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Watermark


jamiemaw
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Revasser,

Can you explain how hiring a publicist "will not only be good for the restaurant but good for the people". How does the general public benefit?

Surely the parasites need to be paid & who do you think pays them? What are restaurant critics for, & as far as the Chambar experience is concerned they seem to be busy enough with their own methods of PR, like providing a great evening experience.....When does hype trump actual substance?? Afterall this is Vancouver, not New York why pretend that the 'city' is bigger than it actually is, but of course the publicists interests are not served with that rationale.

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I don't think it's a matter of hyping up the restaurant more than it actually is, but letting people know there is a restaurant. With Watermark it had publicity (be it bad or good) since the start of construction. Perhaps the idea is that restaurants don't even need to be a publicist, but maybe ads around town. So far I've only seen Coast, Glowbal/AfterGLOW, Feenie's/Lumiere, and Wild Rice advertising on the transit systems. I think restaurants should put more effort around on attracting people to the restaurant, not necessarily hyping them up for something they'll be disappointed at (which publicists are good for). Food critics and word of mouth is great, but not everyone reads the dining sections in papers and maybe not everybody has eGullet-like food-crazed freaks :laugh:

Edited by rêvasser (log)

One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.

Virginia Woolf

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Though I comment rather wryly above and have yet to try this now hopping joint (and most likely won't until things die down a bit in late September or October), I will note that their wine list is quite impressive. A good number of wines that appeal to me and at a reasonable markup (or so it seems) to boot. Hardly anyone has D'Arenburg's "The Custodian" Grenache on their list, and, as it's one of my very favourite wines, I think of this as a good thing. :biggrin:

Edited by appreciator (log)

sarah

Always take a good look at what you're about to eat. It's not so important to know what it is, but it's critical to know what it was. --Unknown

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Though I comment rather wryly above and have yet to try this now hopping joint (and most likely won't until things die down a bit in late September or October), I will note that their wine list is quite impressive. A good number of wines that appeal to me and at a reasonable markup (or so it seems) to boot.  Hardly anyone has D'Arenburg's "The Custodian" Grenache on their list, and, as it's one of my very favourite wines, I think of this as a good thing.  :biggrin:

Unfortunately, over the course of our three visits, the restaurant did not have many of the featured wines. They also did not have ketchup, and made no attempt to fetch same from their downstairs concession. So I did.

from the thinly veneered desk of:

Jamie Maw

Food Editor

Vancouver magazine

www.vancouvermagazine.com

Foodblog: In the Belly of the Feast - Eating BC

"Profumo profondo della mia carne"

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Though I comment rather wryly above and have yet to try this now hopping joint (and most likely won't until things die down a bit in late September or October), I will note that their wine list is quite impressive. A good number of wines that appeal to me and at a reasonable markup (or so it seems) to boot.  Hardly anyone has D'Arenburg's "The Custodian" Grenache on their list, and, as it's one of my very favourite wines, I think of this as a good thing.  :biggrin:

Unfortunately, over the course of our three visits, the restaurant did not have many of the featured wines. They also did not have ketchup, and made no attempt to fetch same from their downstairs concession. So I did.

I wonder if they are victims of the container strike, wine-wise?

No excuse for the ketchup situation though!!

Shocking!

Agenda-free since 1966.

Foodblog: Power, Convection and Lies

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Though I comment rather wryly above and have yet to try this now hopping joint (and most likely won't until things die down a bit in late September or October), I will note that their wine list is quite impressive. A good number of wines that appeal to me and at a reasonable markup (or so it seems) to boot.  Hardly anyone has D'Arenburg's "The Custodian" Grenache on their list, and, as it's one of my very favourite wines, I think of this as a good thing.  :biggrin:

Unfortunately, over the course of our three visits, the restaurant did not have many of the featured wines. They also did not have ketchup, and made no attempt to fetch same from their downstairs concession. So I did.

:biggrin::biggrin::biggrin:

That is so funny. They certainly have made themselves an easy target. I hope it starts to get better. We have had a good chuckle about these guys but I do not think anyone wants to see these missteps as a permanent thing. What a shame it would be to have a piss poor nacho stand on possibly the best piece of beachfront real estate in the country. I guess a place like this does not really have a chance to have "soft openings", people have been anticipating this place for ages.

As for being victims of the container strike : nothing a quick wine list reprint would not cure. That certainly is in the ability of these guys to fix on the spot.

Neil Wyles

Hamilton Street Grill

www.hamiltonstreetgrill.com

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Watermark: the restaurant people love to hate - new jingle

sorry, i've not looked at the menu so perhaps my question is bunk. Jamie, what did you have that needed ketchup? Should all restaurants have it on hand?

or,

were you in there after hours ordering a 'special burger'?

