MC Spiedo - who else has been?
Anyone been to MC Spiedo in the Seaport? I work right near it and was excited when it opened, as lunch options are few right in that area and variety is always good. Also, it's part of the "MC" chainlet, and Arrows is/was good so this should be neat, right?
Well, I've found the place to be pretty terrible - and I don't use that adjective often or lightly.
I love the look of the room. Much better than the place that preceded it! A very upscale, classy appearance. Nice.
The service has been spotty to downright terrible, at times. Not understanding the menu, dropping checks before people are done eating, going completely AWOL in a non-crowded setting. No general manager to be seen, as far as I could ever tell.
The food ranges from "pretty good" to completely shocking at its preparation. Bread that is so hard you'll chip a tooth, pasta that lacks any seasoning...in fact, lacking seasoning is a theme I could continue on with. The lasagna is actually okay and it's clearly the most heralded item as that's one thing the waitstaff pushes consistently. But in the few times I've eaten here, I'm regularly surprised how some of that food leaves the kitchen, often at a snail's pace.
Unless they fix something, it's going under. Period. I've never seen it even approach 50% capacity at lunch (in an area with limited lunch options) and I've seen it pretty much empty on Friday nights.
I know Devra First skewered them but, like I said, working in the area, and often not footing the bill, I've given them a shot.
Seems like they are in trouble, though.
Anyone with better experiences?
I've only been once, for dinner before an evening event in the Seaport, and had a quite pleasant but not particularly memorable dinner. Food and service were both sufficient.
Since I thought that my one meal at Arrows was an overpriced, bland, uninteresting mess (that I dropped over $300 for two on), and after reading Devra First's devastating bad review of MC Spiedo, I won't be rushing there. Really the meal at Arrows (about 4-5 years ago) was ridiculously bad.
That Globe review was nearly as harsh as any Devra has produced, reading worse than the 1.5 stars she awarded. I only dropped by for a drink, and was shocked at how tacky the decor was, a mishmash of clashing design motifs and cheap-looking materials. It looks like it's going for a lush bordello look, yet the servers wear shlumpy jeans, t-shirts and sneakers, a weird disconnect.
Exactly as Devra's review characterized it, the staff really doesn't know how to explain the menu, let alone sell it: they should drop the pretentious hoo-hah of the historical roots of various dishes. Nobody with a grasp of the history of European cookery wants to go back to the Renaissance, anyway.
To paraphrase one of Don Draper's exes, Mark and Clark seem to enjoy the beginnings of things, but actually managing the smooth ongoing operation of restaurants no longer interests them. They reportedly only stuck close to M.C. Spiedo for the first three weeks before jetting off for a holiday somewhere.
Judging by how Arrows slid horribly into mediocrity in its last ten years, the quick decline of Summer Winter, and the nasty early press on M.C. Spiedo, this appears to be emerging as a kind of pattern with them. Maybe they should become restaurant consultants, dreaming up concepts for other people to execute, instead of attaching their names to restaurants in which they appear to quickly lose interest. It's not good for their brand.