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Everything posted by nwyles

  1. Ok, just do not be one of the people who write.... " After reading so many negative posts here about the food and service, I decided to try it for myself, thinking that it can not really be that bad..................................and lo and behold, it was " and then proceed to add yet another post about the same things. Instead, donate your money to a charity or light it on fire. Anyhoo, $900,000.............guess the kids are going to get more than new bikes for Xmas this year. Mrs. Lombardo must be doing something right as not only has she maintained the origianal location all of these years, but has opened a second one as well.
  2. nwyles


    Any friend that made me wait two hours before I could have dinner.................................might not be a friend for long. They must be a good friend!
  3. They closed in July.............................you are not quite current. ← Sorry, when you get my age its hard to stay ontop of everything ← There is a joke dying to be inserted here, but it is too easy. Like shootig fish in a barrel.
  4. They closed in July.............................you are not quite current.
  5. There is a more industry-centric conversation going on over at Waiterforum. Unfortunately, Urban Diner is under repair today (hopefully back up tomorrow, techies permitting), but members can enter through this backdoor. From my owns travels and after reading the many WF comments over the last week, folks seem to be doing just fine. Cin Cin, fo example, did well over 300 last night, and dinner at West saw them looking to do 3 turns this past Wednesday with their last reso scheduled for 10:15pm. The few higher end places that aren't doing DOV have been packed, too. Tis the season for dining. ← I would think that the more recognized restaurants (like the Top Table group) wouldn't see a difference, as they are most in demand. For us it's a bit different,considering we're more known for music than anything else, not exactly a staple in the industry conversations and news. I think that between the fact that there are even more participating restaurants this year, and quite a few disenchanted diners (disappointing past experiences & not into the boxing day atmosphere) it may mean that everyone's piece of the pie may be a bit smaller. Of course this would have no effect on the Cin Cins and Wests of the scene. Just a theory ← I hate to dash your theory, but we are up over last year. Unless I have a catastrophic night in the no show / cancellations................... I am trending towards a staggering 50% increase in volume over last year. I am checking and double checking the figures but that is where we are at. I did 1550 meals last year, and I am looking at 2350 meals this year. I did take into account the extra days ( 2 ) that were added this year. These are real numbers, not over inflated one restaurant guy talking to another restaurant guy. I am pleased with this year's results.
  6. I started to charge for it during DOV It comes with a lemon wedge, a biscotti and an Asian soup spoon filled with honey. I sell that for $2.00 I have sold 100 of them and no one has questioned it. Call it 5% of my traffic having that. It is more work that a coffee or tea to deliver. If you are the waiter, that is lots of work. Teapot ( clean ) , cup, saucer, side plate, honey and spoon, biscotti, napkin and saucer under teapot, lemon, hot water......................oh, and scambling around loolking for a tray to deliver it on, fuck, what if one of those things were out and you had to run to the storage room or the walkin cooler..............imagine doing that for no money. One waiter had ten in his section at one time. He was running his ass off gathering all of this stuff. Oh, and you can imagine that there is not a little extra something something left at the end of the night for all of your trouble getting the free hot water and lemon, hence the charge. Spoiled brat ? Think again.
  7. Wow. Congrats to Scott. I will show my appreciation by going and having dinner at the Pear Tree. It has been awhile. I think a Chef who ranks # 7 in the WORLD is worth a visit.
  8. Did I not "blow" your mind this weekend ? Or was it good dinner at a great price ? Seriously, I wonder the same thing.
  9. nwyles


    If you need some chervil, call Brian, he has lots..............he loves the stuff!
