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Chowhype

After eating at Angelas for the first time last night and finding myself underwhelmed I was wondering, at what other places have people fallen victim to ChowHype?

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  1. Grotto, first and foremost. Hei La Moon. Probably others.

    1 Reply
    1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

      Definitely agreed on Hei La Moon -- I've tried dim sum there two or three times, and nothing has left me with any desire to abandon my beloved Emperor's Garden.

      Variably agreed on Grotto -- disappointed severely by the Big Night dinner, but their risottos and gnocchi have been consistently killer the times that I've been there, and I have eaten a few memorable prix fixe dinners there.

      Also not sold on Wang's in Somerville, though that was on the basis of a single experience that was miserable enough that I'm not eager to go out of my way to give them a second chance.

    2. This will definitely cause the ire of some of the regular crowd on this board but here is a list of some that I've felt similarly about:

      Grotto
      L'Espalier
      L'Andana
      Rendezvous
      Sabur
      LaMorra
      Tryst

      1 Reply
      1. re: Sal Monella

        We had some great meals at La Morra but haven't been so happy the last two times we went. In fact, the last time we went we were so disappointed that we actually called the restaurant and told them. We had loved the place so much and it's so close to us! But it's a bit embarassing when you like a place, bring friends, and realize that the food just ain't that good. Hope it looks up.

      2. Not quite on topic because I never even got to eat there, but we walked out of Eastern Standard because no one came around to take our order (or even recognize our existence for that matter) the one time we went there. We waited about 15 minutes, then left and went to the now-defunct Tiki Room a few blocks away where the server actually seemed happy to see us, which was a nice change from ES.

        As far as actual food, I'm not completely sold on Costello's in JP. Both the burgers and the chili cheese fries have been inconsistent, and I wasn't too happy that they were reluctant to switch from a woman's softball game on TV to the Sox game when I was there one time last year. I have had one excellent burger there, though, and one outstanding plate of chili cheese fries, so the jury is still out on this one, I guess.

        7 Replies
        1. re: hiddenboston

          That actually sounds about right on Costello's -- inconsistent verging on annoying, but with occasional high points. I didn't realize it had been hyped higher than that.

          1. re: hiddenboston

            That sounds odd for ES, the front of the house is usually on top of things. I'd call it a fluke and try again. Or of course just grab seats at the bar.

            1. re: Joanie

              Been to ES twice, and the first time (on a Saturday afternoon) sat at the bar for 15 minutes (yes, it was that long) and no one came up to serve me -- both bartenders were down at the other end of the bar deeply involved in preparing what appeared to be at most two fancy drinks. Decided to leave at that point.

              The second time the bartender got to me right away, and the food was very good.

              So hiddenboston, I can relate. Looks like it has happened on more than one occasion.

              1. re: bachslunch

                Well, I'm glad it isn't just me (although I'm sorry you had to deal with that, too). I was feeling really self-conscious there for a bit!

            2. re: hiddenboston

              I agree completely with this assessment of Costello's. Sometimes the burger's are pretty good, sometimes not and the normal unadorned fries are never crispy. Nothing else on the menu has impressed me, except for the pizza, which they don't have anymore. I prefer the Galway across the street, where the burgers are consistently OK and the steak fries are almost always crispy and hot. Plus they leave the TV sound on for Sox games, a big plus IMHO.

              HB: in JP, don't you know you don't go messing with women's softball in a bar?! ;-)

              1. re: jpsox

                Heh, yeah, well, no one messes with my beloved team either, even though they do look pretty horrible right now... ;-b

              2. re: hiddenboston

                I had dinner at ES last night and was very happy with the service. Professional, attentive, knowledgeable and not intrusive. I had to pour my own wine once but otherwise staff seemed very well trained. In fact, the maitre d' dropped off a foie gras appetizer for no apparent reason other than to be nice. Now, whether it was a mistake that couldn't be returned or not, it was still a nice gesture. I found the food to be mostly spot on. The charcutrie board was delicious though not very substantial, the halibut (normally cod cheeks) gorgonettes were nothing special, the frisee salad with sweetbreads, lardons and hazelnuts was terrific, the coq au vin (nightly special) was terrific and the pork tenderloin was cooked to the right temperature but was over-peppered. We had a nice 2005 Vouvray for $80 that felt a little dear for the product, but that's French wine for you.

              3. Dare I say Oleana? The one time I had dinner there, everything was so salty I couldn't eat it. Because I was with a large group who liked their selections I didn't dwell on the fact.
                Perhaps it would be fair to return and see if I find it different from that visit.

                4 Replies
                1. re: Gio

                  Interesting, the main reason I put Rendezvous on my list was due to the over-salting of most dishes...minor reason was horrible service. Been there 2X and underwhelmed both times.

                  Never had the salt issue at Oleana though but I respect your comments.

                  1. re: Sal Monella

                    Thanks Sal... I wondered why I didn't like the dish, and I love spicy food. IIRC it was halibut with veggies. Oh well, maybe my tastebuds were sleeping that night. The Merlot someone ordered was delicious tho.

                    1. re: Gio

                      No sweat Gio. Give it another shot sometime and see if you get the same results.

                    2. re: Sal Monella

                      Ditto on Rendezvous! (salting and service)

                  2. Ken's Ramen - really due to my ignorance. I didn't know ramen is made using alkaline solution, so when I ate there, I found myself disliking the noodles due to the "baking soda" flavor. It reminded me of Chinese noodles I ate growing up, which I never liked. OTOH, I was pleasantly surprised by the excellent pork dumplings.