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Jan 23, 2002 10:36 AM

Dine About Town - Hawthorne Lane

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Took the plunge and went to Hawthorne Lane for Dine About Town 2002. The place was fairly crowded on a Tuesday night so perhaps this promotion is attracting alot of business.

Here's what the 3-course meal offered:

1st course:
Smoked salmon
beet (sic) carpaccio

I thought this was supposed to be "beef" but it wasn't

2nd course:
Atlantic cod
roast chicken (huge portions--almost the whole chicken)

3rd course:
warm chocolate cake
mascarpone (sp) brulee w/pineapple

I sampled all dishes my group ordered and everything was good, including the service. Had a nice red Burgundy also. No complaints. Highly recommended. Now I have to find another place to visit before this deal ends on Sunday.

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  1. Though the food at Hawthorne was fine last night, the service was not. I was in the last seating and got the distinct impression that my waiter was in a hurry to leave. Wine recommendations were amateurish ("yeah, I think that's a good one"). We had to ask for water three times. They did not offer to take our bulky coats.

    The place settings were overly fussy and complicated, and our waiter did not seem to understand them at all.

    I doubt the staff has seen this much business in a while, but Hawthorne Lane used to be this busy all the time without anyone hearing of bad service. It almost seems they equated cheap eaters with small tippers and left us to our own devices.

    The food, however, was quite nice.

    6 Replies
    1. re: Juniper

      Oooh, you hit on one of my favorite pet peeves: formal restaurants that don't hang coats. I don't need a fancy coat room -- a simple rack will do -- but I hate to sit through a multi-course dinner with a bulky coat hanging off my chair and trailing on the floor (where if you move your chair your coat gets tangled in the legs). This time of year outerwear is likely to be damp, too, which is even more uncomfortable.

      I consider this a serious flaw, since it's not a situation where the restaurant is just having an off night. It shows a disregard for basic customer service on a conceptual/managerial level.

      1. re: Ruth Lafler
        Zach Georgopoulos

        You think that's bad, try wearing a hat! I've had many a hat lost, crushed or stained by places who _do_ take coats, leaving me with no alternative but to put my hat under my chair and hope that I don't forget it (which means that, by the time I go back to retrieve it, it will have been lost, crushed, or stained). I suppose another alternative would be to wear my hat indoors, but I'm much too polite for that...

      2. re: Juniper
        Nathan Jessup

        I guess we had different servers (we had a woman server) and she offered to have another guy take our coats.

        1. re: Nathan Jessup

          And we were the last seating of the night, which is often the Achilles' heel in the service of many otherwise-fine restaurants. Though I understand the feeling, I hate the creeping suspicion that my server wants to go home and watch TV!

        2. re: Juniper

          Since you mentioned it -- I'm interested in the question of tipping. How do you determine how much to tip? I tip the standard amount (double the tax) if the service is standard, and lower for poor service, and higher for exceptional service.
          What do the rest of you do?
          I'v heard that women tend to tip on quality of service and men tend to tip depending on who they are trying to impress. Is that true?

          1. re: Juniper

            Re: the attitude that cheap eaters = low tippers -- it's a shame, because that didn't seem to be the case a year or two ago. I walked in around 10pm once only for dessert (tab came to $24 not counting tax/tip), and was still treated with utmost care and competence. I'm bummed to hear that things have changed.