HOME > Chowhound > Greater Boston Area >


I am seeking great service

One thing I can't stand is going to a nice restaurant and not getting tip top wait staff service. I think it's a rarity, what I am seeking:
I want the wait staff to know when I need them. I want my water glass filled probably about 4 times. I want the wait staff to be pleasant but not conversational. I'd like a little cleanup between courses. I like when there is separate staff to clear the table between courses but I prefer when my waiter delivers the food (and the ground pepper or whatever comes with).
Along with this, if possible, I'd like the restaurant to not be noisy or too crowded. But, next to the food, the service is a close second on priority!

Where do you recommend the Service?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
    1. re: joebelt

      Yes, I do agree on L'Espalier. That is the level I am talking about. Although, the last time I went there, I did not enjoy my waiter (a little on the "snobby" side, for lack of a better word). Usually, however (the other 2 times I've been there), top notch service.

      1. re: joebelt

        O Ya

        are the best, IMO.

        1. re: cmd

          Aujourd'hui DOES have some of the best service in Boston----I forgot about that one. The sommelier is incredibly relaxed and knowledgable, to boot.

          1. Salts has one of the most gracious and hospitable hosts/owners. Radius is technically sound though some find it a little chilly at times. No. 9 Park tends to be well rounded but leans a little informal if L'Espailer is up your alley.

            1 Reply
            1. re: lemonlyman

              How is the service at Meritage? It sounds like a fairly formal space, and I'd like to see the type of service which the OP asked for.

            2. A lot of what you're describing doesn't sound like extraordinary service to me, but very rudimentary technical basics. Some of it (noise, crowdedness) has nothing to do with service.

              That said, a few places where the level of service strikes me as consistently strong: No. 9 Park, L'Espalier, Union Bar & Grill, Sage, Oishii Boston, Lala Rokh, Rendezvous in Central Square, Mamma Maria, Mistral, Sorellina, and Rialto.

              6 Replies
              1. re: MC Slim JB

                What I said about noise etc, I said after I asked about service. If you read closely, I said "Along with this, if possible, I'd like ..." so, the posting was exactly about service suggestions ... and, for your answers, I thank you.

                1. re: MC Slim JB

                  Yes to all of the above with the exception of Oishii (based on my personal experiences). I think that Mistral and L'Espalier particularly stand out. If my early experiences are any indication, I would say that the Ocenaire is going to make a run at this category as well. Before closing, the Federalist was consistently excellent as well.

                  I have had subpar service just about every time I have dined at Oishii. Last time I was there we were somewhat ignored (despite ringing up a $300 tab for 2) in favor of the table next to us doing the Oamkase, and I mean that there were 30 minute gaps between dishes. In addition all of our sashimi came out as nigri, and we had to wait awhile for it to be redone. When we initailly sat down, we ordered a fairly expensive bottle of sake and an Asahi. When the waitress came out with a Kirin light, I politely told her that I had ordered an Asahi. She insisted that I had not. I politely told her that the words Kirin light had not come out of my mouth in my entire life as I had never ordered one. She said she would bring me an Asahi for my next beer, as she had already poured the Kirin... I have always had good service at the Oishii sushi bar in Chestnut Hill, however the Boston outpost is lacking in the department (the food is outstanding though). Also, the silly soy sauce valet hurts their service, as we have often had to wait if we wanted a bit more.

                  1. re: Gabatta

                    I have only done omakase at the sushi bar at Oishii Boston, but have been very well cared for every time. I'd say your experience there qualifies as horrifying. A good server would never argue over a beer order like that. I might have stood up and walked out after that little exchange. The soy sauce valet is indeed a profoundly stupid touch.

                  2. re: MC Slim JB

                    Me and many of my friends have had terrible service at Mamma Maria and the place gets very rowdy on busy weekend nights. The food is also subpar.

                    1. re: joebelt

                      Based on the posts on this board, your experience at Mamma Maria would appear to be the exception. I have experienced some service at Mamma Maria that has been just ok, but for the most part I have had stellar service there.

                  3. The last time I was at Hamersley's, our waiter was like a telepathic magician.

                    1. I've had consistently great service at No. 09, Aujourd'hui, Clio, Rialto and Central Kitchen. Aside from Clio and possibly No. 9, the food is not among my personal top 10 (or whatever you would call it) in Boston.

                      I think in most restaurants at least one or two courses will be delivered by a runner, not a waiter.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: sailormouth

                        I've had great service at Eastern Standard even when I was just getting the burger (Fantastic burger by the way). I agree with the above comments on No. 9 Park. Their service is nothing less than excellent.

                      2. Craigie Street Bistro