My family and I went out for dinner this past Sat night to celebrate my oldest daughter's 13th birthday. While I was parking the car my wife went into the restaurant with our 3 kids (ages 7, 11 and 13). Since it was only 8 and the full after-Shabbos crowd hadn't made its way to eat yet, the restaurant was pretty empty. Nonetheless, the maitre d' immediately approached my wife and tried to seat her at the table nearest the door--the worst table in the place, to be sure. My wife insisted on a better table and, in fact, told him she fully realized that when he saw the kids he decided to seat us at the table exposed to heavy traffic, cold winds from outside, etc.
We then ordered--not once the entire evening did the waiter crack a smile or give us any indication that it was his pleasure to serve us. Also, he clearly was beside himself that all of my kids behaved themselves better than some of the other patrons in the place.
The food: We ordered 3 soups, the cauliflower, pasta e fagiole and minestrone. The first two were tasty, while the minestrone lacked seasoning. My wife had the salad with avocado, salmon and tune and it was very good. My younger kids ordered the individual pizza which tasted like...surprise, pizza. The birthday girl had fettucine alfredo, which was OK but nothing suoperlative. I had the mahi mahi sauteed in marsala wine. The dish was way too salty. The desserts were the best: excellent tiramisu.
Finishing up, when I handed the waiter the signed check he uncouthly opened it up in front of me to see what I had tipped him. Despite our awful experience, I gave him an 18.5% tip. Not surprisingly, that did nopt elicit a thank you or even a smile. On our way out, we passed the owner. He too did not thank us for coming to his restauarant.
All in all, not an experience to recommend. Why is it that such a combination of poor service, high prices and uninspiring food is so accepted without a blink by the kosher consumer?