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“Good Quality, Responsive Staff”
Review of Grill 23 & Bar

Grill 23 & Bar
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Ranked #32 of 3,206 Restaurants in Boston
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $50 - $80
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Bar scene, Business meetings, Large groups, Romantic
Dining options: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Late Night, Reservations
Dining style: Fine Dining
Neighborhood: Back Bay
Cross street: Stuart Street
Berkeley, California
Level Contributor
210 reviews
154 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 109 helpful votes
“Good Quality, Responsive Staff”
Reviewed December 27, 2013

We ate here a couple of days after Christmas and had a good experience overall. First, this is a noisy restaurant, typical of most (all?) steak restaurants (it's not for seafood - don't be fooled by this claim), where convivial groups gather to have a good time. If you're a participant in one of these groups, nothing could be better. If you're a couple, well, you'll have to repeat yourself a lot, but the food is good.

The martini's were large and well prepared (my wife loves a dirty martini), very good value, even though they didn't have Plymouth, one of the world's best gins, and this in a city a few miles from Plymouth, MA - OK, the gin is not made there. They did have Hendricks, an acceptable second choice. The breads were first rate - some were a little fiery, as was the shell fish chowder. We liked it, but not to everyone's taste. You should ask. My wife asked for the chopped salad after being told the tuna tartare had some elements that were not gluten free. But the salad had croutons, a "no-no", so had to be taken back. The waiter was not really paying attention (but he made up for this).

My wife had the Cod, a local fish, but bland, which needs to have good accompaniments to succeed, and this time they were not sufficient (it happens). I had the steak frites, and the frites were served cold. When I informed the waiter, he promptly arranged for a fresh plate of hot frites to be brought to the table. Perfect response. My steak was perfectly cooked, flavorful, and more than I could eat. I chose this skirt steak because I knew I would not be able to eat even half of the other meat on the menu (other than the filet mignons, a steak that I find has little flavor). It was also the lowest cost steak on the menu at $29.00. We had a side of the asparagus, which was monstrous. We could only eat about one third.

For dessert we asked to split a chocolate sunday (we normally skip dessert), but the waiter brought what must have been two Sundays - they were delicious. And good for him for trying to make up for the cold frites.

The wine by the glass was adequate - a little pricey for the California wines where we knew the retail price.

We asked to be seated on the second floor, the best bet for less noise (try for the right hand side as you come up the stairs, and away from the bar and TVs, also on the second floor to the left as you come up the stairs). We were close to the windows on the Berkeley Street side. Would have been fine except there were a couple of groups not too far away. They were having fun, and enjoying each other's company. It was a strain for the couples in the vicinity. There is no good solution for this - if a couple wants a more quiet experience, skip the steak houses (and not just this one - they all have this in common, in our experience).

One thing was curious to me - a top flight steak house should serve prime rib and a baked potato, but this restaurant served neither. Too bad.

Overall - good steak, pass on the seafood, good service, noisy, but if you can go with the flow, it's fine

  • Visited December 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank BerkeleyJohn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
9 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Expensive but really good steak!”
Reviewed December 23, 2013

Went with friends recently.
The decor is beautiful, classic.
Steak was definitely some of the best I have ever had.

  • Visited November 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Zachtraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
422 reviews
202 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 134 helpful votes
“Great Food/service/atmospere”
Reviewed December 11, 2013

A real business/ credit card place. My friends had steak I had Epic Pot Roast. It was EPIC!
Great drinks, wonderful feel great steaks...you will not be disappointed.

Visited December 2013
Thank john b
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
29 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
“Food superb and interior of restaurant really lovely”
Reviewed December 11, 2013

Beautiful dinner, well presented with very attentive staff. Wonderful experience. My waiter was very good at making recommendations all of which were excellent. We would definitely make a booking if we were in town again.

Visited December 2013
Thank Keelybos
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
87 reviews
55 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
“Great lobster”
Reviewed December 7, 2013 via mobile

So this may be a steak restaurant but it does a great lobster. The sides are deceptively large. The waiting staff are attentive, courteous and knowledgable about the menu. The restaurant was beautifully decorated for the holidays but the classic. Decor would look good at any time of the year.

1 Thank VictorCharlie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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