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This Cambridge cafe is the only Mass. eatery to be on The New York Times 2021 Restaurant List

This Cambridge cafe is the only Mass. eatery to be on The New York Times 2021 Restaurant List

Want some decadent cakes or Middle Eastern delights? The New York Times recognized a local cafe and bakery that may have what youre looking for.

Sofra Bakery & Cafe, on the border of Cambridge and Watertown, made The New York Times 2021 Restaurant List, a ranked list of 50 of the country's most vibrant and delicious eateries. The article, which was published Tuesday, stated that the Times sent reporters, critics, and editors from the Food desk to scout restaurants across the country, eventually reducing the list down to the 50.

The most important piece of advice reporter Priya Krishna gave for dining at Sofra? Come early and order everything. Wed call it a review on the site.

Sofra, a Turkish word that roughly translates to picnic, offers varying Middle Eastern cuisines, including dishes from Turkey, Lebanon, and Greece. The Times cited the Turkish-style baba ghanoush, made with eggplant, peppers, and tomato, as well as the muhammara dip, which is made from red pepper and walnut pure, for its two standouts.

The real star of the cafe, though, according to The Times, are the pastries, prepared by executive pastry chef and co-owner Maura Kilpatrick. The doughnuts covered in a tahini brown butter custard filling and the date turmeric cinnamon rolls, served with whipped cream cheese frosting, are two of the must-try sweet treats.

Nothing is cloying, and the chef [and co-owner] Ana Sortun and her team put the utmost care into perfecting each element, down to the freshly milled grains, Krishna wrote.

According to the restaurants website, Sofra also sells spices, specialty foods, and granola and nuts made in house from the shop artisanal arm.

Sortun and Kilpatrick, who helm the Oleana Restaurant Group, have designed Sofra as their culinary vision. In 2001, the celebrated Oleana Restaurant, near Inman Square in Cambridge, opened, and Sofra followed in 2008.

In 2016, the couple released a cookbook detailing how to make Sofras delicacies, many of which are prepared using produce from Siena Farms Farm, whose owners are sortund husband.

The only other New England restaurant on The New York Times list was Cng T Bt in Portland, Maine, which serves a menu of Vietnamese favorites.

Dana Gerber can be reached at

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