Boston >Restaurants > Clink
215 Charles St, Boston, MA | Directions 0211442.361449 -71.070619
Neighborhoods: West End, Downtown, Central
Great atmosphere - exceptionally poor service – The bar atmosphere in the lobby of the Liberty Hotel was warm and inviting. The service was great although the South African Meritage tasted chalky. Once inside Clink, things deteriorated pretty quickly. The atmosphere was very nice. The service was not. I can't rate the food because after waiting 45 minutes to be seated, we waited an hour and fifteen minutes before walking out...never to see our entrees. The waiter was more interested in the two teenie boppers at the next table than getting a tip that night. It's amazing that they spent all that money on renovations with no thought to service.
Nice place for drinks – I went to the Liberty Hotel on a Friday night to go to Clink for drinks. Upon arrival there was a line at the door to get in; there are two lines at the door which are not labeled. One line is for Alibi and the other for Clink, so make sure you know what you are standing in line for. After about a 45 min wait we were able to get our 8 person party upstairs to Clink. There was plenty of room in the lobby which makes me think the line was just for show. We were able to get a sofa with a couple tables which had a server. Cocktails were around 14 dollars, the atmosphere was great. A good place to chat with friends as it was never too loud. Seemed like a good date spot as well as a place to find cougars.
Great Restaurant – I recently went to Clink with some friends from out of town. I thought it may be impressive if I brought them to some place nice. They were more than impressed with not only clink but the entire liberty hotel. They actually wished they had stayed there, and they will stay there next time. We all thought the decor was great and the service went above and beyond. There were a few clitches in the night but thats expected with a newer restaurant. If you're looking for a great night out or you want to impress out of towners this is the place.
Food has NO FLAVOR – Honestly I feel really bad giving any place just one star but this place really doesn't deserve more than that. The server and staff were really nice - not knowledgeable but she tried. It's totally overpriced and even if the food was less expensive it wouldn't be worth it. Tuna tartar was not fresh. It was just chopped up fish with nothing else - not even sauce on a piece of french bread like a bruschetta. Stripped bass was over cooked, dry and cold. Raw oysters ($3 a piece) were delicious - kudos to the chef.
Food Stinks at Clink – While I love their wine list their prices are not only obnoxious but their food stinks. Nothing is good on the menu and there is no food served at the Alibi bar so if food is not what you deisre and your wallet is full of cash - clink is ok.
Potential, not quite there – I went to Clink with a friend of mine hoping for a great culinary experience, unfortunately, it wasn't t. We got the fried mac and cheese appetizer, which was tasty, but I think that would be a difficult dish to mess up. We also got a small cheese plate and olives to munch on that were delicious, but required no cooking skill. We had to wait quite a long time for the entrees, I had the lamb and my friend got the scallops. The lamb was cooked well, but the flavor was lacking for a braised shank. The scallop entree lacked flavor as well and the foam on the dish was unappetizing, however, I don't like the consistency of foam on most dishes. Since the food wasn't nothing spectacular, I was pretty disappointed when we received the bill which was high (about $200 for 2). Also, during much of our entree course the restaurant filled with smoke from the open kitchen and the fire alarm went off for a good 10 minutes. The manager was walking around the restaurant the entire time and did not apologize to one customer, and our waitress did not apologize either. We could barely hear ourselves think for 10 minutes. We went to have an after dinner drink downstairs at Alibi, great bar and made up for much of the experience upstairs.
I expected more... – My husband and I had heard great things about Clink and the Liberty Hotel in general. We werent able to get reservations for two weeks in a row so on Wednesday night, looking for an early dinner we got 5:30 reservations. Some friends asked to join us but when I called they said they could not bump our reservation to 4 as they were totally booked. Hmmm this place must be great! I was thinking so we told our friends and another couple to meet us after dinner for drinks. We arrived a few minutes late due to traffic and were shocked to see the entire resaurant completely empty!! They seated us right away and we found the cocktail menu and dinner menu interesting and fun (cocktails are pricey though). Our waiter was great and we ordered a couple of the snacks including some huge wellfleet oysters, and the oxtail which was fantastic! Then we ordered a few of the plates to share which were not great, the lobster risotto was salty and they used the less desirable claw meat instead of tail, and the yellowtail was just bizarre with a vanilla drizzle? and a strange tasteless salad. Our bill was $130 and we didn't get any entrees. By the time we were ready to move to the bar, the "fully booked" restaurant was still half empty!? We got a great seat out in the lobby/bar area which is amazing, they did a fantastic job converting this old building while retaining all of the character. There was a band playing that was fantastic but not too overly distracting from our conversation. After a few drinks with our friends we decided to call it a night and were shocked when we gave the valet our ticket and he requested $32!!!! for the valet!!! We told him that we ate at the resaurant and he said we needed a stamp which no one told or offered us and then told us it didn't matter as we had been there over 3 hours!! Overall, I would say take people to the bar and show them the building but don't bother with dinner and watch out for the valet!
Swanky cocktail pre-game – The venue itself makes it worthwhile to check out. My group did not eat but instead met for drinks as sort of a kick-off to a friends birthday. The bar area had a mix of people in tuxes and some in jeans- it was close to the holidays so perhaps the tuxes were for a Christmas-oriented party or something. Anyway, I was expecting pretentious peeps and challenging drink lines but neither were the case. Folks sitting at the bar let my wife and I right in to get our beverages and the general atmosphere was much less stuffy than I had anticipated. The cons were the fact that the bar area sort of leaves you out in the middle of people but looking over a railing and watching folks come up the escalator is always good for a laugh when conversation dies. The enormous vaulted ceiling and converted prison feel made it a unique experience and while I wouldn't spend the night there it's a cool location worth checking out for a few early night drinks.
Very Clever! – Trendy and Clever. The Liberty Hotel was converted from an old Boston Prison built in 1851 or thereabouts, and "The Clink" is the bar/lounge inside! I went here on a Friday night w/ friends, and had a fabulous time. Atmosphere is trendy/sophisticated. Some patrons were dressed up, but most wore jeans with a dressier shirt, girls in heels, guys in button-downs. Drinks were high priced--$14 and more for a 3 ingredient cocktail, but they were well made, and original. Great date place, or casual/fun night with friends. If you're there in the evening, dont forget to check out "Alibi" downstairs-- cute club w/ exposed brink, iron bars, and celebrity mug-shots plastered around the walls! Last call is just after 1:00
It could have been a contender – I was really disappointed with Clink. The lobster bisque I was so excited about arrived in a shot glass without a spoon. It was way to hot to shoot and had a weird after taste. Also, I was confused about the "large plates" and got my own not expecting it to be way too big for one person. They even had to pour the wine into a beaker. Why not just put it in a glass? The whole meal was confusing and lacked focus. It seemed like it was just trying too hard. Also, the service was increadibly slow - it took them 10 minutes to seat us, 45 minutes for the first course, and 30 minutes for half of our second courses to arrive. (The other half arrived 5 minutes later.) Go to Clink if you want to eat fried macaroni and cheese and listen to techno music. Don't go there if you're a food snob like me.
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