It’s that dreaded time of year in the Toronto, so to speak, with diners coming to some truly fine dining restaurants in the City for Applebee’s prices. What upsets us in the industry is that the majority of the guests will order the $30-35 prix fixe menu (some will even order meals to “share”), have only having tap water, definitely no wine (yikes!), and leave a meagre tip. After reading a story last week in the Toronto section of the National Post, I can understand why some great restaurants are not participating.
Last night was the first night of Summerlicious here in T.O. and do you think I can get into a popular non-Summerlicious restaurant? Not a chance in hell, unless I want a 9:30 p.m. table. In the end I decided to call up Trevor Kitchen & Bar, who is participating in Summerlicious, and I can get a table for 8 pm, no sweat. Upon arrival, we are greeted and seated right away. A somewhat reproachful server asks us the dreaded question: would we like some water, still, sparkling or ahh…tap? We immediately order a bottle of sparking which the server beams he’ll bring right away. After that we order our 3 course “prix fixe,” then I do the unthinkable and order a decent bottle of wine! Well, let me tell you the service I had that evening was bang on. The server happily kept our wine and water topped up and after each course wanted to know how we were enjoying everything. He even excitedly decanted our young pinot noir and removed the cheesy wine tumblers and brought us proper Burgundy glasses, all without asking.
Take my word for it, make this year’s Summerlicious experience memorable–order a bottle of wine and enjoy the best that fine dining has to offer!