, Chef Dooley’s summer menu at The Table pulls its inspiration from locally-sourced, seasonal ingredients and Southeast Asian flavors like green curry. Since the menu changes frequently, it’s best to follow him on Instagram at @chefdooley to stay current. That way you’ll know exactly who to tag when you stop in for your selfie.