HOME > Chowhound > Greater Boston Area >
What's your latest food project? Share your adventure
TELL US

CF DONOVANS UPDATE

p
Pegmeister May 3, 2007 06:15 AM

Well, the new chef that started six weeks ago, has left and a new chef has stepped in. Don't know much about the new guy other then he had worked previously at the Rack. Since yesterday was his first day, it's too early to tell how the menu will change. As for last night, my baked stuffed shrimp was delicious with it's walnut stuffing but the prime rib, while cooked to order and flavorful, was not hot. They were also completely out of lobster, so that had an impact on the menu choices. No Wednesday special of chicken oscar; or seafood diavolo, or obviously no lobster pie. Still, I'm not worried as I believe they'll get it together they always do. Not sure what type of impact this has on the new Hyde Park location which is still not open.

  1. hiddenboston May 3, 2007 06:39 AM

    Wow, what's going on there? I'm a bit bummed, as the best meal I've had at Donovan's was a few weeks ago (just after the new chef started).

    Fingers are crossed that the quality doesn't suffer there...

    34 Replies
    1. re: hiddenboston
      p
      Pegmeister May 17, 2007 04:50 AM

      Ok, this has to be the last post about my favorite place. Donovans is now on their 3rd chef since Richie left in March! I just don't get it. Fortunately, the newest guy is doing a good job. The broiled scallops were delicious, cooked perfectly and just enough sweetness. Steak tips were also a hit. Specials on Fridays haven't been changing much because of the revolving kitchen door, but the fried clams were as good as any I've ever had. As for the update on Hyde Park, well we heard that they had some private opening of sorts, but none of the regulars were invited, maybe that's for another time!

      1. re: Pegmeister
        JudyHP May 17, 2007 05:31 AM

        The Hyde Park location did have one private function - it was a Main Streets Trolley Tour (promote the neighborhoods of HP/Roslindale) that had been scheduled way in advance, and Donovan's was going to provide the food. They are not ready to open yet so they brought food from the Dorchester location and had the trolley tour check out the un-finished Hyde Park location. That is the only thing that has gone on there. I go by that location every day and it looks like they are completing internal work, but the outside is still boarded up/unfinished, except for the French Doors.

        On another Hyde Park note, I did check out the Albert Winestein store - it is absolutely fantastic. They have wines, cheeses, some chocolates and a very few microbrew beers. This place does not look like a "packy". It is not the place to go get your Woodbridge or a 6-pack of bud. The interior is beautiful, with a big butcher block table in the middle, where they do wine tastings (in real glasses!). The owners are local to Hyde Park, are enthusiastic and welcoming. Hopefully this is a start of even better things to come to a place that has such incredible potential.

        1. re: JudyHP
          Joanie May 17, 2007 05:40 AM

          Where is this place? Can Hyde Park support such a place?

          Have you ever been to the Park Ave. Lounge or whatever the bar right at the corner of Hyde Park Ave. and River St. is called? I thought it was a neat space and wondered if it had the potential to turn into a "cool" spot. As much as you can get people out to Hyde Park.

          1. re: Joanie
            JudyHP May 17, 2007 06:00 AM

            I have been to the Park Ave. Lounge - I agree it is a neat space. I think they get business at night from the Curry College kids. We've gone there on a Saturday afternoon for some beers after bowling at Rons and it's been a good time. I also like Cappy's in Wolcott Square - reminds me of a London pub - menu is a chalkboard, you order food from teh bartender (who then goes back and cooks it) and they bring it to you. Their pub grub is pretty good!

            Albert Winestein is on Fairmount Ave, on the left hand side right before the bridge over the commuter-rail tracks to the Truman Highway. It is a cute storefront building with a bench outside. I had a nice chat with the owners - they are doing well so far and seem pretty excited. Across the street from their store is a brand new Condo/Retail building that is going up. Going into the ground floor of that is going to be a bistro (they have one of the new wine/beer licenses) and an artisan bakery, which will also be run by local Hyde Park people. Once that is up and running, they anticipate that more business will be coming to that area. I've got my fingers crossed....

          2. re: JudyHP
            p
            Pegmeister May 17, 2007 05:46 AM

            See how rumors fly. Everyone has been anxious to try the Hyde Park location but there have been so many changes at Savin Hill we don't even ask Arthur any more. As for the Albert Winestein store, that sounds like someplace I need to check out.

