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Biltmore to close???

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My SO and myself were sitting at the bar of the Biltmore (in Newton Upper Falls) on Valentine's Day, enjoying a fantastic dinner - "crazy delicious" pub fries, amazing mussels, a perfectly rare steak special, and a haddock special.

Unfortunately, we were privy to a conversation between Rebecca, the co-owner, and a couple of regulars who were seated reight next to us. The conversation revolved around the notion that the "silent partner" of the Biltmore wanted out, and unless there was a way to buy this person out, the Biltmore was destined to close.

I am not a rumor-starter by nature, and I must say that this was my very first visit to the Biltmore. The reason why I even started this thread is because of the amazing evening we had there, with both my SO and myself declaring that this was destined to become our new favorite neighborhood hangout (and we live a few miles away in Auburndale). I just feel like - assuming the hearsay we heard is true - that everyone who has eaten and/or drank at the Biltmore needs to show their support and not let the so-called "silent partner" shut down such a great neighborhood establishment.

Reading back, I realize that this post is something of a rant, and I do apologize for that. I just really needed to express how I felt. I hope what we overheard is not true, and I hope that this latest incarnation of the Biltmore will be around for many years to come.

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  1. All I can say is, I hope any rumors of it closing are not true. The Biltmore is one of those places Greater Boston can't have enough of, in my book. I love the food, the drinks, the staff, the atmosphere, the prices. I only wish it were closer to the T.

    1. They are looking for a new location sans said partner.

      3 Replies
      1. re: ponyboy

        NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        Horrible news!

        The accountant is now the GM! WTF?

        Rebecca, Sean (bartender), and Seth (chef) left this weekend. What does this mean? Aside from the fact that some kick-ass people have left the establishment. This is SO disheartening. S***, I wish there was something I/we could do.

        Suggestions/news, anyone???

        FB

        1. re: Ferris_Bueller

          Wow- we actually tried to go this weekend and called first to find out they were closed. Had no idea this was going on. My husband and I went a couple of times last summer based on recs here, then when my daughter came home from summer camp, the three of us went on my bday. She has been asking to go back since- a rare sort of place that both generations can love. This stinks!

          1. re: AnnieP

            Yes, this DOES stink!

            My last update was based upon an email sent directly to my SO from Rebecca over the weekend, not from rumor. We were actually interested in renting the Biltmore out for our rehearsal dinner, but my SO was informed we'd have to get in touch with the new GM (the accountant?!?!). Arrgh. This is so maddening. We are unbelievably loyal to the places we frequent (all downtown, for better or worse), and we so badly wanted to add the Biltmore to the list.

            So frustrated right now....

            FB

      2. I have head that they are reopening today and have a new GM. Also, from what I understand they won't be moving/closing anytime soon.

        3 Replies
        1. re: mats77

          Opening with a whole new staff.

          1. re: ponyboy

            Are Rebecca and Seth still there???

            1. re: emilief

              Nope... Sean is gone too.

        2. I went for lunch today. They are open but with a very limited menu--chowder, burger, chicken sandwich, fish and chips, salad. The place was full and the service was painfully slow. I hadn't read this thread before I went, but when I asked the waitress why the menu was so much more limited than what's posted on the website, she said it was because the cook quit earlier in the week and offering a limited menu is the only way they can manage to stay open. I'm glad to see so many other positive comments because based on the quality of today's fare, I wouldn't have been inclined to go back but now I'll be sure to give them another try.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Velda Mae

            I went to the Biltmore for dinner this past Wed. Overall, it was a BAD experience. I had high hopes too based on past reviews on CH and a recent review I read in the Newton magazine.

            Issues:
            -- Ran out of fish&chips, not a big deal but we were looking forward to it as it was recommended by the magazine reviewer.

            -- Bread rolls, while tasty, were cold. And I'm talking less than room temp. I can only imagine how much tastier it would've been if they were warm/toasted.

            -- Soda was flat, sent it back and the second was the same. Server didn't bother to inquire about the issue again.

            -- Ordered cheeseburger which includes bacon which was missing. Asked the server about it and she said that it doesn't "typically come with bacon". My thought was "umm... have you bothered to read the menu?"

            -- Steak tips were mostly overdone. Sign of an inexperienced kitchen -- tips are all different sizes. The 3 bigger pieces were med rare as ordered, the other ones ranged from medium to leather shoe in doneness. Plus they were over brined or salted on the grill.

            -- The servers were inexperienced and seemed almost indifferent. See soda above and the missing bacon. The couple next to us ordered 2 burgers and onion rings. Their server brought out the rings as an app before the burgers which surprised the couple. The server in an indignant tone asked if they did indeed order the rings. The couple sent them back and told here they wanted it with the burgers. I can't confirm how they ordered the rings but their burgers were overcooked too.

            Pros:
            -- Our burger was tasty and cooked med rare. Not the best I've ever had but very good and tasty.

            -- Shoestring fries were light and crispy.

            -- Sweet potato fries were light, airy and crispy.

            Conclusion -- based on past reviews the current incarnation of the Biltmore is a very hollow shell of itself. Hopefully that'll change but I won't go back until there's overwhelming positive feedback here.

