I had a disappointing dinner at Park Grill on Sunday. I wasn't expecting Alinea, just an honest meal served by an attentive staff. I didn't get it. Maybe I picked a bad night. Perhaps the restaurant had been beaten down by the marathon crowd in Grant Park all weekend (I was one of those marathoners). In any event, my first impression was that the place was messy. Several tables were and remained unbussed during our meal. (the restaurant was about 2/3 full.) The butter and tapenade ramekins were dirty, as if they hadn't bothered to wipe the sides before bringing them to the table. We were seated and no one came around for about 10 minutes. Then a waitress approached, asked if we'd been helped, and when we said no, she said, "OK, what do you want?" So much for ordering a drink or hearing about the specials. She then passed us off on another waiter. My wife ordered an appetizer and I ordered soup. They brought the soup to me, then after 5-10 minutes, they brought the appetizer to my wife. Then, and I hate this, before we were finished, they brought the entrees. We had ordered wine by the glass, but that did not come until much later after a gentle reminder to the new waiter.
As for the food, my wife's scallops appetizer was excellent. The pumpkin soup was OK, a bit thin for my tastes. My wife had rainbow trout that was fair, nothing special, and plated uninspiringly. I had skirt steak that was almost too salty to eat over runny mashed potatoes.
In sum, a great weekend and a great marathon, but a disappointing celebration dinner.