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Attitude at Mark Joseph [moved from Manhattan Board]

Last week, my husband, our son, and I went to Mark Joseph for dinner. My son lives in the building and not only frequents the restaurant, but takes out some of the delicious sides when he is cooking at home. We weren't starving and ordered one round of drinks, 2 caesar salads, a porterhouse for two, creamed spinach, sauteed mushrooms and shared a dessert. A light meal by steakhouse standards....the server clearly wasn't happy that we weren't ordering another main or a bottle of wine. The restaurant wasn't full but most of the other tables were the typical large groups of men celebrating their deals. The steak was very good, it had that mineral tang, the creamed spinach was excellent, and the mushrooms were also good. The caeser sald had no greated cheese or anchovy taste. The cheesecake was worth the calories. All that said, I feel that you should be welcomed at a restaurant regardless of how much you order (within reason). We are low maintainence and tip well. Must everyone in the party order a main dish all the time?

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  1. Nancy - i've wondered the same thing ever since i moved to manhattan about 15 months ago. my partner and i eat out a lot - and it becomes a calorie thing for me - trust me i can eat all they serve - but find that if we both order appt.s and then split a main - that will satisfy both of us - we also order a cocktail each (liquid calories don't count <g>) - that was fine in Boston - but in Manhattan - we definitely can run into some attitude. I use to be a waiter - many moons ago - so i understand trying to get the bill up - but i also understand professional service - sometimes you just want a light bite - so like you i'm not sure of the proper etiquette.

    1. I have mixed feelings about this. I sometimes order 2 apps instead an app and a main. Always wine but usually no cocktails. I have not encountered any attitude in this case. Your waiter should not have "clearly" indicated his displeasure. That's just rude. That said, I can understand his being less than pleased, as you were 3 people, presumably occupying a table that could accommodate 4, yet you were only ordering for 2. In a fine restaurant, it is generally expected that each person will order a meal, even if not everyone has multiple courses, but if there were empty tables, it should not have been an issue.

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      1. re: rrems

        I agree. It's definitely presumed that each diner will order an entree. Extra courses are exactly that: extra.

        When my husband and I don't feel like an entree or more each, we sit at the bar or in the lounge. That way there's no pressure, and the dining tables seat those having dinner, not snacks.

      2. Hi Nancy
        We've been to several places here in the Detroit area. I've been trying to lose some ballast so we usually split the entre. We've never had any server cop an attitude. In fact, we've never been charged for a split and often have been served the entre split in the kitchen and presented on separate plates. Can't say it never happens but in my experience, it certainly isn't common here in the Detroit area.
        Bob

        1. Jfood understands that a server's tip is in direct proportion to the amount of the check at a ratio of 15-20% per dollar spent. Jfood also understands that the amount that jfood pays is also in direct proportion to the amount of the check in a ratio of 115-120% of what he orders. So the dollars out of jfood's pocket is 5.75-8.00 times greater than the dollars into the servers pocket for every dollar of food ordered.

          so jfood orders what his stomach tells him to order at any given meal. If he does not want a $10 bottle of water - not ordered; chicken instead of steak - cluck cluck; dessert and coffee not in the cards that night - please bring the check. And if mrs jfood is not that hungry and wants 2 appetizers, that is what she is ordering. And if there are three people in jfood's party at a 4-top, sorry what's jfood to do? Should jfood order a phantom meal to please the server? Not happening.

          Serving tables in a restaurant is like investing. You have some winners and you have some not such winners. It's a portfolio of tables. If jfood's is a low beta for the night, sorry, but it is jfood's money to spend, his hunger to satisfy and he only has three people in his party.

          Order what you want. Ifthe server cops an attitude, forget about it, enjoy your meal and your company and deal with it in the tip.

          1. Attitude isn't great service. "clearly wasn't happy" means a 15.00000000% tip

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