Last Saturday, Husband and I went out to celebrate his birthday to a local “gastro-pub”, which is well known for great food. A couple of years ago, there was an very bad fire which closed it for almost a year. Now it is refurbished and has regained it’s reputation very successfully.
We arrived early and naively thought we’d have a drink sitting in the bar, but were not quick enough to get one of the few bar stools. All the tables were taken with those dining, so we stood for a bit, and then decided to find our table. The first waiter looked at the bookings and said “I need to talk to the manager”, the second one implied our table was taken by another couple. and the head-honcho eventually re-directed us to another table. Our young and very tall waiter arrived with the menus and wine list and asked what we would like to drink, so Husband looked through the food menu to decide what he was going to eat, and therefore drink. This seemed to confuse the perhaps less than experienced waiter, who said that he was only taking drinks orders! Husband clarified his reasoning, and all was well. The waiter came back with some bread, because there were a couple of large orders in the kitchen and it was very busy. This was fine with us, we were happy to make the most of an evening together and without the little ones getting restless.
Our starter arrived and the waiter asked who was having the consume, which confused us because it was not what we had ordered, nor indeed what he was holding. Husband would take the carpaccio, which he did happen to be holding, at which point the waiter realised his mistake, was very apologetic and scuttled off. Our food was delicious, but we were a little surprised when, a short time after clearing our starters, the waiter asked if we would like desserts or coffee. We said we would be quite keen for our main course first! A bit later, he offered us bread, and then realising that we had already had some, disappeared with another apology.
For my main course, I had ordered the veal, which was a replacement for the pork belly that had sold out. It was not until the order arrived, and I was given sausages, that it became clear it was “veal sausages” on offer. This was not really what I wanted for a special meal. However, it was so busy, that I knew if I tried to change it, Husband would have finished his food, long before my replacement appeared. I will, however, email them about this point, because it was a disappointment and I would have acted there and then, if it had not been quite so chaotic. We declined deserts and headed home for coffee.
It was a very funny evening, and a bit of a white hall farce. Our waiter was charming, and managed our expectations very well concerning the timings and delays, however he was clearly very new to the job and on a Saturday he definitely had to “swim, not sink”. With all the table swapping and shuffling around, it seemed clear to us that they had overbooked the restaurant. I am sure we will return again another time, however, I might think about other places first …..