I have visited Vermont several times in the last year and every single time, I have visited Whetstone. I absolutely WANT to love this place - great atmosphere and beer selection and oh, that view! The first time I visited, it was a pretty poor experience, but one of the owners commented on my experience via TripAdvisor asking that I give them another chance for a 'true Whetstone Experience'. I considered this and returned LAST New Year's day to good service... but a trip later, in April, another very lackluster dining experience followed. My trip on the first of this year assured that sadly, it isn't meant to be.
They were absurdly busy, so I was surprised and excited to be sat in about 15 minutes. My excitement, however, faded very quickly. We sat for 25 minutes without anyone stopping over at our table to acknowledge us; no beer list, no water. Then, I noticed my water glass had a MASSIVE deep, long crack in it and it was abrasive/jagged to the touch. It would have injured me had I not noticed this. Thirty plus minutes after being sat, a woman, our waitress (who did not give us her name), came over to take out drink orders. We informed her that we did not have a beer list and I also commented on the state of my water glass. She took my glass and went to get the beer list. She didn't come back for at least another 10 minutes. When she did, she kept trying to convey that they were busy (which I understood obviously) and that there were only 3 servers on. I felt bad, truly, I did... I, however, don't like feeling that sort of 'grief' when I am dining, you know? I did not need to incessantly hear that it 'was busy' as an excuse. She took our drink orders and then, you guessed it, didn't come back for probably another 10 plus minutes. We had been there for 45 minutes to an hour before we'd even ordered our food.
I was sad to see that the duck nachos were no longer offered. We ordered the spinach and artichoke dip (surprisingly lackluster), Vermont cheddar ale soup (this was absolutely delicious - however, our 'bowls' of soup were incredibly small. I was very surprised as we both purposely ordered the larger portion), station fries (both undercooked and overcooked)... my husband ordered fish & chips (he said they were okay, but not worth the $17) and I ordered chicken schnitzel which was so lemony, I felt like I was eating a plate of citrus. Also, my dish was mostly the 'seasonal vegetable' of poorly cooked asparagus.
We politely requested silverware (as we had none at our table) and someone else (not our server) came over and semi-rudely gave the excuse that the silverware had just come out from being washed which was why we had none. By the time our entrees came, we gave them a taste and just asked for take out boxes to pack up and get out of there. The beer was good, but not good enough to make this even a 2 star visit. I am the *easiest* person to please when it comes to dining out (I don't do it often and honestly, don't expect too much when I do), but I sat there and left there disgusted and underwhelmed.
When the check came, I knew it would come with a tablet to fill out a survey regarding our experience, as I had done it during other experiences there. Our tablet was turned off, so we powered it up and gave our feedback. Our waitress seemed a little shocked that we were filling it out. While only a couple of days ago and I wouldn't expect to hear anything, we have not received a response to the feedback that we provided.
I talked about this experience over and over during this vacation - it sort of ate at me. I am *SO* saddened, because I have tried so hard to love this restaurant. A beautiful venue, an excellent brewery, good ideas for dishes... but NOTHING has been executed the right way and I cannot afford to keep wasting my money or time on this place. :( This time around we spent just shy of $90 before tipping our server. I would potentially... potentially give this place one more shot if someone from the establishment were to reach out to me and offer my husband and I a free meal or giftcard or something to attempt to 'make it right'. I elected not to speak with management on that evening because as someone who is already socially anxious, I felt it would be uncomfortable. I did, however, leave my feedback in the survey. It is so disheartening because even after this experience (I do not dine out often - my husband and I are very selective when it comes to 'nights out', so that made this even more sad. A rare occurrence/treat was such a poor experience) there is a part of me that is sad to know it is not worth the return trip. One of the worst dining experiences I've had in a location/venue that I feel COULD be so great... Too bad...
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