Top of the Hub dropped the ball
So my boyfriend's parents are visiting from Brazil and we took them to Top of the Hub for RW and to celebrate his 30th birthday. We made reservations on opentable.com a week in advanced and they called us only hours before our reservation to tell us they were not having a RW menu - obviously not enough time for us to make reservations at another RW place.
On the reservation notes on open table I told them about the birthday. During dinner, I snuck out to pull our waiter aside to told him to bring out my boyfriend a dessert with a candle (because I knew that he wouldn't normally order dessert). Then 10 minutes later the food runner comes out with our desserts - but no candle!!! And he sets the cake infront on my boyfriend and everyone just looks confused and are wondering why he has a dessert - as if it is a mistake. So I am totally embarassed and the waiter is nowhere be seen . . . so I explain to my boyfriend that I had ordered it for him and it was supposed to be with a birthday candle - but they messed up.
2 minutes later into dessert, the waiter comes out with a lame scoop of vanilla ice cream and a candle and says "oops sorry we didn't get it the first time."
What really pissed me off more than the embarrasment in front of my boyfriend's parents was that there were 4 other tables through out the night who got cake/dessert brought to them with birthday candles!
We have many friends in the local jazz scene who play regularly there, and we stopped in last week for a quick drink and to listen to our friend's group. We were appalled that they had a $25/person minimum if you wanted a table. The place was only at ~20% capacity on a Thursday night! We opted to have a drink and stand for a little while, and were equally appalled to see waiters hurrying around and accosting anyone who sat down telling them "you have to be seated by the hostess".
Sort of sounds like "restaurant with a view" syndrome. If it has water in front of it, skyline views, or a rotating dining room, it just doesn't have to be as good as restaurants without these features/gimmicks, and it usually shows. Kind of a shame, but as most threads here on waterfront places show, you tend to end up paying for that view in the quality of the food, the level of service, and/or the overall value.
I can't say I've eaten at Top of the Hub in years, but my general sense is that it's best for a quick drink in the Hubcab Lounge before leaving for somewhere more Chowish. The story I hear endlessly from tourists who insist on going is that the host staff is very snobby and inhospitable, and seems to love seating people away from window tables even when many are obviously available: how annoying and pointless is that?
Top of the Hub has always been a has been restaurant. I do not even know anyone that even eats there. It was the type of place you tried to go to after your prom because the view is amazing. That's it though amazing view. Your story was heartbreaking because you were trying to make the evening special. They need to close that place. It always had the reputation of best view in Boston but do not go there for the food. I would have been mad too because the service sounds truly horrible.
There is something missing from this picture. They are serving the RW menu at lunch excluding Sunday lunch. When did you go?
I can understand how disappointed you must have been about the lack of candle especially when you went out of your way to reconfirm on your arrival but unfortunately mistakes do happen. I had the same experience at Aujourd'hui which is usually perfection in the service department. At least, in your case, they came out and acknowledged their mistake.
As for The Top of the Hub "always has been a has been restaurant" what does that even mean? Maybe you don't know anyone who eats there but they are generally fully booked and I know many people who eat there. The food, presentation and service have always been very good whether I have had a party of 2 or a private room for 35.