It was a pleasurable experience altogether, though the restaurant is certainly not on par with its view; it has a ways to go before it can reach a similar splendour...
When my date and I first entered, we were escorted to an interior table far away from the magnificent views... There really is no point going to the Top of the Hub unless you are sitting at the window, so we decided to wait at the bar until a table was ready. The bar is quite dimly lit, with an unimpressive display of bottles, and a slightly unenthusiastic bartender. But the Jazz was live and quite good, and right next to the bar, so the view's absence it's behind you as you sit) was alleviated by the rhythms of a piano, battery and bass ensemble.
The table was available before I finished my martini, and we sat at the window with a spectacular view of the Pei's John Hancock tower and the rest of Boston. The wine list was decent, with a sizable collection of imported and domestic wines, 99.5% of them below $100.00, and many of them recognizably palatable wines. We had a '95 Chassagne-Montrachet, which was good. The Pouilly-Fuisse might have been the best for an under-$50 bracket.
The menu was comfortingly short, though also quite repetitive, it seemed to me. Nevetheless the meals offered seemed to be the true "tried and tested" dishes that remain favorites, though with slight quirks that I guess restaurants must provide nowadays to prove they are au courant of the 'fusion intrusion'. ie, the Yellowtail Salmon tartare comes with delicately presented splashes of sweet soy sauce and a spicy cream sauce, while the veal comes on top of a caramelized fig. Both were delicious.
There is a very convenient "Degustation Menu", which is decided on by the chef according to the season and which includes a series of five courses starting with the Tartare, continuing with a Red Snapper, then the veal, then a small arugula salad with the tiniest morcel of gorgonzola cheese, and ending with a warm chocolate cake and macadamia ice cream. The whole event takes about an hour and a quarter, and includes many of the dishes we had already singled out a la carte for their potential. For those who are up for a larger meal, the Degustation Menu can also be seven courses, but five was fine for me. I couldn't finish the cake (which was very runny, though my date loved it).
The waitress was a bit cold, but it may have been because we appear younger than we are and not the usually older clientele that surrounded us (although that should not matter).
The meal cost $200.00, which included two Degustation Menu's, the Chassagne, coffee and tip. The view, and the good food, was worth it, though the service was definitely on the coarser side (which was the opposite of what Zagat said it would be). I expect the regular clientele of businessmen on power meals elicits a warmer accueil.
All in all, the meal went great, and the relatively sparce Wednesday night crowd was calm and quiet, allowing for normal conversation decibels at each table, as well as the enjoyment of the jazz band from the adjoining room. I would recommend the Top of the Hub for a good, medium-to-expensive meal in the presence of a great view, which is essentially what you're paying for anyway.