The team behind Hungry Mother and State Park will open Mamaleh's Delicatessen, a Jewish deli, in West Bridge's place, possibly in the spring. (State Park and West Bridge are located in the same building, part of the One Kendall Square complex. Hungry Mother, which was located nearby, closed in July, but the team is opening a new concept, to be announced at a later date, in that space.)
Gelburd-Kimler (Beacon Hill Bistro, Craigie on Main) and Gaudet (Eleven Madison Park and Jean-Georges in New York City) met working at Aquitaine Bistro in Boston's South End and brought that French influence to Kendall Square when they opened West Bridge in May 2012. "We got along pretty well with how we ran service and worked with our staff," Gaudet said to Eater in an interview reflecting on West Bridge's first year, recalling how he and Gelburd-Kimler began to plan to open a restaurant together. "The goals and philosophies we had were the same. We're both idiots — we joke around, we're lighthearted. it's gotta be fun. It doesn't have to take a lot of pain and anguish to get to our goal. We were able to do it with a comedic sense even though we had a very serious focus."
Since then, the restaurant has received many accolades, both local and national. Here on Eater Boston, it was our 2012 Restaurant of the Year and a mainstay on the Eater 38, which honors 38 of the Boston area's most "essential" restaurants. (It's still on there.)
In a July 2012 STUFF review, MC Slim JB wrote of the quickly popular egg in a jar that while the preparation is "slightly absurd in its faint echoes of baby food...maybe infantilization is the point: this dish can make you coo like a contented newborn."
Later that month, in the Globe, Devra First granted West Bridge a rare three-and-a-half out of four stars, recommending "pretty much anything" on the menu and kicking off the review with four paragraphs devoted to that egg in a jar. "Already the restaurant has become synonymous with the dish," she noted. ("We've gone through lots of jars," Gaudet previously said to Eater.)
B.N. Lee soon followed with four stars out of five in The Improper Bostonian, declaring that while that "fancified egg" is "indisputably delicious," the real winner is a calamari dish — "a tangle of soft noodles mixed with yellow and red tomatoes, cockles and whelks" — that truly shows off West Bridge's successful "subtlety....it is and it isn't linguini and shellfish at the same time."
Beyond Boston, West Bridge picked up honors in GQ (one of the "12 Most Outstanding Restaurants of 2013"), Food & Wine (Gaudet was a "Best New Chef" for 2013), and Bon Appetit ("Best New Restaurant" nominee, 2013).
[Photo: Alexis Gelburd-Kimler and Matthew Gaudet/Provided]