Boston >Food & Dining > Hungry I
71 1/2 Charles St, Boston, MA | Directions 0211442.358200 -71.070295
Thursday To Friday From 12:00 PM To 02:00 PM Sunday To Thursday From 05:30 PM To 09:30 PM Friday To Saturday From 05:30 PM To 10:00 PM Sunday From 11:00 AM To 02:00 PM
Neighborhoods: Beacon Hill, Back Bay
My wife and I wanted to treat ourselves and made a reservation at the Hungry I. Although the food was good, albeit over priced, the service by "Christopher" was atrocious. Chris has clearly a chip on his shoulder and would not be out of place at Durgin Park. When alerted to the fact that the Hungry I's web site still has an entry for the Valentine's day menu of 2010 the only comment was that the web site needs updating. The bottle of Malbec listed as a 2009 vintage was actually from 2011. Chris' only comment was that the restaurant had a new supply; the price of $44 remained unchanged on our final bill. Failing to attract Chris' attention when the one piece of bread served with the starter was finished I had to get up from the table to ask for more bread. Again failing to attract Chris' attention to take my credit card I had to get up and proceed to leave when the card was finally taken and charged. Sorry, we will not be back and would discourage others from going.
Richard - Arlington, MA
BAD – Shockingly bad for Restaurant Week. The "watercress salad" had no watercress in it (romaine instead) with what tasted like store-bought garlic dressing (not even close to as good as TJ's brand). My "poulet marengo" was a soggy, breaded mess with ridiculous soggy and oily and withered vegetables on the side. My date described her "pork normande" as equivalent to a 1970s-era TV dinner. What I am saying is that this was bad, really bad, very very bad--almost as if the Hungry I is trying to drive customers away. The desserts were not bad, but come on! My date's chocolate ricotta cake was a sliver that look like the kitchen was sending back was someone else failed to finish. My banana custard cake was a soggy mess, again not better than low-quality diner fare. We also got charged $12 a glass for well-below-average house pinot noir. So we have a theme here: soggy, low quality food that even at Restaurant Week prices was offensively overpriced.
Poor service, bad choice for Restaurant Week – Food was okay and the ambience was pleasant but I was left disappointed with the service. I took my parents visiting from abroad to Hungry I and was amazed at the waiter's audacity. He included a 22% tip conveniently in my bill at the end and explained this was customary for "folks from abroad". Now, 22% tips are given for outstanding service -- something I did not receive as I got served the wrong dessert. Not going back!
Disaster for Restaurant Week – While I expect a more limited menu for restaurant week with lower cost items, I don't expect what is on the menu to be of terrible quality and preparation. The onion soup looked and tasted like Lipton's soup. The beef in the beef bourginon was of the worst quality and the dish was small and appeared microwaved to me and my fellow diners. The server was clueless and rude when our guests asked if there was any alternative to garlic dressing on salad - any restaurant can make an alternative dressing with little or no effort but the Hungry I didn't bother and offered only oil and vinegar. This restuarant used to be a decent place but seems to have fallen on hard times. If you don't want to put any effort into restaurant week don't do it. You seem to forget these diners eat out the other 50 weeks of the year as well and will never come back. I was sorry for my dinner guests.
Dust and crust – I recently had dinner at this restaurant and found it to be overpriced for mediocre food. The decor is extremely dated and while the lighting is quite dim and romantic, it feels like the owners provide dim lighting to hide the stained carpets and dust-covered interior.
As for the food, I ordered the special yam soup with paprika. Sounds amazing on a cold night, right? I expected a velvety smooth pureed yam delight. Not even close. When it came it was a very deep brown color. It tasted almost bitter and had the consistency of a stew. In fact, it tasted like a beef stew. It certainly had beef in it, and I can't imagine what a vegetarian would have thought about this one. I had the special pork for my main course and it was a battle to cut and the vegetables were cooked poorly. The carrots were raw and the potatoes were burnt. Also, the portions were enormous. I think they try to justify their inflated prices with excessive portions. Normally, we would have had coffee and dessert after dinner, but we decided to go elsewhere after this disappointing meal. Skip this restaurant and go to the Beacon Hill Bistro or No. 9 Park. I will never return to this place ever again.
