Restaurants

The Dial debuts in Central Square with globally-inspired plates and a spacious patio

Meet the Cambridge newcomer opening this week.

The Dial
The Dial opens on September 23. Brian Samuels Photography

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International travel is on hold for most of us for the foreseeable future, but could a new Cambridge restaurant touting fare from around the world curb that travel itch — at least for a meal or two?

The Dial is scheduled to open within Central Square’s new boutique hotel, 907 Main, on Wednesday, offering lunch, dinner, and Sunday brunch, with breakfast coming soon. Options are available for those in search of both indoor and outdoor dining: The eclectic indoor dining room features touches of hot pink and green alongside floral print murals, while a spacious outdoor patio tucked behind the restaurant provides plenty of open-air space to eat.

The dining room at The Dial

The dining room at The Dial.

At The Dial’s helm is chef Justin Urso (Catalyst, Chattam Bars Inn), who designed a menu that takes inspiration from around the world: dishes like pork tamales, tandoori chicken, moqueca, kinilaw, and falafel sandwiches.

“We’ve kind of taken that approach of — I don’t want to say new, because obviously these are all traditional dishes in their own respect — but they’re kind of new profiles that you don’t see that much of in Boston or Central Square,” Urso told Boston.com. He said the jerk quail, which diners can find on the dinner menu, is one of his favorite dishes and is inspired by his time spent living in a Caribbean neighborhood of New York City.

Moqueca at The Dial

Moqueca at The Dial.

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During Sunday brunch, shakshuka, chilaquiles, stuffed crepes, and brunch carbonara will grace the menu, alongside small plates like golfeados (Venezuelan sticky buns) and Colombian buñuelos, or fried cheese fritters.

This is the third time that Urso has worked at a hotel, and while he’s used to crafting a separate room service program, The Dial’s take will be slightly different.

“Instead of doing traditional room service, what we decided to do at the Dial and 907 is to create a to-go program, so that you’re not getting a different experience in your room as you are at the restaurant,” he said. “The food is exactly the same that you would be getting in our restaurant, it’s all just packaged to go. That was something we were planning to do pre-COVID — and then obviously with everything that has happened, it certainly has come more to the forefront of our strategy.”

In addition to offering New England-based beer and wines from around the world, bar manager Courtney Nunheimer has developed a cocktail menu divided into three sections: 907 Classic Cocktails, What We Like, and Globally Inspired. Confectioners Row Manhattan, one of the 907 Classic Cocktails, riffs on the classic Manhattan by using cacao-infused Rittenhouse rye, Pedro Ximenez sherry, and chocolate bitters, and dons a miniature Tootsie Pop as a garnish. Nunheimer calls it “a tip of the hat to our street’s history,” referring to Cambridge’s Confectioner’s Row.

Opening at a later date is Blue Owl, 907 Main’s rooftop bar and terrace that will highlight global street food — “Basically, if you walk out of a bar at 2, 3 a.m. anywhere in the world, what are you looking to eat?” Urso said — and a 50-plus-deep cocktail list.

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The Dial

Courtney Nunheimer leads the cocktail program at The Dial.

“The Blue Owl has been my personal favorite program to work on,” Nunheimer told Boston.com. “It’s definitely one of the biggest menus I have curated, but once you see the whole thing come together, it’s really something quite remarkable.”

Cocktails will be broken down into categories like classics, sours, swizzles, smashes, fizzes, tiki + frozens, and large format drinks, alongside beer and wine. Look for the “Wicked Blue Owl,” a drink included in the “tiki + frozens” section featuring Nigori sake, Flor de Cana rum, Combier Le Blue, pineapple, ginger, citrus, and tiki bitters — a refreshing libation that would go well with Blue Owl’s skewers, noodle bowls, and other snacks.

In addition to The Dial and, eventually, Blue Owl, 907 Main will also be home to Cambridge’s beloved Toscanini’s Ice Cream and a second location of Belmont bakery Praliné French Patisserie.

Reservations for The Dial are currently available.

The Dial; 907 Main St., Cambridge; Dining room: Mondays — Thursdays from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.; Sundays from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Patio: Daily 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.; thedialcentralsq.com

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