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What is so special about Tavern on the Water??

I just have to ask. I have some friends who really love this place. Maybe it's just not my kind of hangout. I went w/ some friends and had drinks. I ordered a glass of pinot noir and it was almost hot tasting...like it had been sitting by a window in the sun all day. Yuck! I'm sure some of you might be thinking "ok, she's lame...she went to Tavern on the Water and got wine. Well it's because I don't drink beer (I hate the taste and smell of it), so I have to do the wine thing. Anyhow, my glass was disgusting, but the vibe I was getting was that I should not ask for another one because they'd probably think I was a pain and would do something nasty to it. I just let it go and didn't bother to drink it. We all went downstairs for dinner after and the food was horrendous. I could have made better mac and cheese at home. My friends did not like their meals either.

I guess maybe it's a place to go and get sloshed, hook up w/ someone, or a place where you go if you don't care about atmosphere, good food, good drinks. Honestly, I like hole in the wall places and dives, but if you're going to be no frills, at least serve a good drink so that your customers will order more of them and want to stay!

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  1. Nothing special there except the location and the view - and they seem to get the crowds regardless of how warm the wine is and how bad the food/service is also. Sail Loft (or Rowes Wharf when I can afford it) in Boston are far superior waterside options for me.

    1. no beer, no wine, how about a Proper Cocktail?

      1. The answer is in your question. It's on the water.. sorry couldn't resist..:)

        5 Replies
        1. re: 9lives

          Ok, a water view...big deal! I'd rather risk getting arrested for public drinking by taking a good bottle of wine to one of the docks on the Esplanade or sitting by the Aquarium than going to Tavern on the Water. I mean come on! At least serve good drinks there to balance out the other crappy things this place offers.

          1. re: BackBayGirl

            The breezes on a hot summer night are much nicer at Tavern on the Water than at the Esplanade and the Aquarium, mainly because you're a good ways above the water and situated so that a southerly wind is coming right off the water. Basically, it is what it is--a place to grab a beer and a burger while hitting on everyone and everything (or avoiding getting hit on) between innings of the Sox game on TV. Not my cup of tea really, but I do like going there when it's still 85 degrees at 9:00 at night.

            1. re: BackBayGirl

              Hey, what do you want from me? I don't own the place(or even go there).

              Just answering the original question.

              1. re: 9lives

                I'm joking. :-) I mean, yes it sucks, but I the view itself doesn't inspire me to go there.

                1. re: BackBayGirl

                  Me either..but enough people do.

                  The police have been cracking down on public drinking on Long Wharf lately..so be careful if you go that route..:)

          2. To me, it's all about the views (and the breezes on a hot summer night). That's about it, though...

            1. >Well it's because I don't drink beer (I hate the taste and smell of it),

              Don't give up on beer - there are many different styles and hundreds of different flavors - at least one or two will appeal to you. Unfortunately most people judge "beer" based on the one style they are exposed to - light industrial lager - which is the equivalent of judging all wine based on mass produced white zin.

              1 Reply
              1. re: LStaff

                Believe me...I've tried many types. Something about it I just don't like. The smell and taste just puts me off. Maybe it's the hops?? I don't really know. I've tried so many kinds and it just isn't my thing.

              2. Great view of the skyline. Decent place to watch a game. 2-ingredient drinks are usually safe. Beyond the view, nothing is special. Total waste of space, and no need to go there unless you wear your baseball hat backwards and think that's cool.

                1 Reply
                1. re: PJ Mac BJ

                  "...unless you wear your baseball hat backwards and think that's cool."

                  Hey, I resemble that remark! :)

                2. Tavern on the Water unfortunately has location, location, location. Nothing else really and the last time I was there it was really filthy. I hear ya about not drinking beer (neither do I). I usually get a scotch at places like this. On the rocks, simple Dewars. Really hard to screw up. On a hot summer day, watching the sunset over the Zakim and the boats going out to the Harbour, really hard to beat no matter how disgusting the place is.

                  1. We went a couple times last year and my experiences weren't great. First of all, the vibe was set when the door guy acted as if he would card your grandmother. Then the steps leading up to the top deck were slippery with caked-on grease. We found seats by the rail, facing the water, but the wait to get noticed was long enough that it was just easier to get up and go order from the bar. The bartender was the type who liked to be chatty with friends and notice others whenever. The drinks were served in plastic cups and seemed overpriced. Overall impression is that it's a place adults go to get their stupid on.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: wontonton

                      With one of the best views in the city, it's too bad it's not Neptune on the Water, or something comparable.

                      1. re: PJ Mac BJ

                        I wonder how much Neptune would charge for an oyster if they had a view?

                    2. Spend an afternoon with about 5 Long Islands, crappy fish an chips, and a few friends on the back patio. Have the lowest expectations for food, ok drinks, and a chill spot and that what it is good for. I have been a half dozen times and couldn't tell you a thing about the food except for it wasn't memorable. I do know that it is a good place to hang with friends (for us poor folk without a roof deck).