This is a place where Stromboli is called…
Where Vietnamese Noodles are…
“Bun gha nuong”
And where ordering zucchini fritters takes practice.
“Kolokefides, Kolokefides, Kolokefides.”
It takes people a while to get that pronunciation down.”
And while the names of the dishes may be a mouthful….
You’ll certainly want to make your mouth FULL at The Dial.
New to Central Square in Cambridge, The Dial is a sophisticated spot with a fun, inviting bar, stunning dining room, and a patio out back for when the weather is nice.
And Executive Chef Justin Urso has created a menu that takes your taste buds on a world tour.
“The Dial is an eclectic, global restaurant. We have dishes from all over the world. You name the country, we have a dish from it. There’s always something for everyone on our menu, whether you’re in the mood for something Latin, something Asian, something Indian, something Italian. We have all your bases covered here at The Dial.”
But crafting a menu that would do the concept justice wasn’t easy.
“This concept was certainly a challenge when I first undertook it. But I’ve really love the freedom that a global concept allows. The process of researching and learning about different cuisines was enlightening.”
There are many dining destinations you can visit when ordering appetizers…
You can take your tastebuds to Tokyo for some Tuna Tataki served with ponzu, pickled mushrooms, fresh scallions and sesame seeds.
Or take your meal by way of India with some Chana Chaat.
“So the Chana chat is a chilled chickpea salad, served with a tamarind vinaigrette, cumin yogurt and crisp chickpeas, as well as a chickpea flour cracker. You get a nice tang from the tamarind glaze. There’s a nice richness from the yogurt as well as to so some bright acidity from some tomatoes and cucumbers that are in the salad as well.”
For a bit of Italy, try the Scaccia Ragusana, which is just a fancy word for Sicilian Stromboli.
“It’s a semolina dough that’s rolled around caciocavallo cheese and fried eggplant with a little bit of tomato sauce, and then baked in the oven. We then… griddle it on our flattop before serving it on a bed of pomodoro sauce and a little bit of fresh basil. You get the fresh tomato sauce. You get a crunch from the fried eggplant and the crispy semolina dough. And lastly, just a little bit of cheese. It’s delicious.”
There are tender pomegranate glazed lamb ribs with an Egyptian cashew and spice blend. And representing Mexico are these outstanding Flautas.
“When you first bite on the flautas, you get a little crunch from the corn tortilla. The filling is really rich, it’s made from potatoes and butter with a little bit of cilantro. The salsa Roja has some charred fresh chilies and a little bit of tomato sauce so you get a little bit of spice and kick from the salsa Roja.”
And while Kolokefides may be hard to say- these Greek Zucchini fritters served with tzatziki are easy to eat.
“They come out piping hot. They’re nice and crispy on the outside a really rich, creamy center, and then a nice cool yogurt dip. Definitely must try on the menu.”
Interestingly, The Dial’s menu has a whole section dedicated to noodles.
“The noodle section is one of my favorite sections on the menu. We have three very unique different noodles on there. We try to have one that’s a little bit of a ragu. So that would be our tagliatelle pasta. One that is a filled pasta, which is our shish barak, which is a filled pasta from Lebanon and then lastly we have the bun ga nuong which is a chilled Vietnamese rice noodle dish.”
There’s also a juicy South African Piri Piri Chicken and a flavor packed lamb merguez burger.
“The Lamb burger is a burger you must try. When you bite into the lamb burger you get a little bit of spice from the merguez, some richness from the whipped feta some acidity from the pickled red onions, and some freshness from the cucumber.”
And Mexican food fanatics will find the carne asada spot on.
“Our carne asada is fantastic. We’ve had people from both Mexico and Southern California say it’s the best that they’ve had they’ve ever had.”
On the weekend, The Dial offers brunch- with dishes like Shakshuka served with crunchy bread and a surprising, but sensational brunch carbonara.
“Carbonara on your breakfast menu seems odd, but it’s actually the perfect dish to have for brunch. The guanciale is very similar to bacon and the sauce for carbonara is made with egg yolk so why not serve it for brunch.”
And if you want to drink your weekend away, a bucket of bubbles is a must. Served with your choice of three mixers, and some bubbly, it’s the ultimate way to start your Saturday or Sunday.
“It’s definitely a showstopper to have on your table. Everybody asks about the bubbles.”
And whether it’s brunch, lunch, or dinner, the team at The Dial makes you want to feel at home- even if your home is halfway across the world.
“What’s most rewarding is when we have a dish on the menu that is from another country and somebody is visiting us and they see a dish on the menu. They eat it and they say that it reminds them of home. There’s nothing more rewarding than that.”