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markk

Comped for No Reason

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Since I normally post complaints, I thought I'd post what was certainly a very pleasant and unusual restaurant experience for me. It happened this past Saturday at a well-known, and well respected dining establishment in the lower portion of Manhattan. It was our first time dining there, by the way.

Two of us had a substantial and delicious dinner there early in the evening before going to a play. With dinner, we went on to a second bottle of wine, which we quickly realized we were not going to finish, lest we arrive totally sloshed at the theater. But as we had gotten a parking spot right in front of the restaurant, we had to come back there after the play anyway. So I asked if they might keep the 2/3-full bottle of wine for us for a few hours, and let us have it later in the evening with dessert... which they said they'd be glad to do.

When we returned, the place was full at 11 pm with people having dinner, and they showed us to a table immediately, and brought us the wine. We ordered a large bottle of sparkling water, and one [incredibly delicious] dessert to share. (The dessert would have been $12.50, and the water would have been another 7.) When we were done and called for the check, they informed us that dessert was on them, and there was no check!

Everything about the place had been especially nice, and extremely enjoyable. However, why they chose to do that, I don't know.

Has anybody ever heard of such a thing or had a similar experience in a major city?


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Woman (noticing a large bowl of cut fruit): “How much is the fruit salad?”

Counterman: “Three-ninety-eight a pound.”

Woman (incredulous, and loud): “THREE-NINETY EIGHT A POUND ????”

Counterman: “Who’s going to sit and cut fruit all day, lady… YOU?”

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the stars were just aligned right that night. how cool is that? :cool:

hope im that lucky one night... ill keep doing the good deeds until then. :laugh:


"Bibimbap shappdy wappdy wap." - Jinmyo

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Since I normally post complaints, I thought I'd post what was certainly a very pleasant and unusual restaurant experience for me.  It happened this past Saturday at a well-known, and well respected dining establishment in the lower portion of Manhattan.  It was our first time dining there, by the way.

Two of us had a substantial and delicious dinner there early in the evening before going to a play.  With dinner, we went on to a second bottle of wine, which we quickly realized we were not going to finish, lest we arrive totally sloshed at the theater.  But as we had gotten a parking spot right in front of the restaurant, we had to come back there after the play anyway.  So I asked if they might keep the 2/3-full bottle of wine for us for a few hours, and let us have it later in the evening with dessert... which they said they'd be glad to do.

When we returned, the place was full at 11 pm with people having dinner, and they showed us to a table immediately, and brought us the wine.  We ordered a large bottle of sparkling water, and one [incredibly delicious] dessert to share.  (The dessert would have been $12.50, and the water would have been another 7.)  When we were done and called for the check, they informed us that dessert was on them, and there was no check!

Everything about the place had been especially nice, and extremely enjoyable.  However, why they chose to do that, I don't know.

Has anybody ever heard of such a thing or had a similar experience in a major city?

Who was it.. Everyone has no problem saying bad things about places.. When a place is as cool as this one, it should be said.. Not that everyone should expect free dessert and water.. However, it certainly reflects there attitude and level of service..

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Isn't it extremely joyful when things like that happen? Yes, it happens to me quite a bit. I tip extra in those cases that I get perks in places that have service staff. Because I expected to pay for the item in the first place, not as a bribe for more perks, mind you! I even tipped the guys at the service station when they comped me an oil change last week. I think the fact that I brought them Passover cookies and milk (for no reason, I just had some extra and thought they might like a snack) may have been why they comped me, so don't get your panties in a bunch thinking I'm some hottie! Although, well, I HOPE that I am! :raz:


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Smart restaurant, they know how to ensure repeat customers and have created interest for new customers!

Hubby and I had a meal comped (not fine dining, unfortunately) at one place because our meal was totally screwed up (lost order or served to someone else). We gave the waitress a tip which was about 1/2 of what our bill would have been. She was really trying hard.

