The Buzz: Clink

Welcome to The Buzz, a feature where we look at what the Internet is saying about brand new restaurants. It’s too early for a review, but when has that ever stopped anyone?

The Liberty Hotel, which opened its doors last week, is one of several boutique luxury hotels that have sprung up downtown over the past few years. Housed in a building that once held the Charles Street Jail, it is mostly notable for being exceedingly picturesque. The hotel will house three restaurants: Alibi, a bar housed in an old cell block, which will be run by the Lyons Group, Scampo, a fine dining restaurant helmed by Lydia Shire of Locke-Ober fame, and Clink. Clink is the only one of the hotel’s three restaurants that is actually being run by the hotel itself and the only one that has opened already. Buzz has been….well, buzz hasn’t been great. Let’s check it on out, shall we?

The Good: In an otherwise fairly dissatisfied review, Yelper Daniel S. wrote that “Clink is just barely three stars. It keeps it’s third star simply because of the sheer excellent quality of their food.” The wine selection won praise from Yelpers Gail V. and olivia h., with the former adding kudos to the ambiance (“The colors & wood they used to decorate makes the ambiance warm, and, unlike some restaurants with open kitchens, it wasn’t really loud. “) and the food: “The restaurant is not the place to go if you are starving for a big meal, but if you are up for some eclectic flavors and small, delicious dishes its a good choice.” Chowhounder BillieJean (not my lover) also enjoyed the “sophisticated” design and found the mac and cheese to be “delicious.”

The Bad: Several Yelpers were disappointed by the sizes of the small plates, which servers were apparently describing as “similar to tapas-only larger.” Daniel S. felt that “their small plates are small. Sometimes smaller than traditional tapas.” Furthermore, Gail V. noted that “the prices for a tapas size portion were more like for a dinner.” Both BillieJean (just a girl who thinks I am the one) and Secret Sommelier, who dined together, took umbrage with the cheese plate, which Secret Sommelier described as “awful and they served it with too little bread and Welch’s grape jelly.”

The Worst: BillieJean (more like a beauty queen, from a movie scene) and Secret Sommelier allege some unacceptable service. In the words of Secret Sommelier: “we sat at the bar and ordered a bottle of Joseph Phelps, Mistral, Cab. First wine on their list. They didn’t have it. Next bottle we ordered they didn’t have. Third…not a charm! Anyway, finally ventured to the reserve list and ordered a Chateauneuf du Pape, Vieux Telegraph. Spent a small fortune…we then ordered our food to go along with this lovely wine. The wine is opened. We are enjoying the wine and the waiter comes over and declares the kitchen is closed. Our order cannot be fulfilled. We placed our order at 2:50 p.m. Kitchen closes at 3. If we had known the order would be rejected, we would not have ordered the wine. Anyway, after speaking with three different managers and wasting an hour on the problem, they decide to take care of the situation. What ever happened to the ‘customer is always right?’” Daniel S. encountered some subpar service of his own, writing about his waiter “the guy did not make me feel comfortable.” Finally, Citysearch’s Abmo summed up his service experience with one word: “Brutal.”

Clink [Official Site]
Clink [Yelp]
Liberty Hotel: Give ‘em a few weeks but promising… [Chowhound]
Liberty Hotel: Clink Restaurant is a CLUNK [Chowhound]
Clink [Citysearch]

[Photo: Franklin County Sheriff’s Office]

The Buzz: Clink