After being at Casablanca multiple times, this I believe was my last, they ruined my night. I went there to meet my boyfriend for dinner and a couple friends of ours was meeting us there. They went to a lecture prior but told us they would meet us for dinner and drinks after. We assumed they were meeting soon and so my boyfriend requested a table for 4. They sat him immediately, even though he arrived alone. So when I arrived to the table he already had a drink, the waiter was there as soon as I sat down asking me what I wanted, I hadn’t even look at the menu and as soon as he brought the drink he asked where the other people were and what we wanted for dinner, we said they were running late, but we would come soon and we would order. He said, “Good, because while you just sit here, I am losing money!”…As if that wasn’t rude enough, the waiter kept harassing us for our order, asking where the rest of the party was, so we finally decided to order without them arriving. I understand them being upset that our friends were late, but it was not our fault and by now I order an entrée (the most expensive on the menu) my boyfriend had 2 appetizers, plus the 2 drinks we were already drinking, still they didn’t think it was enough, I guess, so the waiter went and complained to the manager.
The manager came over to the table to ask where the rest of our party was and that if they did not come soon he would need our table, because they were very busy. We reassured him again that the 2 other people would come, they were on their way…Our food arrives and as we are taking the first bites, but that didn’t stopped the manager from coming over yet again and this time he just starts taking the other 2 menus from the extra plate settings and says: “I’m sorry but I am gonna need this table, right now, I can’t wait anymore!” – Mind you, by then we had our food in front of us and were eating. My boyfriend, started to tell him, how rude they had been all night and how upsetting this was since they never told him that the 4 of us had to be there and eating at all times. The manager said “Fine!!!” and took off mad.
Then our friends arrive, apologize for being late but unfortunately said they were having appetizers at their lecture and were not hungry, the waiter was furious. Our friends still both ordered wines and we still ordered more drinks and coffee. However the “rude fest” just continued from top to bottom!
I went and talked to the manager at the end of the meal and asked him what was going on and why that whole scene had unfolded so badly. He apologized begrudgingly and said “I guess I shouldn’t have acted the way I did”…”GUESS??!!” He said that it was a busy night and we were basically hogging the table and our 2 friends didn’t have food as we had said initially. I told him that we didn’t lie to him, that we did think that the couple were meeting us there for food as they previously told us. I explained that they had food at their event that went later than expected. I understand times are tough but to tell someone they need the table you are sitting in, while you have a $30 plate of food in front of you is just bad business! Overall, that night we spent over $100 + tip (YES, tip for bad service!). I guess they should just start saying there is a prix-fix or a minimum per person, instead of harassing people while they eat. It was a terrible experience, made worst by bad management and staff. Worst meal ever!!
Food is not bad but this place is priced like it was some
high end restaurant. Even at the bar you'll pay almost double for a beer and a bite as you would anywhere else (and there is a lot of choice around Harvard Square.)
I am not surprised the owner keeps popping up in an unflattering light in several reviews here. Suffice it to say I could not manage another star for that reason.
EAT HERE AT YOUR OWN RISK-LITERALLY. I bit into something that wasn't supposed to be in my meal (bone, glass, metal?) and broke a tooth! The manager was very apologetic and told me to contact them as soon as I had the tooth fixed. I tried, but the owner, Sari Abul-Jubain, dodged my calls for about 2 weeks before finally telling me, "That COULDN’T have happened here (thus accusing me of lying), and, besides, we don't take responsibility for any accidents like this." He was as unfriendly and unreasonable as he could be. So my group not only spent $300+ for overpriced, average food and drink, but I had to lay out another $700+ to have my tooth fixed. This was REALLY an overpriced meal. You can get better, cheaper Middle Eastern food in lots of places whose owners treat their clients with genuine respect and who wouldn’t dream of not taking responsibility if an accident happens in their establishment.
Harvard Square's most distinctive multi-ethnic eatery attracts a colorful crowd with tons of history and atmosphere..