Another time we had an appetizer comped, it was a tasting menu and we made a comment to the waiter about an appetizer we thought looked good and would like to try on our next visit. After we finished our app's, he appeared with another plate for us to enjoy!

Sometimes its just karma, you treat people respectfully and let them know you appreciate good service, and it comes back to you.


"Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast" - Oscar Wilde

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Why don't you name the restaurant? I'm sure they'd be happy with the publicity.


"I don't mean to brag, I don't mean to boast;

but we like hot butter on our breakfast toast!"

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It's obvious that someone knows what they are doing. When dealing with the paying public we need more smart people like this. I have done similar things in my business dealings and had the favor returned. What a good feeling that is.

Folks in Restaurant Land are you listening?


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Yup, I have to admit, it has happened to me on on more than one occasion... and it always comes to me as a pleasant surprise! :biggrin: In fact, I'm actually shocked the number of times extra dishes come out "compliments of the chef" or whatnot...

Sometimes it's quite shocking, as in my last visit to a four-star NYC resto. Glad to hear that you're getting "friendly food," as I like to call it! :wink:

u.e.

[edited to add: Not that I'm complaining about the comping situation, but because I personally feel obligated to (and insist) pay for and tip on what I get, sometimes the whole comp thing can run up the bill... :sad: But, usually I'm more than happy with the experience because more often than not, the "extras" are things that aren't on the menu, or experiences that can't be gained as regular diner.]


Edited by ulterior epicure (log)

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Smart move by the restaurant. For a very small investment you will likely be a fan for life.


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Can I guess??

Was it db Bistro Moderne? If so, I'd like to know as I am considering it for upcoming pre-theater, and it would be nice to know they are practicing some good customer service.

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Can I guess??

Was it db Bistro Moderne?  If so, I'd like to know as I am considering it for upcoming pre-theater, and it would be nice to know they are practicing some good customer service.

I dont think db Bistro would count as downtown.. But I can tell you my last two times there for lunch, the service really stood out.. We went with a five year old and it was a great experience.. They gave her paper and pens to draw with and the staff was really so sweet..

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I love stories like this. I will also bet that the staff enjoyed doing this for you, too.


"Oh, tuna. Tuna, tuna, tuna." -Andy Bernard, The Office

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This reminds me of my experience at Chapter One restaurant in Dublin. They have a "pre-theatre" menu that's incredibly good value, and for those actually going to the theatre, it includes the option of starter and main before the play, and a return after for dessert and coffee. They'll even go to the (admittedly nearby) theatre to collect your tickets for you while you eat.

One night, we were disappointed when told that the particular play we were seeing was too long to allow the option of dessert after the performance. They encouraged us to return for a drink in any case, which we gladly did. On our return, we were comped various little amuses/canapes/small dishes which really made it for us. We felt like we had been incredibly well-treated, and all for not much outlay on the part of the restaurant. Simple but effective customer service.

Si

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Can I guess??

Was it db Bistro Moderne?  If so, I'd like to know as I am considering it for upcoming pre-theater, and it would be nice to know they are practicing some good customer service.

I dont think db Bistro would count as downtown.. But I can tell you my last two times there for lunch, the service really stood out.. We went with a five year old and it was a great experience.. They gave her paper and pens to draw with and the staff was really so sweet..

I missed that "downtown" clue...

But Daniel, thanks for the tip on db!

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Once while dining at Per Se my wife and I were on our third bottled water when a server leaned over and whispered 'Sir would you like to switch to tap water?'

I was surprised to say the least as who has ever heard of a server down selling? :blink: After a few minutes I realized that earlier I had mentioned to this server that I also was in the business but was now on disability.

I can't help but believe he was trying to keep the tab down by suggesting tap water.

This was shortly after Per Se reopened and I was eager to learn as much about the restaurant as possible by engaging the servers in conversation whenever they had a free moment.

