I should preface this post by saying that for several years I have been a huge fan of the Woodbury Kitchen in Baltimore. For me, it has been a fabulous experience – fresh, ever changing food backed by really amazing, impeccable service. For the last several months I have eaten there as often as once a week with groups both large and small.
I am not sure of the precise date but sometime 4-6 weeks ago they lost their floor manager and several servers left along with him. It also seems like there have been changes in the kitchen. I ate there tonight, and after a string of four disappointing meals in a row, I unfortunately have to admit to myself that something fundamental has changed at Woodbury.
The main problem is the service, which has become slow and unresponsive. I was recently there for brunch and someone in our party needed to run before we got our food because it took more than 90 minutes to come. In the past, the server would have been highly apologetic. No, actually, in the past this would simply not have happened. There used to be a cool vibe to the place backed by picture-perfect service. Now the plates comes slowly and you spend long periods of time waiting. Tonight, I actually needed to get the check and leave before two dishes arrived because they were so slow in arriving.
There are other issues: I recently ordered an Old Fashioned with the specific request that it be made traditionally and not too sweet. When it arrived it was much sweeter than any Old Fashioned I'd ever tasted so I asked the server if he would mind having it re-made since he did specifically request from the bartender that it not be too sweet. A replacement arrived several minutes later that was identical to the first. There are all kinds of other, disappointing experiences as well. They all add up to a place that is going through a difficult time.
I hope that Spike will wake up and make the personnel changes necessary to get Woodbury back on its previous footing. I was chatting with someone tonight who said it's just the way of the world – restaurants go through periods of strength and decline. It's a shame. I was hoping Woodbury would be the exception but I guess not.