Jump to content


participating member
  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by JoRic

  1. JoRic


    Sorry, but I have a very hard time seeing how 10 minutes is too long to wait for a dessert. That actually seems about right to me, especially in a restaurant that considers itself fine dining. Much quicker and I would feel like the restaurant is rushing me out the door.
  2. Try Mark and Julie's in West Orange. They are on Pleasant Valley Way near Eagle Rock.
  3. I have a customer at my restaurant who has brought her service dog in with her (she has a hearing impairment), The dog wears a vest identifying it as a service dog, and we've never had a problem. It's a really cute dog, besides!!
  4. Just to clarify- unfortunately we don't have a liquor license at Raymond's. We do have outdoor seating and are BYO, also, there is a great wine store- Amanti Vino- next door.
  5. I always want to know when things aren't up to my guests' expectations. I especially appreciate when the feedback is specific, so I can work to remedy the situation. In this case, perhaps a sincere, honest note to the management would be helpful. If it's not appreciated, then that may explain why things aren't up to par.
  6. I am so glad that my business partner and I decided not to take reservations! He formerly owned a casual fine dining restaurant in the space we now have together. At first, there were no reservations and things could get insane on the weekends. To help the kitchen and try to maintain a more consistent flow of seating, we finally gave in and started to take reservations. Immediately, the number of covers plummeted, but he sucked it up, reasoning that it would be worth it in the long run to get better service. Then people started to not show up for reservations. We were a smallish (70 or so seats) restaurant in a town with a lot of restaurants, and people began to play "restaurant roulette". They would make multiple reservations and decide at the last minute where they felt like going. One Saturday when 27 people did not show up (I'll never forget this!), we made the tough decision to hold tables of three or more with a credit card. We asked only that any cancellations be called in before we opened for service that night. Although some people got angry with us, it really worked. I don't recall ever actually charging a card. The very few times that someone called at the last minute, we could tell that it was truly an emergency and of course, didn't charge them. There's never a good reason to be rude to a customer, but I understand how it can be extremely frustrating when this situation happens. There really aren't any good reasons for cancelling at the time of the reservation, except in a true emergency.
  7. This particular practice doesn't work well for me. If the kid's meal comes out first, then he's finished eating by the time our meals come out, leaving him unoccupied at just the moment we want to be sitting at the table and eating. Before the food's arrived, we can distract him by taking him for walks outside, writing sentences for him to read, playing 20 questions - but once the food's in front of us, we want to eat it! It's easier if his comes out at the same time, so we're all eating at once. We do tend to order an appetizer to share if we're not in the kind of place that puts bread on the table as soon as you sit down. Also we try to go to places where the meal tends to be fast-paced (and save the leisurely meals for babysitter nights.) ← That's why we ask first. Often if the parents opt to have the childrens' food first, then they will get a scoop of ice cream or other dessert for the child while they are having their dinner. I guess it all comes down to the parents knowing what will work best for their particular situation.
  8. I have a "family friendly" restaurant and have probably seen it all (or close to it). While we welcome children, we also try to provide a welcoming and comfortable environment for everyone. It's always tricky to address a situation where the kids are out of control, since parents who allow this kind of behavbior are often easily offended- really, they sometimes aren't the most rational. Here's what I do: My servers are told to get the kids' meals out asap. If the adults order appetizers, then the childrens' meals should come then. If not, then we ask the parents if they would like the meals as soon as they are ready- then we get them out fast. If kids are running around, I will usually say something along the lines of "Careful honey, I don't want you to get hurt" Once the parent hears this, they will usually take over. If a child is loud, I will either ask if I can do something to help, or in an extreme case, I may have to let the parent know that other patrons are complaining. If the kids are just making a mess (my pet peeve), I instruct the busboys to just keep cleaning the area around them. Sometimes they get the hint. The trick is to try to address the situation in such a way that no one looses face. Sometimes not so easy to do, but better than confrontations that could be misinterpreted.
  9. A while back, I had a lovely meal at Marco and Pepe on Grove Street. I don't know Jersey City, so I'm not sure if this is in the area you're talking about, but I thought the restaurant was great. Their web site is marcoandpepe.com.
  10. Would not be in New Jersey. Last really fav place was Dish in Passaic Park, in the Bruce days. But had my last meal there some time ago. ← i loved that place. I just saw Bruce and his brother (who helped run Dish) last week at the Loop Lounge, which he still owns. Dish was pretty remarkable, especially given that it was the 90's. ← Cool, say hello to Bruce if you see him again we were regulars there at Dish. Bruce and I were always sharing CD's of obscure music. Haven't been to the Loop in ages, still the same? Dish was amazing in its time. ← Funny, Bruce's brother Carl is upstairs having dinner at Raymond's right now, and Bruce has been helping us with our sound system. I'll send along all your wishes and reminisces!
  11. I don't get it. Sure maybe you could deprive your self and live longer, but why would you want to if you can't even enjoy a decent meal? Besides, it still wouldn't stop you from getting hit by a bus or something. When it's your time to go, it's your time to go. I say, enjoy your life, live it well and have that brownie, dammit!
  12. So you know- at Raymond's we end our brunch at 4:00, but our customers are welcome to stay and enjoy their meal beyond that time.
  13. I must say, though, it's amazing how quickly a clean bathroom can become dirty. My staff checks ours regularly and I have a look most times I walk past (which is often), and I almost always find paper towels all over the floor at the least. I can never understand how people can just throw things on the floor when there is a trash receptacle right there. And that's not even getting into the stolen signs, potpourri, flowers and of course, grafitti. This by no means excuses the poor treatment by the staff that Coughy described. I in fact really appreciate it when someone lets me know if something is amiss. Joanne
  14. Try Beans on Church Street in Montclair. I'm pretty sure they sell Illy. Joanne
  15. All except one of my tomato plants are doing exceptionally well this year. I put a lot of new topsoil down and the tomatoes are huge- the largest I've ever had. The plants are even taller than I am! I've been enjoying the cherries for about a week. Herbs are also exceptional. My only dissappointment are some jalepeno pepper plants that didn't turn out to be jalapenos. Grrr...
  16. I was thrilled to see that my restaurant, Raymond's, was voted "best" in two categories this year ("Lunch" and "Family Dining") for Northern NJ. We do not advertise in NJ Monthly, do not have a PR person, and have done nothing whatsoever to encourage voting. (Heck, our website isn't even up yet!) From my perspective, the suspicions voiced previously are unfounded.
  17. Yes, there is lots of terriffic dining in Montclair! For more info go to Montclaircenter.com. You will find a section on dining with descriptions of many of our restaurants. There is also a downloadable restaurant guide with a complete listing of adresses and phone numbers of all of the restauants in downtown Montclair Center. It's a really convenient reference. Also- stay tuned- we are planning a restaurant week early next year!!
  18. JoRic

