This is my second review of Fish, and it's going to be a love/hate observation. First, the food. John Kilborn, the proprietor, genuinely cares about delivering good food at a reasonable price point and he mostly succeeds. In the land of planked White Fish, Walleye and Perch, he delivers a very satisfying fish house experience, reinforced by a cheery professional staff, all served in a funky, contemporary road house decor.
But there are issues. Because Fish is one of those restaurants that takes reservations without bothering to reconcile whether the restaurant has the capacity to actually accommodate the reservation. That's right. They'll take reservations from everyone -- even though the restaurant never really bothers to calculate whether it will be able to seat the diners when they arrive.
Frustrating? You bet. And long term, it can't be good for business. On a recent evening, we arrived at the requested reservation time and were greeted by a twelve year old hostess who politely told us -- and the other arriving diners also seeking to have their reservations honored -- that there would be a delay in seating us. "How long?" we inquired. "Maybe a half hour or so...," was the reply. It was the "or so" that gave us real pause. And of course, our twelve year old hostess had no seating chart with which to calculate table availabilities... because no such determinations are ever made. It's all "evening at the improv." We left, as did two of the parties behind us.
This was the third time we'd confronted this situation. On the preceding occasions, we'd toughed it out and found seats at the tiny bar. But not this time. Nor the next time... if there ever is a next time.
This is really not a difficult problem to solve. A capable front-of-the-house manager, a seating chart and a policy change would do wonders. And I really hope John gets this message and addresses the issue. The food's better than average and he deserves the business. And, of course, I do recognize that there are people who could care less about reservations. So be it. But please don't tell diners that you take reservations -- unless you have some intention of accommodating them.
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