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Dine Out Vancouver - The Topic (2002-2007)


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We're getting there!

I have a reservation at Cassis on the 25th and Bravo Bistro on the 3rd, plus I let a friend twist my rubber arm into joining her at the Heather on the 19th.

Looks like our Chambar plans are thwarted though, as the place seems to be pretty much sold out on the days we chose. Oh well. We can always pay them a visit before or after the madness is over :smile:

I have a bit of an etiquette question: many of my friends are out of town/on a post-holiday diet/a little short this month and I have not been able to find dining partners for the other restaurants on my list. Do you think it would be out of line to make a DOV reso for myself only?

I have absolutely no problem dining out by myself. I do it all the time and actually enjoy it very much. But during an event when space is at a premium, I feel that it may be inappropriate to do so :unsure:

Maybe it would be OK at restaurants that have bar seating? What do you think?

Emmanuelle
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Does anybody know of any restaurants that are accepting reservations for large parties (maybe 8-10 people?) We've been to HSG the past couple of years and I'd like to try someplace new with the get-along gang.

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We will be coming to Vancouver in January as we do every year for the DOV but this year I have not been able to determine which restaurants are doing lunch. Last year you were able to search on Lunch as a selector. This year I can't find a way.

Anyone know the magic solution on how I can determine what restaurants are "doing lunch" on the DOV? Have to be sure we cover all meals while we are there.

Thanks in advance for any info.

Kay

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I'm starting to book up my Reso's too!

Interestingly many of my friends are beginning a counter trend to 'dine away' from dineout - in other words hit up the restaurants that are not participating and enjoying a less busy period with fewer crowds and reservations that are not at 5:00pm. Is dineout becoming too much of a mad rush and less of the original intent of getting people into empty seats and at the same time introducing people who normally wouldn't dine out to try new places and foods?

"There are two things every chef needs in the kitchen: fish sauce and duck fat" - Tony Minichiello

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I was a little disappointed today with a DOV restaurant that I have been to a few times in the past and have always thought and spoken very highly of in the past, Parkside.

Today I called today just before 6 o’clock (on the dov website it stated they will only accept called between 12 and 6) since it had slipped my mind to call earlier as I was extremely busy at work. So I called them and asked to make a reservations: First I was told no I could not because it was past 5 and they only accept reservations till 5, I explained that they should correct the website if that was the case because it clearly states 6:00pm, I was told I was incorrect and after saying it again I was told "okay it must be a mistake then"... at that point I was put on hold for a couple minutes and then was told that the person who takes reservations had left for the day and to call back tomorrow . I am not sure if that is standard practice or not could someone let me know? I do understand that dov can be extremely stressful for both the kitchen and front room staff, but how hard is it to take a reservation??

I personally rather go to a restaurant on a normal night and had planned to only try one dov restaurant this year which is Rare (already made reservations). The only reason I was booking this second restaurant was because an out of town guest wanted to try it, now I am just going to take her to a non dov restaurant because of the service I received today, I know parkside does not need my business but I am still disappointed.

Edited by D90 (log)
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^ I empathize D90

I think in some ways the whole thing, for some restaurants, has become like a boxing day for food. Oh please please let us fight tooth and nail for the chance to pay $25/$35 for some food. I always find it funny to see HONS on there for $15. I could easily feast at HONS for that amount. :biggrin: Certainly the industry gets flabbergasted with the number of calls and influx of new diners. I still think the concept is sound but I think the event has become a little too nuts. In some ways the West before 6:30 price fix is a nice reprieve as we can always feel safe that if we wanted to try a price fix we can do it anytime of the year, just a little earlier in the evening.

"There are two things every chef needs in the kitchen: fish sauce and duck fat" - Tony Minichiello

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Fud I think you just found a new name for dov: Vancouver’s Culinary Boxing Day. I bet there were people online clicking the refresh button waiting for 12 o’clock to book restaurant on open table, as if they were trying to buy a door crasher $1 plasma from futureshop.

