Boston >Food & Dining > 209 Boston
209 Columbus Ave, Boston, MA | Directions 0211642.348540 -71.072306
Mon. - Sun. 6pm - 11pm
Neighborhoods: Back Bay East, Back Bay
Horrible Service and Tasteless Food – I was revolted by the service. After waiting 45 minutes for a table (when I had made reservation 3 weeks in advance), the host and the manager were far from apologetic. In fact they directly insulted my friends when we expressed our displeasure. Had it not been a Saturday night, we would have left and gone elsewhere. Meanwhile, our server was new and incapable of refilling our drinks, and the food, especially the sweet potato gnocchi, was chewy, over-cooked, and tasteless. I wouldn't recommend this place to my worst enemy.
Tasty apps and entrees, Good cocktails, Service needs some work – Been here twice this month. The food is definitely different from all the descriptions on here. Each time I've been here I've had the same cocktail, a Sidecar, and each time it was perfectly mixed, which is a rare drink for a bartender to get right. Last time I dined at 209 I had a kind of East-meets-Southwest Tuna sashimi dish. Very tasty with super fresh fish and a delightful black bean sauce. Very flavorful. I also had pumpkin ravioli that were the BEST ravioli I've ever had. Our server, Louis, said they were handmade, which was obvious because I've never tasted anything like them before. I would recommend this dish to anyone. On previous occasion I had pasta (linguini, perhaps) with clams, which was also very good, but a tiny bit too salty. I also had a chicken dish that was very tender, juicy, but with a super-crispy skin that had, again, a whole lot of flavor. Delicious. Also a dessert that was a kind of sweet appley cheesecake tart of some kind. Tasty. The wine we ordered was something I could have picked up at a discount wine store. I honestly don't remember it at all other than it was a white. The service both times was slow, considering the place was half empty. But it was nice to sit and watch the Red Sox on the TV and not feel rushed through our meal. I recommend this place with 4 stars because it is friendly, casual, but with really good seasonal food on the menu. Like you can have a 4 star meal and your jock boyfriend can have a burger and nachos. Also, even though this is a well-known gay place, it is very neighborhoodly and straight-friendly. All they need is a couple of good waiters and it will be even better.
PLEASE Change Restaurant Description – This restaurant went though a radical change last fall season. Seemed to be doing quite well. From what I experienced, the new young chefs brought some flair to the cuisine and the space was warm and inviting. Service seemed to have upgraded. There was one girl in particular who was a superstar waitress, hot, with glasses and then disappeared. A few sub-par staffers also vanished. There was a major turnover in staff. And then I noticed that the restaurant seemed suffer a dry spell. The food is decent and the early bird pre-fixes are enticing. What is going on with this space. I know Club Cafe is next door and all, but many straight people from the neighborhood dine here, too. Time to change the 'label' and stop advertising this venue to the gay community...the owner is doing himself a disservice by doing so.
Started out so promising.... – ...but it quickly went downhill. My partner and I tried this place for restaurant week, since it was one of the few places we were interested in trying that had a last minute reservation (the place was empty at 8:30). Our server (Adam) was really nice and very accommodating. My partner ordered the Hamachi appetizer which was stunningly delicious. I had the native corn soup which had popcorn in it, but NOT the promised crunchy corn-nuts. Too bad. We both ordered the lamb loin (since they were out of the duck, leaving only two choices for the prix-fixe). It was prepared nicely, and the kalamata olive emulsion was very tasty - but the accompanying polenta was way too greasy. It tasted good, if you like butter (or lard?) dusted with some corn flavoring. We had trouble finding wine to go with our meals, and were eventually unhappy with our choices. (Although Adam was more than happy to let me try a wine that I was curious about.) Dessert was definitely the low point of the meal. The flourless chocolate cake was like a brick, although it had passable flavor. The peaches and cream was a total flop. Overall we were very disappointed - wasting our one night out for restaurant week on this place to which we will never return.
