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The Tempo Restaurant - Waltham

Just when you thought the restaurant scene on Moody Street couldn't get any better then along comes Tempo serving up contemporary American cuisine.
The restaurant offers some of the best live jazz in town Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights.  When the restaurant opened in March 2004 to much acclaim (where else could you find the J. Geils Band playing jazz and blues guitar?), its hot reputation certainly had quite a bit to live up to but after a year in business, it is clear Tempo has found the perfect niche.
Owner Nathan Sigel has created a sleek, modern atmosphere with décor done in warm golds and soft greens with accents of various wood tones and burgundy.  Having dined on "Restaurant Row" in Waltham frequently, Sigel soon realized what the street lacked was an American concept to complete the diversity of its already established ethnic offerings.
Tempo is simply stated elegance in a casual atmosphere.  (The interior is not reminiscent of a suburban look but rather has the feel of an upscale dining establishment in Boston).  When you first walk into Tempo, you should order a drink at the large bar set to the left.  With over 150 wines available (and 75 under $40), you can select either a glass or bottle to start the evening off right.  For a non-alcoholic drink, be sure to try their signature Yerba Mate house special tea, the traditional tea of South America, which is noted for its health and nutritional benefits. 
The lunch menu features grilled pizzas, featuring not your average toppings such as garlic shrimp, asparagus and roasted tomatoes.  The specialty here is the Kobe beef burgers, which simply melt in your mouth.  For the lighter fare, Tempo offers a range of salads from the classic Caesar to a roasted asparagus salad with prosciutto and shaved parmesan. 
We started our evening with a sampling of the Asian style lobster fresh roll, a tasty treat served with cilantro Chile dipping sauce, the perfect complement.  The Caribbean spiced chicken tenders were crispy and served with a creamy buttermilk blue cheese dipping sauce.
We also sampled the grilled Caesar salad, which we are now addicted to, another signature dish where the lettuce is actually put on the grill for a few minutes and served with a creamy dressing and garlic croutons. 
For our main entrees, we tried the crispy-skinned wild salmon and natural raised 16 ounce New York sirloin, which were both excellent.  The salmon arrived with a polenta cake and sautéed greens while my husband's steak was accompanied by a mashed potato cake and asparagus.  Other entrees included a porterhouse veal chop, South American spice rubbed pork tenderloin, fusilli Bolognese, braised short ribs, toasted almond and panko encrusted chicken breast and pan-roasted spicy whole lobster.
Desserts here should absolutely not be missed.  Their signature specialty, a smores ice cream sandwich with creamy marshmallow sits prominently between two chewy graham cracker cookies with chocolate ganache layered in between.  Drizzled on top is a generous amount of Bailey's chocolate sauce. 
For more information or to book a call-ahead seating, contact Tempo directly at (781) 891-9000.

474 Moody Street
Waltham, MA

Phone: 781-891-9000

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Kellie Speed - Click to enlarge

Kellie K. Speed is a freelance travel writer and restaurant reviewer. Her features have been published in various publications including The Boston Globe, Cahners’ Industrial Distribution and Graphic Arts Monthly magazines and Reno Air Approach.

Kellie has reviewed numerous first-class hotels and travel destinations, including Hawaii, California, Arizona, Bermuda and Mexico, to name a few. She has also traveled internationally to Ireland, England, France, Germany, Belgium and the Czech Republic. Next year, she is planning a trip to Tahiti.

Since she is from Massachusetts, she will be providing reviews of local restaurants for Travel-Watch.

If you would like to email Kellie any suggestions or comments, please do so at


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