Posted 27 February 2006 - 10:50 PM
I arrived for my 10pm reservation tonight around 945pm. It was somewhat busy but not so much as it appeared the same time last Monday. The hostess suggested we have a cocktail downstairs in the lounge and we did. All the cocktails in part are made with teas, sake, and japanese liquers and were an improvement over those we had last week at Morimoto in Philadelphia. The lounge seats about twenty people in alcoves and behind screens and was quite intimate. The service was excellent. The menu downstairs has a limited number of dishes plus the entire raw bar menu. When our table was ready we went upstairs and our waitress followed with our drinks which she would transfer to our checks. All was well.
Then we were seated in a busy but not full restaurant.
In the Urbandaddy interview, Morimoto mentioned there is not a bad table in the house. Let me tell you where he may have overlooked. When you walk in, and you're at the hostess stand, turn to the left. Apart from the main dining room there is an alcove with a few tables. We were seated at a corner table at the back of the alcove surrounded by walls closing in on us. There was no view of anything but the empty table beside us in the corner and we couldn't be more detached from the vibe or mood Morimoto is meant to evoke than if they seated us at a table in Del Posto.
Nothing against the wait staff. When our waiter brought our menus I said to him, I hate to bother but is it possible to seat us anywhere else? I think he understood and he came back a few minutes later and said there were none then but may be one opening soon. We waited but in all honesty when you've been drooling over a menu for weeks and craving a certain experience, and ready to drop hundreds of dollars and then you're in a dim concrete alcove, the mood has passed. So we finished our drinks and asked the waiter for our check. I said there were no problems, we just wanted our check and thank you. Then the manager came. And he seemed to feel horrible for us and told us there would be a table soon and then he comped our drinks. And we said thank you and we went to get our coats. And then the manager stopped us again and said we could go down to the lounge and they'd buy us drinks until a new table was ready but we just wanted to go and it wasn't his fault either. He gave us his card and told us we'd get a better table next time and we left.
I think it would have been a perfect night if they seated us anywhere at all in the main dining room or at least in view of it or if we never left the lounge. But when you make a reservation weeks out and when you go to an establishment of a certain quality, well, they should either reserve this space for walk-ins or convert it to a coat check. I still love Morimoto in Philadelphia, it was as good as ever last week and if anyone's ever been there they know there really isn't a bad table in that room.
I still look forward to eating at Morimoto here but as I told the manager, tonight was just not meant to be that night.
Dinner at Pastis was awesome though.