Legal Harborside | Gorgeous Views with a Side of Horrible Hosts

You never get a second chance to make a first impression, or at least that’s what they say. In this case Legals Harborside scored pretty high on the fail scale on more than one occasion. Luckily they offer some of the best views in Boston, and with the recent weather being on such good behavior, all of their fumbles this weekend become almost ignorable. I guess what I’m saying is the new Legals location and amenities are pretty effing unreal, but I’m not quite sure I’m a fan of the staff. Let me explain.

This past Friday a few friends and I headed towards Liberty Wharf in hopes of getting some good seafood while enjoying Legal Harborside’s new roof deck bar. This happened to be my third time at this specific location; my first two experiences were questionable and included instances of incorrect food orders, ghost waitresses who were never around, long waits for drinks, etc., etc.  I’ll admit, with such an amazing location, I usually let the minor inconveniences slide, but I’m not going to pretend that they go unnoticed. This time around it was the hosts who left a bad taste in our mouth.

Upon entering the restaurant, one female host in particular was unmistakably rude. With no explanation and a harsh tone in her voice, she said they were on an hour and a half wait. It was approximately 11:45 in the afternoon on a weekday and there were more than a dozen empty tables on the deck surrounded by an empty bar. After a few minutes of some mumbling and more miscommunication about the roof being closed and what our options were, one of the nine head-set wearing staff members by the door advised us to find a seat somewhere at the bar. We did.

Lucky for us we snagged a spot right by the glass walls looking out onto the water. And once we realized our bartender was nowhere near as scary as the hosts were, we starting enjoying ourselves again. With drinks in hand and apps on the way, things had definitely started to look up.

One great thing about Legals is their selection of spreads and bruschettas that are perfect for sharing while waiting for any appetizers or entrees to arrive. The tuna tartar (above) and the whipped Gorgonzola and fig are always a must!

Then things took a turn for the fried…

Calamari AND Clam Bellies!!

I don’t even like clams, but ill pretty much try anything fried. I’ll admit I hate that I just said that, but it’s true. No surprise here, both dishes were pretty satisfying. The best part was definitely the mustard aioli that came on the side with the fried calamari. One of my friends even went so far as to say she wouldn’t mind drinking it. Yeah it was that good.

Then came our entree’s. Today it was the lobster roll and tuna burger, both dishes I have had before. Lets go with the good news first – the tuna burger was great. Much better than I had even remembered. The side of dry cole slaw and curry relish added such a unique kick when added to the burger itself, and the fries were thin and crunchy (my fav!) Now for the not so great news – the lobster roll was pretty unimpressive. A sandwich I am no stranger to ordering, the bun was less than grilled and pretty dry and the portion of lobster salad was on the stingy side. After hearing rave reviews of the lobster roll at Tides, I was pretty underwhelmed by the offering at Harborside.

All things considered, I’d rate this particular experience at about a 7. Had it been any other Legal Sea Foods sans roof deck and ridiculous views of Boston it probably would have been around a 3.5. Although the food is usually consistent, and I do ❤ their white sangria, it really bothers me that the staff is so uninviting. The place has more employees than Obama has secret service and yet somehow the majority seem to forget that they are in fact in the service industry.

It’s something I’ve noticed before with this particular location, and while it hasn’t stopped me from coming back once in a blue moon it has certainly given me another reason to dislike chain restaurants altogether. I mean think about it, why go to a corporate machine who only cares about the bottom line when you could go somewhere that actually cares about you having a good time? Oh right… the roof deck.

Legal Harborside - Floor 1 on Urbanspoon

270 Northern Ave.
Boston, MA
617-477-2900

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7 Responses to Legal Harborside | Gorgeous Views with a Side of Horrible Hosts

  1. I’ve heard others say the same thing about the hostesses…. I found them to be fine – but, agreed, without the views and roofdeck, the restaurant isn’t anything exceptional.

  2. I really hate it when horrible service diminishes the overall experience of a restaurant that serves good food. I will also try anything fried and seeing your pictures is making me crave for some fried seafood right now!

  3. Daisy says:

    bummer! everyone seemed nice when I was there, (the hostesses at the first and third floors.) Then again, I have only been once. my lobster roll was good too! sorry you have had such consistently bad experiences. the clams do look amazing, though!

  4. Michelle says:

    I recently dined there and had a good experience but I can definitely understand the frustration with the service.

  5. DolnoE says:

    Just heard the same thing from a friend at work. Seems they need to axe that host and up their game.

  6. I have had fine experiences with the staff overall, but I get a general attitude from the Liberty Wharf restaurants. But Boston has so few waterfront dining options, I keep going back!

  7. Deb says:

    Dined on the second floor last night, everyone (including the host and hostess) was extremely pleasant. And the view – well, is there really another reason that you’d come to the wharf? It’s a splendid location!!

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