For CHs and visitors who have not tried both A4 and Area Four, and are thinking of going, I thought I might briefly write up their differences, as regards dining in ( not take-out.) We live alot closer to A4, and have been there ~weekly the last 2 months; and we just had our first dinner at Area Four this week. Which is to say- many of you have visited either/both much more than I, so plse chime in !
A4, Somerville Ave., outskirts Union Sq.,Somerville:
Very funky decor and space, small and intimate (~12 table seats; ~18 bar and counter seats); AC; Friendly, welcoming seasoned servers; family-like closeness of small staff ; Efficient kitchen; Very fast service; Top notch pizza w/ thin tangy crust, terrific sauce, many artisinal toppings; Creative Salads and Veggie side plates; fairly easy street parking. Some foursomes but mostly twosomes.So casual, you could prob show up in your jammies and no one would mind.
Cramped spacing; Very loud; Limited bar, not full liquor license; only open for dinner; bathroom is tiny and awkward . No non-pizza protein entrees; Limited pizza toppings; only small pizza, no large. ( For the value conscious, this means that, because the crust edge is unusually wide, the ratio of sauce and toppings is much smaller on a small pizza than on a large;ex.~ $16 small vs. ~$24 large at Area 4 only)
Area Four, Tech Sq.,Main St,Cambridge, between Central and Kendall Sq.
Pluses: Open Lunch and Dinner; Large modern sleek space with glass window walls, multiple bar and dining spaces as well as some especially peaceful outdoor seating looking onto lovely lawn park (very rare in Boston.) Unlike the interior, the patio is quiet and conversation-friendly. Multiple bathrooms, large and clean though not always well stocked. AC. Efficient kitchen. Same stellar pizza as A4; large pizza option, w/ commensurate value. Three or four non-pizza entrees, well prepared and fairly proportioned. Additional salads and desserts. Full bar. Active gathering place for co-workers and friends; decidedly multi-cultural and young. Fairly easy street parking, especially after 5pm; garage parking as well.Five minute walk to Toscanini!
Likely one of the loudest restaurants in the city; Top heavy on idle management while some maintenance goes unattended. Dinner traffic flow is poorly conceived; people wait for take-out orders in the same space they wait to be seated- just inside the front door, thus blocking entrance and egress. Greeters are friendly but perfunctory; with such large crowds, it's easy to feel more like a cog. Servers friendly but some with limited experience.
Plse add your take on these spots!