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Pomodoro in Brookline, What Gives ?

  • r

I've pretty much decided to avoid this restaurant. No, it is not the food - it's actually rather decent although nothing surprising; it has to do with the atmosphere, set by the woman who I was told was the owner (heavyset, light brown hair).
I have dined there about 5 or 6 times ,and on one occasion (Mother's Day) during a very busy brunch witnessed this woman screaming at a young girl that she would punch her in the head.
Another evening, saw this same woman grab our waiter by the arms and shove him. and I don't mean a little nudge. I'm not sure why, I do know he was giving us very good service.
On yet another occasion while my group was waiting to be seated (we had already been waiting over a half hour past our reservation time, and other guests told us they had been waiting as well), this woman was trying to pass through a rather tight group of people. Rather than graciously saying "Excuse me" or someting similar, she turned to this woman with the bitter expression and yells "Get out of my way" .
I was once in this business, and do understand its pressures, as well as how things can go wrong -ie failure to seat on time, errors made by staff, choppy nights in general - what I cannot understand is how this woman, ESPECIALLY if she is the owner, believes that this sort of behavior is remotely professional or how it is conducive to a pleasant experience for the customers - and I can't bear to imagine how it must be to be under her employ.
I've mentioned these experiences to other people when the subject of restaurants comes about - sadly there have been a number of similar experiences in which people have witnessed/experienced the histrionics.I say sadly because the food is actually good, the room is(small but ) beautiful and otherwise comfortable to be in, and the servers and bartenders are lovely and do give good service - just her presence puts such a damper on the overall effect......

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  1. I had a similar experience. The proprietor lady physically pushed a woman in my party because we weren't moving fast enough out the door - she was in a snit to turn over the table.

    4 Replies
    1. re: FoonFan

      I really don't understand how can you find the food "good" at Pomodoros in Brookline. I've been once and it was the last for sure..

      1. re: crispy

        I have been there once and I definitely noticed the owner's attitude in the 20 minutes that we were waiting for our table. It was a Friday night and the restaurant was quite busy - but that is no excuse to treat customers with disrespect. I do not plan on going back to this restaurant - the food was "OK" but not worth the attitude.

        1. re: mag7580
          Sugar the Cat

          Pretty tough to believe this resto will last that long with that type of attitude. I have had several good meals at the North End location. Perhaps the presure of shuttling between two spots is too much, this does not however rationalize mistreatment of patrons or staff. This woman will eventually pay the price for her surly attitude, be it with a lack of patrons or a physical assault

          1. re: Sugar the Cat

            This woman has had this attitude for years. I remember it from her North End location where she always had her little kids with her in the restaurant. They never seemed too happy about it. Just drips with an "I don't want to be here vibe." Though she's more than happy to take your money.

            Amazingly, this hasn't stopped her from expanding to a second location. But even by Boston standards her service is abyssmal.

            The tragedy of it all is that I still find myself craving the chicken carbonara from the North End location. Easilly the best I have ever had.

            My wife and I really had liked the place but eventually gave up on it. The foods good. But not good enough continue to stomach her.

            If it's true that she confines herself to the Brookline location then I will give the Hanover street spot another chance -- being careful to look in the door to see if she's there first.

    2. I have to say that my experience has been the opposite. I've gone there about 4-5 times since it opened in Brookline, and not only has the food been wonderful, and the staff great, but even the owner has been lovely to us. I've heard stories about how "awful" she is, but I've never seen this firsthand. I have noticed, however, that she doesn't take crap from anyone. I don't hold that against her.

      1 Reply
      1. re: kbee

        I am another patron who will never be back. The owner does seem very friendly to her regulars. Well it must be nice to be one of them....

        I did enjoy the food, but having her be so disrepectful to us and other patrons - the whole experience made my jaw drop. It's just not worth it. Why would I want to subject myself and my friends to that?

        We had a reservation but had to wait for our table. They pushed the drink menu on us twice. I don't have a problem with that. Later I hear her loudly tell her wait staff to put off seating another table (while the table was ready) to push some drinks first. Is this typical in the restaurant business? I just didn't need to hear that.

