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Menotomy Grill - Arlington (anyone been?)

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This place opened a few months back....For some reason I just can't pronounce it. But heck if anyone knows if the food is good and atmosphere is decent I'll work on my phonics. Opinions appreciated !

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  1. I don't think it has opened yet...has it? If you ever take the 77 bus into/outta Arlington, you will hear the correct pronunciation! :D

    1. I live around the corner from Menotomy Grill. It should open very soon.

      1. I read in another post and on their website their aiming for the 10th.

        3 Replies
        1. re: lc02139

          Funny thing is they have a www. and it does not say they are not open yet. However, there are NO prices on the menu items. Thought that was odd for a tavern type place, but maybe its cuz they are not open. I did just see 6/10 opening in the Patch. thanks for the heads up.

          1. re: Buddernut

            Oh now you mention it I think it was their facebook page that said the 10th.

            1. re: Buddernut

              Patch posted part of their opening menu with prices. Seems a bit high for what they're offering, but I guess with a location next to a hotel, they can get away with it. $16 for fish & chips, $11 for pulled pork sandwich.

              http://arlington.patch.com/articles/m...

          2. This link says the Grill will open the week after Memorial Day... Seems like it should open any day now.

            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/902781

            1. mah-naw-ta-me

              7 Replies
              1. re: grant.cook

                I always pronounce it Monotony :-)

                1. re: gourmaniac

                  Sounds like a surgical procedure.

                  1. re: gourmaniac

                    There's a Menotomy Rocks park in Arlington which the locals call Monotonous Rocks or Boring Boulders.

                  2. re: grant.cook

                    Personally I lean towards pronouncing it with a "meh" to start (meh-NAH-dah-mee). But tomato-tomato, right? :)

                    1. re: chevrelove

                      Let's hope Menotomy Grill gets off to a better than "meh" start!

                      1. re: Chicken with a Capon

                        There are a lot of area resident hopes riding on this place! Don't let us down!

                        1. re: David_A

                          I know right, I just thought the same thing.

                  3. Heard they are doing Friends and Family this weekend. Openings usually follow immediately after those.

                    1. Just saw that their Facebook page says they are open. I can not wait to try it out, as our neighborhood has nothing good. I have super high hopes for Menotomy and wish them the best of luck.

                      1. I loved it.. it was much better than Cats. I am going to eat there again and again.

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: grant.cook

                          Cats?

                          1. re: l0b0SKI

                            Great autocorrect, or Grant is Alf.

                            1. re: Prav

                              http://www.hulu.com/watch/279562

                              1. re: Chris VR

                                Ha!

                        2. I went last night with a group of friends. I'll try to post a full report later, but the overall verdict is that it's good. Among all of us we sampled a pretty decent amount of the menu and everyone was pleased. The beer list is solid, if not adventurous. Considering it was their second night things were running smoothly. I live close by and certainly plan on returning soon - it's a very welcome addition to the area.

                          1. Can someone re-fresh me on Arlington's liquor laws? Is this a place where you can just have a drink at the bar or do you have to order food as well?

                            9 Replies
                            1. re: LeoLioness

                              According to their FB page you will have to order food with drinks.

                              1. re: l0b0SKI

                                Thanks. Such a strange rule.

                                1. re: LeoLioness

                                  That is correct for all restaurants in Arlington. There are no true bars and alcohol can only be served to someone ordering food as well. That is the law as it stands.

                                  Arlington used to be a completely dry town up until only a few years ago, so I guess it is progress albeit slow progress.

                                  1. re: BostonKid

                                    Arlington...where the drunks drink secretly at home.

                                    1. re: BostonKid

                                      That is not correct. Jimmy's Steer House in Arlington Hieghts allows customers 2 drinks before they are required to have food in front of them and a bread basket counts as food.

                                      I would assume Menotomy is working on a trial basis with the town because more bars = more crime.

                                2. re: LeoLioness

                                  The current town rules (recently revised) are 2 drinks and then you have to order food if you want any more libations.