Avoid NEw Year's Eve dinner package special – I just want to say that this was the worst New Year's Eve dinner and celebration I have ever had!!1 I paid the cover for the 5 course meal and champagne and got a value of less than $10.00.
We were seated on time at 9:30 PM, but it took forever for our wait person to come to the table. Then it took forever to get the bread for our table. We did not get to order until 10:05 PM. To make things worse, one of the course selections we PAID for was already GONE by the time she came over to take our order. We had to substitute the third course with things we had no desire to eat. Then the waitress told us that we could upgrade our champagne for $10.00. She did not tell us that it was $10.00 per person at the table. When we asked for more bread, we were told that they had run out of bread. The biggest downer was the fact that we did not get our main course until 11:57 PM; more than two hours after we were seated.
Then we asked for our bill it came 25 minutes later. Thus we were starting to eat our main course when everyone was counting down to 2007 and then we wasted another 25 minutes waiting for the bill.
BTW, The waitress apologized and did offer us something. Unfortunately, it was the $1.89 bottle of water for free to make up for the fact that one of our selections was gone and the fact that there was no more bread. SHe later came back to tell us that she would not charge us for the upgrade to the champagne. However when the bill came, we WERE charged for the upgrade. SHe told us she took it out but the manager put it back in.
Needless to say, I will NEVER attend New Year's Eve at Club 209 or Club Cafe again and will strongly suggest to my friends that they take their celebrations elsewhere. Besides the food was cold and the new chef wins no awards for the meals he prepared for our table. There should have been MORE food especially since it was offered and more wait staff!!!
Avoid the owner, chef, and restaurant – I have been going to this eatery for many years, I loved the southwest and comfort foodprevious to this menu. But this new look is horrible! Seems that the owner needs to retire since he does not know what he wants. I st bear the kitchen and heard the chef yell at the kitchen staff and waitstaff and using derogatory terms on them. I was appalled and dissapointed that you would treat people like this!! I have yet to see another chef treat his staff in such a manner. The food was okay but nothing to write home to mom about.. My partner agrees with me on all of this. Truly the owner needs to retire or take a long look at what he wants. How many times can you reinvent yourself??? Just give up! And find a Chef with talent
Gorgeous space--Gorgeous food – This restaurant is going through a change--for the better. The space is warm and inviting and caters to a diverse clientele. The new Executive Chef and Sous Chef have worked extra hard to create a new &
impressive menu. The Tuna Carpaccio was to die for and the Sea Scallops with Butternut
squash were also quite impressive. Best cocktails in town. Expect service to be more polished & professional--we loved our waitress, the service was fantastic! The new '209' shall rise again!!!!!!!
2 thumbs down – Horrible service and staff, this place is just amature hour gone bad, reminiscent of a high school production gone awry.
Dont bother – Bad wine list, uneducated selection too. Wait staff over managed or underpaid? Who knows why the service lacked? Maybe the staff is way too young.
One of the gay and lesbian scene's favorite dining spots, where the Back Bay meets the South End. – The Scene
Well-groomed couples and groups of singles mingle at the bar and the adjoining section of tables, making this one of the area's premier pickup scenes for the gay and lesbian crowd. Warm copper and gold colors make for a romantic atmosphere. When not delivering designer martinis (white grape, vanilla-espresso) from the busy bar, attentive servers keep an eye out for empty water glasses.
Equally popular as a Sunday brunch destination or a casual dinner spot, 209 serves modern comfort food with a Southwestern twist. Signature dishes sees traditional favorites turned inside out: "Austin-tacious" clam chowder receives a major kick thanks to an infusion of chili peppers, while beef tenderloin is rubbed in chilies and served with a piquant ancho sauce. Brunch favorites include cinnamon-swirled French toast and fresh breakfast tacos. Baked rice pudding or fried bananas with chocolate-tequila ganache provide a sweet finish to any meal.
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