"[It was a] Friday night [at the Turtle Café,] and the place was booming. A bar full of boisterous patrons, a jam-packed dining room, and Dave already off and getting set up to play his set. A cutting edge restaurant (which became the East Coast Grill), the Turtle featured contemporary regional cuisine, changing its menu every three or four days not only for variety but to continually showcase whatever was in season, a relatively new concept for its time. On weekends they'd feature jazz greats: Teddy Wilson, Scott Hamilton, Sammy Price, and Gray Sargent, a guitarist who these days works with Tony Bennett. I quickly learned it was a great place to hang out and meet these legends, since they'd usually come in to eat before their gig."
Tag: Inman Square
Wall-to-wall renovation of an iconic Inman Square landmark restaurant, by Bailey Davol Studio Build, circa 2017
Soup and Salad, by Christina Robb, March 17, 1977
"The Turtle Cafe, 1271 Cambridge St., Cambridge, served me a barley soup that was very delicately spiced and flavored with just enough salt and tomatoes that really tasted like tomato, and reminded me of rainy-day schooldays and sophisticated my palate at the same time... Most salad bartenders agree with me and base their offerings on iceberg lettuce. But for the few who want lots of flavor in their greens, and on them, the salads at the Turtle Cafe come in a fine variety."
Great American Barbecue, by the Ladies Home Journal, July 1990
"Chris Schlesinger, a Culinary Institute of America graduate, opened East Coast Grill, in Cambridge, in 1985. Originally from Virginia, Schlesinger considered his mission to spread the word to the Northeast about the difference between grilling foods and barbecuing. He spent a year sampling barbecue from Mississippi, Texas and the Carolinas before opening Jake and Earl's Dixie B-B-Q, also in Cambridge, in 1987. His new book is, 'The Thrill of the Grill'."