                                  1. re: LeoLioness

                                    There's a pretty strong feeling with Town Meeting that we don't want a "bar" in town, where someone can sit swilling gin all afternoon and then go outside and vomit. Hence the food requirements. That being said, there is also a recognition that restaurants rely upon cocktail service more and more as an important draw for customers.

                                    I think the town has struck a good balance... 5 stores selling liquor, quite a few restaurants with a full liquor licenses, and many more with beer/wine service. Its far from a dry town these days. So we'll never have Barbara Lynch open up a branch of "Drink" in Arlington, but that wasn't going to happen anyway.

                                    And honestly, if you are a regular, you often get a bit more slack...

                                    1. re: grant.cook

                                      Yeah, because that is a totally accurate description of what would go on of there was a bar in town. Drunks vomiting everywhere!

                                      1. re: Gabatta

                                        A bit of an exercise in pointing out the extreme, but I've sat in town meeting. The town does not at this point want drinking-only establishments.

                                  2. Popped our heads in last night intending to get a drink and snack at the bar...but, at just before 7 pm, the place was jam-packed with families, couples, friends dining and drinking together, young and not-so young (i.e., a very Arlington-like crowd). We marveled at the interior - memories of Hollywood Video were immediately erased. Comfy-looking bar stools (with backs). Decent beers on tap (Lagunitas IPA, for one), including a house beer, the Spy Pond Ale (we did not try). We'll have to come back when it's not so busy to sample the food.

                                    I think they have started limited lunch service...might be a good time to check it out. I don't how the kitchen was keeping up last night!

                                    1. We went earlier this week -- their second night open to the public. I love the space -- they've done an amazing job with the atmosphere and making it interesting and welcoming. The bar area looks like a great place to swing by in the evening to meet friends. There's also outdoor seating, which is rare in this area of Arlington. (Of course, it looks out onto the hotel next door, but beggars and choosers and whatnot.)

                                      Our server was helpful and very nice, though clearly still learning the ropes. As one would expect in the first few days after opening, there were timing issues with food and drink.

                                      I had the cod cakes and beans, my companions had the tuna nicoise and the pulled pork sandwich. The salad got a thumbs up. Lots of rare tuna, and the greens etc were good, but my friend would've loved more of them to balance the tuna. The sandwich also got a thumbs up, and the fries were as good as one would want. My cod cakes and beans were decent, but both were under-seasoned. The cakes themselves were also a bit mushy -- they probably needed a little longer in the pan, or a little less liquid in the cod mixture.

                                      There were several items on the menu we wanted to try, but weren't available yet, including the chickpea fries and the Cooper's Flip, their signature drink (http://goo.gl/zGWbI). The server explained that the chef wasn't quite happy with the fries yet, and didn't want to serve them until perfected. The Cooper's Flip needed another week or so for their cask ale to finish aging. I appreciated knowing that they're aiming for the best possible iterations of their dishes, and I'm looking forward to getting back there to try them.

                                      My one critique really is that the prices seem a little bit high for the portion size and current service level. However, I'm withholding judgement until they've been open for a month or so. I suspect that their prices are reflective of an aim at farm-fresh tavern fare.

                                      All in all, a solid opening with all the usual little hiccups. We love that this joint has opened in the neighborhood, and from the looks of the lines this week, lots of others feel the same way. I have no doubt they'll smooth things out, and we'll definitely be headed back soon.

                                      1. I went with two friends last night. At 6:45 there was a 35 to 40 minute wait (Monday night!) but we had reservations. Overall verdict: we will probably wait a couple of months to go back to let them work out the kinks, and probably won't go that often because it is a bit pricy for what it is, but a very nice addition to the local dining options. NOT a destination dining spot.

                                        I had the double cheese burger with house bacon and fries. The fries were excellent and stayed crisp even as they cooled, a major plus. The double burger was very good and cooked to a perfect medium rare, but it was comically small in circumference, more like a slider but in a full-size bun that showed very large borders around it. It was plenty of meat but would have been better deployed, IMO, as a single patty that matched the size of the bun. House bacon was OK.

