December 17, 2006
I arrived at 7:55pm on Friday and the restaurant was completely packed; so I inquired with the maitre'd as to if my party had arrived yet since we were meeting there instead of beforehand. Unlike other Boston restaurants that may not be so cordial, the host at the Cottonwood told me that my party was running 15 minutes late and that they would happily come get me at the bar once the rest arrived. I thought this was so nice because a) in Boston if you're late at some restaurants you forfeit your reservation; and b) though the restaurant was busy, the host was still more than pleasant to me and my tardy friends.
At the bar I ordered an Asian pear mojito- supposedly a specialty drink here. Unfortunately, it was not what I had in mind at all. It did not have muddled mint like a typical mojito, and tasted a lot like a cosmopolitan with a slice of pear as a garnish. The person seated next to me even asked what I had ordered and was confused when I said it was a mojito.... Mojitos do not come in martini glasses! Someone should change this drink name or recipe here. But anyways, the bartender was nice and very quick to serve the area.
Once my ever-late friends arrived, we were immediately seated at a nice large table in the corner of the restaurant. Our party had 10 people and our table was a little cramped once we all had our ordered food, but overall the setting was nice and the restaurant's southwestern theme made for a warm ambience.
Our server was the one sour-note of the evening. She practically threw our food at us, did not re-take drink orders after we were seated, and generally acted put-out when we asked for anything. She seemed to be an anomaly for this restaurant though as other servers seemed to happily buzz around the establishment.
The Cottonwood's southwestern food has a focus on traditional ingredients like spicy peppers, black beans, and corn. There was plenty on the menu to satisfy all the members of our party - even a picky vegetarian like myself. The vegetarian enchiladas I ordered were very good and flavorful. Appetizers of chips and different dips were also tasty.
Prices at the Cottonwood Cafe are pretty reasonable. Even the martinis are only about $8 (some Boston restaurants get up to $15-$20/drink), making it not an expensive evening out. Aside from our lackluster server, it was easy to see why this restaurant is so popular.
From journal Boston - Tourist in My Own City