            1. re: JudyHP
              r
              Roons May 18, 2007 09:10 AM

              The latest news I've heard regarding Donovan's in HP is that they're hoping for a June opening - but the person I heard it from thinks that 4th of July weekend is more realistic. The owner decided to re-design the interior of the restaurant in the midst of construction and that delayed the timeline significantly. I've been looking forward to this place opening for a long time - a good table service restaurant/pub is desperatley needed in Hyde Park!

              As for Albert Winestein, I've only been there once since it opened, but was thoroughly impressed. I spoke with the owner, Sean, at length - he's a nice guy who knows wine (but isn't pretentious in any way). The majority of the price points of the bottles are between $10 - $30.

              By the way, the restaurant in the mixed-use building under construction across the street from Albert Winestein is going to be called Townsend Cafe.

              1. re: Roons
                o
                OLDCHEF Jun 20, 2007 06:35 AM

                another new chef whats up, any feedback

                1. re: OLDCHEF
                  p
                  Pegmeister Jun 20, 2007 06:45 AM

                  OMG, I've been trying to hold off on posting until the new chef (No.4) got settled in, but I truly fear the food is going down hill. She changed the marinara sauce and it now tastes like Heinz tomato paste, and in an effort to be creative she offered chicken parm on a skewer as an appetizer. The skewers were stuck in a huge chunk of pinepple. I don't know about anyone else, but the flavors don't seem to blend. Friends were there on Saturday and their entire table had the dinner comped because everyone complained. I also had the lobster pie for $19 at lunch time and I would be surprised if it had more than 2 ounces of lobster -- ouch!!! What am I to do. This is my regular after work spot!

                  1. re: Pegmeister
                    o
                    OLDCHEF Jun 21, 2007 06:30 AM

                    they had great red sauce before why why change.who is the new chef?

                    1. re: OLDCHEF
                      p
                      Pegmeister Jun 21, 2007 06:31 AM

                      From what I understand, she came from Amhreins.

                      1. re: Pegmeister
                        o
                        OLDCHEF Jun 21, 2007 06:35 AM

                        Very strange did she work for richard at amhrines?

                        1. re: OLDCHEF
                          p
                          Pegmeister Jun 21, 2007 06:58 AM

                          I'm not sure. I would assume so because Richie has been at Amhreins since March and she just started at Donovans within the last 2 weeks. The kitchen at Donovans was doing better without the Chef using Richie's recipes. I'm so dissapointed!

                          1. re: Pegmeister
                            f
                            frenchmojito Jun 21, 2007 10:10 AM

                            Yes, she did work at Amhreins and I know for a fact that Donovan has been looking for another new chef, within the pass few days. I few of us who have been going there since they opened have not been very happy with the food.

                            1. re: frenchmojito
                              o
                              OLDCHEF Jun 21, 2007 11:26 AM

                              I think he must be looking for a chef for cf/sh and bringing new chef to new store. at bar at cf last week all the staff said she is rotten.

                              1. re: OLDCHEF
                                r
                                Roons Jun 21, 2007 11:49 AM

                                I hope you're wrong about bringing the current chef in Savin Hill to the new Hyde Park location. If she's as bad as she sounds, it's a bad idea to bring her to the new location where you're trying to establish a local customer base.

                                I've been looking forward to Donovan's opening in Hyde Park for far too long - frankly, it's getting frustrating waiting for them to get their act together and open. If they think they're going to get by with less than their best effort, the place won't be open long.

                                1. re: Roons
                                  JudyHP Jun 21, 2007 11:57 AM

                                  Do you know what the hold-up might be now? It doesn't look like anything is going on. I walked by yesterday and the whole inside looks like a construction site, and I didn't see any activity - this was during the day. I agree, we have been anxiously waiting for them to open too, and it is frustrating.

                                  1. re: JudyHP
                                    f
                                    frenchmojito Jun 21, 2007 07:00 PM

                                    Let's just say, the person or persons who have been contacted have been offered not just one kitchen.

                            2. re: Pegmeister
                              m
                              maggie may Jun 21, 2007 07:59 PM

                              if this is the woman who was the opening chef at Amhreins , after the "rehab", she is awful. I was horrified by the decor and the food was dreadful

                              1. re: maggie may
                                p
                                Pegmeister Jun 22, 2007 04:46 AM

                                Stopped at Donovans last night for apps and wine but kept it simple. A shrimp cocktail, which was a good deal with 13 large (3 bite) size shrimp at $10.95. My only complaint was that they weren't quite chilled enough. Then I tried the lobster/crab and spinach spring roll which really was quite good. I also shared my opinion of some of the changes to the appropriate staff as I know others have. If the new chef just lets the kitchen continue with their old recipes and adds a few of her ideas for the specials it will probably be ok, but somehow I get the impression that she wants to change everything. On another note, PG was there filming on Wednesday night so I can't wait to hear what they get for a rating!

