Not So Fine-Dining

While in Bend recently, my parents took me to their favorite restaurant. I’ve been there numerous times, and have always been impressed with their food and stellar service.

We arrived at seven o’clock on Monday night, and the place was PACKED! I was excited to be there, and knowing that we were going to have an incredible meal I was anxious to see the menu.

We started with a beautiful spinach salad with pistachios, goat cheese and a honey mustard vinaigrette. It was perfect. Absolutely delicious.

For our entrees, mom ordered the duck. She always orders duck if it’s on the menu. She loves duck. Worships duck. Dreams about duck. Duck duck duck GOOSE….

The duck was raw. Given, duck is usually served rare. She’s used to this, and expects it to be rare. Not raw. The breast was set atop a mushroom pasta which she thoroughly enjoyed. However, $30 bucks for a yummy pasta is a bit steep.

Dad ordered the prime rib, which was on special that night.

It looked amazing. A huge portion served with mashed potatoes and seasoned rabbit food on the side. We all tried the first few bites and it was awesome.

Awesome, that is, until he cut into the main part of the meat and realized that it was raw. The outside was perfect, the inside was raw. He was able to eat about 8oz. of his 16oz. portion, and then finished his potatoes. Again, $30 bucks for yummy potatoes is a bit much.

I ordered the rack of lamb. I love lamb. Baaaaaaaaa….

… and it was blaaaaaah. The meat was coated in a boring gravy-like substance that the menu had described as a cracked mustard sauce. The chops themselves were overcooked. The asparagus, however, was perfect. And again, $30 bucks for yummy asparagus is a tad too much.

Bummer bummer bummer.

Our server noticed that we were finished, and she came over to the table to begin clearing the plates. Noticing the huge portion of meat that remained on my dad’s plate, she inquired if everything was alright.

“None of these meals were up to the standard that we usually get here,” he responded.

I winced.

He was right, though, but it’s always so uncomfortable to complain. He told our server that they eat there very regularly, and everything is usually so perfect…. but tonight? Not so much.

She apologized, and went to the kitchen to let the owner know.

Oh gawd. Out of the kitchen he came and approached our table dressed in his stark-white chef’s coat and hat, obviously not happy upon hearing of our table’s complaint. I cringed in my chair.

He apologized for us “not enjoying” our meals, to which I replied that everyone has an off night. I smiled as brightly as I could and made mention that having a packed dining room on a Monday night is proof enough that they do an excellent job, considering that we had driven through downtown on our way to his restaurant and it was strangely empty of cars.

It was an uncomfortable exchange, and our server brought us the bill when he walked away. She then shared some “good news” with us that they were going to be moving to downtown Bend; the staff had just been told that afternoon.

No wonder the owner was uncomfortable. I had just knocked his soon-to-be new location.


Dad paid the bill, grossly over-tipped our server, and we high-tailed it out of there.

This entry was posted in All About Us, bend oregon, Restaurants. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Not So Fine-Dining

  1. Jen says:

    Oh, maaan… that’s my favorite restaurant. Just because they consistently serve excellent food. And the pictures do NOT look like “their” food.

    That scares the cr** out of me. I hope it really was just an “off” night…

  2. Missy says:

    I’m finding it kind of hysterical that you didn’t want to complain about the undercooked food. I worked in the restaurant business, and firmly believe that the customer should let the server know if something is wrong with the food, and that when the customer isn’t happy, the kitchen should make things right.

    It’s a lot easier to make things right before the meal is finished – and in a case like this, where there’s no option for the kitchen to fix the food, the owner/manager should have taken at least one of the entrees off the bill.

    I think I know which restaurant this is, based upon Jen’s comment. I’ve never eaten there, though, and now I’m not sure I want to…

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