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Oct 26, 2009 07:13 AM

Terrible Service at Atasca!

I made a reservation for 7:15 on a Saturday night at Atasca. Our party arrived at 7:20 pm. The host claimed that our reservation was for 7 pm and so could not hold our table. I tried to tell him that we had made our reservation for 7:15 and was only 5 minutes late. He then replied what would they do if you were at an airport and were 5 minutes late? I was pretty amazed that a host would say something like this to guests. We were prepared to wait for a table but after this type of service, we left rather quickly and went down the street to Portugalia.

Has anyone else had bad service at Atasca or was this just an off night? I personally will never go back to this restaurant.

Atasca Hampshire
50 Hampshire St, Cambridge, MA 02139

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  1. Oh, that is too bad. I've always had exemplary service at Atasca. I will say, that at any restaurant, the host /ess is not amused if one is late for a reservation. Add to that situation they had the original time wrong, a mix for getting off on the wrong foot. However, he behaved rather unprofessionally with his remark to you.
    I know what you mean, about never returning to a place when something occurs like that. I will tell you their salt cod entree is very good.

    1. i have only been at off-peak times and always just walked right in. the staff has always been friendly and polite. if the place was slamming, i can understand them not holding your table more than 15 minutes, but his response does sound surprisingly rude.

      1. Did you call and let them know you were running late?

        1 Reply
        1. re: LeoLioness

          Good question, and I think a good courtesy even if you're only a few minutes behind. I had reservations for 7pm and Rendezvous earlier and decided to walk with my DC from the Back Bay, but got caught up in the gorgeous full moon hanging above the city that night (she was an out-of-towner and I couldn't not oblige her trying to get a picture). I called Rendezvous just in case, and ended up only 3 mins late, but the host seemed very appreciative of the heads up.

        2. Yeah, I'd file that response under "dickish". It's not like your table is going to fly away, and in any event, that kind of tongue-clucking is not consistent with a facade of hospitality, especially since it appears they made a mistake in booking your reservation.

          I never cared for that Kendall space, really miss the original Atasca and O Cantinho, always look for other alternatives in East Cambridge when I want Portuguese food. This story is not going to hurry my return.

          1 Reply
          1. re: MC Slim JB

            The season is past us now, but the Kendall space has a sweet outdoor seating area that is really lovely. I don't love the dining room either.

            To the OP, that's a bummer. I've never had poor service there but it sounds like you made the right call and voted with your feet.

          2. Have never had bad service and food has also always been excellent. I agree with everyone that the space is horrible. That said, I think there food is a cut above the other Portuguese places around, and the lunch menus pretty affordable.