On another forum there is currently someone getting insulted for hording 8 restaurants reservations (weekends) and she even admitted she was only going to visit a couple.

And honestly dov isn’t that great of a deal at most restaurant or that cheap, last year the one restaurant I went to for dine out just myself and one other guest we still ended up sharing an extra entrée and two bottles of wine, yes two bottles we had a hard week at work.

I just wanted to vent in my last post.

Thanks

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I was a little disappointed today with a DOV restaurant that I have been to a few times in the past and have always thought and spoken very highly of in the past, Parkside.

D90 I highly suspect if you vent to the restaurant directly you will get more traction.

I agree in general that dine-out is a bit bizarre, last year I felt very frustrated by the 90 minute table seating at some spots, and the attitude of reservationists around town, it coloured my decisions about where to go and when ... this year, I go into the event with my eyes wide open and plan accordingly.

Although I understand your comment about restaurant X not needing your business, in particular, this attitude is not one that I think any of Vancouver restaurants can afford.

Disclaimer, I'm NOT in the business.

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D90, I think it really was just a mistake on the website, not that it necessarily needed to be explained to you as it was...I know I phoned a day or two prior and got a message that went into great detail about the days and hours they would be accepting DOV reservations, 12-5 is what they said on the phone message. They literally have brought extra staff in, and regular staff are coming in early, to take reservations, since they normally only answer the phone from 3:00.

I think it is much easier for restaurants who use Open Table to deal with the mad rush of reservations, it must be really overwhelming to have the phone literally not stop ringing for five hours every day.

I am such a fan of the place that I just laughed when I called the first time, and heard the message. And then when I called the next day, and tried five or six times before I got through to a rather harried Johnny Depp Waiter...I feel bad for them as it seems to be completely different from their usual modus, and they're simply not used to it.

***

As for people who make extra reservations, I laugh in your general direction. Extra reservations? ZOMG I just can't decide WHERE TO GO! :shock: :shock: :shock:

Agenda-free since 1966.

Foodblog: Power, Convection and Lies

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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

Neil Wyles

Hamilton Street Grill

www.hamiltonstreetgrill.com

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On another forum there is currently someone getting insulted for hording 8 restaurants reservations (weekends) and she even admitted she was only going to visit a couple. 

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.

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On another forum there is currently someone getting insulted for hording 8 restaurants reservations (weekends) and she even admitted she was only going to visit a couple. 

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.

Neil Wyles

Hamilton Street Grill

www.hamiltonstreetgrill.com

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Thanks Neil and Deborah you are correct Parkside is a great restaurant, just had to vent as I was a little disappointed, primarily because I know it’s going to be close to impossible now to get the reservation I wanted now. Sorry the post was a little selfish of me.

I spoke to my friend and we might just head up to Whistler if she comes down.

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On another forum there is currently someone getting insulted for hording 8 restaurants reservations (weekends) and she even admitted she was only going to visit a couple. 

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.

I am giving her a week to make up her mind and see if she cancels on her own and if not then I am calling her to see what she has decided. At a 40 seat restaurant a no show of 6 or a late cancellation represents 15% of my dining capacity. All I can say is that Open Table has helped alot taking about 90% of our 1200 reservations for the event. Ziv if you are lurking here do I get a discount for plugging your product?

Edited by TimK (log)

Tim Keller

Rare Restaurant

tim@rarevancouver.com

Metro Restaurant

timkeller@metrodining.ca

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Does it help deter such people by asking for a credit card when reserving through open table? I know I find it a bit of a hassle to drop a card number but I am empathizing with your guys now. Hoarding spots is ridiculous. Probably why Lumier decided not to participate. I heard of people calling from work all morning the day it opened for reservations to get one. "Like lining up for a future shop door crasher?" hell yes. It's already happening.

What's next? People hawking reso's for money on the street? Holy crap we could all become reso scalpers!

