I hope the restaurant owners read this and figure out a way to make themselves exceptional, bc I really want them to not just survive, but to thrive. I am very good at predicting whether a place will make it and right now, I think it's a close call for Native. Here are my opinions:
Portions are crazy big -- could be smaller and then a bit less expensive. A $14 pasta is too costy (unless the pasta is handmade with exceptional ingredients). It was good, but no one could eat it all and the kind of pasta it was (with cream sauce) doesn't keep so well.
The crab cakes were huge too -- again, make them smaller and cut the cost a bit. Makes me suspicious to see to ginormous cakes -- bigger than hamburgers. My husband was asking himself "maybe it's not really crab then?"
Everything on the menu seems really rich. Need to mix in some lighter things. The salads sounded good, but had so much stuff in them - shrimp and gorgonzola, ceasar (which, let's face it, isn't a healthy salad), candied chicken.
Plus, they have too many different things going on -- I think this makes people nervous. Duck, rabbit, flounder, steak, chicken, sausage, crab... on and on. Just sourcing all that seems like it'd be hard to manage. Plus, lots of things with 2 meats... flounder stuffed with crab. My pasta had sausage, duck and shrimp -- good, but kind of complex.
Both soups were cream based.
Just do a couple things and do them well -- that's the secret to success, IMO.
The service was un-even. First, super attentive, then the waitress disappeared to work the bar. Then finally after at a cleared table, came and asked if we wanted our check. Hostess was leaning on podium looking bored. Cook was smoking near our car when we came out after dinner. bleck.
Things they did well: prompt greeting; brought coloring book and crayons for kid; refilled water a ton; were friendly; GREAT bread!
I think if they take a hard look at things and take criticism to heart, they could survive... but here's the deal: people are very selective with where they spend their money these days. They want consistency and value. No unknowns. They won't give a place a second chance, sorry to say. So Native needs to step it up, simplify and hone in on what they are doing. Because I love the idea of them being around for a long time and overcoming the bad business ju-ju that is plaguing that space.
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