Drew Johnson

bread & coffee

i didn't write that book, but i did pass 8th grade without stress. and i'm a FCAT for sure.

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I've just pruned the series of posts in here about the "usefulness" of PR in the restaurant industry. They were off topic, and some were getting a bit mean-spirited. This thread is to discuss Watermark.

As per kissmekate's suggestion, a new thread has been started in General about PR. [CLICK] If you've had a comment removed from this thread that you;d like to re-post in the new thread, please PM me and I'll send it to you to re-post.

Thanks.

A.

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  • 2 weeks later...

From today's Globe and Mail, review of Watermark by Alexandra Gill:

"On the surface, this new $7-million dollar restaurant is a mind-blowing stunner. But once you taste the crap coming out of the kitchen, the sheer waste of it all makes you want to cry".

I wish she would stop beating around the bush and tell us what she really thinks.

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Mr. Pawsey was kind, but he made a strange swipe at those "armchair" critics making fun of the name Watermark.... :huh: ....lurker. :laugh:

Ms. Gill went for the jugular! Ouch. Crap? That's just mean. :sad:

Fair or unfair so quick after opening?

Andrew Morrison

Food Columnist | The Westender

Editor & Publisher | Scout Magazine

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Is nobody going to bite ?

Ok.

Unfair ? Perhaps, but not unexpected. This place has been in the crosshairs for some time now. Part of the expectations have been created by the hype, and possibly the hype created outside of their restaurant group, but hype nonetheless.

They should have been ready for this. The restaurant group, G.M. and chef have the resourses to train, train and train for this opening. Having poured so much money into it, you would have thought that this is something that would have happened. Cityfood had an interesting bit the other week about restaurant openings and charging half price for food while the bugs are being worked out. I found it very interesting. If I was ever to open another, I certainly would take that approach. Why should your first guests be expected to pay full price while you fine tune your operation. It was so simple, it was brilliant ! Paying half price would certainly take the sting out of any opening hiccups and generate an interesting amount of goodwill right out of the gate.

Alex Gill is a known person. Her picture is in the paper. When she walks in, the media handlers and management should know it. They get a head start on the reveiw. They know what she looks like. It is not an anonymous review. If they dropped the ball, then perhaps these experiences were representative of the overall picture. It sounds like they had two kicks at the can ?

Lynda Larouche has a great resume and has been the exec at some nice restaurants. This is not a career killer or anything like it. I would not have chosen the word "crap" to describe anybody's food in a published article. This is only one review. I am sure there are more to come. Put all of them together and that will give you a balanced picture of what is going on at Watermark.

I myself will wait for one of those rainy November nights to climb the stairs. That will give me a clear picture of the skills of the kitchen even though the million dollar view will be through raindrops.

Neil Wyles

Hamilton Street Grill

www.hamiltonstreetgrill.com

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Andrew,

Fair, if indeed that was her opinion. If the information is to be relevant it should at least be honest. Would you suggest giving the restaurant more time before you write? What about reviewing the restaurant when they open, at the same time as they advertise!(they probably dont advertise that their food is crap) I think the journalist in question is doing her job, & providing her opinion. Is timeframe an issue if the restaurant is open & even provides menus that it cannot honour, i guess an excuse can be that they spent 7 million bucks & need to start getting some of it back.

Side note(but for Andrew)sorry arne, please see the postings on Per Se in food media, as far as tips are concerned this is the way to go! Dont you think?

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Would you suggest giving the restaurant more time before you write?

That's a tricky one. I try to, and if I go early after opening I go several times to see if things improve. Some, from what I've seen recently, come out of the blocks close to perfection on all fronts, but I think a 2-3 week grace period is pretty fair. As for AGill and her raking of Watermark, I wasn't making a comment pro or con - I was more interested in gauging whether eGulls thought it was fair or unfair. In the end, she answers to herself, so my opinion is worth a nosehair.

Per Se's tipping thingy is clearly the work of the devil. :laugh: Thanks for the link! -shudder -

Edited by editor@waiterblog (log)

Andrew Morrison

Food Columnist | The Westender

Editor & Publisher | Scout Magazine

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I am sorry, but using the word "crap" to describe food is just unnecessarily mean :angry:. How awful for the chef, she must be devastated! Not sure what credentials Ms. Gill has to be a judge of food and quite frankly after reading this it makes me really question her credibility. Granted she is a good writer but is she writing for shock value? Our own little Geraldo Rivera of the food critic's world? Just what does she know about food? I have heard lukewarm comments on the food, but if the food was this bad surely we would have heard from someone else.

I will be interested in seeing J. Maw's review as he clearly has an educated palate.

