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Explorateur Cafe, Restaurant & Bar
Kitchen: Thursday - 5pm-9pm, Friday - 5pm-9pm & Saturday - 6pm-10pm
Great service! We really appreciate all the attention.
Nice spot for an intimate or late evening dinner. Huge portions, but except for the French fries, food was rather ordinary and not as interesting as suggested by the Zagat review. Wine list extensive but wine by the glass had very limited selections.
Came on a Sunday for brunch and their breakfast pizza was amazing! Colossal waffles were not worth the $15 they charge. 3 tiny triangles and the presentation was awful. They need to be made more appealing. The atmosphere was great, lots of music and the waiter mentioned on Saturday nights they throw great parties. I would definitely come back
We had dinner here during the Winter Boston Restaurant Week as we have been to Gem on previous occasions for cocktails, and figured the $28 prix fixe Restaurant Week menu was worth trying.
The service here is good and the atmosphere is nice, but the food is mediocre. It seems like the chef thinks the overly big portions will distract from the poor preparation and taste. The appetizer fried artichokes were just okay and the appetizer ceasar salad was truly an entree size, but it tasted like preservative and the plastic bag bagged lettuce comes in. The chicken parmigiana was served over penne, but the breading was burnt and it tasted as if the cutlets were just sitting on a tray in the oven for an extended period of time. The winter bolognese had a strange and overwhelmingly herb taste, and the pasta was not al dente. The tiramisu is decent, but the vanilla bean cheesecake is blah.
Stick to Gem for cocktails. Hopefully, Gem will hire a new chef to elevate the food.
The sea bass was one of the best pieces of fish I've ever had!
We went for the oysters, and they were excellent. So was the service, in its way.... We were the ONLY diners, and the server (who seemed to be doubling as host[ess] and bartender) was very nice. Obviously GEM can't survive on an oyster promotion, and the other food was just OK, antipasti-good; pizza-fair at best. The atmosphere was weird in the extreme... decor like a brothel or a speakeasy... fringed lamps, mirrors... overdone, dark and creepy, especially as we were the only ones in the dining room. Supposedly around 10:30 PM, GEM turns into a nightclub, which seems strange. Maybe true, given the annoyingly loud (recorded) music ... if only for our exclusive enjoyment at dinner. WHY someone would create a basically OK neighborhood restaurant MIXED with a nightclub. is a mystery to me! They'd do well to decide what they are and stick to it. Then dial back the decor and sharpen up the food.
We attended Gem Restaurant as a Birthday dinner for my son with a couple of his friends. It was a very good dinner, nice portions, attentive and excellent service. thank you, we will return.
Instead of sitting in traffic on 93 north to north shore after 5pm which is horrible we tried this restaurant downtown. The food was good for most part and service was excellent, The look of this bar/restaurant is great and very pleasing. The food could use some work with better flavor and more than just the typical bar food items.
It was just okay. The ambiance was unique, however it didn't fit the techno music they had playing. Food was just okay, but was overpriced.
GEM is a great place to go for a lady's night out for delicious food and a cozy atmosphere. I'd also recommend it for a romantic night out too. The whole restaurant is dim, but in a candle-lit, inviting way. It'd easy to just sit and enjoy the foodie finds on the menu and enjoy your drink. The meatball sliders are amazing and the antipasti plate (especially the VIP version) is to die for.
We ate at GEM before a show at the Orpheum, and it was very convenient. We were seated in the bar area because of a group gathering in the dining room. It was quite loud with very loud music from the speaker right above our table. The staff was very accommodating and turned it down for us and also made sure we could make it to our show in time. The waiter and hostess were incredibly friendly so that made up for the so-so food. The bar had a young, professional looking crowd and it seemed like a fun place.
the dining room is intimate and romantic. The club music playing in the bar across the hall is piped in for some reason, although they turned it down when we asked. The chicken in the chicken park tasted old and strange. The server and manager were apologetic and brought out pasta, lemoncello and took the meal off the check which was very nice. Didn't quite hit it although they tried. Calamari was great w pickled vegetables.
Went on the strength of recent reviews, and I'm glad we did. Great ambiance, fresh oysters (dollar per) and very attentive server (Danielle). My wife loved the cocktails. Joe, the manager, stopped by the table to be sure we were properly attended, and topped off our night with a complimentary limoncello. They earned each of the five stars.
My friend and I chose Gem because neither of us had ever been. We had great food and the drink specials were awesome. The vibe was energetic. This is a good spot to go with friends!
Love the decor, upbeat vibe, the loud.music. Great girls.nite out place dinner and drinks. Food is good, nice size portions! Service, well, the person we had as a waitress gave.me the impression she couldn't be bothered serving my party of 3, we were celebrating a special birthday. That was disappointing, first time at Gem, probably the last.
it was the worst restaurant I have ever been in PERIOD
Fried Artichokes were awesome and the dining room was quite fancy.
Atmosphere in the bar area was electric. Drinks and food were great. Disappointing that we had to wait 20 minutes past our reservation time because they took walk-ins.
Went here to catch up with a friend I had not seen in a long time. While the food was really excellent, there was a very energetic party going on at the next table and it made it really difficult to have a conversation. This is a great place if you do not want to communicate with members of your party, but want good food. If you want to talk, don't go here.
