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Mar 27, 2013 11:03 AM

Scampo let down

I have always wanted to try Scampo and was excited to see them on RW. I've followed the ups and downs about RW but always had good experiences and found it a good way to try out a new place.

Upon being seated we did not see a RW menu. We asked a passing waiter who said there had been confusion and they were only doing RW lunch. When our waiter came by we explained what the other staff had said and the situation. He simply said we are only doing lunch. We felt a bit awkward and asked him if it had been an ongoing mix-up but he seemed to think we were the confused ones. Feeling a bit uncomfortable we decided to check in with the hostess. She explained that it had been a mess because Boston RW had put lunch and dinner on their site and Scampo had been trying to get it taken down. Little effort was made to make us feel welcome at that point so we decided to call it quits. No one seemed to care as we gathered out coats and the great customer service I have read about at Scampo eluded us.

While I understand the confusion with the RW site, there were plenty of opportunities to make us feel we hadn’t lost it. There was the call to confirm reservations which could have mentioned they were not offering RW dinner. Or at the very least the staff would have been briefed that there was confusion and to at least not treat customers like they were making it up. Sadly, we left feeling brushed off.

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  1. Oy, that's a bummer, especially since there's not much nearby for a Plan B. Scampo's website says lunch-only for RW, and now the master RW site ( says so, too. A cautionary tale to double-check before you go.

    I tend to think of only the highest-end places, like L'Espalier, participating only at lunch. A quick glance at the master site shows others: Abe & Louie's, Atlantic Fish, Del Frisco's, Eastern Standard, Mooo...., Oishii Boston, Strega Waterfront.

    5 Replies
    1. re: MC Slim JB

      There is that mexican place inside the gas station just up the street - they serve a mean taco.

      1. re: grant.cook

        Not anymore. Although I disagree that there aren't many other options nearby. Beacon Hill has plenty.

        1. re: Niblet

          I think if you needed to stick to a RW plan, and weren't prepared for a long walk, your options would be Clink (bleh), Pierrot (where $38 goes decently far outside of RW), and Beacon Hill Bistro. Not much else I could recommend.

          1. re: MC Slim JB

            I was also thinking Lala Rokh, Grotto. Could even throw in No. 9 Park which is doing RW too and the menu looks really good.

            1. re: Niblet

              Grotto is another one where $38 goes far outside of RW. Haven't loved Lala Rokh in a while (feels like I get much better food for about 1/3 of the price at more casual Persian outlets), and No. 9 requires long advance planning to snag a RW table.


    2. I have been noticing lately that customer service has gone down in a lot of places. I think I need to start a customer service training program.

      1 Reply
      1. re: l0b0SKI

        I was at Ruth's Chris during lunch yesterday and they were slammed. If you came in offering customer service training I expect they'd have pummeled you about the head and shoulders with baguettes. Although in their case they wouldn't need it anyway; they handled the crowds with aplomb and lunch was fantastic.

      2. Yikes, posting a bad review because of what may've been an administrive error for Restaurant Week. Sounds like you expected them to give you a deal anyway. In my opinion a better bet would've been to roll with it, order a pizza and an app or two, couple of glasses of wine, enjoy yourself. In my experience ordering a la carte like that often ends up costing less anyway than if you'd paid per person for the RW prix fixe. Plus the food there is worth it.

        11 Replies
        1. re: Niblet

          I didn't get that impression at all. It's not unreasonable to think that people might have been coming in for a RW lunch if:

          a. they made a lunch reservation for Scampo during RW

          b. the website that advertises RW lists Scampo as participating for lunch.

          I think Scampo could have handled it better, starting with letting people know this when they called to confirm the reservation.

          1. re: LeoLioness

            It's not unreasonable to think that people might have been coming in for a RW lunch they made a lunch reservation during RW and the website that advertises RW lists them as participating for lunch.
            WTH? I read it three times and cannot understand the meaning of your sentence. This was a dinner reservation, btw, you do realize that. RW lunch menu does not apply to dinner.

            1. re: Niblet

              Sorry, forgot an "if" in there. I will edit.

              Basically, Scampo was aware that there was a mistake on Boston's RW site. Shouldn't Scampo assume that some of the people who made reservations to eat lunch at Scampo during RW would be there specifically expecting a RW lunch menu? It's really not such a stretch.

              It would have been easy to convey the news that there was an administrative error when they called people to confirm the res, no?

              1. re: LeoLioness

                OP was there for dinner. OP expected Scampo to have RW menu for dinner, but Scampo only offers a RW menu for lunch.

                Scampo obviously doesn't need the extra business for dinner. Therefore they have no need to tell everyone making a dinner reservation that RW menu is not offered for dinner; it's unnecessary information for those who don't even care about RW anyway.

                1. re: Niblet

                  Sorry, I misread.

                  I still think that if they know mis-information is out there, they should attempt to communicate the correct information. I don't care about RW either, but obviously plenty of people do. Since it exists and all.

                  1. re: LeoLioness

                    "...agree to disagree." -- Ron Burgundy

                2. re: LeoLioness

                  AGAIN, it was a DINNER reservation OP made. Not everyone visiting Scampo for dinner is even aware of RW, so why should Scampo proactively tell anyone who confirms that there was an error in one of the RW lists?

                  Seems that OP wanted to be extended a RW menu and nothing else would make him happy so he left and posted a nastygram for a mistake not the fault of Scampo.

                  PS I stayed at the Liberty in January and had a decadent, delicious lunch with a wonderful wines by the glass program and crisp, friendly service. I'm a NYC hound that dines at all the best and really loved my afternoon with them.

                  1. re: thegforceny

                    Nothing makes me smile like when someone drops the NYC card.

                    1. re: mkfisher

                      : D

                      Does it help that I lived in Boston for 6 years and travel there quarterly?

                      How about that I am a Red Sox fan?

                      1. re: thegforceny

                        >>How about that I am a Red Sox fan?

                        Yes, that helps. Because if you were a Yankee fan, we might assume that a restaurant you liked was old, over priced and way past its prime :) :)

                      2. re: mkfisher

                        You mean you don't fall over because you are so impressed?

            2. I know its not the cheapest place to eat, but RW menus are like $38 not including tip and drinks. You could have gotten a reasonable app, a half order of pasta or a pizza, and a dessert for not that much more.

              The one time I ate at Scampo the bill was high because we were drinking wine, trying the breads and the mozzarella bar, with a large party. So lots of add ons. The service was great..

              So I guess they could have suggested some menu options that would have "fit the bill" so to speak. But otherwise, how could they have made you feel welcome, since they couldn't serve you the menu you were asking for. Were you firm on the 3-course fixed price RW menu?

              1. when you made the reservation, did you specify that you were coming in for rw?

                if not and they're not offering it at night, all they could offer was their regular menu. i'm quite sure you made it clear that wasn't in your cards. i'm sorry, but i don't see why they would bend over backward at 1/2 their normal price point.