My husband and I live nearby and we love Gramercy Tavern, Craft, Craftbar, 'wichcraft, and have eaten at all of the above many times (GT and Craft on special occasions). So we made a 9:45 pm reservation for New Year's Eve ... and we were really looking forward to it.
We showed up at 9:45 promptly. There were 3 tables for 2 open and not a seat at the bar. The hostess said our table was not available and directed us to have a drink at the bar, our table would be ready in 10-15 minutes. We ordered, we chatted, we watched a bunch of other people get seated, we watched a raucous group of 8 come in and crowd in the bar, then get seated, we finally sat down on some stools and ordered a prosecco each.
Forty-five minutes later the hostess came over to us and sheepishly said that the only table she could offer us was one right next to the raucous group of 8, who had proceeded to put on party hats and blow noisemakers as soon as they sat down. She said she had asked them to be quiet (to no effect) but that table was all she could offer or we could wait for a table in the back. We opted to wait.
And wait. and wait. About 15 minutes later (we had been waiting an hour at this point and it was 10:45 pm) she offered us another table that had been available the whole time we were sitting at the bar, immediately behind the desk at the door. Again she explained that there were people finishing up in the back and she was sure they would be leaving any minute, etc, etc. We opted to wait again.
At 11:00 pm we asked for our coats. Aforementioned hostess feigned shock and awe: "You're leaving ??!!?" We said yes. She apologized (for the first time) weakly as we walked out.
Two questions for Chowhounds ...
1. Am I crazy? I felt we should get an explanation, maybe a free glass of something or other, an intermediate acknowledgement or apology or something for our willingness wait over an hour to pay over $200 each to eat dinner in this joint? Especially since it wasn't like we could just waltz in anyplace else for a quick bite at 11 pm on New Year's Eve. And hey, I understand it's a busy night, but these guys have been open 3 years now -- shouldn't they be able to figure out how to serve 2 seatings?
2. What should we do now? I wanted to write Tom Colicchio a letter explaining the situation -- figuring he can't fix it if he doesn't know about it, and I don't want to give up eating there (the food is too good). My husband prefers the boycott route. What's your advice?