Revisiting Stamford's Duo
We recently received a fancy promotional mailing from Duo that included a coupon for a free entree, so off we went on Wednesday evening. At 8:15 we were the only customers other than two drinking at the bar, but perhaps on a Wednesday at that hour a light turnout is to be expected. Unfortunately, because the decor is so sleek and simple, the place seems sterile and stark when it's empty.
The food was good, as it was during my first visit in the spring, but once again, service was problematic. It took twenty minutes for our appetizers to arrive--well, I should say my companion's appetizer, because as the waiter placed it on the table, he announced that the one I had ordered was not available. When I said "And it took twenty minutes to figure that out?" he just smiled and stood there. The young man was trying to be pleasant, but had a strange demeanor--almost an Aspergers affect, in that he didn't look either of us in the eye and didn't connect with us conversationally. It was disconcerting.
As in my prior visit, the TV mounted over the bar was in my line of sight, showing a Fox police procedural with closed captions. If I want to watch television while I eat, I'll stay home or head to a pub. A waiter repeatedly carried plates of sushi through the dining area and out a thunking side door--at first we thought he was grabbing a snack outside, then realized he was taking food into the adjoining restaurant , which I guess must be owned by the same people who own Duo. It was odd and a little jarring. When we placed our dessert order, the waiter didn't think to inquire about coffee.
So, a series of small, quirky negatives added up to a less than stellar experience for the money--Duo is pricey, and since the smallish portions mean that a meal has to include an appetizer, there's no way to keep the cost in check. Because my first experience was also a disappointment, I'm not trying again. I assume that the advertising campaign means that business needs a boost, but instead of spending money on glossy brochures and coupons, management should concentrate on hiring some professional staff and matching the experience to the prices. The recession will surely result in many Stamford restaurant closures--I fear Duo may be an early casualty