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Jun 5, 2006 04:40 PM

Vin..........a surreal experience

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Went to Vin Saturday night, although it hadn't been open long, thought we might have a couple of interesting glasses of wine and something different to eat. WRONG! Our evening began by us staring at one of twelve flatscreen TV sets all bearing the restaurant and chef's name. EGO? After being handed the wine list, we were greatly disappointed by the mediocre and commercial choices. We noticed Dynamite Cabernet listed on the 'per glass' menu at $15 which typically lists for $22 per bottle in your neighborhood wine store. We arrived early and ordered our meal selections. While waiting for our dinners, we had the audacity to ask for some crackers or bread and were given four crackers, one for each of us. Two meals showed up about forty minutes later, we're still waiting for the other two! After waiting nearly an hour for our dinners, we were told by our server the second two dinners couldn't be located in the kitchen. When the maitre d' was asked to expedite the orders, he meekly replied they were 'in the works' but he couldn't give us any time frame as when we should expect them. He never went anywhere near the kitchen to check, but kept looking at his computer screen. We came to the conclusion that there's an arrogant and tyrant of a chef in the kitchen who is not willing to discuss these matters with his lowly staff.
I would like to think these were 'opening jitters', however, having a complete disrespect for your customers happiness is not something that can be remedied in a few weeks or months of business.

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  1. Sounds awful. Where is Vin, BTW?

    2 Replies
    1. re: Karen

      Vin (pronounced Vine) is just off Towson Circle. Chef and part-owner is Christopher Paternotte, graduate of French Culinary Institute and formerly executive chef at Kali's Court. Vin is also owned by the Cordish Company. The General Manager also worked at Kali's Court/Mezze.

      Emalekween, sorry to hear about your poor experience. Funny, I was just hearing about Vin for the first time last night; the person to whom I was talking also complained about the wine mark-up (like 250% minimum).

      1. re: atls14620

        Yeah, it's pretty obscene. I think I saw a $15-a-bottle-retail Crios Torrontes going for $13 a glass? (Can't remember, but it was enough to make me choke on my water.) But I have to say, service was great when we went--but we sat at the bar and were only ordering apps, so maybe that helped. Nice cheese plate, and the bite-sized desserts is a nice concept (though doesn't work with creme brulee--too much brulee-to-creme ratio.) The TV screens bugged me, too, but maybe I just wasn't cool enough for the room. I'd say the place has potential but it's waaaaaaay to corporate-slick for its own good right now.

    2. I wholeheartedly agree. A recent evening at Vin (over a month since they opened) was a calamity. The menu was uninspired. The service was rude. The entrees arrived an hour and forty-five minutes after we ordered... and only 3 of 4, apparently the Cobb salad takes a solid 2 hours to prepare. Furthermore, one member of our party received the wrong entree. Not once were we offered a simple apology for the delay nor was anything taken off the bill. We never even received an extra basket of bread that we requested during the obscene wait. And finally the kicker... we were told that since we did not have reservations we were "lucky" to be given a table and must eat quickly so our table could be turned over. Having been seated at 8, we were the very last table to receive our entrees and we bitterly left close to 11. A true nightmare of an experience, and these were only some of the lowlights. I could go on forever but my feelings could be summed up best with the following plea: DO NOT GO TO VIN.

      1. We just had dinner at VIN this evening and will surely NOT be returning. As mentioned in an earlier post, seating that has all patrons facing plasma screens displaying the chefs name is a bit creepy. Food took forever to arrive, a couple sticks of crackers were all that was offered (Is there no bread?). The cheese platter appetizer was less cheese than one might expect, the main courses were tapas sized - with regular entree prices. After waiting 45 minutes for our desserts to arrive, we threw in the towel and asked for our check. Oh - did we mention the techno music thump thumping while you're trying to hold a conversation?

        1. What kind of food is it? From the sounds of it the Chef and GM were better off at Kali's.

          1. It sounds like this place is such a disaster, you almost have to go to see it for yourself. Usually someone will chime in with something positive, but it sounds pretty unanimous.