        Our waitress seemed to be just going through the motions and not really thinking.

      2. isn't she the former mrs. matt murphy, owner of matt murphy's also?

        1 Reply
        1. I thought I was the only one who really witnessed this woman's total disregard and contempt toward her customers, and ultimately, her family. For this reason I had stopped going to Matt Murphy's, even though I thought they had the best potato leek soup. I'm not sure how or why she gets away with it, but I decided a few years ago to not take her abuse, and to not give her my money. Too bad, I liked the North End Pomodoro.

          1. I've seen her in action too, she is the worst and I will not go back.

            1. WOW. I had a horrible experience at this place recently. Now I know what people here are talking about. There is a woman on staff here (not the owner) who is emotionally unstable. Can't recommend this place any more.

              1. The balsamic vineger veal with the olive risotto at Pomodoro in the North End is one of the best dishes I've ever had - outstanding. Pomodoro in the North End and Matt Murphy's are two excellent restaurants - I'm not a fan of the upscale style of the Brookline Pomodoro and prefer the North End's menu. However, it's all true, the owner is unbearable, although I think she now stays mostly in Brookline between the Brookline Pomodoro and Matt Murphy's. Once I was at Pomodoro in the North End on a lazy Sunday afternoon several years ago and, not only did the owner make her then 6 year old daughter (no exaggeration - she had trouble lifting the water pitcher) wait on our table, but she wouldn't speak to us when her daughter clearly couldn't comprehend our order. I think she said "your waitress will take your order" when we tried to explain to her that her daughter was too young for the job and instead we had to slowly re-communicate our order to her daughter as best we could. My out of town friends still laugh about the experience because of how ridiculous it was. She also regularly ignores waiting patrons and basically has a "you'll get what I give you" attitude regarding your food and where you're sitting - which often is right in front of the door in the North End. I've also been hustled out through the Kitchen and into the side alley after dinner was over because she's blocked the front door. She really does a poor job of managing every aspect of her restaurant except the food. It doesn't mean I won't eat there again, it's just too bad her attitude and approach take away from some outstanding food.

                1. I have never written a review before, however after this appalling experience I was compelled to warn others regarding Pomodoro (North End).

                  My boyfriend and I, spent four days in Boston (Aug. 16 - 19 , 2014) and thought it would be a great idea to dine at a romantic restaurant. We made a reservation at Pomodoro for 8:30 pm Saturday night. Upon arriving, there was a group of ladies outside of the restaurant who warned us of the hostess' rudeness. They too had made reservations.

                  After entering Pomodoro, we were placed at the side-by-side seating facing the sidewalk...not very romantic, but we wanted to make the best of things. As we were waiting to be served, we noticed other people outside being treated very badly by the hostess. She had a sour look on her face and kept on barking at new patrants to wait outside.

                  We politely asked for water. When it arrived, I said "thank you", to which the hostess replied sarcastically "Yeah sure...".

                  I was shocked and thought that maybe I had misheard her. I have never been treated like this before, so this was all new to me.
                  As dinner was started, my boyfriend noticed another smaller, blond waitress next to him cleaning a table. He commented to her that the brunette hostess was acting rude to several customers. (We later found out that the brunette hostess was infact the owner). She nodded her head, smiled and walked away. Not one minute later, the brunette hostess walked to our table and accosted us. "Did you tell my friend that I was rude???". My boyfriend politely nodded and confirmed that he did. "I was nothing but nice to you - get the F-CK out", she said. My boyfriend tried to calm the situation, however she was set on kicking us out. She yanked away our plates. We left in a confused, shocked state.

                  Never in our lives have we been treated this badly at any establishment and we are frequent travellers. The lady must have been raised in a pig sty, but that is being rude to pigs.

                  After reading other patrons share their experience on the internet of being ill treated at this restaurant, it's nice to know we are not alone.

                  Otto's pizza and Trader Joe's wine saved our date night.

                  1. The woman that owns the place once had me wait for a table, then seated a walk in with the same number of people, while I was standing right there and expected me to continue to wait. I left. She is absolutly crazy. needs to stay out of the front of house. And while the food in generally great, the value is not.