Norfolk >Vintage Kitchen
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email seent more than a month ago
I wanted to give you some feedback on our experience at your place Friday night.
First, the food was exquisite. I was telling my buddies that the pumpkin soup was the best thing I've ever tasted and then you surpassed yourself with the mac and cheese. Fabulous. A buddy sitting next to me was kind enough to share his duck with me and it was equally wonderful. Cooked, perfectly and very balanced with the seasoning.
It was curious to me that our party was seated in the back of the restaurant by the kitchen instead of out in the dining area. There wasn't anyone else in the place and being by the noisy kitchen in that small room was a bit claustrophobic for many of us.
The wine service left much to be desired. The wine list was not up to date. The waitress informed us that our first red pick, an 05 Pinot from the Russian River/Sonoma had just "sold out". She told us that she had a couple of other Pinots but they were not on the wine list. I found that curious. If you have more wines available why wouldn't they be on the wine list? Having her bring two other bottles of Pinot to the table for us to choose from was more than a bit awkward. Also, the first bottle we ordered was the Virginia blush. It arrived at the table not room temperature but actually warm. When we asked for it to be chilled the waitress seemed put out by the request. The Pinot arrived at our table warm as well. Aren't the wines stored at 55 degrees? The glasses the wines were served in were the same glasses that our waters came in. Are these your wine glasses? When customers are spending $50 and up on a bottle of wine they expect to have stemware, good stemware, to drink the wines out of, not water glasses.
I finished my meal with a cheese plate. The first 4 cheeses on the platter were good, the fifth, the blue was extremely overripe. I eat many artisan cheeses that are quite pungent, Cabrales is one of my favorites, but this blue was past ammonia. It should not have been served.
Our waitress was congenial but less than enthusiastic and frankly, sluggish. She did not place an order for the shrimp and grits I had given her when I first ordered. Sadly, I didn't end up getting a chance to taste them. Also, she brought for one of my AA friends not the cranberry and ginger ale he ordered, but a vodka cranberry that someone else at the table had ordered. After his first long sip he nearly gagged. This could have created quite a problem for someone who has a decade of sobriety. Water glasses went unfilled etc When I left our little room to go outside to smoke a cigarette I saw other staff persons in the restaurant chatting, I was confused that they weren't helping since we were the only diners in the place. The service did not warrant the 20% gratuity automatically added to our bill.
Finally, your website is extremely out of date. I had printed for my friends the menu on the site and the prices on the items had risen significantly since they were last posted. The wines available on the website were also not available when we dined with you. I understand that it is challenging to keep up to date, especially with the wines but the list on the site and the list we received at the table were nowhere near close to one another. I know it isn't intended to be deceptive but it gives a bad impression for those that take the trouble to investigate their dining options.
Again, the food was great. The other elements of the dining experience, service and ambiance, were not up to the standards you are setting with the food.
IN RESPONSE TO LAly:. Thank you for the honest criticism. The staff and I remember your table well and did find it interesting that in your review you failed to mention the fact that one of the women in your party was so drugged or intoxicated that she passed out on the table and slept through dinner which is why I intervened in the first place. OUR VERSION: 8:00 PM reservation on an exceptionally busy Saturday night for 5 guests upped to 6 guests over the phone earlier by one of the women in the party - we prepared a TABLE FOR 6 GUESTS. At 8:45 PM the party (45 minutes late) arrived at last with only 5 guests waiting on the 6th to join them. After 30 minutes and several visits from the server, the group finally decided not to wait any longer and to order at last - at 9:22 PM the group placed their order (as noted in the computer). With the exception of the one "sleepy" guest, ALL ordered chicken fingers and fries (from the children's menu). As dinner was being delivered, the server approached me to make me aware that one of the women was passed out at the table. Immediately I asked how much she had to drink and instructed the server to stop serving alcohol to the group and to offer the check, at which time the gratuity was added. However, ironically, as it turned out, the entire group was only drinking water, so it stood to reason that the woman must have become so completely incapacitated before actually arriving at the restaurant. The group then asked to split the check, which the server graciously obliged. When the woman who was passed out at the table then finally woke up, she argued that she wasn't hungry, didn't in fact order any dinner, and then threatened to walk out on her check. The server then again approached me for advice. Three of the women of the group were very reserved and polite, the other two were very vocal (including this reviewer). It wasn't until I had to threaten to call the police, phone in hand, standing at the table, that the two very belligerent and plaintive women actually paid their bill. While one woman (the reviewer in this case) was in fact very articulate that evening, her less responsive friend was the most unintelligible guest we've ever encountered in these many years in business, and I think that she knew that her ability to reason with the police at that moment would not have gone over very well. Two of the more quiet women apologized personally and sincerely to me for their friends' behavior as they left the restaurant after paying their individual bills without complaint, for which again I offer my thanks. However, as I said that evening to the others, PLEASE DON:T COME BACK TO THE RESTAURANT (the only time in my 25 year career that I've ever had to request this of a guest).. . . and at the end of all this nonsense, what was the amount of the added gratuity of the reviewer, you ask? For the time and trouble of the "POOR GIRL" who had to endure that kind of behavior as a server for almost two hours? $2.38! Seriously? You should be ashamed of yourself! . . . and ps. as anyone reading this comment has probably gathered by now, how the reviewer felt that she was treated had LESS THAN NOTHING to do with the fact that she was black and everything to do with how this group of young women conducted themselves in public - learn some manners ladies!
