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Report on Tempo, Waltham

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Recently visited for the first time and had a so-so experience. The large space was nearly empty - just a couple of tables taken and a cluster of patrons at the bar watching a game.

We had:

- Salad with poached pears, gorgonzola, greens and pistachios. This was the meal's highlight - lots of soft, cinnamony pears (3 or 4 halves), and the sharp cheese and rich nuts kept it interesting.

- Salad with spinach, tomato, bacon and molasses vinaigrette. No discernable molasses flavor in the dressing, only a light scattering of diced tomatoes. Oddly, this salad was half the size of the other. Upshot: boring.

- Special of haddock, mussels and clams in a white wine sauce, with sides of corn and turnip. This arrived somewhat dried out: like they'd been holding it for a while. Only 2 clams on the plate. Simple, pureed turnip was delicious.

- Blueberry cobbler. Loved that they warmed this through. Crust was nicely buttery, though a bit thin and soggy. Lots of wild blueberries and an enjoyable brown sugar topping.

The service, while very efficient, was off-putting. Actually, the efficiency managed to be part of the problem. Our waiter gave the impression that he really didn't want to be there, but was gritting his teeth through the whole evening, getting through it as fast and with as little face time as he could in order to secure a good tip. Maybe this service issue was just one guy having an off-night, as the server at the adjacent table was perfectly warm and seemed to be very much interested her guests' experience.

With a glass of wine, our check came to $57 pre-tip.

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