Perhaps I am naive. I know I've been naive about friendships, relationships, even jobs. This is a new one, though.
I actually thought restaurant week was an opportunity for restaurants to show off a little, attract a few new customers. Apparently I was wrong. Very wrong.
I was only going to be in town for two nights of the entire week, so I made reservations weeks ago. One night with the boy, one with the girls.
Obviously I had to find a new "date" for last night, to check out arestaurant where I've enjoyed appetizers and salads before, but never a full dinner. Despite their new spot on iPhone's ads, at least for their Aspen location, Campo de Fiori's Restaurant Week menu fell short.
My salad was fantastic, but my friends' calamari was chewy and our pasta dishes and desserts were just not good. The service was great, as well as the company, so I wasn't too disappointed. S assured me their dinners are usually fantastic. So perhaps I may try it again.
So, tonight we tried Opal for girls' night out. We arrived promptly for our 8pm reservation, and we didn't leave the restaurant for nearly 3 hours. Seriously. And not because we were lingering over coffee, because I'm quite certain we would have never received it even if we'd ordered it.
We were seated quickly, but drinks, and water even, were hard to come by. Our waiter took exception to my request to see the wine menu. He seemed frazzled, but we appeared to be one of perhaps two tables he was waiting on.
I will grant that our food was fantastic. But it took far too long to serve the entire table. With our desserts being delivered more than 15 minutes apart. By this point, we were literally the only table in the entire restaurant. We had to hunt down our waiter with our credit cards, as he was nowhere to be found.
As we walked out, we realized the valet was gone, so I asked the gentleman who appeared to be the manager where my friends' keys might be. He fetched them from the bar for us, and as he was checking their tickets (yes, even though we were the last three people in the place), I asked if he was the manager.
When he said yes, I shared with him our experience of the pathetic service. He began to make excuses and explain it away with some story about turning tables away because it was restaurant week. I simply told him that I've worked in the restaurant business, and as he was the manager, I though he would want to know about the terrible service we received.
He didn't seem the least bit phased.
I will never go back. Not after having our concerns dismissed so easily by the manager. I don't care if it is restaurant week, and they think that is a pain. If a restaurant doesn't want to do it, it's simple. Don't. It shouldn't matter if we may have received a slight discount on our meals. This was the manager's opportunity to apologize to us, and perhaps win a few repeat customers.
Several of the girls had been there before and loved it, but after the service tonight, and the horrific condition of the restroom, they will likely not go back.
Seems to me it makes more sense to skip participating in restaurant week than to do it poorly. Or in Opal's case, extremely poorly. But perhaps I'm just being naive. Again.