Hit the place with some business associates on Tuesday both of whom take their food VERY seriously. Father and son, they are both serious world travellers and are not at all hesitant to pay for a top notch meal. Both are serious amateur cooks as well. When last year I brought the father fresh mackerel I caught, he ate them raw, because "fish that good did not deserve to be cooked." I had been telling them how wonderful the place was for a while.
While one of us went to park the car, two of us sat at the bar to have a drink and some oysters and proceeded to get totally ignored by the bartender (who I later found out was the owner) even though the bar was essentially empty.
With some hand waving he finally came over and was repeatedly obnoxious and rude.
When he grudgingly takes our oyster order absolutely nothing happens, and the shucker who was at the oyster bar is completely gone. After a 10 minute wait, still no beverage or oysters or even some of the crackers one other customer at the bar had in front of her. I ask, again only after gesticulating desperately to get a shred of attention: "will those oysters be along soon?" The reply: "you'll get your oysters," nothing more."
I could say more but it would just be boring. He continued to be obnoxious the entire time we were at the bar. My buddy basically made it clear it was some of the worst service he had ever received in Boston and that he would under no circumstance consider eating there again. And this was all before I found out, after a phone call the next day to share my experience, that it was the owner. It was the Chef Michael Serpa with whom I spoke and the person who clued me in to the fact that I had been served by the owner, not some random bartender. Michael was kind enough to offer some gift certificate, etc and if it was an employee I would have taken him up on it, but such abuse coming from an owner is just unacceptable, period.
I would credit this to a bad day, who knows? But after conferring with a few other hounds, another friend had a nearly identical experience with "Jeff" the owner of Neptune.
Honestly, in this post I am being kind. Even with a gift certificate I would not suffer such abuse a second time. He was such a jerk he really deserved to be slugged. Much as I like the food, I can't conscious giving such a person any business ever again.
One post script is that I was not going to post on this at all, everyone has a bad day, until I had realized that a friend had the same experience.