MOST HORRIBLE EXPERIENCE I HAVE EVER HAD!!. I wish I could give VINTAGE kitchen less than a one. To be modest I would say their customer service is VINTAGE as in old-fashioned or obsolete, and I do not mean this in a nice way. First and foremost my friend booked a table for A PARTY OF 5 for her birthday. When we arrived it took KATE 20 minutes to bring water, then it took us an hour and 15 minutes to receive our food. KATE explained that because we did not order any starter courses that our food would take longer. Ok, does that mean you're just going to put off cooking our food because we're not spending enough money? I chose not to debate. When we recieved our food, it did not look appealing in the least bit, it seems they put more effort into plate presentation than into the dish itself. My food was horrible, the fries were brown and soggy at the same time, and my cole slaw was so bitter I couldn't finish. As opposed to complaining I just asked for me check, only to have KATE tell me that they have added a 20% gratuity on TOP of the horrible food and service. Mind you TIPS stands for "To Insure Prompt Service" and there was NOTHING prompt about my WHOLE experience. Also, in their menu it clearly states that only parties of 6 or more will have gratuity added to the bill. The OWNER PHILLIP CRAIG THOMASON actually made an appearance at the table TO ARGUE GRATUITY WITH ME. He spoke to me as if I was a moron and told me simply "I will not argue semantics with you" however his reasoning for the gratuity was, that what he "meant" by the gratuity statement which is a "corporate policy" according to him, was that it has nothing to do with the head count, but because he SET THE TABLE UP FOR 6, he reserved the right to add gratuity. I'm sorry, are you not arguing the semantics of your own clause? Regardless of the fact that my friend BOOKED THE PARTY FOR 5, and ONLY 5 OF US DINED, because you SET THE PARTY UP FOR 6, you are now adding insult to injury by trying to "force us" to pay gratuity for horrible food and service. Now I happen to work in a restaurant and I know that a party is defined by its HEAD COUNT not by a party set up that is ridiculous, and I also happen to know that it is ILLEGAL to FORCE someone to pay a GRATUITY. A GRATUITY is a VOLUNTARY service, and I told him this, and his was response was "I'm sorry you feel that way, but it's corporate policy." And then when my friend tried to explain to him that she did not order the Entree size of a particular meal, but had ordered the appetizer size, and had we been familiar with the portion sizes she would have said something earlier, he then proceeded to argue with HER! He said, and I quote "Do you know that if you don't pay this entire bill, the remainder would have to come out of her pocket, would you really do that to this POOR GIRL? Who has worked all day and done nothing to you? You are going to make her pay for YOUR meal? What kind of person would do that?" I was disgusted. What part of customer service entitles you to go toe-to-toe with your customer like that? Here this grown man was intimidating a group of women, BLACK women at that. And it is MY PERSONAL OPINION that he added gratuity to our bill because he believed that we were not going to tip because we were black. And that is why he gave us that bogus explanation about party set up being the reason for gratuity. I will never in my entire life dine there again, and I will make it a PRIORITY to tell my friends about this experience.
horrible food and service. So i took my family out to dinner to the Vintage Kitchen recently, looking forward to a nice gourmet style dinner and boy were we disappointed. The service was horrendous, we kept asking the waitress when our meal would show up, and she kept telling us that they were a little backed up and the food would be right out. Almost an hour and 15 minutes later did we get our COLD food that needed to be sent back. Once we did get a hot plate (looks like they just reheated the stuff they originally gave us) the food tasted less than average and i think we would have been better off eating a the local Mcdonalds. To make matters worse, my son and wife got sick once we made it home, we are not sure it was the food but it would not surprise me if it was.
Fabulous food, Wonderful service!. Vintage Kitchen is a great restaurant in Dominion Tower on Waterside Drive. The ingredients are from local growers and farmers, and the service is top-notch. You must try their mac & cheese with black truffles. It's to die for!
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