I simply could not stand it any longer and called up the Bar Minnow owners (whom I have never met before) to suggest that they read some of the reviews on this board regarding quality of food and service at their new establishment. I reached Vicky (Aaron Bashy's wife). She stated that they are well aware of the reviews and are working hard to resolve the issues that have been raised. Part of the problem, as she explained, was the higher than expected level of full dinner orders. They had expected more of a bar crowd ordering drinks and a nosh, not a full blown dinner crowd. In essence, the staff and kitchen were not prepared for the volume/proportion of food orders. So it seems that their staffing was more geared to bar vs. food service.
Vicky further explained that they have implemented some changes to alleviate the service issues and respond to quality complaints. She stated that the menu has been changed to offer a greater variety of foods, such as grilled items, not just fried foods. This is something I was hoping would happen (and mentioned in my review), as I'm not much into fried foods. So, not only does this have the effect of freeing up the frying station (apparently one of the major kitchen bottlenecks), but it should help them cater to a broader range of tastes. She also mentioned that they had dropped some items from the menu (though I did not ask exactly what).
Vicky explained that she and Aaron are local residents with a long-term commitment to doing business in Park Slope. She was clearly pained by the issues - but not at all defensive. I was relieved that my comments/suggestions, though critical, were well-received.
Minnow/Bar Minnow is one of the few decent outposts(recent experience notwithstanding) at this end of the nabe. I for one, would like to have more good options at the southern end of 7th Ave, instead of having to hike to North 5th Ave. In my opinion, given the prime corner location and lack of options in the immediate area, they'd probably survive as just another mediocre Park Slope bar/eatery. But, I was glad to hear that they really do care and are committed to improving the quality to hound level.
My only vested interest is that I happen to live down the block, I love seafood, and I really would like to have a good, convenient, dining option. Within the next couple of weeks I plan to try it again and will report back, hopefully with better results.
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