Have a Bad Meal, Stiff the Waiter?

Ten Tables, long a popular French spot in Jamaica Plain, has opened up a Cambridge location in the spot recently vacated by Craigie Street Bistrot. Early word is that the food in the new location is just as good, particularly the winter greens salad, which dianalim describes as “incredible,” and the roast chicken with cabbage, white beans, and smoked bacon, of which dianalim says “the chicken was plentiful and delicious, with a perfectly crispy, salty skin and a nice ratio of light to dark meat.”

Unfortunately, that’s where the good news ends: dianalim says she and her husband arrived to find a crowd standing around at the front area, and that they were ignored by the host for at least five minutes. They were seated a half hour after their reservation, and found the crowd loud (“conversation was a chore,” she says), and scene-y. “I’m sure weekday dining would mitigate some of our complaints,” dianalim concludes.

“The attitude of the place may be expected since it is still very much in the honeymoon stage,” says Bob Dobalina. “Plus, geez, saturday night—whaddaya expect?”

joebloe suggests cutting the tip down to 5 to 10 percent, which opened a can of worms. “Tips are servers’ salary,” says jajjguy. “Just because they didn’t do a great job doesn’t mean they weren’t working.”

“Why does the American tipping system exist, if not to give the diner some discretion?” asks nfo.

No matter, says dianalim: “Low tips tend to suggest that the diner is stingy, rather than the experience was bad,” she says—a point that’s echoed by CHOW’s own Table Manners etiquette column on this topic.

Ten Tables [Jamaica Plain]
597 Centre Street, Boston
617-524-8810

Ten Tables [Cambridge]
5 Craigie Circle, Cambridge
617-576-5444

Board Link: ten tables cambridge…unimpressed

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