I ate there Thanksgiving morning (2017) with my daughter. The Waitress kind of convinced us to have the buffet., as the best value. The 2 fried eggs were good, ( I had to remind the waitress to get the eggs) but all the rest of the food was frightening. The food just wasn't good. The melon was uneatable, and not ripe, the sausages tasted Very dry and old, I toasted some breads, rye, banana, As I was eating, I noticed that a piece of wax paper was still on a slice of bread. another slice of bread was still frozen. The high-priced croissant came out much later than the eggs. The waitress didn't seem to understand or care, and she charged me extra for it. 'It WAS Thanksgiving morning', but....you would think someone in the place would care? the food in this place is pricey, and I left hungry, and you would think that the Crowne Plaza Corporation would want their guests catered to and treated well, not crapped on. It was as if they had some old food to get rid of, so they put it out on a buffet. I will never go there again.
Always a great setup!
The restaurant has a 50's kitchen theme, with Julia Childs playing on the TV screen, stacked rolling pins making up the back wall, a chandelier made of eating utensils and finally a display of 50's style aprons. It does make it fun and unique. There was only one other couple dining on the Sunday night we were there which made it very quiet. The food and service were great. The price is $$ so it is not an inexpensive place to eat.
Wow, is this place bad. I mean aggressively, shockingly, almost comically bad. It's inside the Verve Crowne Plaza hotel, FYI, but it's not the bustling bar off the lobby - it's the oddly brightly lit square space at the far end of the lobby. I cannot understand why it's so bright in there. I mean, it was a Friday night at 7 or so; why is it lit up like a mall store in the middle of the afternoon? That was our first clue that the place was off. The next was that no one came to greet us or seat us for at least 5 minutes. Eventually a harried looking waiter glanced at us and we sat. Ignored for many minutes.
Ordered a vodka martini, extra dirty, and a beer. A very clean martini arrived. I flagged down the waiter - now setting up for a large party - and explained it was supposed to be a dirty martini, which meant olive brine. Asked for some olive brine. He said sure...a few minutes later a different guy came by with a glass of lemon juice. I explained that was not what I needed, and he slumped over the table, laughing sort of, in that oh my god my night is such a horror show kind of way, like I should be feeling for him...off he went, exhaustedly, in search of my olive juice. 2 minutes later a different guy comes by with it. Then 1 minute later, the first guy comes by with the large squeeze bottle labeled OLIVE BRINE from the bar. I told him I was good now, and he made a big "AGGGHHH! Are you kidding me!"kind of gesture...I squeezed some more brine into my martini just so he wouldn't kill himself.
The "Confused Buffalo Wings” were pretty good, though not terribly confused.The Scallops were really good, nicely cooked and the lardons (bacon) were perfect, the Brussels sprouts soft, the corn puree sweet. My spouse’s Steak Frites were ok but the beef was not a hanger steak - more like the end of a random sirloin; much too thick and chewy. Good Frites though.
Many lifetimes later, we flagged down some other dude to please, please bring our check. Oy.
We have been to The Pantry several times. It is inside the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Natick. While the food and waitstaff are excellent, and the pricing reasonable, they have GOT to do something about the ambiance of this place. It is decorated in "retro" kitchen decor, with Julia Child playing on one of the screens. The restaurant has extremely bright lighting. They could improve on the ambiance of this restaurant by killing the Julia Child/retro theme, changing the name of the restaurant from "The Pantry" to something else, and giving the place a more romantic, warm feel. We almost considered eating our meal in The Violet Thorn, which is the adjacent bar, because it has more atmosphere. Also, why not hook up with TCAN in Natick center and give patrons a discount on dinner if they show their ticket stubs...might attract more clientele from outside the hotel.
What a great place! Decor is simply adorable. Cooking shows on TV, utensils adorning the light fixtures, rolling pins on the walls...just preious! Food is delicious, portions are large and great for sharing!
I was attending an all-day meeting, and wanted a good breakfast to begin my day. The Pantry made it happen! A nice omelet made-to-order, was served without delay. The server and host were friendly and helpful. The price was reasonable as well.
Skip the buffet and order from the menu.
While the restaurant was surprisingly quiet for a Saturday night (maybe b/c there was a Pats game on?), we had a very nice meal. The ambiance is unique and fun, the service was very good, and the meals were served with an interesting flair that we both enjoyed. I had the scallops and my husband had the steak. As I mentioned the restaurant was slow but there was a reception going on in the hotel and that got a bit loud but also created a festive atmosphere so we did not mind. Also used a Group On offer which gave us a great value for our meal. I recommend!
The food was delicious. I had seared yellow fin tuna salad as my entree and partner had pot roast. Each was excellent. However, had to ask for bread [which was great once we got it] and there was only one other party eating there. They didn't ask for bread so they never got it! We don't go out to eat for solitude so we were disappointed in how empty the place was. Prices were on the high side, my tuna was $15 and consisted of 6 1" square pieces. Each was barely a bite. With a little bit of marketing and more attention to service this place could be great.
This is the third time I've been to the Pantry. The food is always superlative, but the service is wildly erratic and very amateurish. This time half the main course food arrived cold, the waiter delivered coffee with no milk or sugar, the first courses all arrived at widely spaced times, as did the drinks. There were no little plates for the hors-d'ouevres, which we were sharing and had to just grab off the serving platters and put into our mouths. The waiter seemed not to have had any training and seemed afraid of his job, which he didn't do very well.
The decor isn't to my taste (kitchen-y), but the real problem is the over-bright lighting and extreme exposure to the hotel lobby. It has all the charm of a school cafeteria. What it needs is more intimate lighting and table placement, and better-trained waiters. The food is superb though, so I'll go back and be more demanding of the waiter to get it right.