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Jun 22, 2007 10:45 AM

Flat Iron Tapas Bar

If any CHs have seen the article in today's Boston Herald about this restaurant (page E18), that picture is me!!! 5 mins of fame (so I guess I still have 10 mins left).

Anyway, had to post to clarify this review. The portions are very small. I'm thinking the reviewer and photographer got special treatment (they were walking around with their press badges). One person per plate was more like it. I must say that the food was fantastic. We ordered a cinnamon/chili encrusted sea bass that was so good we ordered another plate. The irony of that was the second piece of fish was smaller than the first. Both dishes were prepared perfectly and all of the diners voted that plate to be the best. The cheescake lollipops were also very tasty.

As for the service - horrible! We waited 1/2 hour before our waitress came to take our drink order (we did have water and bread). Then she came back 20 mins. later to tell us two of the drinks that were ordered were not available. Of course the drink that was available wasn't delivered until an additonal 20 mins. later. It was a really bad experience. Wine list was nice with a division between Old Vines and New (both red and white).

Space is very nice.

Would I go back? Yes, but not if I had another option and definitely not with a group.

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  1. Cool about the photo, Kate!

    Saw it this morning. Are you 1st, 2nd, 3rd, or 4th in the pic (from left to right)?

    BTW, was the cinnamon on the sea bass okay? It's such a buttery, oily fish all on its own, too much of that might distract from its flavor. I know from personal experience however that the chili is a great counterpoint.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Bostonbob3

      It was more of a glaze and it worked beautifully. Served in a cinnamon infused cream sauce that we soaked up with the bread. And I couldn't agree more about the chili, works very well with this type of fish. Really a beautiful dish. I wish it wasn't a small plate because as a main entree it would have been extremely satisfying. As a tapas, it just made you want more :)

      In the photo, I am the 4th going left to right (I have my hand up). The first "woman" at the table is 13 by the way. She was with her mom who is not in the photo. The group overall is our monthly Supper Club. We meet at a restaurant for girl talk and fine dining. Works out really well with all our busy schedules.

    2. I've only been once, sat at the bar and had lovely service. Both food and cocktails were better than expected. LOVED the lollipops. Still, something was off about the itself felt awkward.

      3 Replies
      1. re: tatamagouche

        I do believe the bar would have provided better service. Our waitress was very timid and she was the only server for the whole room, which isn't that large. As I said, I'd go back, but not with a group of 6 diners. Seemed to overwhelm her.

        1. re: tatamagouche

          I wonder if it's the same folks who were running the Black Angus Steakhouse in that location? That was some truly terrible service, not willfully bad, just clueless.

        2. You're famous Kate!

          The cinnamon bass sounds good - I'm heading there tomorrow to check it out with a friend, and will be sure to order that. Any other dishes you'd recommend? Just two of us, so we'll be at the bar, hopefully with good service. I'll report back....

          4 Replies
          1. re: Rubee

            There was some very good braised bacon when I was there, but the highlight are those cheesecake lollipops.

            1. re: tatamagouche

              Definitely getting the braised bacon, thanks Tatamagouche! And I'm definitely intrigued by the lollipops, it is too much for two people?

                1. re: Rubee

                  The oyster shooters looked really good, but I couldn't get my table to order them. Stay away from the "special" cocktails which was where the real hitch in our service was - their infusions weren't ready???? Although, sitting at the bar may be a better bet than the table service.

                  If you can't finish all the lollipops (a must!), bring the rest home!!!


            2. I was just in Boston and after the Globe review I decided to check out Flat Iron. The food was really good, especially the lemon chicken, oyster shooters, short ribs and thick cut bacon. Lollipops aren't my thing so I went with the fried dough, which I really enjoyed. I liked the space - it is awkwardly shaped but the building is triangular after all. The design is cool and the tables & chairs are comfortable. They also have really good cocktails. The cucumber gin one had a little spicy kick. My server was nice and I didn't have any issues with him.

              Kate, I'm a bit confused by your initial write-up though – congrats on your 15 min of fame, by the way! The name of the restaurant is Flat Iron TAPAS Bar and that’s what they serve - small plates. I have to agree with the Herald reviewer on portion size – I found them sufficient or, in some cases, even bigger than I expected for the price – since most items were under $10. I wouldn't expect big dishes or entrée size anything for that price. Also, I don’t really know Boston reviewers but I'm pretty sure the Herald reviewer would go anonymously a few times and then the photographer goes later.

              4 Replies
              1. re: npandela

                Yes, we knew it was tapas. I was just commenting on the reviewers statement that the small plates were enough for 3/4 people. That is simply not the case, or at least it wasn't at our table that night. And no, I saw the press badges.

                I really believe that our table of 6 was just too much for our server. As I said, a 30 minute wait before she took our cocktail order, than 20 mins. later she comes back without any drinks to tell us we can't have what we ordered. That resulted in another 20 mins. of waiting. I'm sorry - that is simply bad service.

                I would return with a smaller party, especially as it is near North Station and that is my commuter station.

                1. re: kate used to be 50

                  I'm going to post on the Food Media board about this press badge business, care to follow me?

                  1. re: kate used to be 50

                    I checked the review. He says, "generously apportioned for two or even three people to share" - not 3/4 - and I have to agree. My service was the opposite but restaurants can be inconsistent on that account.

                    Did the person with the press badge ask your permission to be in the photo? He should have. Also, the reviewer says "both times" he was there so he was there twice. Anyway I really doubt a restaurant reviewer no matter the paper would show a press badge and walk around openly with it. Usually only photographers have them to get access to crime scenes and special events.

                    1. re: npandela

                      Pardon my mistake. It really isn't that big a deal after all.