(Liz is interrupting my string of vacation posts. How incredibly rude.)

I was prepared to hate Lobby. The name “Lobby” suggested to me a desperate need to be trendy and hip. The food just sounded boring and mediocre. But after having lunch there on Friday, I am loathe to admit that I sort of liked it.

I was almost right about the food. It was just okay. Some things were good: the clam chowder my colleague ordered was tasty and not as viscous as most clam chowders. The salads my other colleagues ordered looked pretty fresh. My burger and fries were decent: nothing mind-blowing, but the fries were hot and well-seasoned and my burger actually came medium rare as I had ordered. Nonetheless, my other colleague said that his Seared Sea Scallop Pasta with pesto was bland and from what I could tell, the scallops were overcooked. My other colleague thought his fish and chips were extremely greasy, even for fish and chips, which are naturally greasy. The desserts sounded good (a trio of ice cream sandwiches, yum) but we had an ice cream party at work to look forward to (lawyers have fun too…) so we forewent them.

I don’t want to dwell on the food because I had such a limited experience with it and because the food isn’t really the best reason to go to Lobby. The atmosphere was actually really great. It has a modern decor, with dark wood tables and walls, a backlit bar, and a mix of banquettes and low tables with loungey chairs around them. This could have been weird for a business lunch, but it is subtle enough to look fresh and not too nightclubish. The room is tiny, maybe big enough to hold 20-30 patrons, and someone commented that it felt like a boutique hotel’s bar.

Since it was a warm day, Lobby opened up the front wall of the restaurant to face the new post-Big-Dig Greenway, which let in nice light and a gentle breeze. The service, though a little slow, was welcoming and friendly. A mix of modern jazz (eg Soulive) and electronica (eg St. Germain) played while we ate, which again, could have been weird for a business lunch, but it was soft enough to be nice background music without overwhelming the conversation.

Overall, Lobby is an unexpectedly comfortable place with good enough food. Though we had to rush back for the ice cream party, it felt like the kind of place where one might linger over lunch on a nice day.