The world is filled with people who can’t be trusted: politicians, strangers who try to talk to you on a 46-second elevator ride, and anyone who prefers cats to dogs. (A cat isn’t a pet, it’s a decoration.) Waypoint is a restaurant in Harvard Square that can’t be trusted, either.
This place gave itself a navigational-themed name, put a harpoon on its front door, and built a dining room around a raw bar packed with crushed ice and shellfish. Those are the markings of a traditional seafood restaurant - the type of place with tanks of sleepy lobsters, cups of goopy clam chowder, and model ships on the wall with names like the Rusty Scupper II. But Waypoint turns out to be as far from traditional as it gets. The Scupper’s been replaced with neon signs written in French, and the lobster rolls and plates of fried shellfish have been swapped out for dishes like roasted char belly with grapes and smoked bluefish with miso and yams. This is Boston’s most interesting seafood restaurant.
You know that friend you have who thinks she hates seafood? Bring her to Waypoint. She may not care for fish and chips, but things like uni bucatini and pizza topped with smoked whitefish are way more exciting than whatever boring baked scrod plates she’d had before she swore off seafood as a 10-year-old. If, on the other hand, you’re the type of person who loves seafood so much that you regularly lecture your friends on how to identify sustainable tuna, you’ll love this place for showing you new ways to enjoy octopus (prepared as a meatball and served with a mint pasta).
And if you want to, you can also have a fantastic meal at Waypoint consisting solely of food that once lived on land. The Maine lamb shoulder alone is worth coming here for - although it’s huge, so bring four or five other people so you can still explore the rest of the menu.
With big crowds of Cantabrigians, a chef’s counter, and absinthe cocktails that feel like they should be served in a dark bar called Barrel 13 or something, Waypoint is fun no matter how you do it. If you can’t get your friend to eat seafood here, then you should consider cutting her off and encourage her to move to another city. Housing prices are ridiculous and we could really use the space.
You’ve may have had tuna crudo before. You may have even had curried chickpea socca bread before. But you almost certainly have never had them together. After visiting Waypoint, you’re forever going to wonder why not.
The crunchy chili peanut sauce they’re served with is good, but this is the lesser of the menu’s two dumpling dishes.
And here’s the greater. Life needs more self-contained soup.
We bet that, during the Revolutionary War, there were loyalists who argued that if we broke from England we’d never again have great crumpets. Waypoint showed them.
A lot of people don’t like bluefish because it’s apparently “too fishy.” To them we say, good job introducing a dose of existential angst to a fish that already has self-esteem issues. Hopefully this fantastic dish will help alleviate both issues, because fish therapy is getting expensive.
Don’t feel bad if you have no idea what these two words mean - we didn’t either. All you need to know is that it’s the best pasta dish you’re going to have for a while.
If you’ve had the world famous white clam pizza at Frank Pepe’s, you know that, eh, sure, it’s pretty good. If you haven’t, get the chopped clam pizza here and rest easy knowing that you ate something even better.