After a couple weeks of a soft opening, today is the official debut of Pagu in Cambridge’s Central Square (310 Massachusetts Ave.) First announced a little over a year ago, the restaurant is steeped in owner Tracy Chang’s Spain-meets-Japan culinary background. Locals may recognize her from her days at O Ya and the Guchi’s Midnight Ramen pop-up, but she has also worked at Martín Berasategui’s three-star Michelin restaurant in San Sebastian, located in Spain’s Basque Country, and beyond. Plus, she studied pâtisserie at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris.
Appropriately, the menu touches on all these locales with dishes such as croquetas de curry crab (Spanish croqueta meets Japanese korokke); the smoky cheese wafflato (pâte a choux, potato, and smoked mozzarella); and more. The beverage list, by Pagu consultant Tom Schlesinger-Guidelli (previously Island Creek Oyster Bar’s longtime general manager), features wines from the Iberian Peninsula and Basque Country, Japanese sake, Spanish ciders and sherry, and more. Pagu’s beer and cocktail selection comes courtesy of head bartender Caitlin Sullivan, who is serving up sake cocktails, large-format cocktails, a variety of gin and tonics, and lots more.
Pagu is located in the burgeoning MIT edge of Central Square — already home to Flour, Central Bottle, Naco Taco, and more, not to mention the just-opened Saloniki and the soon-to-open Roxy’s Central and A4cade. The large space features a variety of seating options, some of which change from a breakfast-and-lunch cafe-style configuration to a nighttime pintxos bar. There’s also a mezzanine section that overlooks the restaurant, a couple of main dining areas, and a counter surrounding the open kitchen. A four-course tasting menu is served at the “kitchen view” seats. Bonus: The kitchen features an ultra-snazzy Hestan suite; grab a reservation in one of those seats and gaze in awe.
For now, Pagu is open for dinner from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, but soon, the restaurant will be open seven days a week for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Keep an eye on social media for updates (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter), and make reservations via the Tock system on Pagu’s website.