With Christmas approaching, I was wondering if anyone wants to share their Thanksgiving experience, for those of us looking ahead for Christmas Day dinner recommendations - or avoidances. (I am one of them, as we find dining out on Thanksgiving and Christmas is much easier for the extended family).
I will start...
My family of 7 adults went to The Wharf Tavern (Warren RI) since The Grist Mill (Seekonk) was closed for the holiday, and they were suggesting patrons to make reservations here, their 'sister' restaurant. We had 2 pm reservations, and got seated upstairs (beautiful view, comfortable seating) by 2:15.
At 2:40, I ventured downstairs to find the hostess and let her know that we still had not had a server visit our table yet. The server - a very young girl, not too pleasant - came to us a few minutes later. (As did the manager to apologize). She took our drink order (only four had mixed drinks), and brought the drinks back about five minutes later. At that point (2:45) we all ordered our dinners - we each ordered the 'traditional Thanksgiving turkey dinner', we all ordered mashed potatoes and butternut squash for the sides, we all ordered the garden salad with house dressing, and we all ordered the onion soup. How easy is that? At 2:50, she said she would return with our basket of bread in a few minutes...she returned at 3:10 with the cold bread. Hmmmm.
At 3:30 we asked her if our soup was ready - which she went to check on and brought that out (with an unpleasant attitude). At 4:00 she cleared our soup bowls, and brought us our salads. Mind you, in between her serving us our courses - she never checked on us, never asked if we needed more drinks, never said she'd be checking on our dinners - she would disappear. (I did ask her if she had too many tables, and she said 'no, just your table and the one in the corner'...which was a table of five). The other tables around us had two 'older servers' who were bringing out the food and drinks quickly, and paying attention to their tables. It was frustrating to see tables with larger parties get seated after us, and served their dinners while we're still waiting on our soup.
At 4:30 one of the members of our party (who is in the restaurant industry) approached the manager, and politely/professionally informed her what was going on. At 4:45 - we got our dinners, which the manager and another server brought out. Our original server came by at 5:30 to clear the plates and take our dessert order (it came with the dinner); we all had it 'to go' since many of us needed to get home. So a table of 7 with 2:00 reservation, left the restaurant at 6:15. (The manager did bring us our check, apologized for everything,and informed us she took care of the bat tab, about $45, which was very nice of her. She did say the restaurant was prepared for the holiday, they were not under-staffed, but our server did have some problems throughout the day.).
The food was excellent and generous portions - no doubt about it.
The service - awful. Never again for a holiday visit.