Two old girlfriends and I had been planning this dinner out for weeks, as our choice for the dine-out Vancouver event. When the reservation was made, we requested a special table because it was my birthday. It wasn't my birthday, but we really wanted to make this a special seat for a special occasion as two of us hadn't seen each other in 17 years! We arrived separately but on time for 5:30 pm and it was nothing shy of a jaunt to get to our table, it almost felt like there was a prank about to take place as we ducked and weaved through table after table and room after room, up stairs and down them. Finally, the host brings us into what looks like the wine cellar. Crammed with roughly 9 tables, it took the setting of personal, not intimate. I don't like to write reviews that our plagued with complaint after complaint, its a downer and in my opinion takes away from the helpfulness of the review itself. There are 3 things that make me happy in the service/patron aspect of dining whether it be fine dining or Whitespot. A friendly server who pays attention to me and wants to make me happy. Timeliness, not only the server's frequent visits but in which the appetizer's, entree and desert are served. Last but not least, the food of course!
Our "C" server ordered the wrong entree. We had to pour our own champagne. We sat with dirty plates for minimum 15 minutes each portion of the service. We had to ask the bus boy for pepper and water. Three entrees we ordered were the Steel head (two, but they brought sable fish for one instead) and third was the beef tenderloin. The girls didn't want to wait for another plate so they shared each others so they could have at least a little bit of what they actually ordered. My beef was jello'y and cold. I was so disappointed. I don't eat seafood so I was really hoping this would be enough to fill me up. I sent it back and waited for my new plate. After sitting with these dirty plates for another 15 minutes and pouring our own wine from the bottle on the table I was beginning to feel 5 star dining was no different than eating at Mr. Mikes although I am pretty sure they will pour your wine for you. Every time a new group came in to dine in our bunker it was a shuffle shuffle and sit. Disruptive to say the least.
Before our desserts came I couldn't take it anymore. I asked to speak with the manager, I had to ask the host because I hadn't seen our server in since he tried to argue my friend didn't order what she did.
His name was John, and he saved the night. He changed everything. He kneeled down to eye level and listened carefully to everything we said and was genuinely apologetic and understanding . He took care of our entire liquor bill and one entree. For three, 3 course meals, two bottles of bubbly and a drink each it was under a hundred dollars, but that was not what made the difference. It was his genuine care and remorse for the way our night went. He personally served us from that point on and even lit a candle and wrote 'Happy Birthday' on my dessert plate. He offered to have us in VIP in a local lounge if we so choose and offered to call a car. He said that on a regular 80 plate night, they were serving 240 because of Dine-out Vancouver and even though this didn't excuse our experience, it kind of explained why we were sitting in what seemed like the panic room.
If I chose to go back, it would be because of how John took care of us. You know when they have someone like that running a busy high-end restaurant that most of the team will be putting their most gallant effort in, that night for us unfortunately we got a lemon.
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