With a couple of enjoyable earlier visits, I brought friends to Eastern Standard with high expectations. I can't complain about the food; the kitchen delivered creditable salads and sandwiches, an excellent pork chop, roast chicken, and calves' liver. But both halves of the house combined to deliver a near-fiasco of an experience from start to finish.
I'm pretty sure you can't blame the waitstaff for a ninety minute, I repeat, ninety minute, lag between ordering and arrival of entrees. But the dozen other tiny screw-ups -- like an inability to answer simple questions about the menu, dishes never served, missing entrees and sides that required a re-order and subsequent big lag to deliver -- can't all be laid at the kitchen's feet.
This was a chaotic, amateurish performance: shameful given the staff's pedigree. Eastern Standard has a very appealing look, an attractive combination of authentic French and less-challenging American fare, decent prices, and a staff that mostly seems friendly and eager to please. I'm rooting for it.
But I'm not anxious to endure another shakedown-cruise night like this one. I plan to avoid this place for a couple of months till it learns how to handle a not-full dining room at dinner. My friends that don't get out so much will probably be less forgiving.