We moved to southern Delaware recently. So did my sister-in-law and brother-in law. We are gradually getting acquainted with the restaurants and other places of interest in the area. Last week we came across an ad for a special Valentine's dinner offered by The Brick Restaurant and Tavern in nearby Georgetown, which is the County Seat of Delaware's Sussex County. We decided this would be a great time to try this lovely place that we have heard so much about since moving to the area.
The restaurant is located in a beautiful old colonial hotel built many years ago on the town circle near the county courthouse and other municipal buildings. It also happens to be the only upscale eatery in the center of beautiful colonial Georgetown, and is a mainstay of the town's business and social community.
Our reservations were for dinner at 6:30 for the four of us!
The hotel and restaurant has ample parking behind the large three or four story brick building, and is easily accessible. The main entrance is lovely, facing the small park in the center of the traffic circle. Arriving, we entered into a nicely furnished room where there is a lounge area with a small, but lovely bar which seats patrons waiting for arrivals, or just stopping by for refreshment.
Other than the gentleman bartender, and a handful of patrons, no one else was present.
Eventually a young man dressed in a crisp white shirt and black vest and tie arrived to greet us. After checking our reservations, he led us through a room with a fireplace and a lovely fire. Several customers occupied tables there. Continuing on we entered a very lovely large dining area set with appropriate red and white decorations with large windows looking out onto the streetscape.
We were seated at a table right in front of one of the windows. We were entertained by a musician playing a saxophone.
But our attention soon became focused on the servers and other staff who seamed to be unprepared for customers! We all had ordered wine, and waited! Our four glasses of wine arrived twenty minutes later. Customers at other tables seemed to be getting as much attention as we were. We had plenty of time to study the special Valentine's Day menu which featured five or six entrees and a short selection of appetizers, soup, salads and desserts. By the time we had our drinks we had consumed our requested basket of rolls. After another tedious wait our order was taken. We each ordered a soup or salad and a choice of entrée!
As we conversed we noticed the arrival of additional staff. Our entrees included two orders of crab cakes, an order of chicken Kiev, and an order of sirloin steak. The spinach salad was delicious, but was a small portion, but the cream of crab soup was excellent! The crab cakes were also excellent, the chicken Kiev was very tasty, but the steak was not up to expectations.
The crab cakes came with four small sprigs of asparagus that looked lonely on a plate with nothing else but crab cakes served on top of mashed sweet potatoes. Had the crab cakes been paired with a different potato or starch and a more generous portion of asparagus, the order might have been a five star choice.
The steak meal was left half eaten, and appeared to be a subpar cut. We skipped dessert and had only one glass of wine each.
Every restaurant has days that just do not come off quite right! The Brick Hotel is an icon and serves a very important part in Georgetown's commerce. We hope it remains in service for many years to come! We will give it another chance some day.
I would stress, having travelled extensively and dined at many places great and small, good service cannot be undervalued. Even with an excellent chef, as I believe to be the case at The Brick Hotel, a few small mistakes are much more likely to pass with little notice, when the service is excellent and well planned. Our experience was probably not the norm here, and it was apparent that management slipped! Staff was not properly trained or prepared for the occasion and no one took charge.
Management, please consider this message an effort to correct what you might not have noticed!
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