Our first visit to the Shaver House/Bella of Ancaster did not live up to the hype to say the least. There are new owners, who are very nice and want to please you, but right from the start we could tell they may be in over their heads.
To start….the service (something that has been mentioned in other reviews) is painfully slow. It took 10 minutes for a simple dollop of butter to arrive when requested. For us to make it through a salad, soup, main and dessert it took just over three hours. The time between courses just didn't make any sense.
And here lies the root cause of the problem.
The art of service is in fact an art, it takes training and pride…and a good server who has this training and professionalism can make a very healthy living for themselves and treat you to a wonderful experience (which is what we pay for, I don't care how nicely decorated a place is, I'm paying for the pride in the food and service). Sadly, we saw no evidence of that fine dining service knowledge. We would strongly recommend that the new owners invest in a 'fine dining mentor' for their staff…if you're going to charge what you are charging, then invest in your staff, give them the tools to excel in their positions. They work very hard but they do not know what they do not know. It will make all the difference in the world for them and your business.
As for the food…it was average. Certainly not worth the premium prices they are charging. This is also something you will see mentioned in other reviews. It's not bad food, but when you are paying such prices you expect to experience that wow factor that comes along with the pageantry of fine dining.
All in all the evening passed by without any ghastly events… the owners and staff were pleasant and the food was fine…but when you go to a place that charges fine dining prices and you leave with that average feeling towards the food and service the same way you would walk out of any Swiss Chalet - then there is something desperately wrong.
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