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Well no, that's not to say Alexandra Gill has an ignorant palate as you imply, because she is a food critic and darn good one at that. However I as well don't support her using the word "crap" to describe the works coming out of the Watermark kitchen as I'm sure the chef behind it all is working very hard on making things better. Criticism should never stoop down to that level, and I wish she made a review much more constructive than summing up the entire critic in one sentence. But of course we must remember that this is the exception, and not the whole.

One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.

Virginia Woolf

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[host]

Time to re-focus. We're not here to speak of Ms. Gill's credentials, if the word "crap" is appropriate in a restaurant review, or when is it appropriate to review a restaurant after itt opens. All excellent topics, but please start them in General Foods or Food Media.

Discussing whether or not Watermark serves "crap" is fair game however

[/host]

For those interested in reading the full train-wreck, HER YA GO!

A.

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Wow; Just read the review.

Fair/unfair maybe on both counts,

I will say this alot of reviewers might have skewered the place after the first visit.

The fact that she gave it a second try would indicate to me that she felt she had to find redemption, unfotunately she did not.

I would agree with neil, the picture is in the paper, someone should have recognized her, further most of the best maitre d's and servers i have ever seen have the uncanny radar to notice when someone is not "just dining"

Hopefully, the review will sharpen their focus and the next reviews will be moew favourable.

better to start with a review like that, then to end with a review like this (although enough reviews like that and the end shoudl follow closely the start)

Gerald Tritt,

Co-Owner

Vera's Burger Shack

My Webpage

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I am wondering if anyone has anything good to say about this place? I would also like to add that I am extremely glad that someone has the guts to completely tell it like it is. There seems to be so many "nice" things said about restaurants, and really, it is NOT ALL GOOD. It is great to just review places that are wonderful and, frankly, I'd prefer life to be all positive, but it is wonderful to see some reality too. Go Alexandra!

Gastronomista

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I've never been to watermark and have no immediate plans to do so; however, please do not be so quik to judge a restaurant that is doing a huge amount of business in only it's first few weeks of operation. I can not even imagine how well a restaurant like Joe Fortes (where I work and who do 250-375 covers at lunch and 475-600 covers at night), would be running in only it's second week of business. We have crazy nights working with a tight, very well run staff. Everything is not perfect all the time but we do do an amazing job, in this, our 20th year in business. Cut Watermark some slack. How would West be doing if they were doing that kind of volume, in their 3rd week?? Watermark may well prove to be a below average restaurant, with mediocre food and lousy service, but DO give them some time to prove themselves.

Derek

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I've never been to watermark and have no immediate plans to do so; however, please do not be so quik to judge a restaurant that is doing a huge amount of business in only it's first few weeks of operation. I can not even imagine how well a restaurant like Joe Fortes (where I work and who do 250-375 covers at lunch and 475-600 covers at night), would be running in only it's second week of business. We have crazy nights working with a tight, very well run staff. Everything is not perfect all the time but we do do an amazing job, in this, our 20th year in business. Cut Watermark some slack. How would West be doing if they were doing that kind of volume, in their 3rd week?? Watermark may well prove to be a below average restaurant, with mediocre food and lousy service, but DO give them some time to prove themselves.

Well put, winegeek...and a nice self-out to boot :biggrin: .

I paid Watermark a visit today for lunch, and though I'll save my thoughts for an inkier page, I can't agree with you more. That said, it would be great to hear more eGulls weigh in with their own reviews of Watermark. Has anyone else been? I implore you to go sooner rather than later, for the weather can't possibly stay this perfect for too much longer.

The breeze coming up from the water today made me wonder why I didn't move to Vancouver earlier! One of the servers I spoke to was freshly plucked from the "Peg", and we had a good chat about how incredible the location is. He said going to work everyday was like doing custodial work in heaven.

Lucky sod. :rolleyes:

Andrew Morrison

Food Columnist | The Westender

Editor & Publisher | Scout Magazine

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Winegeek :

I will cut them some slack. My issue is how does someone like Alex Gill gets in and out twice without anyone spotting her or at least noticing her.

At Fortes, it is Frenchy's job to make sure he notices that stuff and make sure he has food writer's faces memorized in that Rolodex of a mind. It is his job to alert the kitchen, the Chef and the other managers to make sure that everything at that table goes smoothly. If a writer slips between the cracks and writes some disparaging words, the owner is not after the appy cook's head, he's looking for Frenchy.

Same thing at Watermark. Someone is being paid handsomely to make sure that the media are well received. This is not a Ruth Reichl " incognito" review. Alex Gill does not wear wigs and fat lady disguises.

Little inside info for non food professionals : If any food media are spotted in the restaurant , the staff are alerted to it and everyone is one their toes to make sure that the table is a little "extra special ". If you ever thought it was any different, wake up and smell the coffee.

Neil Wyles

Hamilton Street Grill

www.hamiltonstreetgrill.com

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