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Blackbird review

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Blackbird review

Darren | Feb 2, 2006 11:38 AM

Hello everyone. Below is a letter that I wrote to the management at Blackbird about three months ago. After not getting a response from them, I thought it would be appropriate to share my experience with the wider community. In general, high end restaurants tend to be very responsive to customer complaints (and complements), so I was surprised and disappointed not to receive a response from Blackbird. In hindsight, I think my letter below was a little too polite. The problem I describe did put a significant damper on our evening and we are unlikely to go back.

To whom it may concern:

My girlfriend and I dined at Blackbird last Friday night, October 14th. Because I know the Blackbird staff strives to provide the highest level of service, I wanted to share some of the highs and lows of our experience. Perhaps most frustrating to us, we had to wait an unacceptably long time to be seated. Several days prior to our dinner, I had requested one of the more private tables in the restaurant. Our reservations were for 8pm and we arrived about 10 minutes early. We were told to wait at the bar, where we ended up having three drinks while we waited. And waited. And waited. We were finally seated around 8:45pm. The delay was not caused by our particular table request because the host first tried to seat us at a table along the east wall and apparently forgot (or didn’t know) we requested a more private table. We said we prefer to wait for another table, and a table on the west wall was available about 5 minutes later.

I think what frustrated us the most about waiting so long was that the restaurant staff seemed rather indifferent to us. While we were waiting at the bar, no one checked back with us to let us know there was a delay, or simply to let us know that we hadn’t been forgotten. We received a rather terse apology from the hostess when she finally seated us that seemed more appropriate to a five minute delay than to a 45 minute delay. I realize the restaurant is very busy, especially on a Friday night, and sometimes it is difficult for a staff member to pay attention to these little details. Yet, these details can make the difference between an otherwise very good meal being remembered as an overpriced headache versus a wonderfully romantic experience.

Although waiting such a long time got the night off on the wrong foot, the rest of our evening was wonderful. Our server was Jerald and he did a great job. He recommended an excellent wine that we were very happy with. Our appetizers and entrees were stunning, especially the suckling pig and confit of veal. My girlfriend and I have been reliving these dishes for the last few days.

This had been my third trip to Blackbird and I still consider it one of the best restaurants in Chicago. But this is the first time I’ve had anything but a perfect experience.

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