Saturday, October 21, 2006

Sweets & Savories

Last Sunday, Chris and I went to Sweets & Savories for brunch. Chris has been wanting to try this place for a while, and I thought brunch would be a fun but affordable way to see what we thought about it. I made reservations through Open Table and sent him an e-vite as a surprise.

The restaraunt is small, to say the least. There were probably fifteen tables. Decor is minimal and is mostly brown and pink. We arrived and were seated promptly at a table by the front window, looking out onto the street. To our surprise, there were several large parties at tables pushed together, including what looked like a baby shower or birthday party for an infant, complete with baby blue baloons tied to the chairs. Otherwise, the restaraunt was not overly full.

Our waiter was nice enough and knowledgeable about the food. Sunday brunch is a three course prix fixe menu for only $16.00. For this, you receive various scones and muffins and are given choices of: 1) drinks, including tea, coffee, mimosas and bloody marys; 2) soup, salad or fruit; and 3) an entree.

Chris ordered the curried potato soup and duck confit hash with poached eggs and a lemon hollandaise sauce. He requested champagne in lieu of a mimosa, and was offered a presseco, which was fresh and bright. I ordered a bloody mary, as well as the arugula salad and soft scrambled eggs with white truffle oil.

Chris's soup was not "curried" so much as it was a warm vichyssoise. It was creamy and rich, and just wonderful, with a hint of truffle. The arugula salad was also great -- lemony and nutty. Chris really loved his duck confit hash (which I did not taste), and the poached eggs in lemon sauce were out of this world. They were perfectly cooked, and the lemon added just the right touch of spark. My soft scrambled eggs were also nice --served over brioche -- but the bread was soggy and the "white truffle" was non-existent. Over all, the food was solid and I would return for that.

That said, our service was simply atrocious. We were brought our soup and salad promptly, and after we had each taken one bite, someone who appeared to be a food runner approached our table and informed us that our entrees were ready and asked if we minded having them served immediately. Chris said yes, we actually did mind, and the food runner said he couldn't do anything, our food was coming out. He was quite rude about it, and he and Chris bantered briefly. He insisted that he was going to bring the entrees out despite our request to wait. Chris then asked about our muffins and scones, which had not yet been brought out, though they are listed as the first course on the prix fixe menu. The food runner very brusquely said he would go and get them if we wanted them. He disappeared and shortly thereafter returned with the scones, but, thankfully, not the entrees.

Our entrees were ultimately delivered after we finished our soup and salad course, as we requested. The food itself was solid, if not terribly creative. The disappointment in this meal was the service, which was astonishingly bad -- e.g., trying to bring our entrees with the salad course, not bringing the "first" course until askd, not refilling our water even once. But, I can live with bad service. Sometimes it happens. Here, the service was downright rude. Chris later had a nice conversation with our actual waiter, but I was not able to get beyond the poor service. While Chris would like to return for a dinner, I would not.

In sum, the food was solid, brunch prices are more than reasonable, but service was terrible. If you're in it for the food and don't care about the service, go for it.


Anonymous said...

Author and Chris,

I can explain to you why your service experience was less than desirable. In short, the server feared for his very life. Not his job...his life. I worked for Chef David Richards at S&S for a very very long time considering they lose 3 to 4 servers and BOH staff per month. Richards is know to throw plates, flaming desserts, and anything else within reach when he doesn't get his way.

Back to your 'rushed' service from your server. Richards also has a nasty habit of pushing his food out much quicker than his guests could possibly eat it. He then throws a temper tantrum when the food cannot be brought out. Servers have been known to stash courses out of the chef's sight while their tables finish their courses. It was not his fault that your food came out early - blame the impatient and quite angry chef. Never visit S&S again and spread the word. P.S., I was not case you might think I'm a disgruntled employee, check the link here:


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