We ate here twice during our one week stay. The first meal was disappointing. The second was a disaster.
Our first night, the place was empty; only three other tables were occupied. Service was prompt if undistinguished. When the food arrived, the fish was flavorless, the pork was overcooked, and the chicken was brined so heavily that it was inedible. Dessert was worse: the panna cotta had been clearly made too far in advance, and had set to the consistency of paste. But the vegetables were cooked nicely, and the savory bread pudding side was tasty. And again, service was solicitous.
The second night was a complete cluster. We were seated promptly, but things went downhill from there. The waiter was unable to cope with basic cocktail orders and actually asked our party for an ingredients list or a recipe for classic drinks. After our order was taken, it was nearly an hour before entrees arrived. We observed a managerial type hovering all night, occasionally having intense conversations with service leads, and at one point he had to act as a runner, awkwardly balancing plates for table delivery, something he clearly hadn't done in years, if ever. The fact that he was so present, and had to be pressed into service, definitely pointed to some sort of chaos behind the scenes. But all we wanted was our food, and after we finished our bread, we wound up being forced to nibble through my daughter's leftover child-menu spaghetti, just to have something to eat.
This restaurant feels like a neglected and deeply troubled outpost in a corporate chain, where the local staff gets marching orders from a central office, and lacks either the authority or the experience to deviate from those dictates where appropriate. The food is formulaic and soulless, obviously designed in a corporate kitchen elsewhere without regard to local product, and then executed according to a prescribed playbook by indifferent staff who, again, lack either the knowledge or skill to recognize when the plates are subpar, or the autonomy to correct or improve on the instructions they've been issued.
As a hotel restaurant, it's adequate. If you're a guest, it's a convenient though uninspiring option. If you're not a guest, though, don't bother making the trip. The waterfront scenery is nice but the restaurant itself is so ineptly managed as to make every meal a crapshoot. Until the parent corporation gives this place some dedicated attention, from an actual restaurant professional instead of a generic management consultant, Red Marlin will remain exactly what it is: a mediocre hotel eatery with a deceptively shiny coat of paint. Avoid.
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