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Liberty Hotel: Clink Restaurant is a CLUNK

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Yesterday we ventured over to the Liberty Hotel...the old Suffolk County Jail...to see how things were shaking out. They have only been opened for a week. Well, we sat at the bar and ordered a bottle of Joseph Phelps, Mistral, Cab. First wine on their list. They didn't have it. Next bottle we ordered they didn't have. Third...not a charm! Anyway, finally ventured to the reserve list and ordered a Chateauneuf du Pape, Vieux Telegraph. Spent a small fortune...we then ordered our food to go along with this lovely wine. The wine is opened. We are enjoying the wine and the waiter comes over and declares the kitchen is closed. Our order cannot be fulfilled. We placed our order at 2:50 p.m. Kitchen closes at 3. If we had known the order would be rejected, we would not have ordered the wine. Anyway, after speaking with three different managers and wasting an hour on the problem, they decide to take care of the situation. What ever happened to the "customer is always right?" The wait was not worth it. The food was not very good. We went with the tapas menu. The truffle carmelized popcorn tasted like soggy, warm Cracker Jack. The macaroni and cheese was ok. The tomatoe salsa saved it. The flat bread with duck confit came out cold. The flat bread was a syrian pocket that they put grill stripes on. The cheese course we ordered could not come through the regular kitchen route as they closed the kitchen so they made us order it off the room service list. The cheese was awful and they served it with too little bread and Welch's grape jelly (wierd). Needless to say, this foodie will not be going back to jail for awhile.

Anyone else experience the prison food and attitude?

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  1. I see my dining companion wrote her own review. I also wrote today about this experience. I would agree with the awhile part. They need to work out the kinks.

    1 Reply
    1. re: BillieJean

      Yeah but .... the food sounds awful. And since we're all about the food here, I was confused by your quite different impression than your DC. You say wait a while to try the mediocre food again, s/he says they wont be back.

    2. Similar thing happened to me at Z Square, I only I ordered food (a hamburger), dithered on the beer for a few minutes (like 5-10), decided on a PBR, bartender opened it and then cheerfully announced they were out of hamburgers and suggested a salad or something from that day's very limited menu instead. I left the $3 on the bar and will never go back.

      I'm glad it wasn't a Chateauneuf de Pape in my case, but you could of either told them to bag the wine and gone up Charles St somewhere else (though I don't know what would be open then) or, as I probably wouldn't do but would at least entertain the idea: tell them to shove a cork in it for some other sucker and walk out. What disgraceful service. I hope things get better, your DC made it sound like a great spot.

      1 Reply
      1. re: sailormouth

        Shows you how two different people can perceive things differently, eh? To be honest, I liked the place and the location (Ha-Buzzy's--I forgot that was there!) and really hope they get the service thing under control. The food wasn't bad, and I agree with what other people have said, to give it a few weeks. I'd probably give it one more try in the future to see if they worked the kinks out.

      2. Clunk (sorry, "Clink") is run by the hotel, no? That usually means mediocre food.

        The other restaurant in there is the Lydia Shire-run place right?

        1. Is the Le Mistral cabernet? I thought it was a Rhone blend.

          4 Replies
          1. re: invinotheresverde

            Actually Bordeaux blend, mostly cab.

            1. re: Secret Sommelier

              No, it's a Rhone blend, mostly syrah.

              1. re: csammy

                I thought the old noodle was going for a minute. Thanks, Sammy.

              2. re: Secret Sommelier

                http://www.jpvwines.com/jpvwines/2004...

                it used to be much more grenache, but now is primarily syrah.

                the lyons group is overseeing the club alibi, clink is run by the hotel and lydia's restaurant, scampo, is slated to open in october.

            2. I know the restaurant has just recently opened the start of september when you went, i actually went this past Friday and absolutly loved it and had a blast! I split the short ribs with a friend, the cheese plate and split the jail-bar for desert. The ribs and jail-bar both melted in my mouth, i would go back for these two for sure. My girlfriend and i stayed in the lounge for martini's and actually longer than we had planned- i got packed, i mean ive never been at a bar with that many georgous classy men in my life! Im going back for the ribs and a man, ha!

              1. Well said: Clink is a Clunk. Here's our story:

                I was stunned to see your feature complimenting Clink restaurant. We recently attended Clink and were treated to inventively bad service. Though we had an 830pm reservation, we were not seated until 915pm. No apology was given, nor was any reason provided. Ironically, we had showed up early, so it was not as if we missed our time slot.

                Even more curious was the fact that when we finally got seated, the restaurant was half empty! The wait staff was confidently aloof, almost taking pride in not being attentive.

                Three of us got water but one of us didn't. Portions were small (much smaller than in your feature) and food was bland--both especially so when considering the high prices. The sommelier was weak--I am no wine snob, but they could not answer my most basic questions. Finally, the waiter never checked on us during the meal to ask how things were.

                Bottom line, the unique (if noisy) interior is all you get with this place. Better bet is to have a drink at the bar in the lobby and then either enjoy a fancier dinner at the same price, or one of hundreds of better values in the city. Way too expensive for this terrible service.

                2 Replies
                1. re: omarlittle

                  First: "inventively bad service" - love that, too funny (although sorry for your bad experience).

                  Second: I'm a little confused, to what "feature" are you referring? Is there a link missing?

                  1. re: heathermb

                    My guess is they must be referring to Devra's recent review. I'm almost tempted to go to Clink just to see if it is as horrifying as everybody is saying!

                    http://www.boston.com/lifestyle/food/...