We had another crappy meal last night. And I chose the word “crappy” carefully. My wife has told me that using the words that came out of my mouth during the dinner would not be appropriate. Lest you think that I am a curmudgeon whose only joy is in criticizing others, I would have happily ignored the 25-minute wait before a waiter showed up at the table. My wife is an excellent dinner companion, and we were enjoying ourselves. But a glass of wine might have been nice, or even a menu? The service issues just got worse from there. When I finally got up to complain to the greeter ( I hesitate to call him a maitre’d), our waiter happened to be chatting with him, and he promptly (the fastest thing he did all night) chastised me for not speaking with him directly! I then looked him in the eye and told him that my wife’s side of crispy French fries was cold and soggy, and my “medium-rare” pork tenderloin was well-done, dry and inedible. When he finally arrived at the table with a fresh (not really — they were warmer than the first batch but not crispy at all) batch of fries, he looked down at my uneaten pork and said, “I guess we can’t please you at all tonight.” Charming! He did recover slightly by bringing the dessert in a reasonable amount of time, and he even threw in a taste of their signature chocolate mousse. To be fair, he did improve his service once he realized that I was really, really irritated. And he took the pork and the fries off of the bill. Fortunately for him, my wife is a sweet and gentle soul who believes that all waiters are starving students who deserve a good tip, no matter how badly they screw up.
Oh, the rest of the food? Great crab cakes, an excellent crab bisque, a thoroughly mediocre Caesar Salad, and a flourless chocolate cake that was edible. The sad (for me) part is that the place was full. Who are my fellow suburbanites who can’t tell the difference between good service and truly awful service? And why do they think that this quality of food is worth paying for? I have ranted before about this problem, and it won’t get any better until my fellow diners decide that eating at home is more desirable than being treated shabbily, and being served a bad meal in a local restaurant.