My wife and I have eaten at Blue Water in Hendersonville many times starting in October 2010. If someone would ask for a seafood restaurant recommendation I would always tell them Blue Water is the best place, hands down. This was true until last Tuesday, September 29, 2011. Based on my most unpleasant experience that day we will not be dining at Blue Water again. Strangely and sadly, this has nothing to do with the food!
Last winter we ate at Blue Water perhaps ten times. On some of those occasions I ordered the All You Can Eat (AYCE) Mussels. The mussels were only offered on Tuesdays as is this case now. They were always excellent. As were any other meals we ate there. Two weeks ago I discovered that Blue Water was, once again, offering the ACYE Mussels on Tuesdays. I decided I would try the mussels last Tuesday for a late lunch. Before I left for the restaurant I checked their Web site and the AYCE listing showed the mussels were available from 11 am to 8 pm.
I arrived at approximately 2 pm and was quickly seated. I decided to start by ordering a beer since Blue Water usually had a good selection. I was informed that the only beer they had was, oddly, Budweiser Lite, which I declined. I then proceeded to order the mussels. A few moments later the Server returned to my table and informed me the AYCE Mussels were only available after 4:30pm. I replied that was not what was indicated on their Web page. No explanation was given and no further dialog was ensued. At that point I left and ate elsewhere.
This experience continued to bother me so I decided to contact the restaurant via their Web site. They have a "Contact Us" tab on their Web site. I wrote a detailed but polite message and addressed it to Tracy, one of the Owners. I quickly received a reply from the Web Master stating, in part, I am sure you will hear back from the owners. They are very hard workers and great people. ". When I hadn't received a reply two days later I called the telephone number listed for Tracy on the Web site and discovered I was the telephone number for the Asheville location. The Manager answered the telephone and, when I explained why I was trying to reach Tracy, he understood my concern took my telephone number and said someone would call me shortly.
Several hours later David, the other Owner called me. The call started cordially enough and David said he's like to have a face-to-face meeting with me. He also volunteered that the Hendersonville location was in the process of change and he recently had replaced the entire staff.
He suggested that me meet at 4 pm that day. When I told him that was not a convient time and that I'd get my appointment calendar to see if we could arrange a mutually convenient time. At that point it was almost as if a switch was thrown and David became belligerent and abusive, saying: Well it's obvious you have more spare time than I do!" We never proceeded to arranging an appointment. David concluded the call with: "We value your business." and then hung up.
To say that I'm upset it putting it mildly. At no point did I say anything abusive or threatening. All I wanted was an apology and an explanation of what was going on. It was not my intention to get a free meal out of Blue Water, although I would like a saavy businessman would have offered some token of apology. I merely wanted to try and understand they apparent lack of communication between the Owners and their staff.
Sadly, my decision to not patronize Blue Water has nothing to do with the food or service since I did not get to experience either this last time. At this point I can say that I do not know of any good seafood restaurants in the Asheville area.