Sunday, January 18, 2015

Yelp storytelling

Yelp reviewing is a literary form, and some people are very good at it– intentionally or not. I will not name the restaurant, because I haven't been there and don't know whether the reviewer can be trusted. Still, she is a talented storyteller... the narrative really picks up steam with "the bad" chapter... as one might expect...
High Highs and Low Lows... overall, I would come back, but hope these items were addressed in the meantime. 
Let's start with the good: 
- The oysters were really fresh and delicious- there were two varieties offered, and we got 6 of each, a great start to the meal. Additionally, there was fresh bread (possibly made on-site?) 
- The scallops were very good, as were the dishes ordered by my two friends: beet salad appetizer, lamb shank entree and duck breast entree. 
- Everything was very good, but I don't think anything was mind-blowing 
- The desserts were also very tasty. we had the lavender panna cotta, an affogato and a duo of fresh sorbets. I had the sorbet (one scoop of mango, and one coconut) and they were delicious- super fresh and flavorful. My friend who had the lavender panna cotta was also extremely happy with her dessert. 
Now, the bad: 
- Early in the meal, I excused myself to go use the restroom. I walked from the table out and around over to the restroom (the most direct path was blocked off by temporary walls, so I am thinking there was a private party or something) so I had to walk through the whole dining room in a giant U-turn to get over there. No biggie, but the restaurant floor was a little crowded, so getting over there was a bit of a dance. 
- About 10 feet from the door of the restroom is when things took a severe turn for the worse. I smelled a vaguely familiar, heavy perfume scent, and thought "ugh, I hate when people wear strong perfumes to restaurants- its really inconsiderate." then as I got closer, I realized that the smell wasn't perfume but incense. YUCK. 
- I walked into the bathroom and there was a haze of incense smoke. I will admit, I am overly sensitive to smells, but this was unbearable- I thought I might throw up and instantly got a headache. There were not one, not two, but at least three sticks of incense ALL burning in the women's restroom.  
- I got out of there as quickly as possible, hoping that I could get back to the table and shake it off. However, the smell was SO strong that it permeated my clothes, and I kept getting whiffs of it throughout the meal.  
- The other odd thing that happened was that one of the three people in our group ordered a bottle of sparkling water, while the other two of us opted for flat ice water. We had to stop the staff from pouring the sparkling into the tap water glasses at least half a dozen times, including once where it was too late. It would be better if there were two different types of glassware used so that it would be clear which glasses are tap and which are pellegrino. This was a small gaffe, but it was irritating ontop of my already cranky mood from the incense smell. 
I genuinely feel like the incense issue ruined my experience, ultimately leaving me with a headache and horribly affecting the taste of what was otherwise a delicious meal. I do think that there was an underlying issue with the restroom, as there was an aroma of sulfur that I think the incense was intended to mask, but I think that this actually made things about a thousand times worse.
And still, overall, she "would come back"!

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