Upstairs on the Square: Monday Club vs. Soiree
Hello, my husband and I are heading to Upstairs on the Square next weekend (in part due to a gift certificate). I'm wondering what people's recent experiences have been both upstairs and down. It seems (where I can find UTS referenced on the boards) that the Monday Club Bar has more fans than the Soiree Room? I'm really interested in the tasting menus in the Soiree Room, though, and would love to hear from anyone who has tried them.
I've only been to UTS once, years ago, and had a pretty lackluster meal in the Soiree Room, but it was restaurant week (when I think lackluster meals sort of abound).
the monday club is quite nice. one of the most consistent things about upstairs on the square is the bar manager, lino. he is gracious, knowledgeable, and makes killer drinks. with a gift certificate, i would agree with the suggestion you stick to apps and dessert (and cocktails). the artichoke appetizer is delicious.
I'm with you and rlh. I have been consistently underwhelmed by the Soiree Room. I'd avoid it.
Monday Club Bar is a more complicated story. The quality seems to sinusoid pretty dramatically. At its best, the chow is among the best in the city, particularly the starters, breads, and desserts. But then it will go into a prolonged slump where the quality falls way, way short of the price point. Considering how seldom I recognize the same server on a second visit, I'm guessing the turnover is high in the kitchen as well. Unfortuantely, during my last visit (about two weeks ago), the kitchen was back in a slump. Nothing inedible, but plenty of bland, clumsily executed, overpriced food, and with notably discombobulated service to boot.
The one area where you can count on doing well is the wine. Matt Reiser is a really talented young sommelier, and the wine list, while by no means cheap, is thoughtfully selected, leaning heavily on France and Italy, but also showcasing some seldom-seen-in-Boston California labels.
Love the Monday Club every time, but was disappointed by Soiree Room relative to high expectations (corresponding to the price point) on two special occasions - it wasn't bad at all - it just wasn't special or memorable - and I don't like the upstairs interior space nearly so much, either, in spite of the elaborate decor. Go downstairs and live it up or go twice vs. Soiree Room - my experience there if you do do is that the apps and desserts outshine the mains, so maybe a tasting menu would also be a great choice.