I read the reviews on three different sites before going to Seasons last night, so my expectations were low for quality of service and high for the view and the quality of the food, which seems to be the consensus. Interestingly enough, the restaurant responds to many critical reviews and has done so for more than a year, yet they still have abysmal service. I'll start with my first interaction.
I called to make my reservation. It was my husband's birthday and I asked if they did anything special. I was told I could buy a dessert and they'd add an edible "Happy Birthday" placard and put a candle in the dessert. That sounded good enough to me, so I ordered the chocolate cake and asked if they could write my husband's name below the placard on the plate in chocolate sauce... I also asked that the cake be served when our table is cleared after the meal and perhaps they could ask if we wanted dessert and I'd ask to see the menu, and that could be the cue to get his surprise.... the woman on the phone said they'd "try". I don't understand the use of the word "try" in this context. It is my husband's birthday and I simply want his name added on the plate, this has been done at chain restaurants like MIlestones a million times, so why can't a supposedly finer establishment do this? That call was last week, so I called back yesterday to confirm our reservation and to confirm my earlier instructions, the woman said yes, she saw it noted in the book and she'd try to make sure our server knew. Again "try".
We arrived and I assume the manager was standing there greeting people and looking around. Might I suggest visiting tables and asking about service conditions instead? We were seated immediately, which was great. We got water after 10 minutes. Then bread after another 10 minutes. Then our order was taken 10 minutes after that. Obviously that is not good. Then our order comes, my husband's steak was delicious as I had a bite and he agreed. So 10/10 for his meal. My meal on the other hand was about a 5/10. I had the burger, and while the meat was seasoned quite tastily, it was overcooked and dry. When the food came to the table, I asked our server for additional ketchup and a "Coke". I, of course, anticipated drinking the Coke with my meal, not after my meal ended. She then went to the seven person table beside us and proceeded to take their order, then I suppose she went to enter the order, and my meal was more than halfway finished when I asked another server, who then got me a Pepsi (not Coke). I would have preferred if they told me that they did not serve Coke, then I would have ordered something else. Many people can't tell the difference, many people don't care, but many people do care if Pepsi and Coke are interchanged, so let someone know. If I asked for Grey Goose, I'm sure they'd let me know if they didn't carry that brand of Vodka, so why is pop any different? And why did I wait 10 minutes for it and ketchup?
So now the big moment, the plates are cleared, our server asks if we want dessert, I asked to see the menu (which I reminded her when my husband went to the bathroom) and she smiled and went off to supposedly request his birthday dessert. Twenty minutes later, here comes the cake, and by this time, my husband was wondering why they hadn't come back to take our dessert order, but he was still smiles because of the surprise. I was the pissed one.
The final incident was when I noticed the time... our resevation was for 7:00, and we were seated as we walked in at about 7:03, because our parking meter expired at 9:00 on the dot. I noticed it was 9:03, and could not believe how fast time flew by and how slow the service was because we'd just finished our dessert. My husband leaves for the bathroom and I flag the server because I need the bill quickly so we don't get a parking ticket. I tell the server that our parking has expired and I need the bill quickly. So for her, "quick" is about five minutes. And when she comes to the table, she sets the bill on the table and is about to walk away, so I said, "No, please don't go I'm ready", now where the heck was she going when I just told her that we need to pay because our meter is expired?!?! The entire night our server was giving all her attention to the seven person table, I suppose for the bigger tip. Well, we always tip well for great service, and we always tip poorly for poor service, so her fate was sealed by her actions. She didn't even deserve the little tip I left.
The view was stunning and the food was good, but really, there is equally good food at over one hundred other restaurants in the lower mainland. But they don't have this stunning view. And I suppose they know this, and this is why they do nothing to improve upon their quality of service. They don't need to, because people will keep going despite it. Two hours for service for two people from being seated to eating the last spoon of dessert? It isn't really worth the hassle for the view, just visit the park and eat somewhere else.
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