                                        The sirloin steak with grilled asparagus and mashed potatoes was enjoyed by my DC who ordered it. Also cooked perfectly to medium rare. She thought the bordelaise had hints of chocolate and would get it on the side next time but would definitely order that meal again. I tasted the mashed potatoes and didn't think they tasted like much.

                                        My other DC had and enjoyed a grilled veggie panino. She thought it was a bit heavy on the mustard and that the parmesan fries were a bit heavy on the parm but very good.

                                        Both the steak and the burger were noticeably undersalted. I actually prefer that to oversalted but they do need to put out salt shakers if they are going that route.

                                        Lastly our server was a very nice man who had CLEARLY never waited tables before. And also had received insufficient training. He was doing his best but was awkward and flustered throughout to the point it was comical and sad.

                                        Meals plus 5 bottles of sparkling water and 2 glasses of wine = $95 before tip.

                                        1. The space, atmosphere, and feel of this place is great and unique within Arlington - we definitely needed this kind of place and happy to welcome (as are hordes of others based on our two visits so far).

                                          The food, drinks, and service were OK to good, but there are many opportunities for improvement - which I think is going to be necessary to sustain the level of crowds they are getting (yet Not Your Average Joe's also seems packed most of the time...so maybe I am wrong about that).

                                          It should also send a message that Arlington has the demand to support this type of upscale, casual, gastropub-esque place. It is a buzzing, comfortable place for adults around the bar (where we ate).

                                          The bartending is a competent high-volume operation - don't expect mixology or craft cocktails and you won't be disappointed - the Moscow Mule was refreshing and satisfying (the copper mug is very nice touch) - the Old Fashioned was not what I want (muddled fruits, syrup, and watered down with soda). The friendly bartender forgot all about us while we waited at least 20 minutes to pay the check with the credit card on top of it on the bar? This was alright once I noted she left the said Old Fashioned off the bill. I also think that the 20-oz draft beers at $7 each are too much at too high a price, in spite of a really nice selection (and display on distressed copper) of 15 different taps.

                                          The fried pickles and the mussels were really good. The Parmesan fries were the thick steak cut, soggy, and topped with powdery white Parmesan - not a repeat. The fish and chips had the same fries without the powder, and the fish was too heavily battered, but fresh and tasty. The tuna burger was a nicely-seared, relatively small piece of fresh tuna, but the bread needs to improve - one of those tiny, flat Pepperidge Farm rounds - blech. The bread on the chicken sandwich at the next table could also have used an upgrade.

                                          We will definitely be back and hope to see ongoing improvements so it stays packed -- and totally expect this will happen given the thought and care that is so clear in the design of the place - but they are going to have to step up their game if other restaurateurs also realize the untapped gold mine of Arlington for really good, casual (i.e., not Flora - which I do like once in while) non-chain upscale adult places to eat and drink.

                                          7 Replies
                                          1. re: rlh

                                            Thank you for this review. Has anyone gone more recently?

                                            1. re: David_A

                                              Our most recent visit was for dinner at the bar on Friday evening, July 5

                                              1. re: David_A

                                                We were there right after noon this past Sunday. It was completely empty, so we had the kitchen's undivided attention. The shrimp and poblano fritters were utterly forgettable. Not remotely good in a RI clam cake-it's-so-bad-it's-good kind of way. $10 and I couldn't detect any shrimp. I didn't complain because B had to send his tuna burger back (he NEVER sends food back) and didn't want to pile on. The burger was cold to the touch. I could hear kitchen tell the bartender that that's the way they do it - quick sear on the outside. But B saw no indication that his burger had seen any high heat. They re-fired it but after a bite, he declared it in desperate need of seasoning and resorted to dousing every bite in Sriracha. Our first impression - don't go there for the food. And we want this place to succeed big time. Maybe a beef burger and a beer is fine? Pretty expensive for a mediocre lunch - $56 before tax with one cocktail and two glasses of wine.

