We went to bartaco Saturday night with another couple and, I really must say they did their very best to redeem themselves from an negative experience we had this winter with another couple.
This winter we went as 4 people on a Saturday night. They had taken reservations for parties less then 10 when they 1st opened ( I know b/c I had made them and enjoyed dining there), but they apparently stopped after realizing "it wasn't working" for them. So, when we got there that night, they gave us a "guestimate" of 1.5 hours. OK, well it was a Saturday night and the other couple had really wanted to try the place. So had god knows how many other people. The place was so jammed that we couldn't get near the bar, couldn't put our coats anyplace and couldn't get out of our own way. It was insane. Still we did our best to get drinks and balance carefully. Although we kept checking in w/ the hostess, we were not even close as the 1.5 mark approached. Long story- it took almost 3 hours to get seated. The staff was apologetic- bought us a round, sent us food to pick on at the bar...they really did try. When we left, the manager made me promise to please come back, and to please call him before I did so he could try to avoid this happening to us again.
So- last week when a different couple suggested going to bartaco, I was very hesitant to return. It's a fun place and I like it, but not enough to wait almost 3hours to sit. As it happens, the other woman is almost 7 months pregnant and I had a vision of her getting bumped all over the place w/ no place to get out of the way. I decided to take the manager up his offer and I called the Friday afternoon before our Sat night out.
As it happens, that manager is longer at the Port Chester location. So, I explained what had happened on our last visit, explained what the manager had asked me to do, and explained why in this case, I especially hesitant to return on a Saturday night. The new manager, Mike, totally understood my concerns, and agreed to honor the promise made. He asked me to call about 45 minutes before we arrived and he would do what he could. He was clear to remind me he could not guarantee an immediate seating, but he would certainly make sure my friend was comfortable, even if we had to wait.
I did call- had a hard time getting him on the phone, but finally did- and let him know we were coming in. At 1st, I think he forgot, but I was pretty insistent. Even when we arrived, he was very busy and was a bit fuzzy on who I was at 1st. ( On an aside, another patron insisted I was a hostess and was pestering me for a table as I stood near the door. Funny)
Well, Mike ultimately was good on his word. We were seated almost right away and a very comfortable table. I was really impressed. And, when a different manager asked us to shift our table to make room for a larger party that they were putting right next to us, they sent us a round of drinks to thank us for making room.
We really had a fun time, and ate and drank ( not the preg friend) plenty! So, I must give credit where it is due and recognize that Mike and the entire staff did work hard to win our business back.