Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Chicago Area >
Sep 22, 2007 11:28 PM

Frontera/Topolobampo Service

I went to Topolobampo for my third time the other night. While I definitely understand some of the complaints of posts I've read on here (muted flavors and not Mexican enough), I still love it. The dishes convey both a haute cuisine feel but remain true to their roots. I had the Mole tasting menu which was new, and I thoroughly enjoyed the food and wine pairings. The other people in my party got various dishes and all loved them as usual.

However, this may have been my last visit to one of my favorite restaurants. Though there have been one or two stellar waiters in my visits (a few to Topolo and many to Frontera), last night was the worst service I've ever had at a restaurant this nice.

A party of four with reservations, we were seated almost 45 minutes after our reservation time. When we finally did get to sit down, we didn't see a waiter for another 20 minutes. After asking another waiter if he was helping us, someone else finally arrived, dropping off menus and disappearing for another 20 minutes. Finally, a cocktail order was taken. I got my standard Blue Agave Margarita, but once it finally arrived, it was horrid. Everyone in my party had ordered this Margarita at one point and time, and all agreed that something was severely off. So, I spoke to our waiter about it, who then proceeded to tell me that I must have meant to order something else since I couldn't describe what was wrong with it. She suggested several other margaritas that I must have THOUGHT I wanted. She finally, begrudgingly, took it back. Our meal finally did start arriving, and from there on out (almost an hour and a half after our reservation was set for and 2 hours after checking in) the food was delicious and timely, but that may have been because the kitchen was pushing things out and it wasn't our waiter bringing plates to our table.

8:30 reservations. Our first course didn't arrive until almost 10:15 and we ate dessert around 2 hours later. Though I'm all for long meals, the service was so bad it got out of hand. Though the maitre'd did apologize for our late seating initially, it went from bad to worse to slightly better.

While I have no expectation of anything less than a 2 hour wait at Frontera, Topolo should be better than this.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Inexcusable in all respects . . . but I would make sure to contact the manager (by letter or phone call) and explain in detail how you loved the food but hated the service. Give the mgr. a chance to favorably resolve the issue. Hopefully, they will do everything in their power to make sure that you dine their again. If not, their loss.

    2 Replies
    1. re: BRB

      I strongly agree with BRB's advice. Contact the proprietors and let them know about your experience. It is the best thing you can do to prevent others from having the same experience you did.

      You can find contact information on Topolobampo's website at

      1. re: BRB

        I agree. And I'll add that it was probably an off night. I ate there a few weeks ago, and had great service.