  10. Having never been to Salt Spring, it would appear that I have mastered their style. I must admit that I have a fondness for the art work, and even have some more at home. I had a metal work shop as a next door neighbour for five years so I was able to trade bocconcini salads and beer for wrought iron....................and again, have more of it at home. All in all, and good piece on DOV. I am pleased I did well in the food dept. as that is what we are all about. Having done over 1000 meals thus far, very few issues. I did have a princess in last night who, literally, had a tiny bit of charred fat on the edge of her steak. She turned her nose up at the explanation of we cook over flame, not in a frying pan etc. Your spidey senses do start to tingle when they start scoping the room, thinking they get to pick their table, try it out and then pick another one. The kicker was a note left at the end, saying "I am food critic, too bad mess with me!" As I have demonstrated this wek, I can not pick the food critic out of the crowd, but I certainly recognize their names and this was not one of them. Anyhoo..............enough of that, back to work. Cheers Neil
  11. nwyles


    Just to clarify, these are second-hand comments ? This was not you, but a friend's experience.
  12. I had NO idea about this fact. Is this really true? If it is it helps explain some of the more odd price points for some places. ← Price points are based on your average menu entree price. Not a perfect science but a good general rule of thumb. There are some guidelines sent out to members beforehand so we can plan accordingly. I know this to be true because in true Neil Wyles fashion, I promtly put my foot in my mouth and then used a hammer to jam the other one in there. I had misread a communication about price point and went off on a rant about it, wrote it down and sent it! My next email to my TVan rep was called " I am an ASS". At least we had a good laugh about it.
  13. She must be the exception to this issue. I had someone call yesterday to book two spots because they could not decide. I decided for them. I was nice about it though!
  14. Yeesh. All I wanted to do was book a nice dinner for me and some friends that night and it went to sh*t. Excuuuuse me for being bloody prudent. I think what I meant to say in my original post was if anyone here wanted to get a group in at either restaurant, I've got your ticket. (2 places damnit, not just one!) For those on limited budgets (like myself), DOV is a great event to share with friends. Unfortunately, since it's so popular, it's nearly impossible to get a table for ten at any place where EVERYONE in the group would enjoy the food! (Non-foodies can be damn picky!) Two years ago (maybe 3?, pre-Open Table), during DOV, an EGulleteer couldn't go to Chambar at the last minute and I was lucky enough to get there reservation and have a great time with my girlfriend. I thought I'd give someone out there in a similar position a chance at a good time. Guess I was wrong. So much for trying to do a nice thing. Whatever. ← Prudent ? You made reservations for tables of ten at the same time at two different restaurants. You were not talking about a spare reso for two. One of them was going to get left in the lurch, with a last minute cancellation / no show. With the 17 day lead up to Dine Out, they could have filled that table with a party of ten who could make up their mind and actually wanted to be there. With a last minute cancellation, they possibly would see that table sit empty as neither are on the beaten path and do not see lots of walk by traffic. You were just hedging your bets and perpetuating a stereo type. You have no reason to get your back up. You have done what all the industry people have asked people not to do and then get pissy when called on it. Chef Fowke @ Rare has the same girl holding his largest table for eight seatings in prime time. You know that he is going to get the shaft on seven of those. In a forty seat restaurant, a table of eight is a significant part of the evening.
  15. I have 12 seats at the bar and a bartender to amuse you with stories of his / her love life or lack of it. As far as taking a table during DOV, I would think that someone coming in early ( 5:00 - 5:30 ) would not be frowned upon. A single diner at 7:00 on Saturday might be a little tough. Opentable.com will allow you to see which restaurants have availablility for a single diner without having to call and see. Just request 1 seat and see what comes up. I just tested it and quite a bit comes up so you should have lots of choices.
  16. I have a quiet Monday and Tuesday that would fit the bill just fine. Best of both worlds....... A deal and next to no one in the restaurant.
  17. Genaro is an excellent chef. I hope you enjoy. I can still taste the grilled radicchio with fresh strawberries he made for me a few years back.
