The $$$$ fine dining place we visited was at one time a fine place to dine, but as times change, so did this place. I had called and spoke with a day server and requested a reservation at 7:30. I asked not to be placed on a traffic aisle, a table or booth out of the way would be ok, and that privacy was desired with a server that knew their job. I did let them know of my background in the food industry and asked him to make sure that if he wasn’t going to be there that someone knew what I desired. He recommended a server called “Our Server.”
Upon our arrival the hostess confirmed the reservation and asked if a booth would be OK. She asked to check the lady’s coat and we said yes; he them proceeded to remove her coat and then handed her the coat check tag… this is so wrong in fine dining. The hostess never touches the guest if there is a man in presence and should always ask if help is needed all other times… He sat us down on the main isle with the traffic going by us miles a minute, trays were going by us, and servers were passing within inches of us. Dirty dishes, etc… We moved into the back of the booth for safety.
The rest of the evening was a show like no other. The servers were like HAWKS. You felt like you were in a fish bowl and eyes were upon you all the time. They were intrusive to the point I had to tell them to go away. Had to tell them stop clearing the table that I’m not done yet. They made so many minor mistakes that you wonder for the fine dining place this once was where they received their training… Denny’s?
The General Mgr stopped by for a quick check on things and didn’t even find the time to announce himself. We did have a talk about how the swordfish was prepared as I asked about the heavy spices. He said that the swordfish is Blackened and it is assumed that all people know that blackened is done with Cajun spices. I so wanted to tell him that Blackened fish was invented by Paul Prudhomme and in his book he describes how to blacken. The blackening comes from the butter charring in the pan, not from the spices. When the butter chars the instant it lands in the pan, it creates a sealing crust on the fish that keeps it from drying out.
I must say though that the food was great. Very tasteful and arrived hot when it should of. My compliments to the chef. Upon the end of the meal our server Heather asked how things were. At this time I must say that Our Server was indeed a professional server with all the charm and poise that earned her a healthy tip from us. She is very good in her service. I went on to tell her of our ordeal and right in the middle of this the General Mgr came into the conversation and wanted to know what I had to say. Well I let him know of my disappointment in the service for other than our server and he didn’t much like what I had to say and gave me a response of his 20 years of food service and his training of the staff here and this is how things are done and how “this place” just received its review from the Sacramento Bee and it was outstanding, etc… I have to ask myself if the reviews that “this place” receives are so good then what are all the other places in town like that they are comparing it to.
Needless to say that with the lack of attention that is given to so many little details it is most likely I will not be back. The food was some of the best I have had in my days, Our Server was a top notch server, but that’s about it for this Fair Oaks, CA place.