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Jan 8, 2007 04:33 AM

Legal Seafoods- So ever poor

I have to admit, Legal has been my favorite restaurant for seafood since the first small place run by George Berkowitz opened its doors in Inman Square. In the early 70's, we used to go almost weekly. How tragic that it has now failed me more often than satisfied me.

Last two visits- the first in the Copley Place location. Oysters great as usual. The fried calamari sat in oil, and cold. So far ok, until a waitress off duty sat two seats away from me and my wife. I had to hear about the "deuce that f...ed" her over with a lousy tip. The waitrons on duty then started to congregate, each with a litany of complaints, obscenities and graphic descriptions of customers that they waited on. We paid, left 15%, and did not have the rest of our meal.

Second meal, Peabody location, much worse.

Qysters again awesome. Tuna sashii awful. with a liquid smoke taste that was inedible. Sent back. Beer good and cold. Famous mojito lim[, watery, with old mint and rotting sugar cane. We drank them.

My 78 yr old mother had the grilled fish combo. Waitress informed her that she could not choose the seafood selection. OK said she. Fish overcooked, mashed potatoes like school paste. Kept it.

This used to be the only place to get bluefish. No more. Off taste, way overcooked, and the mustard sauce missing.

My wifes 46.95 baked stuffed lobster. Edible, but not much more. The meat in the claws so overcooked that they had fused with the shell. The dressing was cold near the back of the lobster. Drawn butter never arrived.

Fried clams cold. Were they warm, I think that they would have been good.

Now for the climax- how hard is it to make an Irish Coffee? My mother still remembers them at the Buena Vista in SF, and asked for one. It came with no whipped cream. "No problem" said our waitress, and proceeded to bring out a can of whipped topping, shake it up, and put the last several molecules left on the coffee. Shards of cream went on the table. Well, at least we got the cream. But the taste of the coffee- it was salty. The bartender had dipped the rim in salt. "Happens", said our waitress. They are next to each other, apparently.

My 7 year old wants the same ice cream that the folks at the next table got. Time passes. Restaurant seems to be emptying. "No ice cream. It all melted" We got the check and paid, 15%, and left, never, after 36 years and hundreds of meals, ever to return again.

Too bad. They have great oysters and a killer wine list that is remarkably affordable.

If George could have only seen what was going on in his namesake restaurant. Maybe Roger cares, but who would know. Posted on chains board as well

posted by aadesmd 2 minutes ago

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    1. We had a disappointing experience at the Legal in the Prudential Center on Saturday. It was actually our first visit to a Legal, after all the years of hearing about it and thinking we should try it, but of course reading the cautionary tales on this board. But we were at the Pru with a friend who was visiting from Toronto, it was lunchtime, and we thought, what the heck, we ought to have at least one Legal Seafood experience.

      And we will have only one. It was not terrible, but there are so many other good restaurants here that we have no reason to go back and get mediocre food.

      1. Sorry to hear of the bad experience. I hope that you've conveyed this to Roger Berkowitz.
        As concierge, we send guests to Legal. No complaints so far. But our favorites in the area are Skipjack's and Atlantic Fish Co. We get good reviews for these. SJ's has a professional wait-staff that makes a big difference. And my last visit to Legal--Park Sq---was decent food presented by a well-meaning, and obviously amature wait-staff.

        1 Reply
        1. re: lorpa

          We have dumped Legal for Skipjacks. Legal is inconsistent - to say the least. In Framingham, the waiter was rude and sales-y and made us feel guilty for not choosing an expensive wine. That was our last visit.

        2. Folks, please feel free to share your thoughts on your experiences at LOCAL outposts of the Legal seafoods chain, but for general comments on the menu or chain in general, please use the Chains board. Thanks.

          1. Sorry to hear. we eat at the Legal in Chestnut HIll and Route 9 in Framingham very frequently and have never, ever had a bd meal or a bad dish. Also, we are warmly greeted and get great service. Maybe these two branches are an exception. We were there friday and had delicious oysters, the mixed greens with tomato balsamic an crumbled blue cheese was fresh and very tasty as usual, Fish and chips and sole with capers and lemon excellent. You should communicate to the managment.

            1 Reply
            1. re: emilief

              i had the worst service of my life at the chestnut hill legal's. i should have known better than to go in when i passed by the large group of the waitstaff gaggling (loudly)outside smoking cigarettes. amateur service with boring food. oysters there are good, but how do you screw that up?

              one good thing about legal's though is that they have excellent prices for their wines. they have so many restaurants to supply that they can buy wine in bulk so even with a mark-up it's a great deal for the customers.