Throughout his career, Chef Michael Scelfo has taken time to examine his culinary perspective: if given the opportunity to take off the reins and cook for people in a restaurant of his own, what would he make? He found the answer in his own kitchen, surrounded by his wife and three children. Creating a medium in which people can connect is what Chef Scelfo excels at. By incorporating intimate elements in the design and decor and weaving family recipes into his own, Chef Scelfo has created a space in which his vision is communicated through simple, elegant dishes inspired by what he would want to eat at home with his family.
Cooking From The Heart At Alden & Harlow
At his first restaurant Alden & Harlow, Chef Michael Scelfo extended the concept of the domestic kitchen table into his first owned and operated restaurant. Located in the iconic Casablanca restaurant space in Harvard Square, Alden & Harlow pays homage to its chef's roots by making each ingredient shine, and ultimately, cooking from his heart.
The success of this formula is proven in the attention the restaurant has received. In 2014, Boston Globe restaurant critic Devra First awarded Alden & Harlow a three-star review. They were honored to be the Best New Restaurant by Boston magazine and The Improper Bostonian as well as being chosen as "The Best of the New" in the Boston Globe Sunday Magazine. Bon Appetit magazine nominated Alden & Harlow as one of 50 nominees for "America's Best New Restaurants." They were also highlighted as one of the Best Restaurants in the Northeast by Arrive magazine.
In 2015, Alden & Harlow was a semifinalist for the James Beard Foundation Awards in the Best New Restaurant category and Chef Michael Scelfo was a semifinalist in the category of Best Chef Northeast in 2016. In the 2016 Best of Boston awards, Boston magazine honored Alden & Harlow with Best Restaurant: General Excellence. In September 2016, Conde Nast Traveler named Alden & Harlow one of the "Best Restaurants in the World."
The Next Step, With More Accolades
In his Boston Globe review, Mat Schaffer wrote about Waypoint that, "...business appears to be booming. Scelfo's fans are on board for the next stage of the journey." In The New York Times, writer Jason Tesauro said Waypoint is, "vibrant enough for a happy hour pop-in, yet intimate enough for after-dark canoodling over caviar and cocktails." In January 2017, Boston Magazine awarded Waypoint a three-star review boasting, "with full-bore flavors and opulent ingredients, [Waypoint] gives pristine seafood—and everything else on the menu—the Midas touch." And in 2017, Food & Wine magazine named Waypoint one of their "Best New Restaurants."
The Culinary Journey Continues
In 2019, Scelfo opened The Longfellow Bar at Alden & Harlow above his flagship Alden & Harlow at 40 Brattle Street in Cambridge. The Longfellow Bar is a neighborhood bar and restaurant located in the historic Café Algiers in Harvard Square. The two-story space is named after famed architect Alexander Wadsworth Longfellow, who along with his business partners Frank Alden and Alfred Harlow created Brattle Hall in 1889; the updated design is inspired by Scelfo's ideal retreat to escape and explore his creativity.