Horrible Christmas Eve dinner at Saddle Peak Lodge
My family and I have been going to SPL on X-mas every year for 12 years or so and have a fond place in our heart for the restaurant.
The meal was price fix with an overly ambitious menu in that every dish had multiple ingrediants. There was no venison or elk or even a filet available. The main course were rabbit, duck and lamb. The food came out slow and cold and the service was somewhat apathetic. It was as if the chef pre-cooked it all and the staff reheated it.
I think this was a result of a poorly executed price fix but a top end place should never make that mistake. On the plus side they did remove the wine from our bill when we inquired of the waitress what she thought of the meal.
If the elk is not offered, there is no reason to go IMHO. Maybe even if it is offered. Markedly overrated place in comparison to the hyperbolic reviews (my last less than rave review earned a "WELL, WHAT DO YOU WANT???" response). However, if the wine were free it would soften my opinion.
re: Das Ubergeek
It's funny, I have a similar take on holidays as you do -- I won't dine out on any of those ones you mentioned, with the notable exception of Christmas Eve, which -- for some reason that eludes me -- I have never put in the same category as Mothers Day or Valentines. Curious.
My husband and I have a long tradition dining out on Christmas Eve, enjoying the set menu at a fine French restaurant. Memorably at Le Carre des Feuillants in Paris - twice; L'Orangerie - twice; Bastide under Giraud; and then, for 2006, at Christophe Eme's lovely place Ortolan.
All of these meals were absolutely superb. Yes, we dropped a LOT of dough (probably approx $450-500 US total for two persons each time, including paired wine and tip) so yeah, it was spendy.
But never have we had anything close to the appalling experience listed here. If we had, I think I would think twice about venturing out on a holiday again.
I was surprised because we had been going for years. Lots of our friends also go so its nice to get together after dinner for a drink.
I would write the management and express your displeasure and explain what happened.
Oftentimes they'll respond.
Sorry to hear about your ordeal.
Yes, I would definitely contact them. If they are a popular repeat destination for many families on a holiday like Christmas Eve, the kitchen may have gotten lazy or may be taking it for granted that people will come regardless of what they are served. If it is a tradition you and your family and friends want to continue, I'd certainly let them know of your displeasure with the food.