                                                1. re: digga

                                                  Not what I want to hear. :(

                                                  1. re: digga

                                                    Oh, I am so sorry to hear this. I looked at the menu online and was looking forward to trying those fritters. Maybe they do other dishes better? In any case, I think I will bring the family to try it but maybe we'll stick to the burgers.

                                                  2. re: David_A

                                                    There was a very enthusiastic review at: http://www.cambridgeday.com/2013/07/1...

                                                    1. re: pedxing

                                                      I loved the decor, the service was fine, but the food, though good techniques were used, I found to be very bland.

                                                      I love poblanos and so wanted those shrimp and poblano fritters (the reviewer here says jalapeño but when I had them they were poblano) to be better. I tasted no shrimp or poblano True "they were very light and fluffy with a crisp exterior" like I said it was perfectly executed but no flavor.

                                                2. We finally tried this place last night. Son and I had the fish and chips, daughter had the vegetarian tasting plate, husband had the Cubano, a special.
                                                  The good: the service, parmesan fries, crème brulee, tasting plate
                                                  The bad: the fish was way overbreaded (we had to "excavate" the cod and leave the breading on the plate; son's fries (non-parm) were soggy; TV was turned up extra loud because there had been a bank robbery and shooting in Arlington that afternoon, so we had to yell to be heard; tab was high for 4 meals, one dessert, a beer and 2 glasses of wine: $130 plus tip

                                                  Both Arlington and Lexington need a decent pub that doesn't try so hard to be something else!

                                                  6 Replies
                                                  1. re: Isolda

                                                    My wife and I went a couple of months ago. I hated the place (which was packed by the way). Forgettable food, mediocre service (waitstaff forgot requsted items), and we were seated in a drafty corner. No interest in ever returning!

                                                    1. re: stiv99

                                                      We went a few months ago. It was pretty good. The bartender was friendly. I'm not dying to go back, but wouldn't avoid either.

                                                      1. re: stiv99

                                                        When I went I had to go to the water station and get my own water since the waitstaff kept forgetting to bring some.

                                                      2. re: Isolda

                                                        I was surprised I hadn't seen this mentioned earlier. For those missing the Chez Henri Cubano, the special Cubano at MG is marketed as an "homage" (or something close to that) to the Chez Henri Cubano.

                                                        In reality it is a VERY close facsimile of the CH Cubano. Apparently a former CH chef is now working at MG and the sandwich is, in my estimation, about 90% as good as the original (I don't think the cheese is quite as good). Also, unfortunately, it's served with a simple side of fries, rather than the plantains and greens, which is, admittedly, a significant difference. But for those lamenting the loss of the CH Cubano, this is a pretty good stand in.

                                                        1. re: rshock

                                                          Yes Mark was a cook at CH for some time before going onto be the chef at Stoddard's and then MG.

                                                          1. re: rshock

                                                            rshock,that's great to know because that Cubano might make going to MG worth it.

                                                            Just fyi: the cubano at Dave's Pasta in Davis Sq. is, for us, as good or better than the CH cubano. And it is ginormous. Of course, you're eating a sandwich at a cafe table in a grocery store, but it's always been a pleasurable experience for us!

                                                        2. We eat here more often than we should. It's one of the better places in Arlington. If we want something good, we eat in Cambridge.

                                                          The beer list is good, the cocktails are fine. The menu is dicey. Steak tips? Good. Fried stuff? Good. (Particularly the fried pickles). Stay away from anything that might require sophistication, or has some fussiness in preparation, i.e. anything from the sea.

                                                          But where Menotomy falls on its face, is the waitstaff. Some of them are excellent, some of them are mediocre, but there is one frequent waitress, who must be a relative of the owner. She's been drunk once (spilled a drink on my wife while slurring an apology). She's always entitled, and she's never been able to get the entire order right. It's astonishing that in our last 4 visits, we've gotten her as our waitress 3 times. Sorry, Menotomy, but while you're a convenient place to eat in Arlington, and while your beer and steak is good, we just can't be bothered with such shoddy service.

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: Indirect Heat

                                                            Yeah the draft beer list is quite a bit better than when they first opened. I went once when they opened and I went again recently.

