We went to this place to celebrate my parents' 50th wedding anniversary, with a party of nine people plus two small kids who had travelled from three different provinces as well as from Africa to be there that day. I had phoned a few times prior to arrival to make reservations and enquire about what they might be able to do for us to help celebrate the occasion. In hindsight, their complete lack of enthusiasm on the phone should have been an indication of what was to come. Considering the magnitude of the occasion and the fact that i had told them about it ahead of time, our visit was ultimately the bar-none worst restaurant experience I have ever had.
Our table was not ready when we arrived. It was only a couple of minutes late, but when you make a reservation and tell them on numerous occasions that it's a 50th anniversary, you really should be able to sit down when you arrive at exactly the appointed time. It would also have been nice if the high chair we'd requested ahead of time had been there. Heck, it would have been nice if the thing had been there after the first or second time we asked for it after we'd arrived.
We ordered appies, drinks, and entrees all at the same time. We had escargots, calamari, and nachos. The nachos were requested with beef and with jalapeños on the side. They came covered in peppers but devoid of meat. When pointed out to the server, she told us that she had written it in big letters so the kitchen must have erred. A half-hearted apology, but no offer to right the mistake. It hardly seems worth mentioning that the calamari arrived a good 5 minutes after the rest so one end of our table had to just sit and watch everyone else tuck in.
The soft drinks were mixed up too. A regular coke was distinctly diet and when pointed out to the server she said "he must have put the two straws in the wrong glass." Again, someone else's fault.
When the entrees arrived, many of the dirty appie plates were still on the table. No one removed them (to be honest, some of them were still there when we left!) When the head chef came out (see below) they were serving the man course between the dirty plates and he didn't even flinch. It was pretty weird.
The food was not bad, when they got it right. My mum ordered fish and salad, got fish and chips. My father's medium rare steak was quite well done and so we got the server's attention to send it back and guess what - someone else goofed it up (though she did apologize at least and said they'd do up another one). At this point I told her we were pretty disappointed with the number of mistakes and she said she'd send the head chef out. He was apologetic to my explanation of all the cock-ups thus far experienced and said he'd make sure some of it was looked after. They also offered to send us complimentary dessert (which I had been told on the phone was going to be offered anyway, what with the 50th anniversary and all). So while it appeared to be a nice offer, it actually rang a little hollow. The did bring the new steak out but by the time it arrived everyone else had finished and my father, who is currently undergoing chemotherapy treatment, was all in and all done.
We decided to leave ASAP. Since the server was nowhere to be found I flagged the busgirl and told her that we'd been offered dessert but that we were going to have to decline and that I needed the bill right away. Several minutes later, the server came out with dessert plates. I intercepted her and told her we'd declined dessert and that I needed to settle. She responded that the busser must have misunderstood me (of course!) and thought we were leaving after dessert. I don't know what part of "we're not going to have dessert; please bring me the bill right away" she figured would have indicated we wanted to continue eating, but it seems her comprehension skills are not as strong as her ability to blame those around her.
By this time, it probably doesn't even matter mentioning that some people got no water refills (others did), or that one was offered a second drink, or that at no point did anyone come by with the standard "how are the first couple of bites?" that one might expect at just about any other restaurant on the continent. Finding someone to talk to proved actually pretty difficult.
In the end, they didn't charge us for the steak, the nachos, or the pop. They did charge us for everything else (2 beers and a cocktail plus everyone else's food) and they did not enforce the 17% gratuity for parties of 8+. So a small consolation as it still cost us a pretty penny and was the absolute worst part of our family reunion that saw people travel from as far away as we had.
On the plus side, it has a nice view. And my family will have a great story to tell about how we tried to have a great celebration for our parents on their 50th anniversary and were stymied at every possible opportunity by the fancy restaurant.
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