Officially opening to the public on Friday, August 26, Waypoint serves a seafood-focused menu with a huge absinthe list, pizza, pasta, and more. Michael Scelfo's new restaurant, in the works since spring 2015, is perched on the edge of Harvard Square in a curved corner space that feels like a giant bay window.
Like Alden & Harlow, Waypoint was designed by Stephen Sousa, who also worked on The Gallows, Select Oyster Bar, Tavern Road, and more. Some of Waypoint's light fixtures look like lobster traps; others bring to mind sea glass. There are a couple of fish-themed neon signs resurrected by Brickyard VFX. The distinctive Au Nid du Doré sign, glowing on the far wall of the restaurant but visible from the street, apparently comes from an old Québec motel and restaurant. The name refers to a walleye's nest or "golden nest," depending on the translation. From the lighting and decor to the driftwood planks overhead, the design all contributes to Waypoint's coastal-inspired motto: "swim good."
The menu — aimed at melding the approachable with the unexpected — includes everything from caviar to squid ink bread to crab cocktail, not to mention bone marrow lobster salad and goat's milk gnudi. Other dishes include clam fritters with razor clam and fennel vinaigrette and Benton's bacon fat aioli; wood-roasted char belly with crispy and creamy ceci beans, grilled grapes, and lemon; fried smelts with pickled ramp remoulade, lemons, and peppers; and a daily crudo. A few big, meaty dishes are meant to be shared, including a 24-ounce rib eye and a whole lamb's neck.
And the pizzas: there's the pig's face pizza, as well as a bagel-inspired smoked whitefish pizza (mascarpone, dill, capers, everything crust), a grilled nettle pizza (confit garlic, cherry peppers, nutritional yeast), and a smoked anchovy pizza (roasted tomato, reggiano, and fried walnuts). Scelfo and his team are really making the pizza (and pasta) dough from scratch, milling grains in-house. Gluten-free options are available for both pizza and pasta.
As for the drinks, Alden & Harlow's Seth Freidus is serving up cocktails with a focus on rum, mezcal, agave, sherry, and gin — not to mention 20 types of absinthe, served on their own and in a variety of cocktails. There's even a set of copper taps at the bar that release water at just the right flow for various absinthe presentations. On the wine side, Alden & Harlow's wine director and "chief of staff" Jen Fields has pulled together a list of seafood-friendly wines; try kicking off a meal with the three-ounce "splash of the day" and some oysters.
Waypoint is open for dinner daily from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m., and there's a late-night menu available until midnight. The bar remains open until 1 a.m.
- Waypoint Coverage on Eater [EBOS]