    Top Chef

    I couldn't agree more. I can't imagine Stephen commanding the respect of and leading an entire kitchen staff. One of the first things that I look for when hiring is someone who is willing to get in the trenches and get their hands dirty. The best piece of advice I was given when I got into the restaurant business (as a manager) was "Never ask anyone to do something that you wouldn't do yourself." Attitude goes a long way, and Stephen's attitude stinks. After watching the first episode, I decided that the only one I would actually hire would be Lee Ann. Otherwise, the only ones I might consider would be Tiffani and Harold. I still feel the same way (although Tiffani's food is the closest to what we do). Lee Ann is definitely the most level headed and mature.
  19. JoRic

    Top Chef

    If they really want to test the contestants on what it means to be a chef, this is what I'd like to see: Have each chef come up with a dish (maybe during a quickfire challenge), then give each one three assistants with varying levels of kitchen skills, preferably non-English speaking. The elimination challenge is for the chef to teach the assistants to prep and then cook the dish entirely on their own, without the chef present. Then compare the original to the one created by the assistants. Now, that would separate the pros!!
  20. Sorry, I'm still trying to figure out how to quote and respond on one page! Anyhow, I'm sure that the owners (who are lovely people) would never condone or accept this kind of behavior from their staff. I know I wouldn't. It's really important to let management know when a staff member behaves this way. Keeping on top of staff is difficult, and constructive feedback is always appreciated. When patrons let us know about this kind of thing, it 1.) gives us the opportunity to make ammends, and 2.) gives us the opportunity to take whatever corrective measures are necessary with the staff. Joanne
  21. Try Bean's on Church Street in Montclair. They have lots of fantastic varieties of coffee and will custom make blends for you. I believe they will even keep a record of your personal blend and they do ship. This is a terriffic small, independently owned business- the kind we all need to support. The owner, Corrinda, is a gem! Joanne
  22. How awful! The pictures really got to me, especially as someone who has lived through a fire as well as a difficult restaurant opening. Eric, you have my sincerest empathy. I wish you a speedy, smooth recovery. I'm sure you will back better than ever- you have a great product! Joanne
  23. I'm sure that I have bought orange flower water locally (Montclair area). I would try Whole Foods and Kings, then any stores that have "gourmet" sections such as Bean's on Church Street or Spice it Up on Bloomfield Ave. Joanne
  • Create New...