Our NRT gathering for December was at Con Sol in Cambridge. We arrived on a freezing winter night to an almost empty room. It is a cute space with warm brick and adobe tones and Spanish, Portuguese artifacts on the walls. The room was quite cold that we asked the waitress to turn up the heat. She said she would have to ask the manager but it didn’t get warmer all evening. In fact, several of us were sitting with our hats and coats on.
We ordered several appetizers and a few entrées for the table and we shared everything. For tapas we ordered the camarone ajillo, chourico, costillar lacado, rissos camarones, olive plate, and pasties bacalhau. The tapas came out extremely slowly. On the whole the tapas weren’t great; several felt premade or packaged. The rissos camarones (shrimp cakes) and the pasties bacalhau (salted cod cakes) felt as though they were packaged and just fried there. The lacked in flavor and freshness. The olive plate was just canned olives topped with minced garlic. The only stand out of the tapas was the costillar lacado which was a slow cooked beef rib with an apple glaze. The beef was very tender and nicely enhanced with the sweet glaze.
For entrées we ordered three dishes. The Carmarones Ana Maria, shrimp sautéed in spicy garlic sauce, served with rice and potatoes slices, was nice and simple dish. The shrimp were tasty in the garlic sauce. The Carne Porco Alencejana, cubes of pork loin stewed with clams and topped with cubed potatoes and olives, was an interesting combination of flavors. There was very little pork so it was primarily a dish with clams and olives. Finally, we tried the Bacalhau a Bras which is described as “boneless cod sautéed with garlic and onion with shoestring potatoes topped with a beaten egg.” It was a scrambled egg type of dish which felt very much like a breakfast item and seemed to call for bread or something to eat it with. Based on the description, we did not realize that it was going to be salted cod which made the dish very salty.
Overall, the room was freezing, the service was extremely slow, and the food (except the beef rib) was not impressive. There are several much better places for Iberian food in town.
279A Broadway St.
Cambridge, MA 02130