We decided to go out for dinner on Saturday in the nearby town in order to parade our bride around in a silly sash and veil and took the word of some locals to try out the Italian restaurant. Well, actually, our first choice was a steakhouse but it seems the people we asked didn't know it closes during the summer but back to the story. The lady seemed a bit incredulous that we hadn't made a reservation (there were six of us) but there was an empty table big enough for us and as the night wore on, I don't think a reservation would have made any difference.
Our waiter showed up and promptly informed us that it's his first night back working at the restaurant in over a year. Um, okay, that's nice. He took our drinks and doesn't even comment on the bride. I know small talk isn't required but it would have been friendly to at least say congratulations. We ordered the next time he came around and the wait began.
Over an hour. Probably closer to an hour and a half, actually. Two people ordered appetizers and those showed up maybe half an hour into the wait but the rest of us were just left sitting there. In an attempt to waste time and keep ourselves amused, we started playing "spot things wrong in the restaurant" and managed to get 13, for anyone curious. We also watched the other tables who'd been waiting before we were even seated. Waiter came back at some point to ask about drink refills and received a "not right now" but apparently took that to mean "no, not ever" because he never asked again and we barely saw him long enough to ask ourselves afterwards. It felt really obvious that he was avoiding coming around our table. Eventually he told us, "Your food is being plated right now." and yet it took another 10-15 minutes before they showed up.
Total disappointment and disaster. The steaks were not cooked to order - the medium ones were obviously rare. They were supposed to come with scalloped potatoes and vegetables but came out with a pitiful amount of roasted potatoes and three asparagus - the explanation was that they'd changed the menu yesterday... and that was it. No real apology or attempt to fix it even though the reason most of us were even debating ordering the steak was because of the scalloped potatoes. The gnocchi my friend and I had ordered were chewy beyond belief with bread that was rock hard but we ate it anyway because we were starving by this point. The fettuccine alfredo was over-sauced to the point it made gloopy sounds.
Naturally, we complained but we did as politely as possible because a lot of us had worked in food service and know that on some days, things suck. All we got back was drinks and appetizers comped. Oh, that's nice... except that I hadn't ordered either of those so I still paid full price for my below-average meal and service. The entrees were not cheap either. The only drinks ordered were two Cokes and two Long Island Iced Teas. If they had taken a percentage off each bill, it would have felt a bit more fair.
It was just such a downer on an evening we were hoping would be fun for the bride. I don't think we were expecting too much, do you? The Maid of Honour asked for the manager's card so she'll probably be calling her up to explain our evening at some point. But at least it was good company and we made up for it by eating ice cream in the private hot tub back at the house, hah.