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Marliave 1/30/09

Wow. I have to tell you, I'm amazed I'm reading this. My wife, a friend and I went to Marliave last night, the 30th, and had the complete opposite experience. We got to the restaurant at 7 and were seated promptly upstairs. The hostess apologized that they were out of menus and it would be a few minutes. Well, it was 10 minutes before menus arrived, and the server who dropped off the menus was gone before we could order a drink. We waited another 10 minutes, until another server came by and we asked for a glass of wine and a cocktail list. Again, we waited. We watched food coming out of the kitchen, drinks being served, but we were left all but ignored. After 45 minutes we left. No drinks. No one took a food order. The one server I asked about the oysters couldn't explain them to me.
When we left the hostess was apologetic, as was one of the servers, but we'd had enough. The service was a total mess. Everyone seemed mildly frantic. They had more people running food than I could count, but it didn't' seem like there was any sort of organization of the dining room. I was really disappointed. I know it's early, but it's going to be hard to get that taste out of my mouth.

I will say the food looked great as it passed by our table, but the service was a complete and utter trainwreck.

In the end we ended up at Neptune Oyster where we were seated in less time than we spent at Marliave with a table, had a wonderful meal with wonderful service.

Where to buy duck fat

Last time I was looking, the only place that carried any was the Butcher Shop in the South End.

Help a Boston Hound Plan One Dinner

I have to say I've been over and over the San Francisco board for days now, and I gotta start out by giving you guys serious props. I admire how thorough and passionate the discussions are on this board. I can't wait to try some of this great chow.

Now, the details: my wife and I are in-town, staying at the Westin St. Francis, this coming monday, May 26th. It's short notice, I know, so reservations might be tough. For all I've looked over your board, I just can't make up my mind.

We'll have a car, but prefer to use public transportation. We have reservations at Bourbon and Branch at 9 pm. Should we be looking for something in that part of town?

Price-wise, we'd prefer something moderate-expensive.

Our criteria: style of cuisine doesn't matter much that much. We love 'American' bistros, latin restaurants, red sauce Italian joints, places that specialize in local fare.

Most of all we prefer places low on pretense, with great drinks/wine/beer. Low key places where the staff and other diners interact easily. Nothing too stuffy.

To give you a better idea of what might work, here are some of the places I've looked at that have looked intriguing: Firefly, Delfina, Salt House, Bacco, Canteen, First Crush--but never having been to any of these places, I can't judge.

What do you think? Can you direct me to a great meal?

Thanks, in advance everybody.

Birthday Dinner for 8?

What about the Gaslight? Could that work for a group of 8?

Again, it's not a place we've been, but it sounds like it would be just up our alley.

Birthday Dinner for 8?

Hey folks,
I'm back asking for another recommendation: this saturday is my wife's birthday. We've got guests coming in from out of town, so our quiet romantic evening has been put on hold.

Some of our favorites: the Blue Room, Neptune, Toro, the Butcher Shop, ECG, Delux, the B-Side.

Our problem is that the places we love tend to smaller, and might have a hard time accommodating such a large group, at such short notice?

Any suggestions on places in Boston that would have the same kind of intimate atmosphere but could easily accommodate us?

I was thinking maybe Eastern Standard, but we haven't been.

Help me out hounds. And as always thanks a million.

Dumb Question: Blue Room or the Palm?

Just to clarify, I just found out about the Palm reservations. Not made by me. I made the Blue Room reservations. I'm looking to cancel one ASAP.

Dumb Question: Blue Room or the Palm?

I've got four college friends coming into town tonight. I'm the food snob of the bunch, but they all love to eat. We have reservations at both places.
These guys usually wind up going to chain restaurants when they travel. I've never been to the Blue Room, but have been dying to.
Steak seems like the safer choice, but help me out here.
What do you guys think? Where should I be taking them?

Need Someplace New, Different: Suggestions?

My birthday is coming up in a few weeks, and my wife and I are in search of some place new and we're not feeling very inspired. I was hoping some of you might make a few suggestions.

Our criteria: Cost isn't an issue, but we prefer places low on pretense, with great drinks/wine/beer, and of course, great food. Right now, we're cuisine doesn't matter much, although we've really been on an Asian food binge so we'd prefer not to go Asian. Preferably within 15 miles of Boston.

To give you a better idea of what we're looking for, here are some of our Favorites: East Coast Grill, Neptune Oyster, the Publick House (Brookline), the Garden at the Cellar, Perdix (gone, sadly), the Butcher Shop, Dali, Sapporo (Newton Centre).

I know this seems general, but maybe this is why we're having such a hard time.

Anything you folks could suggest?