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Ogle The Sinclair's Wood-and-Concrete Interior

[Photos: Rachel Leah Blumenthal]

The restaurant half of Harvard Square's new 525-person music venue The Sinclair opened last night, featuring a "gastropub-influenced" menu served on two floors of dining (plus a seasonal patio). The space is full of concrete, wood, and carefully placed decor with a subtle railroad theme, which a rep for the restaurant describes as an homage to the transience of musicians. Many of the decorations are reclaimed or vintage pieces. Designer Stephen Martyak (studioTYAK) also worked on the new Cambridge location of Osushi. The building is uniquely shaped, set back slightly from Church St., and as a result, the asymmetrical interior features a variety of cozy nooks. Dine on the second floor, for example, and you may find yourself in a booth virtually obscured from the rest of the dining room by the flight of stairs. The second floor, which seats 50, also benefits from plenty of natural light. Down on the first floor, there's room for 35 in and around the bar.

The Sinclair menu is a collaboration between consulting chef Michael Schlow (Radius, Tico, Happy's Bar + Kitchen, etc.) and executive chef Marcellus Coleman (Abe and Arthur's in NYC). There's a focus on small plates and snacks - great for the pre-concert crowd - plus some entrees. Small plates range from $7 to $12 and include things like "disco fries" (with poblano, chorizo, and cheese sauce), mac 'n' cheese (with bacon, asparagus, and toasted bread crumbs), and pastrami'd pork belly sliders. The entrees range from a $12 burger (basil aioli, secret sauce, crispy onions, watercress) to a $21 steak frites with bearnaise and bordelaise. As for snacks, think deviled eggs, fried pickles, and a jar of creamy chicken liver puree (with "good mustard.")

The drink program, helmed by Dave Werthman, formerly of the West Side Lounge, features a cocktail list split between "Right Now" and "Back Then," as well as a collection of craft beers, local and otherwise.

While the kitchen is currently open from 5 PM to 11 PM seven days a week, daily lunch and weekend brunch are in the works.

· All coverage of The Sinclair on Eater [~EBOS~]

The Sinclair

52 Church Street, , MA 02138 (617) 547-5200 Visit Website