Stone Street Tavern
Had the opporunity to try Stone Street Tavern yesterday. Its in the space that used to be Casis On Stone. They haven't really done anything with the inside of the place and the gorgeous Irish bartender from Delmonicos is now the bartender at Stone Street Tavern. The service was ok and attentive but the menu grabbed my attention.
The menu was similar to Mercantile Grill with steak frites, some chicken entrees and the usual suspects for appetizers. What caught my eye was when I flipped the page over. Much to my delight they had a fried Grouper sandwich! Although it wasn't the best sandwich I've had it was still good, I can't believe how hard it is to find Grouper in the city. The fries were cripsy and the fish was breaded very well, I just happen to like my grouper a bit more on the crispy side of frying - this was a bit more like a fish and chips fry. My colleague had the steak frites which was decidely less appealing, a very small cut of meat that he said wasn't very good. The place has some promise (the grouper will draw me back) but I wouldn't say the quality of the food will surpass Smorgas Chef or Adriannaes and may be about par with Ulysses.
Went here with others for a late dinner. There are three burgers on the menu: 8 oz. Grilled Angus Burger, Stone Street Angus Burger (bacon, bbq sauce), and Stone Street Angus Bleu Burger (bleu cheese). I’m not fond of bacon, bbq sauce, or bleu cheese with burgers so I went simple. When asked what I wanted, I clearly said, “Angus burger, medium-well, with cheddar, please.” The food arrived quickly. Great. Then the experience just plummeted from there. For starters, the burger was definitely on the dry side. Then, after I ate half of my burger, I realized that I was served the wrong burger: It had bacon AND bbq sauce in it. My assumption was that the mistake was on behalf of the gentleman–not our waitress–that served us and decided that correcting the matter at that point was not worth the extra wait, not to mention the half plate of food that would just wind up in the trash. Our waitress was not very attentive and ultimately served us water by the time most of us already finished our meals, all this after 3 separate requests. Once the check arrived, it was clear the waitress had made the mistake on my order and I pulled her aside to let her know. Instead of just admitting to her mistake, she insisted that I had ordered the Stone Street Angus Burger. I asked her for a menu so I could point out what I ordered. After doing so, she obnoxiously retorted, “Yeah, but you ate this one [pointing to the Stone Street Angus Burger].” I said, “But I_didn’t_order that burger.” To my amazement, she said with a smirk, “I think you changed you mind once you saw the check.” Completely baffled by her suggestion I said, “Excuse me?!” A few more words were exchanged and then she finally relented and said she’d correct the bill. After a bit of a wait, her manager came out to, but she, too, came out with a bad attitude. She said that her waitress claimed our table yelled at her and that as the manager she had to “look out for my girls.” In some ways, the manager was worse than the waitress as she did little to squash the matter in a calm and peaceful manner and simply apologize for the mistake. If anything, her presence and attitude only served to elevate the tension as we spent more time arguing with her than with the waitress. We were shocked and amazed that these people felt quibbling over a difference of $3 (yes, $3) was far more important than the satisfaction of their customers, not to mention any possible return visits or recommendations. Like I said, worst service EVER.
re: Angus Young
Angus Young, thanks for the report. Unfortunately my experiences at most Stone Street restaurants have left alot to be desired. It's a good location for lunch (Financier, Ulysses all you can eat brunch, etc.) or a Mad Dog delivery (grilled corn on the cob w/chipotle mayo, guac), but definitely not a destination block IMO. I'd rather go to Delmonico's for lunch, sit at the bar and be treated well.
Market corn and guac--and a strawberry Jarrito--over Stone Street Tavern for me any day.
Angus--thanks for the report. I have to disagree with you, however--I don't think the server was wrong not to correct the check once you had eaten the burger (wrong burger though it was) without once mentioning the problem. If you don't give them a chance to correct their mistake (or at least signal that a mistake has been made before seeing the bill), I think you need to pay for what you have consumed. I'm not endorsing the attitudes or any fibs the server may have told the manager about you yelling at her, but I'd have backed the server in this particular situation too. I think that the timing of your complaint, coming only with the check, probably very much hurt your credibility with the manager. You were an unfortunate victim of the growing trend of opportunistic diners who will do some wily things to get a comp or other price reduction, and the resulting wariness of many in management.