My mate and I dined at the Corner House Restaurant last night for Winterlicious. Upon entering the restaurant, we were greeted by several would-be diners waiting in the small doorway entrance. Apparently they have a policy where they will not seat diners until their entire party has arrived. This might be all well and good except considering the small space, there was no place for customers to wait other than in the doorway with the cold wind at their backs whenever the door opened, or standing outside in the cold.
On to the food: my mate and I enjoyed our meals (apps: tiger shrimp, smoke trout; mains: venison, black cod; dessert: apple crumble, passionfruit mousse), except my mate bit into a piece of venison that was still cold inside. The service was uneven at best but we chalked this up to the fact that the place was extremely busy.
When we were leaving (we dined at the earlier seating), the small hallway was packed with diners with some lining the stairwell up to the landing! One person remarked that if the fire marshall were to enter this place, they would shut it down due to overcrowding.
Although we enjoyed our meals, there appeared to be many disgruntled customers. It seems to me that they need to hone their reservation-making skills. When I called to have my reservations pushed back 15 minutes, I was told it would be no problem since the reservation reserves a seat, not a time. Has anyone ever heard of this before?