Went to Vero last night for the Dine Out special. This is the third or fourth time we've been. Firstly, I have no problems with the food. It's usually quite good. But I have a huge problem with the front-of-house service.
We had a reservation for 8 p.m. We arrived on the dot, and was told our table wasn't "quite ready" and that it would be "a little bit of time." When pressed, the host told us it would be about 20 minutes. We went for a walk and returned at about 8:15. There were by then at least three other parties waiting for their reservations (8 and 8:15) jammed in the tiny entryway and on the sidewalk.
We waited -- and watched while one of the servers offered a party that arrived after us some wine. No one said a word to us.
At 8:30, we were seated. Half an hour after our reservation. The same thing happened to the parties behind us.
I believe in speaking up when there's a problem with the food, as the kitchen should know and fix it. However, I don't believe in pointing out tardiness/bad organization when the staff are well aware of it. A well-run restaurant takes the initiative to smooth that over, come over and acknowledge the problem, ask if there's anything they can do, offer an app/dessert, whatever -- a small gesture goes a long way.
But what seemed to happen was they ignored it -- unless you were very vocal about it. To quiet those people, they were served free wine or free dessert wine.
Yes, I could have raised a big stink, but about something they already knew about? I left my comments on a comment card and hope they can fix this. This was not the first time our reservation couldn't be honoured on time. It's a bad start to a night for a restaurant whose food is quite good.
Really, the root problem is don't schedule groups in when you can't get the first seating out in time; learn how to manage your reservations.
Vero Bistro Moderne
209 10 Street Northwest