Where to Shy Bird in Kendall Square.
Why For poultry of many persuasions at breakfast, lunch, and dinner, plus interesting sandwiches, snacks, and wine in a mod but soothing diner-style space with high ceilings, pine green booths, and an open kitchen.
The backstory Shy Bird is the latest from Andrew Holden, known for Watertown’s Branch Line (another chicken hot spot) and Eastern Standard in the Fenway. Holden designed the all-day rotisserie to be “accessible and affordable,” he told the Globe; entrees are under $20, and wines by the glass are about $10.
What to eat Food that will carry you through the day. At breakfast, there are fun twists on the classic egg sandwich ($7.50 and up), served on a Portuguese bun: mushroom and cheddar with “overcooked” greens and hot sauce and fried chicken with hot honey and pepper jack, plus scrambled egg bowls with mushrooms, rotisserie chicken, or brisket ($9.50 and up). At lunch, sandwiches on Iggy’s ciabatta ($10 and up): roasted turkey and Swiss with a kicky pepper aioli crowned with cukes, a gyro filled with paper-thin lamb, tzatziki, and sweet confit tomatoes. Or live large with a half or whole chicken, served with a side of sauce — pecorino ranch, salsa verde, juniper-pepper barbecue honey mustard. At dinner, thoughtful snacks: clam toast with green olives, baked artichoke dip, rosemary black pepper fries. There’s also a chicken for two, if you’re on a date: a whole roasted bird with a green salad, sauce, and choice of side — not a bad deal at $24.50.
What to drink There’s a smart and compact cherry-red cocktail list, with drinks in the $12 range. The most intriguing offering is the Dirty Birdy, made with vodka, herb-infused brine, and dry vermouth. Offset it with salt and vinegar chips for another $3. A bottle of Pacifico Mexican lager is $4; few beers are over $10. At lunch, grab a jaunty Fentimans Mandarin and Orange Jigger from the cooler next to the cash register.
The Takeaway A stylish and welcome addition to the neighborhood, run by an industry vet. Already, it seems to be a neighborhood gathering place, with Kendall Square techies pecking away on laptops tableside and digging into hearty portions of chicken. Above the bar, there is a saying: “The shy are frequently thoughtful.”
Shy Bird, 1 Broadway, Cambridge, 617-714-4200, www.shybird.com