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Restaurants & Bars

Medjool seating practices

tara | Apr 24, 200512:08 AM     8

My partner and I just got back from dinner at Medjool. This was our second visit, and we liked all of our food, as we had on our first visit. Highlights: the lamb and fig tagine, the grilled squid over couscous, the chicken in pomegranate and almond sauce (slightly burned this time, but perfectly cooked on our previous visit, with yummy flavors).

Unfortunately, the meal was somewhat marred by the management's unwillingness to accommodate our request to sit at a different table. We had a 7 p.m. reservation, and when we arrived, there were at least three other empty tables for two. We objected to our table only because we'd sat at the same one last time and wanted a different view. We were told by both our host and, later, the manager that we couldn't switch tables because the other tables for two were reserved for parties arriving later. They said something to the effect of, "The restaurant seating operates on a very rigid schedule, and we can't change it without totally messing things up." The manager offered to let us sit in the lounge for a half hour while we waited for other tables to open up -- even though there were several empty two-tops clearly visible from where we sat -- and we declined and stuck with our original table.

Moving wasn't really a big deal, but we were put off by having what seemed like such a trivial request flat-out denied, with little attempt to please the customer. Our waiter, to his great credit, agreed with us but couldn't do anything, only pass along our comments (which was when the manager came to talk to us). For the record, two of the three tables that were empty when we arrived were still empty when we left 90 minutes later.

We are not high-maintenance diners, and it's unusual for us to bring this kind of thing up with restaurant staff. But we were so surprised to be refused that we had to ask. Now that we got our answer, we want to know: is it normal for a restaurant to do something like this? Was our request so ludicrous?

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