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Dec 28, 2008 04:33 PM

Has anyone had a bad experience at Artu?

Or was it just us?
We went for lunch today and arrived at around 2:20. We were hungry, so we ordered the main course. No wine, no appetizers. I ordered the leg of lamb and my guest ordered the sausage with brocolli rabe and fusili.

At 2:50, the waiter walked by and mumbled that it would be a couple of minutes. At 3:00 he tried the same trick - so i told him we were ready to walk out and cancel the order. But, we sat there meekly and the fusili was delivered at 3:05. My entree arrived 2 minutes later.

Now the bad part. There was a stray piece of what appeared to be chicken in the sausage and pasta dish. My plate contained cold pickled eggplant slices, cold pickled red pepper, a lot of what appeared to be quartered and grilled small potatoes and four (yes.... four) slices of totally overcooked lamb with grill marks on each of them. The lamb IMHO, had been re-cooked so it had that stringy/hard texture.

It was the singularly worst dining experience - capped off by the waiter teling me in short order, that nothing was going to please me. They charged me the full tab - and I consequently tipped the minimal,

Hopefully this is a one-of bad experience. Did anyone else have such treatment?

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  1. There are no shortage of people on this board who like Artu, but I'm not one of them. To copy what I posted some time ago about an experience I had there:

    "I know there are folks who like Artu on this board, but I didn't fare well there at all. To present a specific, I tried ordering a simple pasta with marinara sauce dish there, but the waitress aggressively upsold me to a more expensive version with added calamari ("you can't just get that!" she said). So I went along with it, definite price jump and all. The pasta was overcooked and the dish was horrendously salty. On top of that, I couldn't track down the waitress to fix things after she dropped off the plate -- in fact, it was all I could do to get a check from anyone there."

    1. There have been a few posts lately on bad experiences at Artu - you are not alone.

      Just wondering - leg of lamb - not exactly sure what that translates to, but if it had been cooked fresh - as in an actual "leg," wouldn't it take about 45 minutes to cook? Just saying. No excuse for receiving what you got, for sure.

      Knowing what I think I know about the place, I guess I would not have ordered any entree - to me they do two things well - antipasto and sandwiches.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Bob Dobalina

        Service tends to be better at the bar, not sure why. I tend to stick to grilled meats; sandwiches and pizza. I absolutely love their shrimp scampi pizza, and haven't found a better one anywhere. They make a decent meatball sandwich and the chicken stuffed with prosciutto and spinach is quite good. Bar staff is really attentive and quite friendly.

        1. re: Pegmeister

          Thank you Bob and Peg, I guess the greatness of the food that once was many years ago, has faded into oblivion. Will not be returning there again.

      2. Things have changed at Artu on Prince St, but I haven't been back since last June..mostly because of the non-accessibility situation. Before that everything I ever ordered there had been executed very well, from service to food. When I've had that lamb dish I asked for rare. It's been done exactly as I ordered. What a shame your experience was less than good.

        1. Which Artu? North End or Charles Street?

          1 Reply
          1. re: BostonZest

            It was at the North End location. I went there because years ago, I used to get fabulous take out from there. I was so excited to go back there to show off to my friend - and it ended up being a horrible mistake.

          2. My last experience there (North End location) was not that great either. The food was mediocre at best - nothing really horrible stands out. But I did toss the doggy bag after I opened it next day and decided I didn't even like it enough for leftovers. The service - while waiter was friendly enough when he was paying attention to us - there wasn't that much attention paid and orders were wrong on entrees and desserts (he left the wrong dessert and just brought us the correct one and said he wouldn't charge us for the "extra" dessert. We got a real laugh over that.