Cute restaurant, disappointing food and service. – The description that this is "modern French" food is far off the mark. Our experience was far from modern (or good). I have to echo the past reviewers' comments about arrogant service, cold drafts, bad bread, and disappointing entrees. Entering the place is a wonderfully quaint experience. The small brick corridor that you step down into builds the excitement for a romantic and fun evening. The host was very welcoming and led us up the steps to a cute, albeit tired dining room on the 2nd floor. The fireplace was enjoyable, but the cold draft (upstairs!) was unpleasant for our party.. The candle on the table was right at eye level, which sounds petty, but really... when you charge this much, everything should be right. The silverware hadn't been polished and was splotched - clean - but splotched. Our waiter couldn't have been much less interested in serving our table. When asked what the "beef en croute" was like, he said "it's like beef stew" as if we were a bunch of rubes who had never had French food. C'mon bud. It was en croute, not stew. He didn't explain that their interpretation would mean a watery, flavorless beef & mushroom soup under a doughy pastry....but back to the beginning of the meal. A cold roll was dropped on everyone's bread plate, and no two rolls were placed carefully or properly. Although we ordered different salads, we received the same sad salad of limp spinach and a stale, chewy crostini type thing. The black bean soup was an odd option, and the dumplings were uninventive. The only bright spot was the snapper with cabbage and tomato - not bad, but not great. The waiter always misplaced food, and food came out sporadically (we'd always have to wait for everyone's course to show up). The waiter dropped silverware on the table in the wrong positions...after we had to ask for it! We even had to ask for water. This was just not an acceptable meal for any level of restaurant, let alone one of this supposed caliber.
LOVED IT! FOOD, WINE, ATMOSPHERE – My Wife and I had dinner at the Hungry I for the first time last week. It was superb. Great food.good service.cozy, charming. I had the venision. My wife had the rabbit. They have perfected the art of the sauce. We shared a piece of walnut pie for dessert and a lobster pudding to start. It was like dining in Paris. We are taking our friends from California there next month. One of the top three restaurants we've been to in Boston................ever. Its nice to find place that's real, authentic.
Hair in a plate – We had the most horrible dinner you can imagine. From a first look menu was fine, even overpriced. I wanted to try Hungry I because of its reviews.
It was Saturday night and only 4 other people were in the Restaurant. We've been promptly greeted and seated. One of the plates was dirty and was replaced with words - ?It is just an ornament".
Wine list was horrible. Drinkable wines start from 150 and there are not much of them to choose from. They take wholesale price and multiply it by 4.
Appetizers were OK, but not OK enough to stay in that price range.
My wife had rabbit as a main course. Presentation was very good, but through a meal she found very long hair in her plate and showed it to a server, who took it and disappeared. In 3-5 minutes managers came and ask what a problem was. We explained it again; he took my wife's plate and disappeared, not even asking to replace her plate. He assumed that she doesn't want to eat anymore, even she had nothing.
When we paid for our meals (no discount was offered) we've been offered good night and no excuse at all.
I am in a restaurant business myself, but NUMBER ONE RULLE - treat your customers right and you'll never have empty tables on Saturday night in December.
Very romantic – I have been to every single restaurant in Beacon Hill and the Hungry I is tied as my favorite. Ignore the previous negative reviews - they are useless. The service was amazing and the food was great and absolutely not over-priced for a CITY restaurant. The portions were large and I was actually surprised that my swordfish (which was fabulous) didn't cost more. The bread was also very good - I don't understand the poor reviews on their home-made secret recipe bread. We sat at a romantic table next to a warm fireplace with soft music playing. A restaurant doesn't survive for over 40 years if it isn't great. I strongly recommend the Hungry I.
Modern French restaurant's stately Charles Street environs are among the Boston's most romantic. – In Short
Located in the heart of Beacon Hill, the Hungry I's subterranean dining room's exposed brick walls and classical accoutrements (oil paintings, upholstered banquettes) make for a most romantic atmosphere. When the weather allows, patrons dine on Charles Street's only patio. Popular menu items include venison au poivre, savory escargots and bouillabaisse blanc. One of the neighborhood's nicest, and priciest, brunches is served on Sundays.
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