"There are two things every chef needs in the kitchen: fish sauce and duck fat" - Tony Minichiello

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Does it help deter such people by asking for a credit card when reserving through open table?  I know I find it a bit of a hassle to drop a card number but I am empathizing with your guys now.  Hoarding spots is ridiculous. Probably why Lumier decided not to participate.  I heard of people calling from work all morning the day it opened for reservations to get one.  "Like lining up for a future shop door crasher?" hell yes.  It's already happening.

What's next?  People hawking reso's for money on the street?  Holy crap we could all become reso scalpers!

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.

Neil Wyles

Hamilton Street Grill

www.hamiltonstreetgrill.com

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Does it help deter such people by asking for a credit card when reserving through open table?  I know I find it a bit of a hassle to drop a card number but I am empathizing with your guys now.  Hoarding spots is ridiculous. Probably why Lumier decided not to participate.  I heard of people calling from work all morning the day it opened for reservations to get one.  "Like lining up for a future shop door crasher?" hell yes.  It's already happening.

What's next?  People hawking reso's for money on the street?  Holy crap we could all become reso scalpers!

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.

OK, if I owned a restaurant I would insist on a credit card for a party of 15 - Cancelling all 15 people, that is so rude!! I can understand someone getting sick, or losing a babysitter and dropping to 12 or even 10, but all 15!!

And to all of you reading this who might have double and triple booked tables/restaurants for Dine out - Shame on you, you greedy little selfish buggers. Grow up and book responsibly!

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I wanted to really "try" out some restaurants, not just use Dineout to get into the trendy places, so I went through the entire list, read all the menus, checked out the web-sites and short listed where I wanted to dine. Many of these choices were not the popular choice so it was interesting, sort of like the way one often chooses a restaurant when they are out of town. Anyway I cut the list back a bit by going for restaurants in Vancouver, then further streamlined it to my A list (a restaurant I can actually walk home from if I want (need) to and it was still in my top 3 picks. I think this is the best menu being offered. What caught my eye wasn't the lamb dish or the truffle broth but the spag bol, well in this case strozzapreti bol. I have had this dish once at this restaurant in reality and about 10 times in my dreams. Who knew Bolognese could be so great!? This particular restaurant makes their own sauce from scratch with top quality beef tenderloin, a bit of pork for silkiness, some beautiful spices and fresh tomatoes. The beef apparently is finely chopped rather then ground and it's incredible. Anyway, here's my number one choice for dineout.

La Terrazza in Yaletown

Zuppa Di Funghi

A medley of mushrooms stewed in a vegetable-truffle broth garnished with a goat cheese-herb crostini

-- or --

Cesare Alla Romana

Crisp romaine hearts and pancetta tossed in a classic caesar dressing with parmigiano reggiano

-- or --

Strozzapreti Bolognese

Strozzapreti pasta with a tomato meat ragú, topped with parmigiano reggiano

Arista Di Agnello

Roasted lamb sirloin encrusted in rosemary and grainy dijon mustard, finished in a balsamic emulsion accompanied with scalloped potato

-- or --

Pesce Del Giorno

Fish of the Day

-- or --

Brasato Di Manzo

Braised beef short ribs finished with a caramelized red onion marmalade

Milk and Dark Chocolate Terrine

-- or --

Vanilla Bean Crème Brulée

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Genaro and all the guys at La Terrazza are all great.

wow I haven’t been in there in ages, good call I think I know where I am going for some warm cheese cake and lychee martini next week. :smile:

ouch nwyles did they even give you an explanation for canceling?

Edited by D90 (log)
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I tried DOV a couple of years ago. After reading last year's and this year's post, I've decided not to ever do it again. I go out to eat to relax and enjoy good service and food.

This is just as bad as Boxing Day (of which I refuse to participate.) Both brings out my disdain with regards to greedy customers.

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We didn't go to DOV last year, nor are we going this year either because of the Boxing Day Sale effect. We will happily venture out the door again once things calm down somewhat. Less stressful to stay home during the DOV madness.

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.

Neil Wyles

Hamilton Street Grill

www.hamiltonstreetgrill.com

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