This is kind of an adjunct to Bob`s review of The Village Blacksmith. After having been unable to reach anyone there earlier in the week to make a reservation for our group (12 of us), I finally just left a voicemail on some number at the main Ft. William Henry switchboard, stating that we wanted a reservation and how many there would be. Nobody got back to me in the ensuing five days, so the night before, I went and checked in with the manager in person, who assured me that we`d be seated in a room he`d indicated would be available to us when we spoke to him in person back in August. When we arrived on Saturday, October 12th, he did seem to know we were expected, but the room we`d been expecting was not available to us. He indicated that we`d be given another, private room which was actually bigger, and that we`d be assured we`d have to ourselves. However, after being told they were short-handed (why a major resort hotel isn`t prepared with backup staff at the ready I don`t know, and there were only a few tables full, aside from us), we waited quite a while for someone to set up the tables in our room, and finally had to resort to doing it ourselves. We moved the tables and chairs where they were needed and put out tablecloths and place settings ourselves. We had to ask a couple of times before anyone even came in to show us how to turn the lights on. (Since they knew we were coming, I don`t know why the room wasn`t set up before they opened.) After waiting an interminable amount of time for our orders to be taken, when the food did begin to come out, it arrived one meal at a time, and some of us waited so long that things were cold, and yes, some items had to be sent back. The food I ordered was also of quite poor quality, with an overcooked crab burger served with coleslaw on the bun (not indicated on the menu), which rendered the bun so soggy it fell apart, and the accompanying fries (I had ordered fingerling potatoes, but didn`t want to wait another half hour for them) were soggy and hugely over-salted. Everyone said their food was not good, and at no time, after finally getting us our meals, did the waitress come back to refill water pitchers, ask how things were, take drink orders, or ask if anyone wanted coffee or dessert. We sat there with empty, dirty dishes for so long with no service that we finally actually had to resort to picking up the dirty plates ourselves. Totally unacceptable, and to added insult to injury, we were still charged the full service fee of a totally unwarranted 18%, after being given only a 10% discount for the unacceptably bad level of service. The manager never once stepped into the room to see how things were going or to make anything right for us, and in fact seemed to be avoiding us, despite our trying numerous times to track him down. And yes, when we arrived, there was nobody tending bar, and it was only by chance that I finally, after four tries, happened to encounter one of the waiters behind the bar and get our drinks. I live locally, and have had some good experiences at other Ft. Wm. Henry dining facilities, but will never set foot in the Village Blacksmith Shop again.
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