I’m confused about this restaurant the same way I’m confused about myself. Like me, it presents a polished, comfortable veneer for company and guests, but also, like me, it’s got issues that only come out at night.
I went to the Back Bay Social Club for the first time somewhere around Thanksgiving. I was with my sisters and my parents, just the five of us for the first time in a long time. We all loved our meals, received exemplary service, and remarked, on the way home, what a wonderful evening we all had.
I went for the second time last night, in honor of my sister’s birthday. While waiting an eternity for our drinks, I quelled my boredom by checking in on Yelp. Our rum cocktail tasted rancid, and the bartender seemed a little miffed when I returned it with a shake of the head and a smile. Then she took forever to get us a replacement drink (it’s just a Narragansett! God!) and, later, screwed up our tab, running my credit card for $30 of drinks I didn’t order. It was so horrible that I actually wrote a review once I got home. Turns out, while I was typing my sister was witnessing a verbal showdown between our bartender and a rowdy group of customers. So, all in all, sounds totally like a normal evening with me during the bad days: slow-moving, unapologetic, and quick to start a fight.
Oddly, tonight, I found myself back there again. I had the baked cod, which was absolutely fantastic – I think it’s the kind of thing I’ll crave several times a week. Our waitress was just OK, but the overall level of service bordered on magical. Like, my sister had barely had the time to drop her fork before a busboy was there to replace it. I’m being literal. They poured me a half-glass of Malbec to finish the meal, even though they don’t normally do that, and my family had another lovely dinner at Back Bay Social Club.
So, Back Bay Social Club, I’m honestly just baffled. I want to love you. I want you to be where I go when I feel sad. But I mean, your late-night service is kind of like that night when I got drunk and trashed my apartment: not a good scene. Back Bay Social Club, I know you can be better than this. Your menu proves it. Take B!’s Mai Tai recipe, consider an Ativan scrip, and sally forth. I believe in you.