I'd read a thread back in December in which the general concensus was that since the renovation the service and atmosphere at the Bristol had gone down hill. In spite of this, I made reservations for pre-theatre cocktails and nibbles for me and my best friend because it was her birthday and she's always wanted to go there. I called ahead and told the hostess that it was my friend's birthday. She said they' bring out a "birthday plate" (specially decorated cake). We arrived and were seated promptly at a sweet table by the window overlooking the common..sun going down, little white lights in the trees coming on. We each ordered one of their named cocktails, delicious and potent both, and were brought a triumverate of forgettable bar nibbles. The Four Seasons could do better on the nibbles
Then I waited...and waited...but no special "Birthday plate." Finally, I made an excuse, went out to the hostess stand and asked about it. They said it would be taken care of right away. Well, right away was 10 minues later,a clear statement that they'd not communicated it in the first place. The plate was lovely, the cake (chocolate ganache with ethereal rasberry filling and coulis) delicious and they did not charge for it (appropriately) but the timing made it less than the experience I'd planned. Also, the waiter took forever to ask us if we'd like another drink. Again, this is the Four Seasons. If service isn't exceptional there, than where?
All in all, the atmosphere was still in tact enough to live up to my friend's fantasy but the service for the price has taken a dramatic downturn.