A Big Disappointment...

Have you ever been anticipating something so much that you can hardly wait to experience it? Have you been enticed and lured to that special place by people you trust, and honor their professional opinion and just are so anxiously ready to explore what they have to offer? A restaurant that exudes the media's affection and the public's appreciation. A dining room and kitchen team that is one of the newest, hottest, most happenin' creative teams to come along in a while. So...you get ready. You make reservations. Reservations for the special outing. With your significant other perhaps? How about an anniversary celebration. Yeah, that sounds good. I know she will enjoy it. This is going to be awesome. Should we try something else? A place where we know it will be stellar? One of our most fabulous places like CRUSH? Not this time. We KNOW this will be good! How could it not be? Great reviews...great reputation...great sounding food scene...great comments. And so, the night begins. We are going to the "surprise restaurant". A new experience. That is what we as chefs long for...new and exciting experiences. Those that stimulate new thought. New concepts. New dimensions in food, technique and service. We arrive...all seems well, except for the parking situation. What a nightmare. Oh well...this is going to be awesome! I would park a mile away to eat some of the greatest of foods and be treated exceptionally well. I knew this was going to be great! We enter. We are seated in the rather understated, casual, yet appealing dining room, albeit in the back...in the back of back...behind the curtain even. Oh well...nobody we need to see perhaps? The food and service will be great. Who cares? (Shit, I hope it will be good, now that I have talked it up). Our server brings the menus. I can't wait to open it. The first thing I ask myself is..."where is the rest of it"? Oh well...this is going to great...isn't it? My wife being a semi-pseudo vegetarian ask's "do you have any vegetarian dishes"? The server replies " no, this is the menu". Oh well...a bit of a bummer, but this hopefully will be good. Quite odd, considering that we are in the middle of the granola-health-"free-spirited" crowd of Broadway on Capitol Hill. And to think that with all the peeps that eat vegetarian today? So, with a breath of hope, along with a positive encouragement of degustatory perseverance, I ask sensitively and politely " with all the great sounding accompaniments of the other dishes, could we simply put something together"? Our server replies...(if one would call her that) "NO! There are no substitutions"! Like...what? I was shocked! I almost got up and walked right there! With a given restaurant that's name includes commonplace tableware items, and the skill and level of execution that apparently rivals those of some of the best, one would expect at least SOME stretch of service. Some little thread of making the guest at least feel like they cared. To at least make you feel like you would make an attempt to ask the kitchen if there was something you could offer. Instead....NO! Oh well...we could at least try some dishes and then go to Harvest Vine afterwards. As I read the menu, feeling uninspired, I fixated upon a couple dishes. As they came to the table....that feeling was reconfirmed. Tasty, yet not "knock-your-socks-off"! I could not get beyond the fact that a kitchen that can glaze and braise a beautiful Kurobuta Pork Belly could not execute a simple vegetarian dish, or at least the request of one! Now... I can appreciate and undertstand that some chefs and restaurants simply stand by their philosophies and choose not to do such things. That is their choice to do that if they want to and thank our nation for that! But I have to ask why are we in this business? Is it not to serve the customer? To please our guest? To be given and accept the challenge of the quest that comes before us? To try and be better than the competition and to win over the minds of clientele from that of other locales? It is the effort of going that extra mile or providing that extra service or that special touch, dish or ingredient that reminds our guests that we are there and that we appreciate their business and look forward to seeing them again when they need to choose a place to dine. There are so many places. Why should they choose us? Because we DO CARE! So, Oh well...I have made mistakes in dining choices in the past. The dessert menu was brought to us. Again, quite uninspiring. No thanks. When the check was brought to us, we paid and from that point on, we had absolutely zero contact with our server. Not a "thank you", not a "hope to see you again soon", not a smile or acknowledgement of any sort, not even a "get the hell out of here". As we walked by our server, our busser, and the host desk, with eye contact of all of them, and nothing to encourage or warrant a return visit, all I could think of was...Oh well!


Blogger CookermansTy said...

Dude! What a bummer! I feel bad b/c i sent you there. That does not sound like my experience at all. No veggie?! No way!

12:26:00 AM  
Blogger cuisinier said...

oh well...:( the evening was not a total downer as we stumbled upon a casual place...Casualitas. Fun! Could you "read-between-the-lines" without knowing? Chow.
Maybe it is because they are sold?

10:56:00 AM  
Anonymous baby said...

you must be talking about Fork. How sad. Have you tried out Sitka and Spruce? Sometimes the parking is a pain, but the food...


12:34:00 PM  
Blogger cuisinier said...

hi baby....not yet. I have heard some good things. Need to try it. Cremant and S & S are next. are you in the biz? have you tried Crush?

7:06:00 PM  
Blogger y said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

3:33:00 PM  
Anonymous baby said...

oops, tried to answer while logged into blogger, but something funky happened.

I am not in the business yet, but I should have some news very shortly!

We haven't been to Crush but now it is on my list.

3:36:00 PM  
Blogger cuisinier said...

crush is AWESOME! Jason does a great job. the biz is great, sometimes nuts, and always crazy. Good luck.

8:05:00 PM  
Blogger Ronan Jimson said...

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6:38:00 PM  
Blogger Randy said...

You are truly one whiney bitch

2:39:00 PM  
Blogger cuisinier said...

although an old post...YOU obviously did not go there or experience what I did. There is just absolutely no excuse for that low of quality service.

7:31:00 PM  

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