The other night The Hawthorne Inn in Berlin CT crossed the line of a restaurant. It started going bad shortly after we were seated to find out items on the menu online were not available and some for quite a long time. Mainly the Wedge Salad which believe it or not, was the reason we picked this place over Mill on the River because my wife loves the Wedge. It took over 30 minutes for the Appetizer of Fried Mozzarella to arrive. I am certain it was over 30 minutes because it was an additional 25 minutes after I looked at the time because it was taking so long. The kitchen could not have been backed up as there were only 6 other tables and they had 3 servers. The cheese looked good, but as soon as we cut into one, we realized that they were cold. No oozing cheese. The server, Abigail, who was nice, but not a great server, came by to ask how it was. We were honest. She asked if we wanted to send it back and one thing we have not done in well over a decade was send food back. We told the server that we prefer not to send things back and we would just take them home for our kids. Then the meals came. I ordered the Prime Rib because they are “famous” for their prime rib and my wife ordered the Spaghetti, meatballs and sausage. My prime rib also came out cold and had very little flavor, just a little salt and pepper around the edge. But, I was hungry. I did not have a scale with me but I also doubt it was 20 oz when the 12 oz ones I get from Chicago Sams are always much larger. My wife's meal was completely awful. The meatballs lacked any flavor, they were like eating a round hamburger with no seasoning. The sausage was cold and not tasty at all and the pasta was extremely starchy.
Here is where they crossed the line. Abigail came walking to our table with the Chef. I thought that was nice that he was concerned enough to come out and apologize for a less than tolerable meal, but right after Abigail said, “This is Chef Anthony”, he started laying into us about not wanting to send our food back. He came out in attack mode. He was rude, offensive, and very unprofessional. Even if we were wrong, he should not have come out like that. Abigail tried 3 times to get him to shut up and walk back to the kitchen. I just said, “we’ll take the check now” and my wife threw in, “and send the manager over”. Both the Manager and Abigail were extremely sorry for the Chef’s behavior and offered to comp Laurie’s Pasta. We said that was not necessary as we were also going to take that home for the kids. But, now that I am thinking about it, we should have walked out of there without paying for anything after being treated like that.
The next day, I was still very upset. I called the restaurant and asked to speak to the general manager who happened to be the manager that was on the night before (so he said). He said he was sorry but that was about it. I asked that the Chef either calls, emails or mails me an apology. It has been one week and nothing.
Feel free to go there if you dare, but if you do not like the food, you better not say anything or you may be berated bye an angry chef.
If you own or manage Hawthorne Inn, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.