My husband and I recently returned to BFH - we have been here several times before and always enjoy the fish. This Friday night (8/16/2013) we planned a quiet dinner celebration after a relaxing week at the Cape. We arrived and the restaurant was very busy with all the usual hangerons waiting outside so we knew it would be awhile to get seated. However looking forward to conversation without kids we were not in a hurry and planned on drinks at the bar. However what we wanted and what the restaurant staff had planned for us were not at all the same.
The host immediately stressed to us that the wait would be very very long. When I asked how long he quoted an hour. Then he thought better and quoted an hour and a half. He suggested we eat at the bar but we again stressed that we wanted a table in the dining room and would wait. Two people were just leaving the bar. They had just finished dinner. Another couple were eating appetizers and awaiting their dinner. Still another couple was awaiting their check. We claimed the two empty seats and asked the bartender if it would be possible to get appetizers and wine at the bar. He asked if we were waiting for a table in the DR and we said yes. He wanted to know the time we were quoted - we said an hour, hour and a half. He invited us to sit down and then proceeded to suggest we eat dinner at the bar. We told him that we preferred to sit in the dining room. That's when things got very weird.
My husband and I each ordered a $15.00 glass of wine. We also ordered a meat/cheese tray.
The bartender remarked he would have to check with the host before he could take our order for food because he needed to know the exact wait. Stated that the restaurant had a policy of not moving food around once it was served so he had to get the host's permission for our order.
The host came through the bar at that time and we checked with him. He said it would be fine for us to order an appetizer. My husband communicated that with the bartender and yet he still went to talk to the host before taking our order. We finished our wine and waited while he served others.
Another couple sat down and the bartender convinced them to have dinner at the bar. The woman said, "better than waiting an hour and a half for a table". Still we waited. This couple placed their dinner order and received appetizers. We still waited for our cheese/meat plate - no cooking involved. At one point I asked about our food and the bartender replied snottily that he had placed our order. During our wait the host came by once more to see if we wanted to sit at a hightop table IN THE BAR - we reiterated our request to eat in the dining room.
Exactly 40 minutes after arriving (still no cheese/meat plate) we were seated in the dining room. In fact there were several tables empty at the time. As soon as we were seated they brought our appetizer. By that time our wine was long gone and we had to order more.
The net/net was that it appeared the host/bartender had it all worked out - quote a long wait, send deuces to the bar, convince them to eat dinner there - bartender makes considerably bigger tips off of dinner tab and host doesn't have to worry about tables of two. However, we were jerked around and our evening almost ruined because of these two. Who ever heard of a restaurant not wanting to bring your drinks or appetizer to your table for you. Why were we quoted a wait of 90 minutes when it really took only 40. Why were we asked 4 times to eat dinner in the bar. Since when does a bartender have to ask permission of the host to place an appetizer order?
We won't be returning to the Fish House again. And if you are a couple or just two folks out for fish, I would recommend traveling down the road to Dennis and eating at FIN. I don't know what the game was that evening but it was fishier than our meal.
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