Saturday, August 11, 2012

A Middling Feeling

According to Merriam-Webster:


French, from Italian mezzanino, from mezzano middle, from Latin medianus middle, median
First Known Use: 1711

And a middle or median evening is what we experienced at Mezzanine. The dishes were delicious. We were intrigued and please with the Watermelon with Basil-Mint Cream and Prosciutto. While I had envisioned a salad, this dish was a deconstruction allowing us to pair and experiment with differing tastes.

We also raved over the Virginia Pork Carnitas with Black Beans, Mole, Tumeric Rice and Peach Salsa. The pork was tender and flavorful. The peach salsa, an outstanding accompaniment.

Pulled Pork with Peach Salsa

But sometimes something happens that colors the entire evening, kind of like going to the theater and someone in the audience is playing games on his smart phone and I can see the tiny screen light up. I'm thinking about the annoyance instead of enjoying the show.

Something very tiny, but very annoying happened during our Mezzanine meal. One of the waitstaff (someone helping out our waiter) cleared our appetizer dishes. A fork and knife were used and remained on our plates. Instead of taking the utensils and bringing us new ones, and instead of asking politely us to keep our utensils for the next course, this person grabbed the utensils and plopped them back on the table. Really? I know this is a small thing, but let's face it. This was a bad service move and I thought about this lack of service/training/experience/apathy for the rest of the evening. It's been about 3 weeks and I'm still incredulous. Small plates at Mezzanine range from $14 - $18 and entrees run $18 - $35. Why would I want to pay these prices for dirty utensil plopping service?

I shaved my tip by $1. Our real waiter was much better and I did not want to leave completely embittered. I have to say, it will be a while before I return. I can get dazzling food elsewhere with better service.


Anonymous said...

I had a somewhat similar experience at the Roosevelt. As each dish was finished in our party of four, it was cleared so that the last person eating felt as though she was alone on an island. I don't get why our more sophisticated restaurants just do not get service.

BHW said...

How about emailing/calling the owner of the restaurant?

Given this poor economy and the fact that there are no lack of restaurants around, I'm sure they would love your feedback. Because let's face it, the owner probably isn't aware of the shoddy service.

If it's been bothering you for this long, it should be important enough to let them know how you feel.

It would give the owner the opportunity to do some retraining and possibly you might get a free app or drink on your next visit.

Midlo Mom said...

I have had a very similar experience there -- not out and out rude service, but some little things that put me off. I felt the food was overpriced for the service we received.

stump said...

I would normally not go to a TV chef's restaurant but I've heard so much about Lupa in Manhattan that we had to try it. The prices are very cheap compared to some of the "best" restaurants in Richmond. After every round of dishes, apps to desert and everyone was finished, the table was cleared of everything and brushed clean. We even received a free plate of prosciutto because we waited 15 minutes for our table.