  18. I requested the CC option but it did not happen. Don't get me wrong, I do appreciate the business, but if people book with a CC number, it saves me confirming and reconfirming that they will be here. It also saves from getting a bunch of "Reso Squatters". I can focus my energy on serving them a great dinner rather than spending the time chasing them down of the phone to find out if they really are coming or not. ** disclaimer ** I am a wee bit PO'd as I confirmed twice this afternoon a reso for 15 tonight and they called in a half hour before and cancelled.
  19. I think people who perform this stunt should be flogged and then black-flagged for the rest of the year ... and then flogged some more. No, there's nothing technically wrong with it, but you have to be pretty thick to miss how this flies contrary to the spirit of the event. It's like the folk that fill their gloveboxes full of napkins and ketchup from their favorite fast food joints, and then bitch when said fast food joint decides to start handing them out only at the cash register. Doofusses(sp?) A. ← I think it is Rare that has the same girl booking tables of 6 at least 6 times, maybe 8, all in prime time( this is the downside of Opentable ) . In a room that size, it stands out like a sore thumb.
  20. DOV does not bring out the best in everyone. I had a rather lengthy conversation with someone yesterday who was trying to get a reservation at 7:00 on Sat night. All the time slots were full............this means I have as many people sitting down that I want to serve at one time. I want to do a good job so I am not trying to do more than I can handle. I responded that I could take them at 6:00 They countered with 7:15 I countered with 6:00 They countered with 6:45 I countered with 6:00. It went on like that for some time. They then countered with what if I book at 6:00, and we showed up at 7:00.what would you do ? Not seat you was my response and then I made a note in opentable and I told them I was doing so. This was to be sure that we were on the same page when it actually happened. Then a party of 4 became a 6, became an 8, became two parties of 8 that want to sit together. It gets very frustrating, we are not playing "Let's make a Deal". It is not some kind of Bazaar, where we are haggling for tables. I try and put on a nice face but it becomes very difficult when someone won't work with you. This is the "Hospitality Industry", and I am trying my best, but this time of year makes it very hard. I have set limits for the restaurant so we do the best we can, for ourselves and our guests. I must remain within these limits otherwise all hell will break loose. Anyways, Donald, try calling back within the timeframe again, and have another go at it. We all know Parkside to be an excellent restaurant and you really want to go. How hard can it be to take a reservation ? Try taking 400 a day, each conversation getting longer as the availability gets tighter. Most people start off looking for Saturday at 7:00, and settle on Monday at 5:30...........think of every timeslot in between, and a threeway conversation with a husband and wife over the phone, discussing whether or not they can fit it in. Cheers Neil
  21. That looks like a great deal! What are their regular prices like ? If they are like that, I think I know where I am going to try real soon, possibly before DOV. Let us know how the DOV goes.
  22. I have no idea why any resos would not Qualify. My Wireless router has been giving me trouble so we have been offline a few times in the last few days. I certainly has not stopped epople from making the reso the old fashioned way..........telephone. Cheers Neil
  23. Mine is fairly similar as well. DOV will be about ten times the volume. Tried and true, giving the people what they want. ( my New Years resolution ! )
  24. Well, at least the gang at Rare can not worry about Ms. Gill coming back for a third kick at them........................I would be having a word with security as to how she managed to get in a second time !
  25. LOL...shameless plug I'm sure. In all honesty I am interested in trying out the HSG, just depends if the Dine Out menu has this fabled Hanger Steak and Gingerbread Pudding. If not perhaps I will visit sooner... ← I am thinking of not doing the hanger steak this year. I have done it for two years and it has served me well, but it might be time to try something else. I will always sell hanger steak as a feature, so you can get it any time. A serious respnse to your question is that The tasting Bar at Lumiere, West and Gotham fill in a matter of minutes. I do not know if Gotham is going to participate this year. The deal at the Tasting Bar at Lumiere can pretty much be had all year round as the pricing is not far off of Dine Out.............save this one for another night to avoid the craziness. Also a great way to name drop Lumiere into your conversation during non Dine Out........................... "Oh, I was at Lumiere AGAIN this week !
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