Needless to say I was so impressed and touched by his concern that I left a 40% tip. Hoping the whole time we had enough gas to make it home! :laugh:


Robert R

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Once while dining at Per Se my wife and I were on our third bottled water when a server leaned over and whispered 'Sir would you like to switch to tap water?'

I was surprised to say the least as who has ever heard of a server down selling? :blink: After a few minutes I realized that earlier I had mentioned to this server that I also was in the business but was now on disability.

I can't help but believe he was trying to keep the tab down by suggesting tap water.

This was shortly after Per Se reopened and I was eager to learn as much about the restaurant as possible by engaging the servers in conversation whenever they had a free moment.

Needless to say I was so impressed and touched by his concern that I left a 40% tip. Hoping the whole time we had enough gas to make it home! :laugh:

very interesting.

when its business people i say something like "ladies gentlemen, would you prefer i pour bottled water throughout the course of the meal?" and most of the time they say yes.

if its a 4-top usually i will ask after the 3rd bottle. and i will always ask if they are on the dessert course.

and i will always switch the glass if they switch to tap.

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very interesting.

when its business people i say something like "ladies gentlemen, would you prefer i pour bottled water throughout the course of the meal?" and most of the time they say yes.

if its a 4-top usually i will ask after the 3rd bottle.  and i will always ask if they are on the dessert course.

This has prompted me to post a question on the Per Se thread.

u.e.


“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

My flickr account

ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

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Hoping the whole time we had enough gas to make it home! :laugh:

At today's prices it costs more to "fill-up" at the gas station than to "fill-up" at Per Se.


Rich Schulhoff

Opinions are like friends, everyone has some but what matters is how you respect them!

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The first time we went to per se, we had the 1x1 tasting. We only ordered half a bottle of wine, because we wanted to be able to walk out of there later that night. While I don't want to get into what the bill was (it's the single most expensive meal for 2 we've ever had), we walked out of there feeling like we had gotten an amazing deal. Why? The kitchen/sommalier took it upon themselves to enrich our meal with what amounted to an entire wine flight. Drinks with the first course, drinks for dessert, drinks as a palate cleanser...

We weren't billed for any of it. We tipped 35% or something like that and walked away feeling like we had gotten the best deal of our lives.


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At Aquavit Cafe recently, my friend and I were comped two mid-courses, and I was also comped a dessert. There was no particular reason that I could see, aside from their desire to ensure a repeat customer—which they did.

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[...]and i will always switch the glass if they switch to tap.

Why do you switch the glass?


Michael aka "Pan

 

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If I were going to pay for water (and I hope that day never comes), I'd sure want to make sure it didn't get mixed with free tap water either. I mean, otherwise, what's the point?

Don't you change glasses when you switch wines?

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If I were going to pay for water (and I hope that day never comes), I'd sure want to make sure it didn't get mixed with free tap water either.  I mean, otherwise, what's the point?

Don't you change glasses when you switch wines?

Sure, but I was assuming the bottled water was finished. If there's no more water in the glass, there's no reason of taste to switch the glasses, but if they are of a different shape, that might be helpful to the wait staff. Wines have clearly different tastes, so you don't want to mix them.


Michael aka "Pan

 

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Pan, are you saying that this water that people pay for doesn't have a different taste?????????

I am shocked . . . SHOCKED . . . . to hear that.

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I was dining witha friend at Danube last year. We ordered the tasting menu and mentioned that we would like to save $ and not do the wine flight. The server disappears for a few minutes, then returns to tell us, "The chef is not very pleased that you will not be enjoying our flight of wines with the tasting menu. So we'd like to throw in the wine flight for free." :shock:

They then proceed to to serve us multiple wines with every course (i.e. the foie gras course had 3 glasses; sauternes, tokai, and ice wine) and even gave us numerous additional courses! It was one of the greatest dining experiences I've had. Needless to say, we tipped VERY well!


Edited by hhlodesign (log)

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