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Apr 7, 2008 08:19 AM

What Happened to B&G Oysters???

I went to B&G last week and was suprised to find everything I loved about the food and the atmosphere gone! I had eaten there last in Dec. had one of the best meals of my life. The menu was interesting and the entrees were light and surprising. But I returned this last week to find mediterranian? french? food not really sure howto caterogorize it. Dont get me wrong the food was still good but it was missing the flair and excitement of my previous meals there. Also it seems really slow low energy atmosphere wise. What happened to the crowded boiterious fastpaced B&G I fell in love with????

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  1. I ate there last week and thought it was as terrific as usual. The menu does evolve, but I don't think it has evolved that significantly from its roots. What did you see on the menu that surprised you?

    1. New competition in the neighborhood might account for the less-packed atmosphere. I find the space cramped enough when it's half-full not to miss constant crowds, and I'm anticipating the re-opening of their very nice patio, too. Can't say I detect the dramatic changes you cite in the menu, though its seems like the range of cooked items has broadened slightly since it opened. Does this look like what you saw? Because this menu looks pretty familiar (though I missed the burrata crostini on my last visit). I think the lobster roll is up to $24 or $25.

      3 Replies
      1. re: MC Slim JB

        Yes that was roughly the menu and as I said I was still good, but it seems more lke No. 9 food now. Last when I went there It was more contemporary american rather that the No.9 signature contemporary french/ italian

          1. re: Blumie

            ok well maybe it was just me I tend to pick up on subtle neuances others might not. Also there were some new faces cooking I hadn't seen before so maybe Its just a new crew that would account for the difference

      2. In terms of the menu I know that Barbara Lynch has been in on the line a fair amount in the last month updating and will be refreshing the Butcher Shop's menu next (or maybe as I type this.)

        3 Replies
        1. re: yummy2184

          I loved the creativity that the "young guns" on the line brought to the table over the last few years. Their nightly specials and passion for their craft have been fun. Everything from curry to new desserts have come from a few of the talented young guys who are leaving, not Barbara. I'll miss them, their food, and their engaging, entertaining personalities.

          1. re: Falcon 64

            A big part of the answer is that J.J. the former Chef de Cuisine and Alex the sous chef are now gone and haven't been replaced. It seems like they are having a lot of turnover which is always hard on a restaurant. It will be interesting to see what transpires with Ms. Lynch opening her new restaurant and both the Butcher shop and B&G greatly understaffed.

            1. re: lovinlinecook

              Now that you say that it makes a lot of sense. I too am curious after your posting I looked on craigslist and Bostonchefs don't even seem like she trying to hire repacements. Does anyone by any chance know where the old chefs went??? cuz thats where I want to eat!

        2. The original comment has been removed
          1. B&G has always been part of the Lynch empire, and I think it has always shown most of the same virtues and drawbacks as her other outlets. I don't really see the sudden changes that some other posters do.

            It features very solid and occasionally brilliant cooking, but is undeniably expensive. There isn't a great premium placed on ambience, though no one could accuse the room of being ugly; it's nice in a utilitarian sort of way. It boasts very knowledgeable, solicitous staff, showcases impeccable ingredients (here, the raw bar), and puts a lot of care into that high-margin alcohol component (here, seafood-friendly white wines). And it's conveniently located in a residential neighborhood that is home to a lot of folks who don't blink at $15 for a glass of wine or $25 for a smallish lobster roll. How is this extraordinarily different from the formulae for No. 9 or The Butcher Shop?

            I certainly can't remember a time when any of her outlets regularly attracted patrons I'd call cool or funky: the cool and funky people I know can't afford her places outside of special occasions.

            1. re: MC Slim JB

              Agreed, agreed, agreed. Well put.

              On a related note, however, I will say that I've noticed a distinct decline in the quality of the Butcher Shop's food as of late. (Check other threads; I've been an unswayable champion of the place over the last years even in the face of collective Chowhound persecution...!) That, plus the vibe has taken a turn for the even-more-industry-clique-ish than it already was----something I've never felt at B&G or No. 9.

              A shame.

          2. Welcome to all the newbies on this thread who feel B&G is going downhill. Any recommendations for places you all like that approximates the vibe you feel is lost?