This subterranean restaurant and lounge has lived nine lives since opening in the mid-1950s, and it currently provides the neighborhood's intelligentsia with a suitably smart place to hang out. Whether eating in the relaxed, red-walled dining room or drinking in the upbeat, high-ceilinged lounge, a colorful crowd of academics make themselves at home, as do proficient, black-clad servers. The bar, with its vividly colorful murals, is a great spot for a specialty cocktail or a late-night snack.
Casablanca's Mediterranean- and Middle Eastern-tinged menu is as varied and eclectic as the films showed at the neighboring Brattle Theatre. A salad with cornmeal-fried calamari, baby arugula, cherry tomatoes, pickled red onions and orange aioli presents an adventurous contrast in flavors and textures, while a seared striped bass with lemon buerre blanc and black trumpet risotto takes the tongue on a wild ride. Ouzo-scented olive oil cake with toasted almonds, honey crème fraiche is but one of the comforting desserts worth indulging.
Awesome Mural and Great Drinks!!!. Four of us dined here on July 21st and had a wonderful meal. The dining room itself is below street level, but the lighting and artwork make up for the lack of a view. Very creative cocktails here! We had the Basil Martinis, made with Hendricks Gin and infused with fresh basil which were among the best cocktails we've had in a long time. Food is also creative - several interesting salds and tapas to start including golden beet salad, and serrano ham. We had mostly fish and seafood entrees and my diver scallops were great with frisee and other accompaniments like grilled escarole. Service is very good. Prices are in line with the quality. Location is right near Harvard Square
Go to the lounge, not the restaurant!. The only part of Casablanca that takes reservations is the restaurant, but the decor is like a bad hotel, service is poor, and they have a $17 food minimum per person. (This means 2 tapas per person, which is a lot of food - more than my girls and I could eat.) Wait for the lounge instead, hope for one of the cozy basket tables, but be satisfied with a loud table in the middle of the happy chaos. No food minimum, much better ambience, and better service. On the bright side, tapas and cocktails are excellent in either section of Casablanca. We *loved* the grilled portobello. We also enjoyed the Turkish mezze plate, grilled pear, hummus (not pureed - a novel experience), and artichoke crepe. The Moroccan mule cocktail was iffy, but I should have known it from the description. Our spacy waitress took FOREVER to take our drink & food orders, and both the drinks and tapas took a long time to arrive, so bring some interesting friends and relax.
Not worth it. I was very much looking forward to my dinner with friends at Casablanca. However, the experience was much less than desirable. The atmosphere was nothing special although I did appreciate the coat rack near the entrance. My husband's pork loin was average and my stuffed artichokes were lower than average. We finished with the apple tart which, again, was average. I am usually pretty happy with average meals but not when I'm paying $25-29 a plate. If you're thinking about dining at Casablanca, I would recommend trying somewhere else as there are many other great restaurants in Harvard Square.
The food is always great!!!. My boyfriend and I have gone here our anniversary almost 4 years now. The menu changes seasonally and the entrees we've had, have been outstanding. It's not bad service but the waiter is not too much in your face which we liked. Very romantice, even if you sit in the lounge area.
Fantastic!!. Wow! this place has drastically changed FOR THE BETTER!! After all of the menu changes and taking away some staple dishes, I returned on the perfect night to have Ana's shortrib which was featured as a special! My husband raved about his duck entree and we even made reservations for Valentines day that same night after the bartender gave us a sneak peek of the upcoming menu. The bartender was knowledgeable and attentive without being intrusive but did mention that there have been a lot of changes occurring at the restaurant including the addition of a smoker so they are even offering house smoked bbq! I was happy to return to Casa and am really looking forward to our next visit.
Great dessert!. My first time there, it was a nice little place. I can't really eat much so I just had an entree, sea scollops, it was pretty good actually, but a little pricey since there were only 4 scollops in the dish that cost me 24 bucks. But anyway, food is cool, but the best comes to the dessert. I had the grilled pineapple with pineapple/brandy ice cream sorbet. Gosh it was sooooo good, especially the brandy one, love it yum yum. I would go there again just for the dessert hehe! Recommend overall though, the chicken dish looks really nice, may order that next time!
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