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Henrietta's Table disappointment

Sal Monella Dec 28, 2007 07:35 AM

Even though this place is not a favorite of ours, we have had adequate experiences dining there before. Based on our most recent experience, we won't be spending any $ there for the foreseeable future.

On Christmas Day we needed to kill some time (~ 30 min, 1:30 pm) and opted to go hang at the bar for a quick drink. Place was busy but mostly with the diners and not so much the bar area. There were at least 2 bartenders working. I would say the bar itself was 70% occupied. I stood in an area where I could get one of the bartenders attention...5 min later to no avail. Then we noticed 2 bar seats opened up and thought we'd definitely get some service by sitting down. Mistake #2. Not even a glance was given our way by either of the 2 bartenders. A 3rd employee came and went to the bar without a glance our way. At this point about 10 more min elapsed and we started debating how long it would take for them to ask us if we want anything. It was actually comical how they completed ignored us and another patron I might add who sat next to us. By the time the 30 min passed, we left. I was hoping they'd service in the last minute so I could complain but they didn't. I fully realize Christmas Day is one of the several "amature hours" in and around Boston when it comes to restaurants but to receive this kind of treatment for a place like HT was beyond the pale. BTW, during the entire time they didn't even clear off the previous patrons dishes and take their tip. I wish I could chalk this up to it being slammed but it hardly was.

Didn't ruin our planned luncheon at another establishment but certainly helped us in scratching HT off our list of destinations from now on.

Some might argue that I'm nitpicking but I'm usually a forgiving patron given the circumstances and this type of customer service in not in line with an establishment.

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  1. Bob Dobalina RE: Sal Monella Dec 28, 2007 09:00 AM

    How was your lunch at the other establishment?

    1 Reply
    1. re: Bob Dobalina
      Sal Monella RE: Bob Dobalina Dec 28, 2007 09:37 AM

      Pretty good, Bob...Legal's. Not an overly memorable experience but met expectations.

    2. r
      Ralphie_in_Boston RE: Sal Monella Dec 28, 2007 09:38 AM

      Well at least you killed the 30 minutes!

      I've read one or two disappointing reviews about Henrietta's, which is a shame because I've stuck my head in there before and it has a lovely atmosphere.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Ralphie_in_Boston
        Sal Monella RE: Ralphie_in_Boston Dec 28, 2007 09:40 AM

        And some comic relief I might add.

      2. jfood RE: Sal Monella Dec 28, 2007 09:57 AM

        sorta a bizarro twist. going to HT to get ready for Legals. jfood has eaten in HT and Legals over the years and Legals is basically on the DNR list. Yeah yeah yeah people love it and that's OK (jfood very happy you enjoyed, especially after the speed bump start) but jfood has never enjoyed. Yet he really liked his meals at HT.

        And jfood thinks you have it right that the servers were part of "amature (sic) hours". Not sure whether jfood would cancel any resto off the list after a xmas day experience. he had some orange beef at a resto he eats at all the time and jfood thinks the stand-in chef probably went to the bathroom while some of the food fried away since it was sooo overcooked. But he looked at little jfood and said, "hmmm think the real chef is off today." a smile and a what do you do.

        you may want to give it a real try. it is so much better than Legal IMHO.

        2 Replies
        1. re: CambridgeFoodie
          Sal Monella RE: CambridgeFoodie Dec 28, 2007 10:23 AM

          Beat me to the punch CambridgeFoodie. For what it's worth to jfood, we had reservations at LSF and arrived earlier than expected and didn't want to wait around. The times we at at HT were not memorable either.

          1. re: jfood
            heathermb RE: jfood Dec 28, 2007 11:06 AM

            I would absolutely cross a restaurant off my list if I had the experience that Sal Monella described. Under no circumstances is it acceptable for patrons to sit at a bar and be ignored entirely for 30 minutes. Amateur hour or not, that is just basic service and there is no excuse.

          2. s
            ShelT54 RE: Sal Monella Dec 28, 2007 07:13 PM

            Never been for the famous weekend brunch, but dinner was only so so and service was worse than that

            1. c
              csammy RE: Sal Monella Dec 28, 2007 07:25 PM

              I am not trying to make any excuses for them but maybe the bartenders did not notice that the previous occupants of the stools had left and when you sat down you resembled them, which is why they did not clear any of the old dishes or scoop up there tip.

              1 Reply
              1. re: csammy
                Sal Monella RE: csammy Dec 30, 2007 07:20 AM

                One of the cash registers they used was right in front of us. We had our coats on. They would have to both be blind to miss us. Service level was unforgiveable.

              2. Sgt Snackers RE: Sal Monella Dec 29, 2007 03:49 PM

                I've never understood the popularity of Henrietta's Table. Always thought it was *supposed* to be good (given perpetual crowd and proximity to Rialto, I guess) but on every occasion I've been there, food was middling and service was *awful*. In one case, actually had three separate serving pieces that were dirty and had to be exchanged. Service is pretty inattentive in the floor area, too.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Sgt Snackers
                  mipiace RE: Sgt Snackers Dec 30, 2007 10:26 AM

                  In defense of HT... despite the horrible bar experience you had, I've had some great meals there at dinner time. I've been on several occasions, and have always had good service despite- especially when it came to answering lots of questions about the menu, bringing food out on time, wine, etc. I also think the food is wonderful and what it claims to be-honest, comfortable, and fresh. I hope you won't write it off due to that experience, and please... why Legals??

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