Boston >Food & Dining > Grill 23
161 Berkeley St, Boston, MA | Directions 0211642.349467 -71.072008
Mon-Thurs 5:30-10:30pm; Fri-Sat 5:30-11pm; Sun 5:30-10pm
Neighborhoods: Back Bay, Bay Village, Back Bay East
Not so great – Took my daughter and 4 of her friends for her 24th Birthday. My daughter arrived ahead of us and she was told that the reservation was for 5 people, although I had called and changed to 7 earlier in the week. They were quick to adapt and that worked out fine.Decor was festive with a Holiday feeling. When we were seated , we were placed next to a wait station. Since we had waited a while, I didn't request another table, however was continuosly bumped as waiters made their way through and I listened to their discussions. It was so noisy, we could hardly hear the waiter for meal and wine recommendations and visa versa. I ordered NY Strip, medium rare, came out more close to well, with a fair amount of gristle. Two of the guests ordered the risotto, which was mushy and overcooked. On the positive side, our waiter was pleasant, although his only function was to take and order and serve the meal. No extra attention. Not a place to recommend to friends.
Perfect Dining Experience – I was taken to Grille 23 for my birthday and the dining experience truly made the night special. It started from the moment we sat down, our waiter was extremely personable and knowledgeable about the wine list and made a wonderful recommendation. We received our appetizers and were never rushed to order the main course but left to enjoy what we had infront of us. My main course was a Kobe steak that was cooked to perfection. To end the night the waiter having know it was my birthday brought out a giant slice of chocolate cake that was delicious. This wasn't my first experience at Grille 23 and was nothing less than what i have come to expect from them.
Simply one of the best steakhouses – The steak I had was one of the best I have ever had. Cooked to perfection, it was paired with carmelized onions that complemented well with the delicious garlic mash potatos. The service was wonderful as expected. I will return!
Unsanitary food. Appearance only goes so far. – I have always been a fan of steak, being originally from the south, so of course I had to try Grill 23. Upon hearing good reviews about Grill 23, I decided to make reservations online for my recent graduation dinner on May 1, 2009. My party’s first impressions were positive. We had no trouble waiting for our table, and the décor was ambient and beautiful with wood paneling. I felt that my waiter was prompt and his service to our table was decent enough.
When my party received our food we were initially impressed by the taste and presentation. However, our impressions abruptly went sour when one person in our party spotted something CRAWLING on her mashed potatoes. She immediately called one of the waiter’s attention. The waiter took her plate away without an explanation or apology. We waited approximately 5-10 minutes before my friend contacted ANOTHER waiter and asked, “what are the restaurant’s procedures regarding a mishap in your food?” The staff appeared to be negligent and unconcerned. When the manager finally arrived for what we thought would be a sympathetic apology, he stated that he could only replace her order. My friend stated, “I have lost my appetite and would rather not have another plate.” She then respectfully asked for a refund and the manager refused to give us any other options. He said, “I can only replace your order, but since you ate half of it, I can give you half of your order to go.” I have previously dined at a fast food joint where the manager refunded an order with no problem, regardless of the amount of the food consumed or other variables. Not only was the manager not prompt about this serious matter, but he was unprofessional and had some nerve.
Overall, Grill 23 lacks in professional management, and promptness about a serious manner. The quality of the food was subpar and unsanitary. This is an occurrence one would expect at a fast food joint or chain restaurant, but not at a restaurant that has been deemed “Best of Boston.” I would highly recommend that you dine somewhere else – perhaps try another steak house in Boston such as Abe and Louie’s.
Great Meat, Average Sides – Grill 23 is a great restaurant for a special occasion or a guys/girls night out. The meat is very good and the appetizers are quite niece too. If you don't like steak, try the yellow-tail entree. This Sushi-grade dish is a fantastic alternative to red meat. There is an impressive wine list and some interesting cocktails to choose from. Or, if you want to keep it simple there are plenty of beers for about $5. All together this is a nice alternative to S&W or Davios if you are looking for a new steak house. However, on balance, we prefer Davios.
Decent Steak, Misleading Reservationist – Ok, so the steak was pretty good, but have had better at Abe & Louie's. I had the arugula salad which was nothing special either. I agree with other reviewers that the place is loud, but it didn't bother us too much. My boyfriend loves steak and we have been to several of the other steakhouses in town, so for his birthday we decided to try something new. I went on the website and they had a pretty strict dress code, and when I made the reservation I double-checked with the reservationist what the dresscode is (jacket/tie, business formal is what she said so we dressed to the 9's). When I showed up, most of the patrons were in jeans/tee shirts (no exaggeration) and I saw one patron walk in with gym shorts on. Now, I am all for casual dining, but I suggest Grill 23 recheck their website and what their reservationist tells customers. It was almost embarassing as my boyfriend and I were the most dressed up people in the restaurant.
They don't know how to cook a steak! – This was my second visit here with my husband - went last year around the same time. Both times I ordered my steak medium, and both times it came out rare (2 different cuts of meat mind you). On our first visit, our server was attentive, great personality, and very apologetic about the undercooked steak and rushed it back to cook longer. Unfortunately it wasn't the same once it came back. This last time, our waiter disappeared on us (the last we saw of him was when he took our entree order), so when the steak came rare, there was no one to tell. I decided instead of sending it back to eat the more cooked portions, but unfortunately I did eat some of the rarer portions - about 3/4 of the way through the entree I could feel my stomach turning already (I'm one of those unfortunate souls who cannot digest rare/raw meat). When a different waiter came to clear our plates, I didn't even get to finish telling him my steak was undercooked - he could immediately tell it was rare. Unfortunately though, no one, neither our original waiter nor a manager nor the chef, came to apologize. I wasn't looking for anything free, just some acknowledgement of the error. Needless to say, after two blatent errors with no apology from management or the kitchen, I will not be going back, nor will I be recommending this place to anyone. I will stick with my favorite, Smith & Wollensky - I've been to 3 of their locations (NY, Boston and Vegas) numerous times (it was our fave place when we lived in NY) and have never had this problem. It got 2 stars because the blue cheese mashed were awesome and the wine list is tops - they even had a wine from a not so well known vineyard we visited in New Zealand so that salvaged the meal for me.
not bad food, good servic – appetizer was great, best crab cake, fantastic service, nice wine list, main course, too much salt, disappointing, husband had the halibut and was way to salty he said. I had the soft shell crabs, not bad, just disappointing. The hash browns and onion rings were good.
One of the best meals of my life! – The food is spectacular. I had the 3 pound lobster and my husband the fillet, and both were perfection. It is definitely costly but worth every penny. This is not a place that we can afford to go to often, but it is perfect for that special occasion dinner. The food is so wonderfully prepared that if you are going to eat here you should spare no expense and spend your money freely. So go, order to your heart's delight and don't worry about the bill. It's going to hurt a bit once it comes, but you'll be so happy you splurged after the fact.
Overpriced and Loud – I recently went to Grille 23 for a business function. It to me is overpriced for what it is. Also, I had trouble conversing with my colleagues as it is incredibly loud. Additionally, our service was what I would expect at a place like TGI Friday's. If I was paying out of my own pocket, I would have complained to the manager. I, along with my business colleagues, will probably never go there again because the other alternatives in Boston are much better in service, menu, and value. If you're looking to go Grill 23, you should instead consider Capital Grille, Abe & Louie's, or Ruth Chris Steakhouse.
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