Wednesday, April 1, 2015

A letter to a restaurant owner

Dear Restaurant Owner,

My husband and I support the farm-to-table restaurant concept, and on a mid-week mini adventure to your city we dined at your place (purposefully left vague, blog reader) and we were pleased with a sleek, modern atmosphere, intimacy and especially, the ever-evolving selections on the menu and local wine list. (We have been reading from your website menu for quite some time in anticipation). A reviewer online criticized the overuse of regional wines, and quite possiblly never skimmed the extensive list beyond the first page for the standard international fare. 

We were not staying at the hotel; however, it was simple enough to grab a cab on a very chilly evening and venture off into a different part of the city. A most recent review of your place from someone staying at your hotel claimed that is was easier to eat in and take what was available.That sounds discouraging for you, owner, to read in print.

Our waiter was willing to interact with us, and he made some thoughtful suggestions starting with the Moroccan Brown Ale (local brewery) for my husband and a pork-duck confit for an appetizer neither would we have chosen without that conversation. I think one mark of a well-managed restaurant is taking a diner's tastes personally. I had the sweet potato encrusted Atlantic salmon and my husband had the lamb shank, and both were seasoned properly and artfully presented on the plate. On the other hand, a review online implied that the waiter was too imposing and didn't show the mark a of high-end restaurant employee there to serve and not be seen.

Of course, the view was outstanding and we felt like dining at your restaurant was an evening's experience without a feeling of being rushed through and on to the next customers which is the case in so many other places lacking a European appreciation for freshly prepared food mixed with conversation. It takes time, and one reviewer claimed that he did not have all night to kill on one meal. Nor, a second person stated emphatically that the location was mother nature's and the restuarant held no special claim over it. 

I read a review from woman online that expressed dismay at your restaurant being sectioned-off from the hotel's grand buffet only by heavy curtains. Apparently, we were enjoying our meals and each other's company so much that we were oblivious beyond our space.

We are looking forward to another unique meal sourced from the region on our next visit. When you have a delicious dinner with many layers of flavor, the price is worth it. Again, many online reviews were aghast at the expensive prices, and we wondered what is their criteria for "better" places for special occasions.

We will overlook one flaw, but it is worth a mention here: We were not welcomed graciously (we had a reservation) at the front end, nor thanked when we left. 

Thank you.
An Appreciative Couple