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Jan 31, 2009 03:56 PM


How is the food / service / atmosphere at Clink? Is it nice enough for a little celebration dinner or is it more of a bar? I like the idea of eating behind bars. It's a novelty but I dont know about food.

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  1. There's plenty of great bar dining in town, but Clink is not one I'd choose.

    It feels like a hotel lobby bar/restaurant (which is what it is), without enough boundary between public space and private space. The bartending is nothing special. It's a Lyons Bros establishment (which means the food is an afterthought by default). It attracts an overperfumed, suburban nightclub-crawler crowd on weekends.

    The real nod to the old jailhouse feel is better felt in the Alibi bar downstairs, but it likewise is not a place to seek out for dinner. If you really want that behind-bars experience (which I agree is fun, for about five minutes), have a pop at Alibi first, though you may have to wait in a velvet-rope line on weekend nights, which is not worth doing. Then pay up and eat somewhere else.

    The good news is that the bar at Scampo next door to Alibi is a perfectly fine spot for a little celebration dining. Its Italian food is really rather nice (I love any kind of bread-based dish there), and the bartending is seriously better than that at Clink or Alibi.

    1 Reply
    1. re: MC Slim JB

      i would agree that Clink is a clunker. Scampo has just changed up their menu, their chesnut pasta w/ guanciale and pigs ears is an instant Lydia Shire classic imo, reminiscent of her old days at Biba, a carnival of textures and flavors. (Start with the beef carpaccio and end with the grapefruit sorbet w/ campari drizzle and cornmeal biscotti and you can go back to lockdown a happy inmate...)

    2. I would avoid Clink totally. We ate there only once when the Liberty first opened. The food and atmosphere were average "at best" and service was ok. I would never go back. Scampo, which is also in the Liberty, is fantastic. It is a beautiful space with great food and great service. We eat there often.......they are always a homerun.

      2 Replies
      1. re: stradacouple

        if you have not been there you should try it. if you were there when they opened then you should go back as there has been a new chef since it's original opening chef. last time i was there i heard that they were gonna redo the place. he's already overhauled the menu. he's doing some interesting things. the hotel is very interesting. this and the bar is not a lyons grp establishment but alibi and scampo are.

        1. re: maxrexsharky

          I went to Clink when it first opened and was left thoroughly unimpressed.

          Since then, however, I have been twice, and the last time I ate there (a few weeks ago), the food and service were excellent. IMO, the chef is a little too ambitious with his menu, for what many consider just a hotel casual restaurant, but food quality and execution were right on par with Scampo.

          Agree with poster above that it's worth giving another try.

          The Roast Chicken Three Ways is one of the most interesting chicken preparations in the city.

      2. I think of it more as a bar too, but they do have a suprisingly good cheese course here.

        1. Anyone been for brunch ? Supposed to go in March for a 60th birthday for a parent but this doesnt sounds promising.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Shamrock22

            We went not too long ago for brunch. We had great service, very attentive. The brunch was different. There are buffet items and there is also a menu and you can order anything off the menu as many times as you want and its all included in the price of the brunch. I did have a bloody mary that was very overpriced and actually not very good. If we ever go back I would skip the drinks and just eat. Maybe we are not as fussy, but there was variety so I think everyone should find something they like. When you have a menu item the portions are smallish. I did like the sweet potato fries and that was a large serving, but you can order a few items and the table can share.

            1. re: marilu

              Clink was good but pricey for what you get. Would probably not come back here (I don’t live in Boston but that is the spirit I would approach a revisit). Was up in Boston visiting --- and my friend was very very insistent that we go to the liberty hotel for dinner. This is what happened.

              Went on a Saturday night – at 8pm. No wait at the door but the restaurant looked full the whole time we were there. There was a large group of folks drinking at the bar in front of Clinks which we had to wade through. I am not sure how I feel about the whole concept of – prison as entertainment – but the drinking bankers in front must have thought it splendid.

              The menu seemed pretty limited and is divided into snacks/appetizer and entrees. I have no clue what the difference is between appetizers and snacks is (perhaps one category is slightly easier to share).

              It was a party of four here is what we ordered.

              Tuna – this was basically a mound of raw tuna surrounded by plaintain chips. Good but pretty basic fair
              Celery Soup – excellent
              Raw Meat (aka steak tartare) – I don’t eat meat but was told this was good.

              Kingfish Sashimi – very good… this is an appetizer but I wasn’t that hungry so I got it for my entrée. Very fresh fish. Probably the best thing we had.
              Scallops – excellent – well cooked
              Salmon – Just really weird platting. The salmon comes on a really big tray and is off to one side and in the middle is a green sauce which is brushed out and looks like bile. There were desiccated mushrooms sprinkled on the plate. The overall effect was very unappetizing. The salmon though was cooked really well.

              We ordered some overpriced Pinto Grigio and a Red. The wines were not memorable. The space is cute… the hotel is very impressive.

          2. I had good food at Clink earlier this winter - the scallop ceviche with tapioca was great. But the entire atmosphere was so pretentious I had a hard time enjoying any of it. Huge turnoff.