Pigalle, Geoffrey's and Halfway Cafe
Hit these 3 spots this weekend. I previously had a not so good experience at Pigalle and reported such on this site. On Saturday, 3 of us returned and had an outstanding dinner. Our server was very good and Kerri Foley, the owner/manager was extremely friendly and accommodating. Two of the 3 appetizers, Butternut Squash Soup and an Arugula Salad were wonderful, and all 3 Entrees were excellent, Tenderloin with seared foie gras, Risotto with crab and Tortelloni stuffed with Kobe Beef served with a creamy sauce and wild mushrooms. We were all very pleased with our meals and the service and plan on returning very soon as they are starting a special promotion from 10/15-10/31 of a 3 course dinner for $35 which includes most (not all) of their regular menu. Geoffrey's in Roslindale Square, on the other hand, was not a very satisfying experience. We had never been before and upon arrival and observing the pretty outdoor courtyard and the very reasonably priced menu, we were optimistic. Both my wife and I got pasta entrees, I got the shrimp scampi and she a ziti or penne dish with chicken and sausage. Both pasta dishes were pretty bland and non-descript with the penne dish having almost no flavor at all. Last night, 6 of us hit the Halfway Cafe in Dedham looking for a good burger and a "cheap" meal and I am pleased to say that it was "spot on". The homemade onoin rings were fairly greasless and devoured quickly, at $5.99 a perfect size for 6 of us to all have a decent taste. The 8 oz, flame grilled burgers, were cooked perfectly and were delicious and the fries, homemade as well, could have been crispier, but were very tasty. All told, with several beers and wine, total bill came to $30/couple with tax and a 20% tip, I thought a very good deal.
I'm glad you had a good experience at the Dedham Halfway Cafe. I've been to this one as well as the ones in Canton and Watertown, and all three yielded poor experiences for me.
Dedham: had the worst steamed clams ever here -- there was enough sand, dirt, and grit in them to build castles, and carefully rinsing them in broth didn't help much at all. A miserable eating experience. Also, no popcorn was brought at the start of the meal (though other patrons had a basket in front of them), and a request for some from the waitress went unfilled, as was my water glass.
Watertown: got turkey tips, which were dried out and tough with no flavor. Did get the popcorn at least, and managed to wrangle a water glass refill.
Canton: went there hoping to get steamers and was told they didn't have any, nor would they get in any that day. I got up and left.
I'm not a huge fan of Halfway but the Watertown one is down the street and I go there occasionally. Went the other night and the turkey tips were actually delicious, juicy and char-flavored. I have had them other times and not been as impressed, so maybe they have a consistency problem. Have never had anything outright bad there though.
You should give Geoffrey's another try. I think they serve consisently good food with extremely friendly service. I tend to stick with sandwiches, comfort-food choices there, but I've always been happy with my choices there. I especially enjoy their brunches, but we've had good experiences at dinner too. I think you may have just had an off meal.