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Apr 14, 2007 04:56 AM

51 Lincoln quite good

We had dinner at 51 Lincoln and it was excellent. The service was very attentive, if a smidgen fast. However, when asked to be sure not to rush us, they slowed down just enough to make the evening very well paced, and then they left us alone to talk. The salads were very frest, and the watermelon steak quite different. I enjoyed the lightness of the roast tilapia, and everyone else cleaned their plates having eaten steak, pork chops and duck. We had ice cream or sorbet for dessert. All was delcious, my only complaint was that the bread was not outstanding, but it was not acceptable. All in all a very good evening and we would return. The house staff were very welcoming.

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  1. Also happy to report a good meal there. Only complaint was that the bathrooms were ARCTIC!!! Great appetizer (calamari), great entrees (scallops) great buzz. Liked it. Also loved the roast garlic and olive oil that was served with the bread.

    1. I love that watermelon steak, and I'm glad to hear he's brought it over from The Met Club. Sounds like a gimmick, tastes like a revelation (and I don't even like watermelon that much fresh).

      2 Replies
      1. re: tatamagouche

        It is an amazing dish, almost alchemical: I don't have much use for fresh watermelon, but this thing doesn't resemble the raw fruit at all. According to Schaffer's recent Herald rave, it's braised in sherry before searing (though on one visit, my waiter couldn't answer the simplest questions about how anything was prepared).

        51 Lincoln reminds me of La Morra in its early days: gifted first-time chef/owner without a clue how to run the front of the house, dinner often a Keystone Kops-like spectacle of service ineptitude. I sure hope they get that straightened out; Fournier's food deserves better.

        1. re: MC Slim JB

          i have been a fan of chef jeff fournier's since he was at sophia's. thankfully some of his liquor and food pairings have made it to 51 lincoln. the limoncello & scallop is amazing. i think the room is really welcoming, but i was not a fan of the person than answered the phone and could not give me directions from the Mass Pike, and only knew "95". I think that Jeff is smart enough to pull thru in the FOH and the 51 lincoln will last.

      2. We had a 6PM reservation, and were quickly shown to our table against the wall... but as the place filled, it seemed more like the table was under the green light in the middle of Kenmore Square. There are plenty of waiters and 3 times that many runners, and they all whizzed past our table 484 times over the course of our dinner experience. Many were delivering something, somewhere, others were 'making a loop'. Yes, it was distracting. You know that feeling you get when you're taking a test, and the teacher is just wandering, looking over shoulders, etc? Like that...

        The menu requires some studying, as you've probably guessed. Our server didn't have much time, and came back 3 times in 10 minutes to see if we were ready to order yet. He was in a hurry. We weren't.

        We each had one of the liquor/food pairings - my lemoncello and salmon was very nice - her cilantro vodka and scallop ceviche wasn't for me... the vodka was too 'hot'... the alcohol burn might have been muted if it'd been served chilled.

        After clearing these, a runner arrived with salads which were beautiful!! But.... we hadn't ordered salads from the menu - did they come with the meal? We had just started in on them when our waiter arrived to inform us that they were delivered by mistake, but to enjoy them 'as a gift'... 30 seconds later, he tells us that our dinners are ready. OK, we attempt to make room for 4 steering wheel sized plates on our tiny deuce sized table, along with wine, glasses, bread, olive oil, and bread plates. My duck was stunning, perfectly cooked, as was her paella. We decided to share one dessert, and honestly, we still were putting the last forkfulls to our lips when the check arrived. We paid, and exited 65 minutes after entering.

        I've been in the business, and know how it goes - a Tuesday evening might have been different. The place fills up, bare floors, no booths, it gets loud and busy. We left feeling that we'd been sucked in, chewed up for $140, and spit out onto the street.

        2 Replies
        1. re: okra

          We had a similar experience there a few weeks ago. While they were pouring the water they were asking what we wanted to drink. Two minues after getting the menu they were on top of us- what do you want?? Came back three times in 7 minutes. Very rushed and I can't quite put my finger on why but wait staff seemed very strange.

          1. re: okra

            That review makes me not want to go there. I hate that feeling that you described about being chewed up and spit out for 140.00. It happens way too much to me and I hate that!