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112 eatery rave and disappointment msp

c
CulinaryKate Feb 16, 2007 08:38 PM

we went to the 112 for my 25th birthday. We were very pleasantly surprised with the fact that they opened a second dining room on the 2nd floor and were seated almost immediately at 8:40pm.

In summation, the food was awesome. Fois gras and lardon salad is to DIE FOR (I'm always a sucker for seared fois gras) and the avocado and anchovy crostini were great. We ordered small plates because we wanted variety. I had the stringozzi with lamb ragu and my fiance had the tagliatelle with fois gras meat balls (now you know why I am marrying him). They were fabulous. We also ordered sides. The cauliflower fritters (because i Know how tasty they are) and brussels sprouts with bacon shallots and reduced balsamic. For dessert, tres leches a cappucino and an espresso.

everything tasted great, which looks good on paper... but lets get down to the nitty gritty.

there was little communication between the 1st and 2nd floor. the hostess showed us to the 2nd floor, but didn't communicate that we wanted a table, so were about to be served at the bar until we told them we actually were told we wanted a table. that's fine, no biggie.

we ordered sides. Our server (being retired from the business, i know how this goes) forgot to order our sides. In fact, he didn't even remember what we had ordered for sides. So when we got our small plates and asked to make sure our sides were coming , he told us he screwed up. 15 minutes later, and two main dishes in our stomaches came our sides. yes, this is traditional in any italian restaurant, in italy. But folks, this is the midwest. I want my fritters with my main dish.

we also ordered coffee. We got our tres leches 5 minutes before we got our coffee.

we didn't finish our bottle of wine (truth be told, we had been out earlier, and didn't wan tot drink too much and get in trouble) and they corked it for us to bring home. The cork wasn't in far enough, and leaked enough to break the paper bag it was in. I have not yet surveyed any leakage in the car.

Okay, maybe i'm being a little more meticulous because this is the 112... but would you say that for a $130 this was acceptable? They didn't offer any compensation, but apologized a few times.

Maybe I'm old fashioned, but at least the dessert should have been on the house... right? The food was great, but the service was not quite spot on. I feel like i'm too judgemental... but then... sides after the main course?

Your opinions are all accepted and appreciated.

Thanks!

  1. AnneInMpls Feb 16, 2007 09:07 PM

    I agree - for the price, I would expect better service and more work on the apology side. Not for the wine issue, though - one should always keep a re-corked wine bottle upright. (Brilliant idea for Ikea: sell a little weighted-bottom box that you can put in your trunk for bringing home a half-imbibed bottle of wine - I would so buy a bunch of these!)

    I'm glad the food was great, though. Helps soften the blow of skitzy service.

    Anne

    1. The Chowhound Team Feb 16, 2007 10:24 PM

      Hi Folks-

      We are going to ask that you take any discussion about dealing with service issues, in general terms, to the not about food board. Please do discuss the food and service experience at 112 here, but, please take any anecdotes about service issues, or advice for dealing with service issues to a new thread, on the Not About Food board.

      Thanks.

      1. g rote Feb 17, 2007 05:50 AM

        microcosm of what's wrong with the MPLS dining scene. an (over)abundance of great chefs but a lack of FOH professionals.

        2 Replies
        1. re: g rote
          u
          Uncle Ira Feb 18, 2007 06:19 AM

          Sorry... I'm sure I'm just not fully awake yet, but---- FOH????

          1. re: Uncle Ira
            mcgeary Feb 18, 2007 06:57 AM

            Front of the house.

        2. The Dairy Queen Feb 17, 2007 07:15 PM

          The lamb, the cauliflower and the tres leches cake are among my favorites.

          ~TDQ

          1. c
            CulinaryKate Feb 17, 2007 09:55 PM

            tdq- at least we have similar taste :) i just can't get over my foh disappointment :(

            1. b
              banoble Jun 23, 2007 03:25 PM

              Not sure if this violates the Food vs. Not-About-Food dichotomy (but not really sure how you separate the two), but here goes: I had a truly superior meal at 112 Eastery last week -- but the service was the absolute most clueless I have experienced at a restaurant of 112's quality. Fortunately, it was not so aggressively bad that it had much impact on the experience. Still, it was pretty amazing (and not in a good way.)

              4 Replies
              1. re: banoble
                Foureyes137 Jun 24, 2007 09:13 AM

                Were you upstairs or downstairs? We have never eaten upstairs, but I had a concern that the original poster might have confirmed, that adding the second floor might create a communication vacuum with the kitchen.

                Just looking to confirm so that we can be sure to request downstairs the next time we make a reservation.

                1. re: Foureyes137
                  b
                  banoble Jun 24, 2007 09:43 AM

                  We were upstairs. It was my first time at 112, so I have nothing to compare it with. Friends we went with said the bad service was an anomaly in their experience.

                  1. re: Foureyes137
                    The Dairy Queen Jun 24, 2007 12:49 PM

                    I've dined both upstairs and downstairs and, thankfully, have had attentive but unintrusive, knowledgeable service in both locations. I didn't notice a major difference in my overall experience, really, except that I thought that upstairs felt more open, which I liked. I'm sorry to hear that kate and banoble have had bad experiences--how frustrating.

                    ~TDQ

                    1. re: The Dairy Queen
                      Jordan Jun 24, 2007 04:11 PM

                      My one experience at 112 was also characterized by "attentive but unintrusive, knowledgeable service." That was upstairs. It sounds to me as if 112 has hired a real dud of a server. Hopefully that person won't last much longer.

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