68 School St, Watertown, MA | Directions 0247242.364812 -71.166592
How to trick your guests to pay 20% tip - a real story – Long Story Short:
I went to Porcini's with a party of 5
Food took 55 minutes to arrive.
After 45 minutes my friend told the waitress that he is about to “eat the table” (he’s Israeli…)
A few minutes later the manager came and told him he can leave now if he doesn’t like the way they work and that we shouldn’t intimidate the waitress (???)
We paid with a $40 coupon (from BuyWithMe) and the balance ($117) with visa.
Then they added 20% tip on their own decision.
Asking the manager if it’s a mistake, she explained it’s the IT system. If you use a coupon it adds 20%. Nothing she can do. There is no note for that neither on the coupon nor the menu. It was an excuse to make us pay 20% as they assumed we will leave low tip due to the earlier incident.
In the end we paid cash and left no tip.
As we left the manager told us “I hope not to see your face here again!!!”
Short Story Long:
I went to Porcini's (a Mediterranean Restaurant at Watertown, MA) on 11/27 for dinner with some friends (total party of 5). We arrived 10 minutes late, but our table wasn't ready anyway. After a few minutes we've been seated.
I heard about the restaurant on BuyWithMe, where they sold a coupon of $40 for the place (which looks great, btw).
We placed the orders and asked for some wine.
35 minutes later the waitress told us it will take a few more minutes.
After 45 minutes, my friend called her and told her that he is about to "eat the table" (he is a foreigner and I guess she didn't really get his humor).
After 55 minutes, no food yet, but the manager arrived. She asked my friend, in an angry voice, if there's any problem and he complained about the food being late (nicer this time).
She replied in a very heated manner that there is a large party that came at the same time, that it is not the waitress fault, that we shouldn't intimidate the waitress, that it is not McDonald's here, and that we can get the check and leave now if we prefer. We were pretty shocked and didn't answer and she left. We felt really uncomfortable.
The food was delicious.
We received the check, paid with a credit card (after the $40 coupon) and as the bill returned we saw that 20% service was added, without it being in the original bill and without letting us know. Thinking it may be related merely to the size of our party we looked at the menu, but the rule they had was for party of 6 or more.
I asked for the manager and told her I think there has been a mistake. She answered in a very unpleasant way that this is how the system is set up. If you use the coupon it adds 20% tip and there is nothing she can do. Either cancel the coupon or pay the tip. I asked her to bring the coupon, and we read together the note saying "Tax and gratuity not included; tip on the full value of the meal, not the voucher price (average tip is 20% of the original value)." There was nothing about automatic tipping.
We tried to understand, how and why should money be charged with no apparent reason. She was extremely rude and literally walked away from me as I was explaining our surprise.
In the end I asked her to cancel the credit charge, and we paid in cash and left no tip.
She had the audacity to come to the table and ask us to wait while she counted the money in front of us! And said as we were walking out that we should not show our face there again!!!
So now you know how to trick guests to pay 20% tips without asking them. Just blame the IT.
Great food and atmosphere – I've been to Porcini's twice and enjoyed it both times. My favorite includes the squid fra diavolo for appetizer and the breads. Both times I was there the house wine special was fantastic. We enjoy the terrific romantic atmosphere, yet you can still see what you're eating!
My only hesitation is the food was a touch inconsistent. Both times I had the calamari fra diavolo and it wasn't consistent in texture between the two visits. Never had a bad meal there and all around terrific.
Very Friendly – This place is great the food was "just like moms" coming from an Italian american background my taste buds are use to salty, seasoned, & yummy food. FRIENDLY service, fast service, great parking.
It's over-rated – I went there because of their high rating and came out disappointed. I couldn't even finish their signature risotto and their mussels were so salty! However, the waitress at the bar was really friendly. Service was prompt.
Apparently we had an off night, but your experience is not typical. We pride ourselves on our food and our staff. We are pleased that the server was friendly but hope that you will give us another try, we deserve our high rating and think we deserve another chance.
One of the Boston area's most dependable spots for Mediterranean cuisine, located in the heart of Watertown. – In Short
With dishes from Italy, Greece, France and Morocco, Porcini's menu can truly be classified as "Mediterranean." There are more than 40 wines available by the bottle. The cozy dining area basks in the warm glow of a fireplace. Come summertime, patrons can enjoy their wild mushroom strudel, veal osso buco and shrimp pappardelle on the garden patio.
Outside Boston best – This is my favorite restaurant in my neighborhood. They have an amazing menu that is always changing and a full page of daily specials so it is a sure bet that you will find something you're in the mood for. The staff is very friendly and combined with the cozy setting it always feels like I'm part of their family, just stopping by.
Feels like home – Porcini's is a small restaurant with a family/neighborhood feel. Each time I've been there, it seems as if the meal was created fresh for me. The appetizers, salads & main courses are all excellent. Good wine selection and fine cocktails. Dark, cozy interior adds to the experience. The patio is an added plus in the summer.
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