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Jul 12, 2009 06:02 PM

Kingfish Hall not what it was?

I was recommending Kingfish Hall to an out-of-town visitor (immediate family). They responded by telling me they went there for lunch, and were, um, disappointed. The discriminating palates in the group called the clam chowder "wretched," and the greek salad "a sorry excuse." The less discriminating palates described very tired-sounding fish and chips. I haven't been in a while, but the 2-3 times I've been they did pretty well. Is Kingfish Hall known to have lost it?

For the visitors, the overprice was to be expected, but the rotten quality, not to mention the nasty waitress, was pretty dramatic. Of course, this happened the day after they were lied to at Legals, where after a two-hour wait, having been told 40 minutes, they were told we don't know when we'll seat you.

Y'all come back now, y'hear? Not a good show for Boston.

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  1. I don't think it ever had it. We gave it a couple of goes when it opened and found it overpriced, very bad service and sort of "wretched." But, we never returned so I don't know how it has been in the years since. The only time it ever comes up in our conversation is as an example of how completely a restaurant could ruin a piece of skate.

    Was that the legal's on the waterfront this weekend? I just read that the businesses on the waterfront were extremely busy with the tall ship visitors.


    1 Reply
    1. re: BostonZest

      Ditto. They never had it. I think they were a victim of location.

    2. There have been enough problems with consistency and code violations in Todd English's restaurants that I'd have "reservations" about any of them. Just read that his Washington DC location has closed. He has what, 19 restaurants coast-to-coast? That would lead me to downshift expectations to lowest common denominator chain level.

      3 Replies
      1. re: greygarious

        I was last at KingFish last October. I sat at the bar and enjoyed a few oysters and a beer while I pondered what else to order. I decided to order the cod entree. After finishing my beer I kept trying to make eye contact with my server in order to order another beer (even though I was at the bar I was at the end with the big pot, so the bartender was not serving me directly). It took what I felt was an inordinate amount of time to get my second beer, especially since the bar area was pretty empty. It took me almost as long to get my second pint of Harpoon as it did for my entree to arrive. I was ready to write the place off completely, and then my entree came. I enjoyed it so much it almost completely made up for the totally indifferent service. I wish I could give more details, but it was long enough ago I don't remember much more. All in all, the service seemed to be at the "lowest common denominator chain level", but the food was much better than that.

        1. re: greygarious

          What code violations are you talking about? I just remember the one at Olives a few years back. Lowest common denominator sounds a bit harsh.

          1. re: macadamianut

            If I recall correctly, Figs was also cited for sanitary violations; that was earlier than the Olives problems 5 or so years ago.

        2. This post would be much more useful if it weren't complete hearsay. When you go yourself, musicman, please post your own experience. On what basis did you recommend it in the first place?

          Not that I have any desire to support Todd English in any way, shape, or form, but Kingfish's lobster roll was the best one I had last year. I have to go back to see if it is still up to snuff. Also, I've been a big fan of the tuna tartar there.

          1. Here is a review I wrote on last year about Kingfish Hall. I still haven't been back:

            "The one time I went here, the service was inadequate (slow, inattentive, and unaware of menu items or specials), and members of my party got food that was lukewarm, bland, or moldy (seriously). The management tried to compensate us with a complimentary dessert plate that we did not want and did not accept. Worse, we were charged for this complimentary dessert plate on the bill! We got that taken off, but it was an overwhelmingly bizarre experience. This could just be a freak occurrence, but I probably won't be going back again."