So the kids are in bed, and the grandparents are babysitting, time to go out and eat. The only problem, it's a beautiful Saturday night, about 8:30 and we're hungry but have no reservations. Solution, eat at the bar.
Our third try was West Side Lounge where we haven't been for a while since our friend who lived next door moved away. Drinks were delicious and made with a flair: mojito was very minty and not too sweet, and a caipirinha was tart and strong, delicious, and watching the bartender work was a lot of fun. Two salads were fine, DC's caesar with anchovies was not very flavorful, and my "simple salad" had a delicious lemon vinaigrette over a pretty basic pile of greens. The bread came with roasted garlic in oil which was tasty but could have been better if the oil had had a more assertive olive flavor to balance the garlic. DC's mussels with a cream broth were declared delicious and every last drop of the broth was sopped up. The star of the show for me, though, was the swordfish. It was like piscine bacon: salty and crispy on top, moist in the middle. Black and green olives added just the right saltiness to the orzo underneath, with a very flavorful baby artichoke on each side. Delicious! Bread pudding for dessert with large chunks of fig and a hint of chocolate somewhere. Great bar service, attentive when required but not overly chatty, and the music wasn't too loud which has been a problem for us there in the past. Total for two with drinks and tip was just under $100.
Now WSL is sometimes on the list of ChowHound recommendations for Cambridge, but I haven't seen much about it here recently, which is a shame since the food, and in particular the fish, is excellent. Other than our swordfish and mussels, there was haddock, salmon, tuna, fish tacos, and crab cakes on the menu, about half the main courses.
Four thumbs up.