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Service disaster at One Restaurant


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Service disaster at One Restaurant

Suburban Gourmand | Sep 23, 2009 04:58 PM

Ugh, where to begin? I booked a table for two at One Restaurant in the Hazelton Hotel in Yorkville. It was a Friday, and it was during the film festival. Before the collective groans begin, yes, we knew that there may be some slippage in service during such a high profile event, but we were willing to overlook "some" service issues. Unfortunately, the service was not just average, it was terrible.

We were seated promptly on arrival. We had to run the gaunlet of people in the bar to get into the restaurant. I got goosed on the way in. We start as we mean to go on.

We waited and waited for service, but at least that gave us plenty of time for perusing the menus. When our waiter arrived, we prompted him for specials (if any), and then on the oysters available. Each request met with almost total befuddlement. Eventually we settled on a light appetizer of a dozen east coast oysters from three different beds, and a glass of wine apiece.

Oysters arrive, brought by a different waiter. He just placed them and essentially ran away with no explanation of what was what. Remember that we ordered three different types. No plates for us to use, just the ice platter. No wine. We couldn't even catch an eye of anyone to bring the wine or plates, so we just tucked in, guessing the specimens as we went! They were very tasty and fresh.

Plate was removed by original waiter who chuckled and said "oops, no plates huh?" and offered to bring us some...not clear on why plates would be useful after we had finished so we said that was ok. We also asked about the wine, and got another "oops, mea culpe". Glasses brought and an "extra pour" given. A good attempt at appeasement, and we were happy for the timebeing.

Mains brought promply by yet another waiter (I sensed a theme), and I had delicious black cod, and hubby had lamb loin. We also ordered a side of whipped potatoes and chives (sublime) and organic roast carrots (gritty gritty gritty). For $13 I was unsure as why they wouldn't have them suitably prepped, but I assured hubby that I would flag someone down and ask about the carrots, because "maybe that's just what they are like". I was reaching, even then.

Unfortunately, I couldn't flag down a waiter, let alone ours. Plates removed by another waiter (still not necessarily ours) so I asked him to send ours by so we could chat about the carrots (long eaten, albeit sandily and grudgingly).

I then ran the gaunlet through the bar for the facilities, and was just appauled. I've never felt so awful in a restaurant before. It was a nightclub scene with people clammering over one another. It was a pretty shocking juxtaposition to the dining room.

By the time I got back, I had missed our waiter but received the menu for dessert. I was done, as we were now 2 hours in, but hubby was still hungry and wished for the three berry cheesecake. It was simply cheesecake. We ordered, and just not wishing to start anything, I begged off on mentioning the carrots, the waits, the oyster issue, I just wanted to eat and leave.

Unfortunately, cheesecake was consumed promptly, followed by 30 minutes of attempting to flag down anyone, anyone who would give us our bill and take our money. It got silly. The dining room was seemingly being run by guests because there was not a person to be seen. Flagging and arm waving did no good. Waiters seemed preoccupied with certain tables and could not be dissuaded. We obviously eventually got their attention (or I may have had to write this review from my iTouch) but I was so disheartened and put off. Lovely food (in general) totally spoilt.

We have written a letter to McEwan, having enjoyed his restaurants regularly over the last few years, and am waiting for a response. What a shame.

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