I will go back again. The dining area is small but it was nice and cozy. Definitely a date night place.
Brunch was really fun! The restaurant turns into a day club modeled after brunches in Vegas and NY. Awesome!
We were really happy with the quality of the food offered at Gem. The antipasti appetizer is delicious and creative. The service was outstanding.
Arrived around 9pm on a Saturday night. Was crowded and quite noisy. Food was good, appetizers were delicious but very heavy. Service was attentive. Try to request a table away from the bar if you want to have a conversation, in the bar if you are looking for livelier vibe.
The Chicken under a brick is to die for. Ate in the dining room, service was amazing, chef catered to my gluten free/non-red meat needs. Very impressed.
Im young and wanted to take my mother out to a fancy meal in boston. I work for another restaurant that used to be owned by Ed Kane. We were hopingt o get some special treatment but he was out of town. Still amazing so happy i went anyways. Drinks were delicious! Food fantastic. Decor is adorable. Maybe they could turn the music down a bit..
In Boston for some business and found Gem on OpenTable -- so glad I did. Although it is Italian, it is hipped up Italian. Not your Aunt Connie's canoli (encrusted with caramelized sugar and pistachios). I had the fixed-price Restaurant Week meal (3 courses for $38), and it was well worth it. Panzanella salad was good, but a little too much bread after being served some bread with olive oil to start. Halibut for dinner. Best part was friendliness of servers, including V the bartender.
It's not the hot spot that they say over internet, the food is very bad, the wine list is very poor, the only good thigs are the service and the music.
Beautiful atmosphere. Only complaint is the music was a little too loud for such an early hour.
It was our Anniversary that night and the staff was so nice. They recommended great food choices and drinks. That the desert was unbelievable.
We enjoyed the privacy of an empty restaurant because of one night's snow fall. The First course was Caesar Salad for me, and followed by Fried Artichokes..BOTH wonderful. Our Wine was superb. Houge Genesis Cabernet 2010. My wife had the Chicken under a brick with Polenta. It was Marvelous. I ordered the T-Bone Steak. I was a little taken back by the thickness (or lack there of) the steak. It was less than 1/2 inch thick. It was very good, but we thought for $36 it should have been a bit thicker, at least an Inch. The Cannolis were baked, not fried and the sweet cream cheese was to die for.
Gem was so nice inside! We went on a snowy night and it wasn't really busy, so we had great service and the food came out of the kitchen super quick! The food was delicious. I would definitely go back.
I found the staff at GEM to be friendly and accommodating. Our waitress always checked in on us and was very friendly. The atompshere was romantic and set the mood for the romantic dinner. The food was excellent.
I really liked this place, you can tell they really know what they are doing with ingredients and flavors, but I was REALLY thrown off my how small my dinner was! To start off, my bf and I got awesome drinks, a Blood Orange Martini and a Whisky Smash (?). We ordered the fried artichoke hearts for an app -delicious! For our main courses, my bf got chicken parm, which was pretty good - not completely outstanding, but a huge portion (he had leftovers and never does). I got a special, fig and goat cheese ravioli. They were good, but the filling in each ravioli was barely bigger than a quarter and I only got FOUR! I finished my plate in about 4 minutes. My bf's plate was about 6x bigger than mine for almost the same price and his had meat!
Fantastic food. Great location for walking distance from train. The lighting was a little dark. We needed
the flashlight from our cell phone to see the wine list and would have liked a selection of background
music other than all techno.
This place can't decide whether it wants to be a restaurant or a disco. Music was way too loud to have a conversation and the menu was more narrow and limited than the online menu had suggested. I won't be back
music playing in the dining room was awful - not appropriate for dining and for the ambiance of the room
We should have looked at Yelp instead of Open Table Reviews -- nothing on Open Table prepared us for the sort of place this is. The restaurant is a tiny dining room attached to a small lounge and club. While the waitstaff wore clothes, we were just embarrassed for the lounge/bar staff -- women wearing barely there bustiers. The dim light and decor just added to the "gentlemen's club" feel. Really bad club music was piped into the dining room. The food was ok (we had one of the meatball dishes and the eggplant parm), but not good enough to make up for really weird ambiance.
We came here for a birthday celebration and were very pleased. It was a rather cold day so there weren't many other diners in the restaurant but the atmosphere of the dining room was nevertheless cozy and romantic. We also appreciated the special addition of crostinis with our drink orders. Although the menu is small, each item offers enough variety that we weren't disappointed in the slightest.
We booked a New Years Eve dinner at Gem during Boston First Night. The staff was preparing for the late night party, so they seemed a little distracted when we arrived. It was rather dark and the music was too loud for us, again, these seemed part of the event that was part of the later event. Still, the food was good and we enjoyed the dinner. I want to return for a Sunday lunch sometime, to enjoy it at a different time of day.
We went upstairs, looks like there may be downstairs as well. It has a large bar area that turns into a night club after 10:30. Our appetizers were very tasty we had artichokes and calamari and shared the seabass. All the food was good and the service was very good as well. Our server was very attentive and offered her opinions which I like.