East Coast Grill for dinner last night was a disaster. I hadn't been to ECG in almost 3 years and stopped in with my better half on the way home from work last night . It was pretty much completely on a whim. We have been enjoying All-Star Sandwich Bar quite a bit lately but wanted to shake things up and do something that I imagined would be "a little nicer." I doubt that we will be returning.
On the good side of things, service was quite good. They were friendly, attentive, and willing to promptly correct small issues, including an over-billing mistake. And by "they," I mean everyone - from hostess, to the servers, to the busboys and everyone in between. Good people there.
Sadly the food was not on par with the service. The best thing I consumed was my bottle of Flying Dog Pale Ale.
The arugula salad that was bland and the bacon bits were burnt to the point of being inedible. For $8.50, it's fair to expect better.
Shrimp cocktail was an absolute train wreck, especially for a place that uses the words "Raw Bar" in its title. They were frozen in the center and somehow the texture had been rendered unspeakably horrid. Kind of pasty and rubbery. Wholly unappetizing and, again, pretty inedible. They were carelessly shelled as well, with surprise bits of the shell remaining here and there.
The "special catch" Portuguese style fisherman's stew was alright. The tilefish fillet was well prepared and flavorful. The sausage was tasty. But the broth was pretty bland and the potatoes were underdone and hard. The huge hunk of toast they served with it was somewhat unwieldy and not ideal for sopping up the broth. On the whole, it needed more seasoning, more punch.
Side of fries - ok, but way better a couple doors down at All-Star.
What really pushed us over the edge into "never coming back" territory is that prices are just outlandish. $9 for a glass of malbec that probably retails at $12-15/bottle. $28 for the soupy "stew." $8.50 for a starter-size arugula salad with goat cheese and burnt bacon. $3 per cocktail shrimp.... ugh. If the food had been good off the price wouldn't have stung as much. But for that money I can think of dozens of better places to eat in Cambridge/Somerville.
Customers are still paying for that 1996 Beard Award I guess.