            The other couple next to us asked the server about the ownership prior to getting their food. She responded by saying that they officially re-opened under new mgmt this past weekend. That shed some light as to why our experience was so poor but my feeling is that even with additional time shaking down the restaurant and working out the kinks that the Biltmore still won't get there.

          2. From what I've heard, everything that made this place great is now gone: ownership fired all the principals in a dispute over the direction of the restaurant. R.I.P the awesome Biltmore.

            7 Replies
            1. re: MC Slim JB

              Any information on the whereabouts of the staff would be appreciated. We are very saddened by the loss of our neighborhood restaurant, where everyone knew our name, and will especially miss Jim and Maggie of the waitstaff. We eagerly await their reappearance on the restaurant scene!

              1. re: Raindeer

                I received an email from Rebecca (former manager) recently saying the she, Sean and Seth would be opening a new place and that she would be emailing further news. As soon as I know I will post.

                1. re: emilief

                  I had a number of excellent meals here this summer while my family was away, and chats with both Rebecca and Sean.... So much so that I made certain to tell them when the family returned and I returned to being their cook that I wouldn't be a regular anymore, but not because of anything they did... this was much appreciated - I didn't want them thinking anything they'd done was wrong - quite the opposite!

                  emilief - thank you for keeping the board updated - these are class people that deserve our support - I will await your updates as to where we may find them.

                  1. re: emilief

                    Hi Emilief - any word since March regarding our favorite (former) management team from the Biltmore? Thanks!

                    1. re: Raindeer

                      I had an email from Rebecca a couple of months ago. They were negotiating with some space but she didn't want to say where until is was a done deal. I will send ask her to give me an update. Friends of mine who are big foodies and own an upscale gourmet shop, who have impeccable taste, told me last week that they had been back to the Biltmore and had an excellent meal- they said the service etc was not as friendly as with the old crew but were surprised and pleased with the food. I wonder if anyone else has been lately. I plan to give it a try based on that recommendation.

                  2. re: Raindeer

                    Rebecca, Sean, and Seth WERE the Biltmore. Whomever is in contact with them please let them know that there are many of us eagerly awaiting news. I know at least 20 people who are upset. I just hope they find a similar location, as many of us are Needham and Wellesley people and this was a great place for us to get to. We even did New Year's there and it was a blast. Please come back SOON!!!

                    1. re: halsam

                      I had the unfortunate experience of meeting someone at the Biltmore last night. Didn't want to do it because of my loyalty to former crew, but did because my friend wanted something close to 128. My husband, also a fan of the old regime, came along and when we got there at 7:15 pm, we got a table right away--not like in the old days. We looked at the menu, which had some new stuff and tried to buck up. But as I suspected. it was HORRIBLE!!!! We ordered the sliders, an onion soup, and I got the fried chick and hubby got the tuna special--friend got a salad, which is hard to kill, although she wasn't raving. Soup was bizarre--sweet taste, not like anything I have had here, in France or Montreal--AWFUL! Sliders were overcooked. But nothing took the cake like the entrees--the friend chick was not cooked through and tasted like a Swanson's TV dinner--asked the waitress for something else and got the hot dog, which used to be great and figured how could they screw up--but they did! Another disaster, cut down the middle with unknown condiments. And, my husband's tuna was not cooked properly--should have been seared and rare in middle, but at best pink. When all was said and done, we were out $90 bucks with drinks and were all holding our stomachs--DO NOT GO HERE--IT TRULY SUCKS--REBECCA AND CREW--relish in the fact they are running the joint into the ground with out you. It is back to a gin mill with crappy food--except by 8pm, no one at bar either. Just glad Petit Bistro Robert has come to Needham--no need to eat crap at the Biltmore ever again. And, if you want good bar food, go to Dunn Gahreins--the food is great and the staff even better. RIP the Biltmore we knew.

                2. It drives me nuts that this place used to be good... we went there recently becuse I'd read all those good reviews out there, and we had a (mostly) terrible experience. I called to check on the hours after reading conflicting things on various websites, and it was good that we arrived when we did, because I'd been told that they were open from 11-1am. So not true- they close in between lunch and dinner. Hello?! When we got there, we hung around inside for a good few minutes before anyone bothered to even come out from the kitchen (the first sign that we should have left), we were dismissed like some kind of closing-hour intruders by the guy who finally appeared, our waiter was nice but either didn't know what the hell he was doing or was a bartender who was coerced into waiting tables while we were there, my "medium rare" burger was OK- not great- and totally grey inside, and we were the only people there for an entire hour during what should, by all accounts, have been a busy lunchtime! The one perk was that the fish part of the fish and chips was cooked beautifully, though we were missing the well-reviewed fries which were supposedly proper fish-and-chip-type fries. After reading rave reviews left and right, I was so, so, so disappointed. What a waste of money.

                  1. The Biltmore has a new chef & owner -- went for lunch the other day. It was pretty crowded. I had a decent lobster roll (very little mayo) and fries. My friend had the ribs and they were falling off the bone & delicious. Looking forward to going back.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: michela

                      Falling-off-the-bone ribs are a real yecch in my book. I'm always faintly amused when places like Floramo's boast about that in their ads.