                                1. re: Pegmeister
                                  b
                                  Bostonbob3 Jun 22, 2007 05:54 AM

                                  Pegmeister, stop by Pete's around 12:30 on Saturday. It seems there will be some Hounds there before the BBQ thingy.

                                  1. re: Bostonbob3
                                    p
                                    Pegmeister Jun 22, 2007 05:57 AM

                                    Hi Bob, I would love to, but unfortunately I'll be in NH. Enjoy the BBQ!!

                                    1. re: Pegmeister
                                      b
                                      Bostonbob3 Jun 22, 2007 06:03 AM

                                      Enjoy NH. Where are you eating?

                                      1. re: Bostonbob3
                                        p
                                        Pegmeister Jun 22, 2007 06:14 AM

                                        Not sure yet, a few weeks ago it was Hart's Turkey Farm. I'm kind of partial to Mames in Meredith but they stopped serving my favorite the "melted kingdom". Lobster on an English muffin with broccoli, tomato and cheese and broiled to perfection.

                                        1. re: Pegmeister
                                          b
                                          Bostonbob3 Jun 22, 2007 06:16 AM

                                          (In Homer Simpson voice):

                                          Mmmmmdrool...

                                          1. re: Pegmeister
                                            C. Hamster Jun 22, 2007 10:04 AM

                                            Everyone should go to Hart's Turkey Farm at least once in their life.

                                            1. re: C. Hamster
                                              o
                                              OLDCHEF Jul 18, 2007 07:40 AM

                                              I was told by one of the cooks that new chef has left, looking for a pegmeister update.

                                              1. re: OLDCHEF
                                                p
                                                Pegmeister Jul 18, 2007 09:38 AM

                                                As of last Friday, Chef Janice was still there. I used to be at Donovans at least 3-4 times a week, but I'm just not thrilled with the menu these days. Had a burger last week that was overcooked, never a problem in the past and the onion rings are now those skinny strings which I hate. Give me a nice hand sliced thick onion ring!! Not such a great job with the soup either. I will give her the fried clams though, they were delicious and presentation was very nice. I'll report back when I know more, but I'm leaning towards jumping on the train and going to Ahreins!

                                                PS I know that the staff have been reading the site, so I would assume Arthur is getting the feedback. Hopefully, he'll get things back to normal, I'm not giving up quite yet.

                                                1. re: Pegmeister
                                                  chowciao Jul 18, 2007 10:17 AM

                                                  We haven't been back since March...pretty much avoiding CF's based on the feedback here. It's a shame, I really did like that place.

                                                  Anyone know if Hyde Park ever opened...or will it ever open?

                                                  1. re: chowciao
                                                    p
                                                    Pegmeister Jul 18, 2007 10:19 AM

                                                    Believe it or not it's still not open!

                                                    1. re: Pegmeister
                                                      JudyHP Jul 18, 2007 10:50 AM

                                                      Hyde Park Observation report: Still same status as the post I gave in June. Inside is saw-horses, construction debris and looks like no activity. I wonder if their permit ran out? I go by there often, and never see anybody working on it either. I hope they finish -the little balcony they have on the 2nd floor looks like it would be nice.

                                                      1. re: JudyHP
                                                        p
                                                        Pegmeister Jul 20, 2007 08:37 AM

                                                        Update for Oldchef, chef no. 4 has now departed! The search is on for Chef No. 5. Not sure what that means for the Hyde Park location. Last, I heard he hoped to be open at the end of July.

                                                        1. re: Pegmeister
                                                          p
                                                          Putanesca Fan Jul 20, 2007 08:40 AM

                                                          There were many trucks out front of the HP place the last couple of days....seems like they have been doing a lot of work lately.

                                                          1. re: Pegmeister
                                                            hiddenboston Jul 20, 2007 09:23 AM

                                                            Seriously, what's going on there? To lose 4 chefs in such a short period of time is a bit disturbing. I'm almost scared to go to Donovan's until the dust settles.

                                                            1. re: hiddenboston
                                                              p
                                                              Pegmeister Jul 20, 2007 09:33 AM

                                                              I'm not sure, I would assume that the owner is not that easy to work for, but that's true of a lot of owners. Maybe the added pressures of opening another restaurant. Anyhow, I didn't see much of a change with the first 3, the quality was still there. It's only been the last few weeks that I've really seen things start to slip. Who knows, maybe the owner was listening to his customers comments and has someone else in mind.

              Show Hidden Posts