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Nov 4, 2009 03:25 AM

Mediocrity in Wellesley

I went to The Cottage Wellesley last night with group of former co-workers.

The good:

Beautiful Bar, spacious seating, attentive staff, great service.
The appetizers were excellent, Chorizo & Shrimp Quesadillas and Ahi Tuna Nachos.

The mediocre:
The main courses, Rosemary Grilled Shrimp, Sesame Sea Scallops. The food tasted good enough, good not excellent, but the portions were small considering the price.

The bad:
The drinks were simply atrocious. I ordered a manhattan, the bartender couldn't find the bourbon, almost mixed it with dry vermouth (they only had Martini & Rossi) and it was small and watery.

Overall I can't recommend. I wouldn't go back for dinner. Returning for appetizers while sitting in the lounge would be an option if they replaced and/or trained their bar staff. However, if your a beer or wine drinker go for the appetizers.

The Cottage
190 Linden Street, Wellesley, MA 02482

Cottage Wellesley
190 Linden St, Wellesley, MA 02482

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  1. I've heard mixed things about The Cottage. How are the prices? Too bad the bartender didn't think to "substitute" rye for the bourbon.

    2 Replies
    1. re: nsenada

      Go for the fish tacos and the burgers. They are both good and the prices for these main dishes are reasonable (under $20).

      1. re: nsenada


        Menu here

        A Rye Manhattan, great idea! Not going to happen at the Cottage though.

      2. You tell the truth. Mediocre food, horrible bartending. I ordered a caiparinha once and it was a tall drink made with SPRITE. Yes, I sent it back. We went a few times and have not been back. Sometimes we get burgers to go which are ok- no other place in Wellesley with a burger to go- and their housemade granola which is sold in bags at the register is good.

        2 Replies
        1. re: emilief

          The one and only time I went to Naked Fish in Natick, I ordered a mojito and it was made with Sprite. Ick.

          1. re: Kat

            Went there this past weekend for expedience reasons, plus I actually like their peppercorn cream tuna entree. I have a feeling they are not long for this world. It was empty on a Friday night, and despite that fact, it took forever for the waiter to arrive. The breadbasket used to contain a rather tasty roll made with cumin and raisins, and in lieu of that, they gave us each a single plain white roll on a plate. The swordfish special tasted "fishier" than it should have, and the balsamic, kalamata and tomato sauce tasted like it had a pound of sugar in it. The tuna was rare, as ordered, but cold even on the exterior. The sangria tasted bitter, which to me is a sign that the citrus slices had been soaking in the mix for longer than they should have.

        2. We've eaten there maybe a dozen times and have yet to have any dish that is remotely appetizing. The fish tacos are acceptable, but light years away from La Verdad. The burger is...a burger. Nice room; wonderful wait staff; but nothing going on food-wise. (Since we don't do mixed drinks cannot comment there.) Good news for Wellesley foodies is that the Maugus owners are taking over the space that was formerly Vidalia's (and before that the wonderful Popovers). Will be called Milestones, I believe, and open in early December with an American/Italian menu.

          La Verdad
          1 Lansdowne St, Boston, MA 02215

          Maugus Restaurant
          300 Washington St, Wellesley Hills, MA 02481

          1 Reply
          1. re: terrycatch

            "mediocrity in Wellesley" could be used to describe the entire town's dining options with a few small exceptions. Wellesley needs a family friendly place that serves good food in a casual atmosphere. i.e. a place to grab a good burger or sandwich, a draft beer and perhaps watch a game on tv.

            as for the Cottage, we have had some limited success with their brunch menu but will never be going back for dinner.

          2. As a frequent visitor from NYC and Southern California to the Metrowest suburbs, I was happy when La Jolla's Cottage opened. While having a bit of that SoCal feel, it, at the same time, seemed more sophisticated than the other restaurants in the Wellesley-Needham area that I have been to. I especially like to go there in the early evening when it is so lively.

            I have found the barmen as well as the wait staff to be very nice, but I was very surprised to find that I could not order a drink at the bar without eating. Evidently, it is a town law that if you are going to drink you must also eat.

            Not being a big drinker and generally ordering wine, I am probably not one to judge the ability of the bartender there, but can't imagine that he wouldn't know where the bourbon was.

            For New Year's eve I decided to go for a chocolate martini and asked the waiter if the bartender knew how to make it. He said he wasn't sure, but would ask. The answer was yes. I must say, it was delicious. One was all I needed. Two would have put me on my ear.

            As far as the food is concerned, I love the crab cappelini appetizer and always order it, but when I looked at the menu last night I saw it was no longer offered. Big disappointment. (It's still on the La Jolla menu.) The waiter recommended the short ribs instead. I have always preferred spare ribs to short ribs, but decided to take his advice and I must say they were outstanding as were the mashed three potatoes.

            Don't order the meatloaf. I ordered it when they first opened and it was terrible.

            About the suggestion of substituting rye for bourbon, just last week a friend and I were discussing rye. We weren't sure it was still even being made since we hadn't seen it in so long. I have just checked on the web and see that it is now a hot trendy cocktail whiskey. Amazing.

            The Cottage
            190 Linden Street, Wellesley, MA 02482

            1 Reply
            1. re: forestqueen56

              Take it for what it is worth... Food isn't bad but don't go with high expectations. American casual bistro. I liked the fish tacos too and the tortilla soup.

            2. I think this place has just let itself go downhill. When it first opened I thought it was going to be a nice addition to the lacking Wellesley restauarant scene but it is not. Well, it is fine if you want a "decent" meal but it is no alternative to Blue Ginger for a solid meal out. I recently tried the new place called Milestone and would handsdown go there over the Cottage in the future if I want a casual bite to eat. We had Lentil soup with pork belly, Lamb Burger and Beet salad with Shrimp. It is still new and you can tell they are still trying to work everything out but it was already better than the Cottage has ever been and more reasonable.