                                                            Do you ever sit at the bar? One of the bartenders when I went a few weeks ago was extremely awkward and terrible at his job. I figured the same thing that he must be a friend of someone...but even then, it was just incredibly bad. The other bartender just slapped menus down in front of us and didn't say anything. The two of them seemed to be on different planets and it was quite clear they didn't get along.

                                                            Very strange.

                                                            The mussel app was good and a large portion, but I wouldn't get the pulled pork sandwich again.

                                                          2. Yes!! I had the pleasure of eating there last night!! I am a chef and being in the business..I was happy they were opened on a Monday night..they had a guest chef last night from Chez Henri..OMG...it was amazing! My other friends had their other regular menu items..but the food was just another level!! They have buffalo wings that are not drown in franks red hot..they smoky flavor was so good I wish I had a glass to drink! The cocktails were exotic and not outrageously priced at all!! I love the vibe of his place..and can't wait to go back!!!

                                                            10 Replies
                                                            1. re: cheflynne999

                                                              Please tell us what it was that you ate that was "OMG....amazing!" and what food was at "just another level!!"

                                                              Specifics, please!!!!!

                                                              1. re: stiv99

                                                                Apparently you did not attend the guest chef series Monday evening..I ate from the featured menu of Chef Paul O'Connel ..and it truly was terrific..I had the Ceviche with bay scallops,shrimps,mahimahi with lime ahi Amarillo and avocado garnished with plantain chips..I have been to Cuba and this was very authentic! I also had the Mahi Mahi entree plantain crusted with a ginger sweet potato mash shrimp escabeche and black beans...it was cooked to perfection and although I don't love sweet potato..the infusion of ginger made it a delight! Friends had the Cuban sandwich with hearts of palm salad..they also loved theirs. The sauce on the buffalo wings was a fresh grilled chipotle sauce..touch of garlic..I loved the sauce. The desserts of chocolate bomb and tres leche with fresh dollop of whipped cream was great! The Mojito also was refreshing..I'm so sorry but I had a great experience...

                                                                1. re: cheflynne999

                                                                  It is a bit tough here sometimes. :P

                                                                  I wish I had been to that dinner. I love Paul's food. He is coming back next month for another.

                                                                  1. re: Small Plates

                                                                    Lol! Wow! Very tough crowd!! Yes..I will be sure to attend his next one..very talented!! Thanks for the happy reply

                                                                    1. re: cheflynne999

                                                                      paul's food is not the standard fare.

                                                                      i ate there tonight for the first and last time. the supermarket wines on the list should have warned me away, but i was famished and avoiding rush hour traffic.

                                                                      first night of passover, so very quiet.

                                                                      bartenders friendly and attentive, even though starting cleaning projects.

                                                                      dining solo and ordered the tuna burger. sysco fries, little sysco pita bread as the "roll". chopped tuna was barely seasoned and dry. some lonely strands of pepper and 1 or 2 pieces of cabbage as "asian slaw" and canned guacamole smeared on the bread. $16 for that and $10 for a miserly cocktail. ugh. almost $30 before tip for truly mediocre food.

                                                                      talk about pissing money away. damn.

                                                                      1. re: hotoynoodle

                                                                        I pretty much felt the same. so who are all these people who had amazing meals and what do we have to do to get them?

                                                                        1. re: l0b0SKI

                                                                          beats me.

                                                                          i'll never go back. was like eating at a crap chain restaurant at twice the price.

                                                                        2. re: hotoynoodle

                                                                          darn it hotoy, i hate it that you had a bad dinner like that. but th you for telling us, so i now will def not go there.
                                                                          Maybe alot of would-be Menotomy customers were at Sarma tonight, because it was packed to the gills.

                                                                          1. re: opinionatedchef

                                                                            Wow! I just don't get it...

                                                                            1. re: cheflynne999

                                                                              am glad you enjoyed your meal. back in the day, i loved paul's food too.

                                                                              but if your definition of "exotic" cocktails meets the criteria put forth by drinks containing deep eddy sweet tea vodka i think we are coming at this from a very different set of perspectives.