Sunday, January 24, 2010

Whining Over a Lack of Wine at Bistro Twenty Seven

On Friday we went to Bistro Twenty Seven early to grab dinner before going to the ArtWorks reception (I have a photograph showing in the All Media Show! It's called Koln Reflection and is tucked into a corner of the All Media room). We were seated in a nice warm spot on a quite chilly evening.

Our waiter served us admirably. He checked up on us as expected and was very pleasant.

We enjoyed delicious food. For me: Ravioli di Manzo e Fontina ($15) Homemade ravioli of beef, Fontina cheese, and herbs in a tomato cream sauce. Very tasty. The tomato cream sauce was long on tomato and light on the cream, which suited my palate. For my hubby: Bœuf à Minute ($21) Beef sirloin accented with cabernet shallot butter,served with French and sweet potato fries. The fries mounded the plate and covered the delectable beef underneath, thus, there was a bit of trepidation on what we would discover, but all was good. A good cut of beef, medium rare, with a delicious compound butter to glaze the meat.

We had great service. We praised the food. So, why were we not quite happy? Any of you who read my blog regularly will notice the absence of wine. The absence was not our choice. And not a choice of our doctor. Rather, it was the establishment itself than led to our dissatisfaction.

Bistro Twenty Seven offers several wines for $27. We ordered the Cote du Rhone listed on the menu. We had imbibed this particular producer at Bistro Twenty Seven in the past and knew it to be appealing. Our waiter arrived with the bottle and it was not the Cote du Rhone. It was not a Cote du Rhone at all but another French region that began with an "R." Our waiter had to go back to the bar to discover this and then told us that this bottle was replacing the Cote du Rhone and that it was even better. Maybe it would have been, but this waiter really did not know and the management and bar staff failed to give him adequate information. Okay, no matter, we ordered a Barbera d"Alba instead, which was listed on the $27 menu. Alas, our embarrassed waiter came back empty-handed. This wine was not available either. We ended up drinking water.

The sign in front of Bistro Twenty Seven proudly invited us to enjoy their new menu. Why couldn't they also update the wine list? This was a Friday night and two of the four $27 reds were not available. Very disappointing. And, in the long run, disappointing for the waitstaff who received less tip ($40 vs. $70 check) and the restaurant bottom line.

I give restaurants two chances to deliver the wine that is listed on the menu. After the first try, if the server can not tell me what the establishment is out of and my second wine choice is out of stock, I stick to water. Occasionally, I have left the restaurant for somewhere else with a better wine offering.

I give kudos to our waiter. Even though he knew our bill would not be as large as it could have been, he treated us with the same amount of attention and professionalism. I want to thank him for ensuring that we still had a good experience.

Twenty Seven on Urbanspoon


Bookstore Piet said...

20 or 30 years ago when the list had to come from the printers this would have made sense and happened, a lot. Today, with any decent restaurant having it's own printer and paper it makes no sense.

Anonymous said...

This happened on our one visit to Bouchon. However, the serve never bothered to check back with us.