Restaurants & Bars

Chicago Area

Spring - TERRIBLE experience


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Restaurants & Bars 9

Spring - TERRIBLE experience

spicygal | Oct 2, 2008 11:29 AM

I was visiting Chicago with my boyfriend and his mother two weeks ago and Spring had been recommended to me (among others) as a place to try. I liked what I saw on their menu, so I made a reservation for us.

We arrived promptly for our 8:15 pm reservation. We were told our table wasn't ready, but would be in a couple of minutes - which it was.

Our server arrived at our table to greet us and talked for a minute or so about the menu. Thing is, he really didn't say anything meaningful or informative - he threw out a popular buzzword or two like "seasonal" and "locally grown," then disappeared saying he would come back to us shortly to "talk more about the menu."

He eventually came back to the table (and did not have anything new to add about the menu, by the way, as there were no specials) and we put in our orders for appetizers and accompanying wines. We selected two appetizers to be shared among the three of us. We also put in the order for our mains at that point.

Our appetizers and wine arrived within normal time and we started eating. A few minutes later - about halfway through our apps - things took a sharp turn south. Much to our shock, out came a runner (not our waiter) with our main courses. We were not even through with our starters!! At this point we looked around confusingly and our waiter showed up. We saw whispering and general bungling between the server and runner. Next, our food, waiter and the runner disappeared. No one told us what was happening. For all we knew, our mains were lingering under a heat lamp in the kitchen - far from ideal at any place but all the more bothersome at this "caliber" of restaurant.

After we finished our apps, a guy in a suit came over to our table (he appeared to be a manager-type, but did not introduce himself). He asked us if we enjoyed our appetizers. The word “yes” was barely out of our mouths before he took our plates and quickly disappeared. There was no apology for the mains coming out so fast and NO COMMUNICATION as to what was going on with the rest of our meal.

For at least the next 20 minutes if not longer, NOT ONE PERSON came to our table to let us know what was going on or where our food was. Finally, we were able to flag down the guy in the suit - who, as it turns out, was the manager. We asked him if he knew what was happening and he told us that our mains were being re-made and that there had been a mix up. (Clearly). My boyfriend politely noted that it would have been nice if someone had communicated that to us earlier because no one had - to which the manager responded in about as rude a tone of voice as I've heard in a long time - "Honestly, most people don't care."

I was beyond stunned at this point, as were my dining companions. After another verbal exchange or two with the manager - who was still rude and barely gave us the most token of apologies - we decided to leave. Then, the manager condescendingly asked us if he could call us a taxi. No “what can we do to make this better” or “how can I help” – nothing.

I've dined a lot of places from total dives to Michelin star restaurants and have never - EVER - been treated this rudely. The whole experience would’ve been disappointing enough had it happened at an Olive Garden or a neighborhood greasy spoon, but at a place like Spring – unacceptable.

Suffice to state, I won't be back on my next visit.

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