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A Joke in Backbay

I've been meaning to try this little restaurant since it opened a little over a year ago. I walk past it on a daily basis and always thought it looked like a cute little addition to the Back Bay restaurant scene. I walked in on a recent weekday afternoon with my wife and was greeted by a middle aged woman who was speaking on her cell phone and had her fingers in dirty glasses(also she was being chased around the restaurant by a little girl). We were immediately turned off but figured we would give the place a fair chance.

Upon sitting down we were greeted by a young lady who was chewing gum. She informed us that the restaurant only had a beer and wine license(which was fine) and asked what we wanted to drink. Off the top of her head she gave us a generic list of the wines that were available not mentioning the vineyards. We ordered two cabernets which were corked. We told our unpleasant waitress that the wine was corked and proceeded to grab my wife's glass and smell it at the table and tell us that was how it was supposed to be and returned it to my wife. We were stuck with it. Greeting: F

We started with the wedge salad. Brown iceberg lettuce, old bacon and enough dressing for three salads. We each took one bite and the salad was cleared away about ten minutes later without even asking us if everything was ok. First Course: F

I had the steak and cheese for lunch and my wife the tuna burger. The cheese steak was dry and had zero flavor. The toasted roll was almost black due to an extended visit to the oven. The tuna burger was another story. She was never asked how she wanted the tuna cooked so she assumed it would be somewhere in the rare to medium rare range. WRONG! It came well done and the texture was strange almost like string cheese that I used to get in my lunch box as a child. The fries were ice cold but at this point it was expected. I would have been shocked if they were fresh and hot. Ketchup also would have been nice offering for the fries but after trying them we wouldn't have eaten them anyways. Second Course: F

Throughout the course of our lunch that same little girl ran all over the restaurant screaming. If I wanted to go to a daycare I would have visited my daughter at summer camp and not stopped for lunch. Also the two employees who were visible(our waitress and the hostess) spent the entire time fooling around at the bar with other customers and playing on their phones. I don't know who owns or manages this place nor do I think I want to but this place is doomed. I do have to say the decor is nice but it is wasted on such a poor operation. DON'T GO. There are many other options in the area especially if you want to eat somewhere decent.

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Cafe 47
47A Maschsts Ave, Boston, MA 02115

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  1. Yikes.

    So what restaurants do you like to go to in that area? Any that you think really stand out?

    1 Reply
    1. re: hiddenboston

      sel de la terre, eastern standard, petit robert, post 390( a little further away), atlantic fish co. ones that really stand out are clio, abe and louie's and l'espalier.

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      sel de la terre
      boston, MA, boston, MA

    2. I just UNcorked it. That's how I got it out of the bottle and into the glass.

      (PS: Thanks for the warning!)

      1. I had hoped this would be an alternative dining option in the neighborhood but I gave it three tries and it struck out. I just didn't find the food worth a return visit.

        Funny you should relate a strange experience. It was weirdness that insured my last visit. I stopped in with a friend on afternoon for a snack and conversation. The woman that I think is the owner announced to us (the place was pretty empty) that one of the guys there had a new rap recording and she was sure we wouldn't mind if she played it.

        Believe me, you would never mistake either of us for Rap fans. We were not asked if we minded- we were told we wouldn't. She played it, we left and neither us us has ever, or will ever return.

        Penny
        http://www.bostonzest.com/

        5 Replies
        1. re: BostonZest

          The sad thing is the place seems to have potential. The interior is nice and I think the concept is right on. But if that same woman is the one that seated us I don't see a very bright future. The music was stange the day I was there as well. The two employees were constantly playing(Changing the music mid song) with the music and it was very loud and inappropriate for a restaurant. Is Cafe 47 going to be a good little eatery in Back Bay or a playground for some woman looking to do God only knows what.

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          Cafe 47
          47A Maschsts Ave, Boston, MA 02115

          1. re: bostonmaestro

            I am totally confused, or perhaps need my second cup of coffee. How do you know which place the OP is reviewing? He does not provide a name, right???

            1. re: drbangha

              The link to Cafe 47 at the bottom of the post.

              Penny
              http://www.bostonzest.com/

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              Cafe 47
              47A Maschsts Ave, Boston, MA 02115

              1. re: BostonZest

                Strange- link was not there (on my computer) earlier, but it is now.... Thanks

                1. re: drbangha

                  funny, it doesn't show up at the bottom of the OP's post on my computer either.

        2. Is Cafe 47 run by the same folks who used to operate that same location as Despina's Pizza? That was your basic, run-of-the-mill Greek pan pizza and subs place, but it wasn't insultingly terrible. It was what it was.

          http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

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          Cafe 47
          47A Maschsts Ave, Boston, MA 02115

          2 Replies
          1. re: MC Slim JB

            I believe it is under new ownership. I heard a rumor it was purchased by one (or some) of the owners of Sweet next door. I could see this based on what they have done with it.

            The funny thing is that upon opening some of their PR had featured that they had purchased the secret Despina's pizza recipe and it would live on (or something to that effect). I found that amusing as you accurately point out, Despina's was standard run of the mill greek pizza. I lived close there for over a decade, and liked the Despina's owners and staff. I hope they got a lot of dough for the "secret sauce' and retired somewhere nice.

            At the end of the day, Despina's was a better option (for what it was) in the neighborhood.

            1. re: MC Slim JB

              No it was opened with a new owner but I heard Despina required that they keep the name alive or something like that.

              A secret recipe for greasy pizza- I think 3/4 of the pizza places in the state have that recipe. But, you are right, Despina was always friendly, warm, quiet and edible.

              Penny
              http://www.bostonzest.com/

            2. How does one identify old bacon?