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Mar 12, 2009 10:12 AM

bond -- don't bother

went last night with a group.

the room is gorgeous, although i couldn't understand the very cheap looking posters in the window arches. they were meant to be cartoonish high-denomination bills, but just looked cheesey.

the back server only filled the water glasses half-way, although i was pleased they didn't try to push bottled water. our server was clearly stretched too thin and we had an inordinate amount of trouble getting her attention and then ever having her return. she was smiley and very pleasant while dealing with us though. she described the menu and recommended 3 small plates PLUS a large plate to make a meal. i instinctively knew that would be too much food.

i started with the duck prosciutto, which sounded promising. it was sliced paper thin but served on relatively large slices of spiced poached pear, so all you really tasted was fruit. even just a small bite of pear with the meat overwhelmed it. others had the torchon, which again suffered from a strange sense of proportion. a tiny wedge of toast for a pretty large serving of foie. a fruit we *thought* might be a crabapple, but poached to sweetness, also was on the plate.

we shared the bread basket, everything was warm and came with good butter, delicious tapenade and a garlicky bean spread.

i then had the clam and chorizo pizza, which was thin and crispy, but the clams were cooked to be bits of rubber and the chorizo only tasted of salt. it was a very large small plate -- 6 slices-- and i shared most of it.

my neighbor had the escargot, which was in a small open round of tartshell and swimming in a thick flavorless bechamel. it reminded us all of a deconstructed hot-pocket. not to mention, the menu said nothing about it being in pastry. bad, bad. we actually were laughing at it, it was so bad.

in between courses, i got up and asked a server where the restroom was. he actually said, "i don't know." are you kidding me? "it's my first day," was his reply. i managed on my own to find it, lol.

last course i ordered the "lamb tagine" which came in a very cute ceramic tagine pot, but was actually meatballs of a very grainy texture. i make lamb meatballs all the time. these seemed like the meat had been pureed. the sauce was pleasantly spiced, but i only ate 2 of the meatballs because the texture was so disarming. there were 5 meatballs, so again, not a small portion. others had the lamb chops, which were strangely thin and came with a mountain of prunes -- we counted 10. 2 smallish chops, why soooooo much fruit? one person had the burgers -- 2 slider-sized with a small cone of skinny fries -- which he enjoyed.

we all were too full for desert.

the lights dimmed dramatically at 9:00 and our server took off her jacket. i guess that must be sexy-time.

the room was full of 30-somethings in suits, both men and women. the high ceilings make it a very noisy room when it's busy. by the time we were leaving at about 9:30, the place had only men in suits.

it's extremely close to my work. i was too disappointed to return.

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  1. Thank you for the detailed review. I had heard this place was the new Grill 23 (ie: where the cougars go). Your report on the food gives me another reason to avoid it.

    5 Replies
    1. re: yumyum

      "...where the cougars go." that's hilarious. I went here for drinks and the way the OP described the wall decor is spot on. I absolutely hated my experience here. The barstaff was embarassingly inexperienced and the crowd was too "D-B'y" for me to relax.

      1. re: ysb

        Agree with everything said. The Langham used to be my standby hotel bar (Julien's) for a place to get a seat after work. So I tried on a Friday night. Mistake. Avoid! It was overcrowded and understaffed. Pretty room, but when you're forced to stand at the top of the stairs, thinking about crossing the room for a drink at the crowded bar, then giving up, pretty doesn't mean much. I left after 5 minutes. I have co-workers who have gone for lunch, waited 45 minutes for food, sent back undercooked burgers, and overall thought it was terrible. Also, it's the only place open for dinner at the hotel, so that might explain all the suits. Poor business-people staying in Boston who don't frequent Chow Hound and are forced to go to Bond for a meal!

        1. re: ysb

          I can concur that the bar was four cougars deep when I went one thursday. I was also sickened somewhat by the 50 year old men swooning over 25 year old women. It took 15 minutes to get my mediocre dirty martini. It was a thursday, and the line outside was easily 20 people long. I won't be back, at least not after work.

          1. re: crazycrazypete

            Strange -- usually you don't see the old guys where the cougars are. On a venn diagram, those circles would not typically intersect.

            Sounds charming.

            1. re: yumyum

              I thought the universe was going to implode, but everyone stayed in their appropriate areas and we avoided an atomic breakdown.

      2. Agreed with all notes above - and also had high hopes after seeing the room during off hours - have been twice on Friday after work and disappointed by the food and the drinks - the martinis LOOK great, but they are served in room temperature to warm glasses and have NO finesse in the flavors (they rely almost completely on high end flavored liquor - never a favorite for me). The service is spotty and the room is really noisy in a bad way. That clam pizza is inedible. The only redeeming menu item I have tried were the housemade chips and dip, however, there is enough dip for about 3x as many chips as they serve and they won't just bring more chips, even for a price??? I will probably end up there again solely out of convenience - and I'll be drinking bottled beer (might venture into the wine but it looked boring and overpriced in a cursory look) and eating little other than chips.

        1. The original comment has been removed
          1. I stopped here last nite for what is supposed to be my last alcoholic drink for as long as I take this medication. (Is it less fair for someone like me who gets such joy out of an occasional big girly martini or someone who really drinks?) With dilated pupils from the eye dr. around the corner, I went to look for the bar, which was right in front of me but I kept envisioning it in the old space I visited in Dec., up some stairs by the piano. That's closed now, I was quite shocked. So I sit at this bar and had a nice enough bartender who says he was surprised they closed that too, private functions I guess. He recommended the 'sawbuck' since I like pear. It seemed okay, certainly cold enough altho I would have liked less lime and more ginger. But the price went up since Dec. from $10-12 to $14, the drink menu is smaller, and there are no nuts which they also served then. Didn't look at a food menu. Not quite as majestic as it used to be.