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Sep 14, 2008 02:40 PM

Sweet Life Cafe, Martha's Vineyard...not so sweet!

the Sweet Life cafe was off the radar. On the evening we went, which was early September, they had chosen to serve all meals in the outside garden (no choice of sitting inside was offered) and this was OK although as I hate those upright garden heaters, asked to be sat near the one which wasn't lit. That was fine - except when then they decided to light it as someone else who had arrived later than us - and wearing a skimpy t-shirt and shorts - was cold. They did move it but it still made the temperature far too hot.
The food. Hmmmm. My partner had oysters, which were good, and fresh, but my starter of a ceviche of sea bass just wasn't ( a ceviche, that is). The marinating liquid was more like a sweet soup and as a result it hadn't had the necessary effect on the fish. It was OK, just not really a ceviche...
The main courses, however, were poor. Very poor. I ordered chicken. This was served overcooked and dry, with a curry-ish sauce which tasted like Curry Before We Knew How. Vesta style is the best comparison. That was served with a very small salad with a couple of slices of mango - but utterly contradictorily, alongside a lake of cauliflower puree and a large piece of burnt broccoli, which was burnt on the outside, raw in the middle, and largely inedible. My partner had halibut - utterly devoid of moisture, with a pea-soup style risotto which tasted rather like frozen pea-and-rice soup. it was grim.
To add to this, we asked for a wine on the list but were then told that they had a problem with the white wines as the fridge had broken down and only the wines by the glass were available in white, but that we could hav e a red - which we didn't want. We did have our chosen wine which they did manage to cool down with a bucket of ice...

The combination of the heating situation and the poor food meant that we expressed our dissatisfaction to the maitre'd who said it wasn't his restaurant and that they can't please everyone but that we can talk to the chef. Which we did. I have honestly never met anyone any more defensive! he refused to accept that his food was anything other than wonderful and wasn't interested in any remark which didn't coincide with his opinion of his own food.

Bad food, poor service, a chef not interested in your observations. Sweet Life it ain't.!

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  1. I have read accolades about SL. What was the bill??

    3 Replies
    1. re: phelana

      It was about $150, two courses and wine. We paid only $100 - and NO tip!

      1. re: Merseymike

        Did they offer you the $50 reduction or did you just take it? Also curious as to why you took out the bad meal on the server by stiffing him/her on the tip?. Your post didn't indicate the service was bad so it's not appropriate in my mind to chintz on the gratuity.

        1. re: CapeCodGuy

          It took some 'persuasion'. What they then choose to do with the money is their choice. The service was average, somewhat sniffy. Incidentally, we have since found that the maitre'd who said it wasn;t anything to do with him is in fact the owner, so we can add pathological lying to being unable to run a restaurant to their sins....