Boston Professors Dish on Best Eats
by sara cravatts
Take a study break with a white, milk, or dark chocolate frappe from L.A. Burdick.
Some of the area’s sharpest minds have palates as sophisticated as their reading lists and academic theories. Professors from Harvard University, MIT, Bentley University, and Wellesley College share where they go to feed both brain and soul.
MIT, professor of civil and environmental engineering
Roman Stocker is a fan of Oleana, a Mediterranean spot where dishes like chickpea terrine with apricots and pistachios as well as grilled octopus carpaccio lead the offerings. His go-to dinner is the Tamarick Tunis lamb, and he especially enjoys the patio, which he says “feels miles away from the bustling city”—and campus concerns, of course. 134 Hampshire St., Cambridge, 617-661-0505
Wellesley College, assistant professor of Africana studies
On a search for antipasti, Donna A. Patterson discovered the casual eatery Alta Strada, which offers a sit-down menu filled with delicious Italian delicacies, as well as a to-go market with prepared dishes that Patterson grabs between office hours and classes. Her favorite? The classic spaghettini aglio e olio con pomodoro, which she describes as “flavorful and wellprepared.” 92 Central St., Wellesley, 781-237- 6100
CARLA D. MARTIN
Harvard University, postdoctoral Harvard College fellow
Carla Martin researches and teaches about the intersection of chocolate and food politics, so she chooses her meals like it’s her job. Martin has studied the menu at chocolate café L.A. Burdick for a decade and concludes, “The Harvard Square is the fudgiest brownie cake one could imagine, and the dark chocolate frappe will put your life in perspective.” 52 Brattle St., Cambridge, 617-491-4340
Bentley University, professor of marketing
Lured in by the converted firehouse exterior and rave reviews, Ian Cross has become a regular at Belmont’s Il Casale. He usually opts for a few small plates, such as the bruschetta, arancini, or creamy burrata. He loves the pea ravioli when it’s in season. “I’m English, so any item with English peas in it has to be good.” Another plus? “I rarely see my students there!” 50 Leonard St., Belmont, 617-209-4942
photography courtesy of l.a. burdick (frappe)