We've eaten here several times over the years, and the food has generally been good. This visit was no exception. Salads were fresh, creative, and tasty. Main courses were good. The nonflour chocolate waffle dessert was outstanding. The four star rating is based on the food, and that's what counts the most. The bread, which was baked locally and hyped, was oddly not that good. But that's minor.
The service was sloppy and, oddly, excessive. The staff made a mistake (twice!) in meeting a stated allergy need. It wasn't that unusual a request, and two mistakes were inexcusable. Oddly, it didn't seem to be the result of the team approach to service, as each of the three or four servers knew of the special request.
Everyone was apologetic for the mistake, and the problem was fixed. But we must have had 15 or more interactions with waiters and the maitre d'. Even simple things like refilling iced tea took multiple interactions. "Want more iced tea?" and then "We're brewing it fresh; up in a minute". Better service would have produced the tea without comment. All the interactions were disruptive and wearying. It was a case of trying way too hard. Not the worst thing in the world, but unwelcome nevertheless.
In the end, we got a free dessert AND a gift card for our next visit. The dessert was sufficient pennance/compensation. The gift card (which we took and will use) was a bit over the top. And another interaction with the staff, although it's hard to complain about it.
We consider this meal to be a "bad sample" for service. A series of missteps cascaded into excess. Separately, service was a bit slow to get started, but once it did, it never stopped.
If you are a prospective dinner, I suggest you consider our experience an aberration and eat here because the food is good. And the promise of correction for flaws is generally a plus too. We just got too much of a good thing.
If you own or manage Carlyle, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.