I am not a fussy diner but I recently had the worst experience I have ever had at a supposed "high-end" restaurant - Grapeseed in Bethesda.
The "welcome" was icy and the ambience and decor struck me as very sterile. Aside from a few lone drinkers at the bar, we were the first people sitting down, I made the big mistake of trying their prix fixe dinner ($35 each).
Judging from the well-heeled crowd at the bar, the fact that I was being a cheapskate and buying the "bargain" affected the waiter's performance. The fact we only ordered only one glass of wine between us (my wife does not drink and I found the prices too high) appeared to make him even less enthusiastic.
A simple salad was very mediocre but the best part of the meal. The entrees were the worst we have ever had and the dessert was not much better. Shrimp that managed to be undercooked yet rubbery dumped onto a mish-mash of indistinguishable melange of mushy (canned or left-over?) vegetables was god-awful. The recommended dessert, some kind of hardened apricot tart, was also almost inedible. The waiter was inattentive, even dismissive, throughout. To add insult to injury, the bill charged me for the dessert - when I pointed out that it was to be included in the fixed price, he almost anticipated my complaint, as if he knew what had been done all along, but did not apologize.
Perhaps it was just a bad night and one bad waiter, or they gave us tourists left-overs, but I will not be trying it again.
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