Last weekend I went to Harvard Square with a friend of mine. We went to Small Plates for lunch. We were the first customers in the restaurant for lunch.
I loved the atmosphere. It was comfortable and light and pleasant.
The food was well prepared, and our waiter was a very nice kid. But he clearly needed more training. There were a number of things that he did/didn't do that leave me with a negative feeling and a bit of regret in spending so much money for a lunch of four small dishes that my friend and I shared, but I didn't leave being full. All attached food pics were of our food before we touched it. These were the full portions.
Having waited myself in the past, I think it's safe to assume that there was no bartender and he prepared my sangria. I've had plenty of sangria in my lifetime, and this was poorly prepared. Not so much in flavor, but in presentation. It was served in a regular wine glass. No ice. It was slightly cool, so I think it was shaken two times before he served it to me. I had asked about the kinds of fruits that were going to be in it because I was considering one of the different sangria flavors. I didn't get the fruits he told me were going to be in it. My no-ice sangria came with a toothpick that had a strawberry and an orange slice on it. That was a $9.00 drink!
The other think that really upset me during the meal was something that happened with the mussels. I know what mussels are, and there was something (actually two somethings) very large and black and unknown in the dish. I had a feeling that it might be snails because I saw them on the menu. But I'd never eaten snails or seen them cooked. So I called my waiter over and asked what they were. He swore up and down that they were mussels. He went into some thing like saying they were "inside out" but he continued to insist that they were mussels. AllI knew is that if they were mussels, they were outright rotton!
It wasnt' till I got home that I looked up on google images what a snail was. Yes, they were snails. So I was equally upset in that had I known for sure that they were snails, I would have tried them. I'm totally open to that and I would have gotten a kick out of it.
I called the restaurant the next day to talk to the manager to tell him or her that this waiter needed to be trained. There was no "manager" on duty - they hadn't opened yet. But I did talk to the sous chef. She told me the waiter was new. She agreed that probably a few snails fell into the mussels.
It was the waiter's pure insistance that he knew they were mussels (though he didn't) that really upset me. I didn't even go into the sangria issue. She said she'd talk to him.
So, to food we had was fantastic, but there wasn't much of it, it was expensive, my drink was not good, and I left without feel full and was pissed at my waiter (though he was a very nice kid). Just thought I'd share.