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Restaurants & Bars Manhattan

NoMad service

soupknife | | Sep 5, 2012 08:53 AM

Just celebrated a milestone birthday at the NoMad this week.

Fantastic food all around: the egg, the eggplant as a shared appetizer, the roast chicken, and milk and honey and the peanut butter dish for dessert. The sommelier recommended an excellent bottle of wine to go with it all. All in all, a much better meal, food-wise, than our recent trip to Annisa for a similar special event.

I'm writing this post as a cautionary tale on the service. I saw some posts that casually mentioned this, but it really separates this restaurant from others in the same price point.

We were seated promptly for an early reservation and were maybe the fourth table seated. Our cocktail orders were taken immediately, and five minutes later the waiter noticed we were finished looking at the menu and took our food orders. We mentioned to him and to the sommelier that we'd like a second to look at the wine menu because we wanted wine with our appetizers and entrees.

A few minutes later our cocktails arrived with the flatbread. A second did our appetizers. We then had to ask three separate people (the server, the waiter, and in desperation, a third random person) for the sommelier to return. While we waited, we ate the appetizers because they were getting cool. At that point I checked my watch and we'd been seated for only a half hour.

About ten minutes after they'd cleared our plates, the sommelier showed up and at that point recommended a bottle of wine that was good enough to blunt the mixups before. Our wine was poured about two minutes before the chicken arrived.

After that I was expecting to be rushed out, but they may have realized the timing mix-up (I suspect the sommelier put in a word) and everything proceeded at a normal pace for dinner in the city. Total dining time worked out to about an hour and twenty minutes.

I don't know if this was our early reservation time or par for the course at this restaurant, but this is the worst service I've had in several years at a nice restaurant. The food, however, was great, which made the weird service stand out even more. We ended up in a good mood, but anyone planning to go for a special occasion may want to know that the ride can be a little bumpy.

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