I swear, I thought Ashton Kutcher was going to make a surprise visit at my table. This is the meal that inspired this blog, and it might be a bit long, but the disasters were never ending!
Saturday night was just my girlfriends and I going to dinner so I wanted to try something new and exciting. I had read about Madame Tongs being turned into Southampton Social Club and figured I’d give this a try. We arrive at 8:30 to an empty restaurant except for maybe 3 tables filled (one with Rosanna Scotto and family). I let the hostess know we are here, and she tells me it’s going to be a few minutes. Seriously? It’s empty. But okay. So I sit at the bar, and then she lets me know it’s going to be “four minutes”. Not five, not three, but four. So the hostess’ assistant, a young girl, takes us to the very first table, away from the only other people in the place and nowhere near outside. I politely ask, “is it alright if we move in like three tables?” She says sure, but as she brings us to the table, she faces the head hostess who must’ve given her a look and the girl asks me, “is it alright if you sit at the first table, I’m going to get in trouble if I sit you here.” So I tell her, “No one is here, I don’t want to sit there, I’m really sorry.” Begrudgingly, she allows us to say, but now I have to feel guilty that I got this young girl in trouble for not sitting us in Siberia.
The second we sit down, I mean literally the second, our waiter comes over and asks us if we know what we want to drink. Let me tell you about our waiter. He’s blonde, very pretty, speaks about 3 words of English, and very flustered. So I tell him we need a few minutes, but I’d like to see the wine list. He brings it over, and like a proud puppy stands at attention with his pen and pad waiting for my order. So, once again I had to tell him I need a few minutes. I finally order wine and my friend orders a margarita on the rocks. When the drinks arrive, she receives a frozen margarita. This is not looking good. However, there is one good thing happening: the bread. It’s fantastic. Three different kinds, including a pretzel roll. Yum.
In between drinks and ordering, Jeff, one of the managers comes over to greet us and happens to mention that the duck is one of the best items on the menu and we should order it. Thanks Jeff, I have a feeling we’ll be in touch later on in the evening. The waiter comes and I notice I don’t see a duck on the menu, so I ask him, are there any specials? And he stares at me like I asked him something he didn’t practice (most likely the case) and goes, “Specials, yes!” and then proceeds to read me the menu in front of me. Hmmm. I guess no specials? Alright. I order a mushroom pizza and a salad to share with my friend as an appetizer and the halibut for dinner. My other friend ordered the salad and the chicken, and the friend I am sharing starters with also got the halibut, and we ordered a side of French fries. After we finish ordering the waiter asks us for our dessert order since it is written on the back of the menu. Um, we’d like to wait to eat first, thanks! He’s confused again and decides to leave our dessert menus on the table.
The appetizers arrive and let’s just say it’s mediocre at best. The salad dressing is pretty much just oil and the pizza crust tastes like a lean cuisine. It would have made a great lunch at work, but for 15 dollars each, I expect better. They take our dishes away and then the waiter comes back, hands us each the dessert menu, stands at attention with his pen and asks for our dessert order (to keep track, this is the second time). So I look at him, confused, “but I haven’t gotten my fish yet?” And he replies, “Yes. Dessert.” I look at my friends for help because at this point I don’t know what to do and I’m trying to not break out laughing. So my friend goes, “Our entrees? We haven’t had our entrees?” And like a light bulb going on he runs off into the kitchen repeating “entrees!” We are well aware he most likely never put in the entrees and we know there is going to be a decent amount of time until we get them. But we are in no rush and we order a second glass of wine. My friend still has a little wine left in her glass and she lets the waiter know she’s not finished. So instead of leaving then returning, he stands there and waits for her to chug it. To quote my friend, “I feel like I was just hazed.”
The main courses arrive after about 35 minutes and the food is dry and bland. But even more upsetting, our shoestring French fries are nowhere to be found! So I remind blondy the waiter, and he runs into the kitchen even more flustered than before. He comes out and tells me that due to the kitchen we’ll have to wait a long time for the fries. Read in between the lines: I forgot to put them in. So I cancel the fries. Along comes the manager, Jeff. He asks how things are and I let him know the fries never made it. He goes to the kitchen, tells us they’ll be right out, but 15 minutes later, still no fries, and I tell him to cancel them. He offers us a free round of after dinner drinks, but I ask for a dessert instead and its a deal.
Blondy the waiter comes over, hands us the dessert menus and stand waiting for our order (third time). I ask for a few minutes, as I have never really had the chance to look at the dessert menu, but I would like a cappuccino and my friend wants a coffee. He returns with two coffees, throws them at us and tells me “no cappuccino, here’s a coffee” and leaves. Really? You don’t even ask if that is okay? And now, we really are ready for dessert but he left without taking our order! Fifteen minutes go by and he still doesn’t come take our dessert order. Maybe after three times he gave up? So we call him over and let him know, we don’t want dessert or drinks, we would like our last round of drinks we had to be comped and we would like the check. Easy enough, right?
Nothing is easy with this meal. He comes with the check, with a new round of drinks, nothing comped, and the French fries we never even got are still on the check! Oy. Wheres Jeff? Jeff ends up taking care of it and we pay our bill. We could not leave the place quicker. It did have an awesome bar scene happening in the back at this point, but after everything we went through, we needed to get out of there. Needless to say, I will not be returning for dinner any time soon.
Pro: The bread and Jeff
Con: Mostly everything else
Pro: The bar scene out back (that’s what you should go for)
Epilogue: the valet stole $20 from my friends and we ended up going back and getting the money back, but that’s a whole different story.