Interesting chat today, especially the Citronelle exchange.
Someone submitted a rant about very rude service received last weekend at Citronelle.
Mark Slater (sommelier at Citronelle) responded questioning the credibility of the comments about rude service. Tom agreed it was not possible to verify the truth of anonymous chat submissions.
Someone else responded to that by saying he had in fact received poor service, had written a letter of complaint to the restaurant, and received no response. Tom noted that he was getting a lot of similar submissions.
I felt like Tom was backing down a bit on the Citronelle service issue (which he said earlier in the chat was not up to the level of the food but was now improving). After all, there have been quite a few complaints about their service posted on his chats, and Tom himself has had issues with it. I also wondered if the sommelier represented a "head in the sand" attitude which refused to acknowledge there could be any legitimate perception of bad service.
And yet I don't recall readng any complaints on Chowhound about Citronelle's service. Chowhounders don't tend to be timid about posting negative comments! I've also seen how poor customer attitude results in poor service - a friend often complains about rude servers, yet I noticed that she was always rude first and those same servers were nice to me during the same meal...
Could it be that people are going to Citronelle and acting like they're at McDonald's, then complaining that the service is snotty?
Valentine's Day, our anniversary, and both of our birthdays fall within a 5-day period ("Happy Week"), so we need a suitable restaurant for the combined celebration. Citronelle is on my short list, but I'm confused by the service issue. Any thoughts from those who have been there?
Joe H, you posted a rave about Citronelle. Can I assume that the servers don't require you to meet the live ingredients? ;-)
(I'd rather go to Sun Sui Wah for Happy Week, but we can't afford the trip just yet... maybe in 2004)