I've been waiting now for a couple months to try bar Minnow again, after a disasterous first try a few months ago (shortly after opening). I'm the hound who was so upset and disappointed, I actually called one of the owners to discuss the issues. So, this weekend, figuring, they must have worked some kinks out by now, we took the plunge.
I can see that a few things have changed. They now have table cloths (instead of table paper) and are serving from real plates (vs. paper plates), etc. The quality of the food was much better this time around and the menu has become a bit broader - no longer strictly seafood, more bar-food (burgers, etc.).
I had the mussels, which were prepared in a white wine sauce and served with frites ($8.50), complimented by a mug of draft Sierra Nevada Pale Ale ($5.00). Wife had the lobster roll ($19.00) and a glass of wine ($7.00). Both dishes are actually quite nice. The mussels were fresh, not rubbery, and the sauce was flavorful. The lobster roll was not overly infused with mayo - just the way I like it - and there were decent sized chucks of lobster meat.
The tab came to $39.50 before tax and tip, not bad in Park Slope for a late evening grazing.
The one thing they still need to work out is the service. The hostess seated us promptly (the tables were only about 1/2 full when we arrived). Our waitress was very friendly, and was able to answer every one of our numerous questions regarding the menu and food prep. And our drinks and food arrived when they were supposed to. That's the good news.
But, when the tables started to fill up (there was a sudden rush of new arrivals around 9:30pm), the waitress got completely "stuck," as they say in the F&B business. She was completely overwhelmed by the rush of new seatings, to the extent that it was impossible to get her attention - basically for the rest of the evening. I practically had to tackle somebody in order to pay the check. Actually, we could have easily walked out without even paying - I doubt anyone would have noticed or even cared - not that we would do such a thing (at least not without returning later to settle the check).
Anyhow, this is not the waitress's fault - and I did not penalize her on the tip. This is simply poor planning on the part of management. They still need professional front of the house management.
At any rate, things were good enough that I'll be back - but not if I see that it's too busy in there. What is clearer to me now is that Bar Minnow is first and foremost a "bar", and secondly a restaurant. Nice place for a light, casual meal, and some drinking.
With a little more improvement, it might just become one of my regular meals.
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